Post # 1
My fiance and I aren’t very religious. He attended church as a child but stopped going once he entered college and hasn’t gone back. I attended Catholic school from kindergarten through my second year of college and attended church regularly until my parish closed in 2008.
It’s important to both of our mothers that we get married in the church, but neither one of us cares too much about it since we don’t attend church anyway and probably won’t after we get married. I called two churches in our area to get information about getting married and the people in charge practically hung up on me because I’m not a member at their churches. They wouldn’t give me any helpful information, were extremely rude, and basically said that they would see if we “could possibly” get married after going through counseling.
I understand that they don’t want people who aren’t going to keep going to church to be married in the church but they didn’t know I felt that way. But, as much as this annoys me, I’m more worried about how to deal with this with our mothers. Those are the only 2 churches in our area and I don’t want to have to be married in a place that I feel unwelcome. Any suggestions on how to deal with this??
Post # 3
I totally get why you want to get married in a church because of your mother and future mother but it is 100% up to you and your fiance. If you don’t want to get married in a church then don’t. You could always somehow incorporate the catholic faith into your wedding. My fiance’s side of the family is very catholic but i’m christian and so is my fiance. I decided that his cousin who is a catholic priest could do a catholic blessing but thats it. Maybe you could do something like that?
Post # 4
Yes, I’ve had the same issue. My fiance’s church is located on the border of our neighboring state and last time he went he was robbed, in daylight. So I had that as a strong confirmation that we wouldn’t be going there. As for my church, it’s not far from where I live but it’s in another bad area. In Indiana one town could be totally horrible and the next fantastic, lol. I haven’t been to my church for about 14 years as well.
So when we called other Catholic Churches… boy did we get the same attitude. They didn’t understand why we wouldn’t go to our churches, and would say the priest would call us back and never did. They treated us as if we were having sex, aborting babies, slapping our parents, murdering people and everything else all at the same time.
I ended up finding a very nice Lutheran Church that had no problems and loved the fact that we were not living together. So that was a bonus. The church wasn’t important to me, but the in laws and my mom wanted it. My mother didn’t care what church but I’m still hearing crap from his side that it’s not Catholic. Sorry I don’t want to get robbed on my wedding day so it’ll have to do. Is it possible that you tell them you’ve tried but don’t think it’s fair you get married in a church you don’t feel welcomed, when you should feel the most welcome at a place of worship?
Post # 5
I am getting married in a Catholic Church per my parent’s wishes, even though it definitely woudld not have been my first choice. I told my paretns that if this was important to them, then they had to figure it out. I gae them two requirements 1. Pretty and 2. Not crazy. They created a list, and I went with them to meet with the churches and find the one I wanted. I had NO problem getting in to be married at one – EVEN THOUGH they all had a requirement that you had to be a member for 1 year minimum before applying to get married. My parents contacted friends they knew that were members at the Church in good standing. They called and spoke to the priest for us, and had us call later that day. Much easier than I thought it woudl be . . .it just takes a little working the system.
Bottom line- if your parents say it is a MUST then tell them you want them to figure out some options since it is so important to them and you want to honor their wishes. They will either figure it out for you OR will realize how tough it is and drop it. If you do find some Churches that work- find friends that are members and work the system. Most Catholic Churches are about who you know.
Post # 6
You have a couple of options, but to be honest the best thing to do would be to join a parish and attend mass each week. The other option would be to go with your mothers to their churches and speak with the priests there with them some might be willing to accomadate you. There are reasons why you are getting such a hard time finding a church, which I am sure you understand.
Post # 7
Most catholic churches are pretty strict about only marrying members of the parish. Since you aren’t members at any of the churches in your area, could you try going to your mom’s church or FI’s mom’s church? If that isn’t an option either, maybe talk to both mom’s about having a Catholic priest do the service outside of church. I’m sure if both mother’s are catholic and understand how things work with the church, they will understand why you’re having a hard time.
It’s funny how strict the Catholic church is in Canada and the U.S. I’m getting married in Ireland in the church FI’s mother belongs to with no problem at all. Not sure if it’s that the priest is more easy going (he was also FI’s princepal at one point) or if it’s because Future Mother-In-Law is so active at that parish.
Post # 8
My cousin who is a catholic priest said that the church comes down hard on this because they see it as the couple saying we don’t really believe and follow your principals but you have such a pretty venue and/or our mothers are making us do it here so we want in.
