How Do I Decline My Future Father-in-Law's Request to Say a Wedding Reception Prayer?

Etiquette

Inevitably, both sets of parents will have opinions on your wedding day, but what should you do if the two sides don't see eye-to-eye on a particular matter? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your sticky-situation questions in our daily post.

My groom's father wants to say a prayer at the start of the wedding reception dinner, but we're not religious and neither are my parents and most of our guests. What should we do?

Traditionally, the bride's parents serve as hosts of the reception, which means their wishes and traditions should be paramount. Unless, of course, your groom's parents are contributing to the wedding, or if your fiancé would find a prayer meaningful. If neither are the case, then ask your groom to gently explain to his father that it would mean a lot if he would kindly respect the hosts' wishes on this matter.

That being said, if you, your groom, and your parents aren't opposed to a prayer, then giving your future father-in-law an opportunity to offer a special prayer for your marriage could be a heartfelt way to start off your new family on the right foot. You don't need to worry about the nonreligious guests in attendance—those who don't want to participate in a group prayer will simply sit in respectful silence until it is finished. Alternatively, if your groom's parents are hosting the rehearsal dinner, then you could invite your fiancé's father to lead a prayer before that meal, instead.

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