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AIBU to think this vicar is wrong?

(30 Posts)
TheWintersTale Sat 22-Dec-12 19:35:06

My DH and I are planning to renew our vows in 2013 because our wedding took place abroad in 2011 with only my DH's family present. We had to get married abroad for a variety of reasons, but at the time, we decided that we would have a UK version when the time was right.

So a couple of weeks ago we met with our local vicar to ask about renewing our vows. He was very nice, but basically told us that it should be a short and simple affair, and that he would not want me to have a wedding dress/bridesmaids etc for fear of it looking like a wedding. I was gutted when he said this, because I wanted to be able to get dressed up and have the 'wedding' I never had. I did tell him that I had planned on wearing a wedding dress, but he said that it could look like a sham wedding or something. I get that it might 'look' like that, but who cares? We're legally married!

I know it's not going to be a 'wedding', but why on earth should it matter what I wear etc? AIBU to think that this vicar is just plain wrong? The more I think about it, I can't think of any 'legal' reason to have to abide by a specific dress code etc.


kittyandthegoldenfontanelles Sat 22-Dec-12 19:36:56

Go to another church? Surely he can't dictate what you wear? That's ridiculous

OComeAllYeFaithBaby Sat 22-Dec-12 19:39:43

He can't dictate what you have outside the lines of the law! Does it have to be the church he is vicar for? I'd consider alternatives do you can have the ceremony you want.

RandomMess Sat 22-Dec-12 19:42:03

Guess he wants to focus on the spiritual side not the event IYSWIM

kittyandthegoldenfontanelles Sat 22-Dec-12 19:49:25

Many brides are able to focus on the spiritual side whilst wearing a nice frock.

KittyFane1 Sat 22-Dec-12 19:51:08

Yes Vicars/Priests can dictate what happens in Church. Renew your vows in a Civil ceremony. You can do what you like then.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Dec-12 19:55:38

Can you find a local Humanist celebrant, or similar? That way you can write your own vows/renewals (no religious content, though) and wear what you like, in any venue that takes your fancy (except a religious one.)

redexpat Sat 22-Dec-12 19:58:14

Have a civil service instead. You could do it in a lovely barn, country manor house, gardens...

BumpingFuglies Sat 22-Dec-12 19:58:58

The vicar is right - it's not a wedding.

BumpingFuglies Sat 22-Dec-12 20:00:25

That said, wear a wedding dress if you like - but don't expect to be treated like you are getting married.

TremoloGreen Sat 22-Dec-12 20:03:30

As marriage has a particular religious significance for Christians, this is probably why the vicar doesn't want a renewal of vows to be done in the same way as a wedding.

If you're not worried about the religious significance, why not have a civil ceremony somewhere and wear what you want?

TravelinColour Sat 22-Dec-12 20:06:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vicarlady Sat 22-Dec-12 20:07:36

I wonder if the vicar is interpreting the notes which accompany the Service of Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage. These notes do emphasise that the service should not have the same appearance as a marriage ceremony. For instance, the second note says 'Husband and wife should enter the church together, without ceremony and sit together at the front of the church'. The notes don't specifically mention dress, but I can see why the vicar might say that if he is interpreting the guidance notes in a rather strict way.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 22-Dec-12 20:12:23

I think you should go elsewhere and have what you actually want. To me, renewal of vows is like a second wedding and it's a lovely thing to do if you didn't have the wedding you wanted first time around or for people who've had a difficult patch and want to mark a fresh start in a positive way.

Your vicar is being a bit of a miserable git imo. Of course you want it to feel special, otherwise there's not much point in doing it. Find someone who will embrace the spirit of the celebration you want.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sat 22-Dec-12 20:20:15

i'm of the opinion that if you cant do it the way you want then there's no point so find somewhere you can do it the way you want. i would really resent paying for something i didn't actually want.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 22-Dec-12 20:28:45

What vicarlady said, vicars are concerned with the religious significance of the service, not about giving you a special day / nice photos.

He didn't do a great job of explaining it to you though.

TheWintersTale Sat 22-Dec-12 20:39:16

Thanks for all the replies.

vicarlady it could very well be those notes he is referring to, but he didn't actually say so. He just said it would look too much like a wedding if someone from the public looked in hmm.

Oh well, will have a think and have a look at some other options.

HappyTurquoise Sat 22-Dec-12 21:17:24

Would the renewal be a part of the normal Sunday service? If so, the vicar could be taking into consideration other renewal ceremonies, potentially for people in the congregation, who go to the church every week. I've seen a few renewal ceremonies like this, one was for an elderly couple on their 60th anniversary, another for 10 different couples (one or two pregnancies showing) in a church service all at the same time!

Perhaps you could compromise with a tailored cream suit, or a photo shoot on another occasion?

MatureUniStudent Sat 22-Dec-12 21:18:39

If the OP looks elsewhere then the church has missed out on having a happy couple who are proactively keen to renew their vows in a religious venue. I think that is sadly shortsighted. Doubtless future little OP's will make an apperance and they could also become part of the Churches family. But now the OP will go elsewhere, for the sake of apperances for people who may or may not look in the Church, whilst the ceremony takes place? why not a compromise by the Vicar to ensure the OP and their future OP's remain in the family of the Church?

With the greatest respect, it isn't like the church can afford to loose keen church members.

SailorVie Sat 22-Dec-12 21:19:58

How about you just get a blessing rather than a renewal of vows? Then there should be no problems in wearing your wedding dress

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 22-Dec-12 21:24:23

It's not about legality, it's about starting a marriage in front of God.

I think it's understandable that if you are already married, a vicar would think that you are renewing your vows just for the sake of the dress and the party, and that's not what it's supposed to be about when you have a ceremony in a church.

Saying that though, I do know a couple that renewed their vows in a church, and did nearly everything you would expect for a wedding, but they had had a civil ceremony previously, then attended the churches alpha course, and had become very active in the church.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 22-Dec-12 21:26:50

You could have a beautiful ceremony somewhere pretty with a religious celebrant if the religion aspect is important to you. There are loads of people advertised in the back of wedding magazines that do it.

Pendipidy Sat 22-Dec-12 21:35:56

me and my dh had both been married before so we couldn't get married in church so we went to registry office, had civil service, then went straight to my dad s church where he is the vicar, walked down the aisle together and then had a blessing, wearing my wedding dress obviously. ask for a wedding blessing maybe, rather than a renewal of vows ?

peaceandlovebunny Sat 22-Dec-12 21:53:40

he can make the rules for his own church.
you can go elsewhere.

TheWintersTale Sat 22-Dec-12 22:03:46

Pendipidy I think I'm right in saying that a blessing is for couples who have had a civil ceremony. Our wedding was in a church, so a vow renewal is the only available option.

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