Post # 1
My fiancé and I have been going back and forth on which church to get married at. Because I’m catholic and he’s baptist. So, he finally agreed to get married at my church. Our wedding is November 30, 2013 and it was very hard to get that date in at the reception hall we wanted it at. Well, I finally talked to my priest about a month ago and he said the date is already taken! I couldn’t believe my ears, and I always wanted to get married at my church. I refuse to get married into a baptist church just because I know the consequences for me if I go back to my home church (can’t take communion). Anyways does anyone know if I would be able to go to a different Catholic Church and use it to get married at but not become a member of that church?
Post # 3
You actually have more options than you think. In your case, I would suggest the following (I am assuming that your wedding will be on a Saturday here, for convenience).
SAT AM – Wedding at FIs baptist church, with a priest from your church also present, and helping during the ceremony (you will need permission from both officiants to do this). This marriage will still not be recognised by the Catholic church, but having your priest there will create some good will and include you both. You should avoid having a nuptual mass, for liturgical reasons.
SAT PM – Party!
SUN PM – After sleeping off your hangovers, go to the regular evening mass at your Catholic church, and have a convalidation ceremony there. It takes 5 minutes as part of the regular ceremony and will mean that your marriage will be legally recognised by the Catholic church, so you can take communion etc. You will then receive a certificate of convalidation, which is essentially the same as a Catholic marriage certificate. With a dispensation, your husband can also take mass with you on this day, which will compensate you for not having a nuptual mass the day before. Check with your priest about this option.
You can also get married in a different Catholic church. If this new church is inside the same parish as your existing one, you will need your priest to write you a letter of introduction to the priest who will marry you, and there should be no further problems. You do not need to join a new congregation. If the different church is outside the parish in which you live, your priest will have to write you a letter, and you will have to see the new priest and get his consent. The priest in your local church will then have to do all the paperwork, and pass it onto the priest who will marry you to sign off. You will have to do your pre cana etc with the priest who will marry you.
Sources: Having a somewhat similar problem.
Post # 4
I’m sorry you’re having this problem, but if a church wedding is your priority, you should ALWAYS confirm the date and time with the church before you start booking other vendors.
You can see about trying to get married in another Catholic church on that day, but it’s not ideal and might be difficult if you’re not a member and have no connection to the parish.
You might see if it’s possible to hold two weddings on the same day at your parish (we were able to do this at ours) – you have to be prepared to be flexible about the time, but it can be done if the priest will allow it. If you end up going that route, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the other couple to see if you can collaborate on decorating, etc. (or keep things minimal).
Post # 5
I would do that, but my priest already is having a wedding held the day of my wedding so they’re might not be a chance for my priest to show up at his church :(. Plus his church is very tiny but there is big significance in it because his gpa was one of the people that helped built it, his gpa was a pastor there and a lot of his family was baptist pastors. But anyways getting off topic, his church is very small i think it only has 22 pews that sit 6 people each and were having 250+ show up.
Post # 6
@Rachel631 has given you some very good options. There is also the option to request a dispensation to be married in your FI’s church. You still do the regular marriage preparation with your church, but the ceremony is held at FI’s church with his minister. There does not have to be Catholic priest in attendance. The Catholic Church doesn’t prefer this option, but will do it if you have a valid reason. I am not sure that a date conflict would qualify as a valid reason (but ask your priest, it might), but I suspect the fact that the church is important to FI and his family would.
Of course, with his church being so small, that might not be an option either, but it is one to keep in mind as a possibility. The advantage of getting the dispensation is that you don’t have to do a separate convalidation later and your marriage is valid from the beginning.
Post # 7
I booked my church availability first, then looked at all vendors. If it’s really important to you to be married in the Catholic Church, you can see what days your church DOES have available, and then try to move your venue date or change venues.
Post # 8
Thank you everyone for input!
@greenviolets. I had no idea my church would have this date set so quickly. This is my first time planning a wedding and I’m only 21 and doing it on my own. I cannot change the date at my venue, trust me I tried! And other venues in my area I would have to pay around $20000 for catering while my venue allows me to have options on whatever caterer I want. 🙁 I could try for another church in the area, but they charge $1000 for non members.
But thank you everyone for your input! It helped a lot! 🙂
Post # 9
@crispy2013: I know it’s hard not to get your church, but you could still get a different priest from another Catholic church to bless the ceremony at FIs church, and what’s to stop you getting a convalidation at your own church the next day, since you have such a connection to it? Also, as only the religious Catholic guests will probably come to the convalidation, then the size of the church will not be a problem, as you won’t have as many people show up.
To be honest, I still think you should just have a multi or non-denominational ceremony on the day, and then convalidate at your much beloved church the next day. It would seem to be your best solution.
Post # 10
@crispy2013: Something else you might also try: if you explain to the priest that it’s really important to you to have a Catholic, sacramentally-valid wedding, and that you are locked into this date at the hall after you’ve made a good faith effort to change it, you could ask him about the following two possibilities:
– maybe he could marry you and your FI, on or just before that date in a very small Catholic ceremony, and then you can do the wedding celebration afterward with a non-denom ceremony at another venue.
– he might also be able to pull some strings with a nearby parish, talk to another priest he knows, etc., to help you get into another Catholic church on that date.
Post # 11
I think you can get special dispensation from the bishop to have your wedding in a baptist church.
Post # 12
I’m not getting married at my family church for a different reason (I do not like the priest). However, we worked on finding a church that meant something to us instead. We thought about churches my parents were married in, the chapel at the university we met at, the church I used to go to as a child on special occassions in an ethic neighborhood and, my favorite (and what we decided on)- the church where FI’s grandparents were married 60+ years ago (he recently lost that grandma).
So maybe you can find a different church that you love for a different reason?
Post # 13
That’s why you should book the reception and ceremony venues before settling on your date.
Why don’t you have it the weekend before or the weekend after, assuming you can get your reception venue on that date.