Dear Sharon: Wedding planning has become a tug-of-war between our families

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Dear Sharon: 

My fiancee and I have been together for three years, and we have finally decided to get married. We happen to be from different religions, but we don’t care since our spiritual outlooks are very similar and secular.

But our families have different ideas.

My fiancee’s family insists we marry in their church, where her siblings were married. But I’m not a member of that church, and I can’t go along with the religious practice of it. My fiancee just doesn’t want to upset her mother. Some members of my family ask me if we can go along with “our” traditions, even though nobody in our family has followed them in 30 years. Suddenly, my fiancee and I are caught in the middle.

What can we do? 

A Taffy Pull 

Dear A. Taffy:

You’re definitely in a bind here, and likely it’s not useful for you to know how common this is. I mean, at least twice each year, as an officiant I hear this story.  I’ll tell you what I’ve told many others… 

This is your day, nobody else’s; that being said, it’s likely they are being supportive in more ways than one. 

I urge you to do one of two things: 

  1. Elopement is always an option, but in my experience as an officiant, it’s usually the last resort if the families cannot come to a peaceful and loving compromise. There’s always a path to a commonality I believe, so give this a  lot of thought before deciding to elope. You’d never have the family photographs, and regret is avoidable. Option 2 is likely the option I urge most couples to consider. 
  2. Choose one ritual or reading from each religion/family to appease them all, a  painless one if you can, and once you make that decision you will be able to let it go, get on with your planning, knowing you’ve done your very best to keep the peace while also having the ceremony you truly want to have. 

Good luck and congrats! 


Send your  questions to Sharon

LIfe can be daunting. Toss in a global pandemic, post-holiday season, new year, the mess of daily life. Maybe you need some light or clarity.  You’ve got nothing to lose, so ask me a question. Family, love, relationships, work, life in general – all appropriate topics. Please be kind.

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Sharon is not a trained therapist or psychologist but has 20 years experience with couples in love, or who wish they were in love.  She has made it her life’s work to join together those in love, legally or otherwise and has, to date, officiated 460 marriages. With Sharon’s natural instinct for love and relationships and the things that make them, and a kind and open heart, your submissions will be treated with respect and clarity.

Sharon owns Weddings with Spirit, and is a NH Justice of the Peace, an interfaith ordained minister, and is happily married.


About this Author

Sharon Curole

Weddings With Spirit

Sharon Curole is a NH Justice of the Peace, aka Wedding Angel, and a dedicated foodie.