Yes, researching the denomination beforehand makes a lot of sense. That's a good starting point, I think. Thank you!
I think what really caught me off guard the last time is I'd been to services by Religion Y before, and had no problem with it -- it was what I expected from most weddings I'd been to. And I'd never heard the views expressed by my friends of Religion Y, either (but we're very good about not discussing hot-button religious issues, because we know that's how we stay friends!).
So I'm guessing individual officiants have their own determination of how much of their beliefs they put into the service, and how controversial and pushy they're willing to get?
Would it ever be appropriate to afterward write a letter to the officiant protesting the content, and saying it made me uncomfortable, or would that just make my friends look bad? (I wouldn't want to get them "in trouble", so to speak, with their church!)
The quote function is being wonky, so this is from Another Sarah who posted while I was replying:
I think this is impossible to know just by looking at the denomination. The church down the road to the left from my mum's house has the vicar we refer to as the fire-and-brimstone one, whereas the one down the road to the right, same denomination, has the nicest vicar I've ever met. It's down to the officiant's personality more than anything else and unless its the HC's own personal priest they probably won't know either. You could sound out someone who goes to that church, be it the bride and groom or a family member discreetly though.
Yes, that's totally why I've found it to be difficult. I like the idea of discreetly speaking to a family member or friend who goes to the church.