I am sure you can see how that would be offensive to someone of faith where the church is more than just a venue/building.
I would tell your mothers that you guys don’t feel right getting married in the church due to not being active members of a congregation and feel it is disrespectful to get married there just for the sake of it.
Post # 9
I’m surprised to hear this. I happen to be a member of the church we will be married in, but I rarely attend mass. When I called to ask about getting married there, they had us meet with the deacon and not until the end of our meeting when we were filling out our forms, did he ask which parish we each belonged to. My Fiance was not a member of the this parish, but the deacon told him he was now! Anyway, it seemed that as long as we had our baptismal / confirmation papers they were willing to marry us. We would’ve had to become members of the parish in order to do so, but it wasn’t required beforehand.
Post # 10
I can’t believe a pp said “Most Catholic Churches are about who you know.” Um, I don’t “know” anybody and I didn’t have any trouble getting married at my local Cathedral. Also to the pp who made the distinction that you are Christian and your fiance is Catholic, you mean that you are a Protestant and he is Catholic. Catholics are definitely Christians.
To the OP, it stinks when church people are rude. It’s just somehow more appalling, because you would think they would be a bit NICER than the average joe, instead of snottier. If you look at it from their perspective they probably field a lot of calls from brides most of whom aren’t wanting to use the building for the “correct” reasons. So it makes them pissy.
You DO have to do the counseling, that’s part of Catholic marriage prep. But in general you’ll find that the priests and so forth are a lot nicer, warmer, more welcoming than the office ladies. Not so much sticks up the butt.
One suggestion – next Sunday go to Mass at your preferred parish and go up to the pastor afterward, introduce yourself and tell him you are looking to get married at the parish. He’ll probably be like oh great! I’m Father Joe and I look forward to your wedding, you’ll have to call the office to make arrangements. Don’t say one word that you already called and they were snots. Then on Monday, call the parish office and say “Oh, Fr Joe told me to call because we want to plan our wedding. What were our next steps again?” When they hear the priest’s name and realize you already talked to him they’ll know you’re not to be screwed with. The priest is the boss and they are the peons. Deal directly with the boss.
Post # 11
Maybe things are more liberal here in New England but I’ve never heard of this cliquey-ness in the Catholic churches around here. I’m not getting married in my “home parish” and it hasn’t been an issue at all.
Post # 12
It REALLY depends on the parish. I had issues with my church office taking me seriously…and I work for the parish school. We ended up going to a different parish and had a wonderful marriage prep experience and beautiful wedding. We both did need to have letters from our pastor at our home parishes granting “permission,” though.
Post # 13
Personally, I would pick the church you would most like to be married in and call the receptionist again. This time, state that you are either new to the area (if true) and/or looking for a parish closer to you and your FI’s new home to be married in. As long as you state that you intend on becoming a parish member (there are NO strings attatched to this statement- it’s up to you how you fulfill your religious calling) there shouldn’t really be an issue.
On another note, my FI’s church wouldn’t give me “open” dates until we met with the priest…. not a big problem, but they certainly wouldn’t tell me straight over the phone.
Post # 14
I would suggest you say you want to “join the parish and plan on getting married in 2014.” When you just say you want to “have your wedding here” it sounds like you want to use the venue for a day and don’t care about being part of the parish community. Join, turn in your envelopes for a few months, then go talk about your wedding, especially if it is so far out.
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
You can have a religious ceremony outside of a church- we’re following my denomination’s wedding service straight from the hymnal, with a gospel lesson, homily, etc. I don’t see our wedding as being any “less” because it’s by the water instead of in from of an altar- my hometown minister’s performing the ceremony, so the only big difference is he won’t be in a robe.
Post # 16
I don’t think any of the churches where I live would care either, they’re just happy to be getting the money! Must be a regional thing.
If you don’t want to get married in a Catholic church, then don’t do it. Who cares what your mothers think? I’m pretty sure most of my family (and possibly my fiance’s family) assumes we are getting married in a Catholic church, but we don’t want to give money to an organization that supports causes we don’t believe in, so we won’t be getting married in a Catholic church. If you two don’t believe in it and don’t attend church, it would be like a sham anyway. Do your moms want you to essentially lie to the priest and the Church by getting married there when you don’t believe in it?