My fiance is a Youth Pastor, and His Brother is the main Church Pastor, do
Posted: Aug 3, 2011 2:34 PM
My fiance and I wanted a small wedding, something personal. And we had everything planned out for this Sept., but as soon as his brother (our pastor) found out he said we needed to invite ALL CHURCH AND SISTER CHURCHES because we are expected to have them join us. Is it tacky or rude that we only wanted to invite close friends and family? We havent reallly mentioned it at church, but that people that do know are already butting in and wanting things to be done their way, we dont want to be rude and or leave anyone out or hurt their feelings, but isnt it suppose to be our wedding? what should we do?
"we dont want to be rude and or leave anyone out or hurt their feelings, but isnt it suppose to be our wedding?"
Your dilemma is shared by many people. Yes, it's your wedding, but pastors and their families "belong" to the church. William and Kate might have wanted to run off and elope, but they "belong" to the British nation, so they had to have the whole Royal Wedding rigamarole.
First: In most churches, all worship services are open to anyone who wants to attend. (There are exceptions.) Churches are welcoming places and don't have bouncers at the door.
Thus, if you get married in a church, you cannot exclude anyone. You cannot invite a limited number, then turn away anyone else who shows up. The church is God's House, and all are welcome.
Next: Getting married in a private venue, such as a home or a hotel, is an entirely different matter. You can certainly invite a limited number to a private venue and turn away anyone who shows up uninvited.
Next: A reception can also be a private party, open only to invited guests.
Finally: It's good to offer all wedding guests some kind of refreshment following a ceremony. It need not be elaborate nor expensive.
What does all this mean to you?
You have to choose between having the wedding ceremony in the church, where many church members will be there in attendance (officially invited or not) and having the wedding ceremony in some alternate private venue where only officially invited guests may attend. Chances are pretty good that if your fiancé is a youth pastor, and his brother is the church pastor, getting married in some small private venue with a select group of invitees ain't gonna fly.
Here is your compromise alternative.
Have the ceremony in the church, and post the invitation in the church bulletin. Expect a mob.
Have a simple, one-hour reception after the ceremony in the church fellowship hall. Serve wedding cake, punch, coffee and a few other finger foods, as budget permits. (Mints, nuts, snack mix, etc.)
That way church members can congratulate you, tell you you are beautiful and the groom is a lucky guy, etc.
Later, in the evening, have a private party reception for your small group of selected guests at a restaurant or hotel banquet room. Spread the word around your small select group to not blab about the private party to church members. As far as most church members are concerned, the cake-and-punch receptionin the fellowship hall is "the" reception.
You would send mailed, paper invitations that include the private party info to your small group of selected guests. The rest just get the ceremony invitation in the church bulletin.
I have been a church-goer all my life and know church politics very well. It would be almost impossible for a youth pastor and pastor's brother to sneak off to a hotel banquet room for his wedding ceremony, bypassing the church and the church membership. That would be a real career-killer in many churches. You would hear about peoples' feelings about "being snubbed" for years to come.
Hey guys. I've been a lurker for a little while now but this post was very close to home so I figured I'd finally chime in.
My dad is a senior pastor. He has been at this church since I was 8 years old (I'm going on 26). I grew up in the church, went to the church's private school & now am the event planner & welcome center head for the church. I also work with the youth. Needless to say a lot of the people in the church feel a closeness to me. It's a very awkward position for me as there are 300 or so attendees. They feel a closeness to me but don't realize that to me, I mean no disrespect, but they are just another face in the crowd. There's 300 or so of them, I don't notice each one of them at every church event & service, but they notice me. I don't hear all their stories of when they were kids & about their family life, vacations, etc, but they hear the stories of my childhood, etc each week from my dad. So there's a closeness THEY feel towards me, cause they feel so much a part of my life thru my dad. However, only a small handful of them do I actually share that same feeling with because there's an actual relationship there.
Long story short, this has been a BIG discussion with my parents as, they're throwing the wedding & worry about offending people. They also can't afford to invite everyone from the church. I don't want any part of the wedding at my dad's church. I want my dad to be "dad" on my wedding day, not "pastor". So I have opted to have my ceremony & reception at the same venue & only invite those closest to us. We're already at 210 people & still counting between family & friends!! I can't leave out the church members, so my plan is to have a party announced in the bulletin for after we return from our honeymoon. We'll have a slideshow of our wedding & maybe the video too & just serve cake.
It's a very difficult position to be in but at the end of the day you have to do what's best for you guys.
"So there's a closeness THEY feel towards me, cause they feel so much a part of my life thru my dad. "
Being the Preacher's Kid is way different from being the Preacher's Fiancée. You had no choice. The Fiancée does have a choice.
I truly sympathize with you and don't blame you one bit for wanting your wedding to be separate from your father's church.
I have been a church-goer all my life, and believe me, I CRINGE when I hear stories of the pastor's child from the pulpit. I feel sorry for the poor kid who can't make a move without worrying that it will become sermon material. I've even gone so far as to suggest that the pastor's children become involved in a different church, just so they don't have the PK stigma.
Conversely, I am OK with the pastor talking about something his/her spouse or other adult family members said or did. I assume the spouse (or other adult) has given permission for that incident to be shared.
Having said that, I stand by what I said earlier in this message. The groom is a youth pastor. I think it would be career suicide for the groom to go off to another venue to get married. The OP is marrying a pastor. She is making a positive choice to be a pastor's wife. I really think they should get married in the church, with all church members invited to the ceremony and a simple cake, punch and coffee reception.
I also agree 100% that you are under no obligation to get married in your father's church. You did not choose to be a PK. You and your fiancé have no particular career need to get married in that church. You are free to get married where ever you want.
If your father is paying for the wedding, then he has the right to close his own checkbook and not pay for something he does not like. That's his right just as much as it is your right to open your own checkbook and pay for the wedding you want, just as you want it.