My mother wants my crazy aunt to sing at my wedding.  Auntie can’t sing but she thinks she can.  How should I decline the offer without making waves?

If your only disagreement with your family about your wedding has to do with your aunt’s voice, you’re probably ahead of the game. But in the interest of family harmony, rather than reminding your mom that your aunt is no American Idol, get someone who’s a little removed from the situation to make your point for you. If you’re concerned about her singing during the liturgy, ask the parish wedding coordinator to help you arrange for musicians from the parish music ministry; you can tell your family that the church gives preference to its trained liturgical music ministers. If you’re concerned about her singing at the reception, give the DJ a heads up and ask him/her to keep things rolling and not give up the microphone to your vocally-challenged auntie, especially if she and your guests have had a few drinks by that time. But at that point you might also want to just relax and let it go – it will be a story that you and your spouse can laugh over for years to come when you remember your special day.

Neela Kale

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.