(Closed) Destinations for a SMALL Catholic Wedding!

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Pick a location and then start researching the churches there til you find one you like and will allow you to marry there. Private universities sometimes have really lovely chapels, too, and not all of them require that you be affiliated with the school. I’d probably start there for venue research and then branch out into other chapels if you really fall in love with a certain city.

Post # 4
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Yes, try university chapels. It’s tough to truly “elope” in the Catholic church because there is so much bureaucracy: you have to fill out affidavits, get a recent copy of your baptismal certificate, get a letter of permission from your home parish if you’re getting married elsewhere, etc. They are formalities, but it will be necessary to jump through a certain number of hoops to get it all set up.

You might also look into churches at popular tourist destinations (i.e. Hawaii, Mexico, etc.) to see if you can find one that can host a Catholic destination wedding.

Post # 5
Member
4336 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

There are good reasons that it’s tough to “elope” in the Catholic Church.

Not only is marriage a Sacrament that should be celebrated and witnessed by friends and family, but marriage is a celebration within the community of believers- one of the reasons why it has to be in a Catholic Church building- and they’re all supposed to help you and support you, and their presence at the ceremony itself can be a witness to that.

As the Catechism says (1632) “The role of pastors and of the Christian community as the ‘family of God’ is indispensable for the transmission of the human and Christian values of marriage and family…” and (from 1663,) “Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturigcal celebration, before the priest, the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithul.”

Post # 6
Member
643 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@red_rose:  While I agree that marriage is a big part of the community, it can be really hard to justify jumping through all the hoops entailed in a traditional north american wedding. I find it especially hard because a wedding looks very little like a marriage. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the OP to want to have an intimate wedding day. All she and her FI are required to have is a priest, themselves and two witnesses.

OP: I get it. I get it about a million times over. I really didn’t want a big hullabaloo either. I wanted a wedding day where I actually got to spend some time alone with my new husband and weren’t too exhausted from the reception to actually consummate our marriage! However, FI wanted a party so we compromised. We are having a small church wedding in the city we live in, with just his parents and my grandparents in attendance. That way, we get our special day together. Then, a week or so after, we are having a destination “wedding” in Mexico (which will really be a renewal of vows that looks more like a wedding than our real wedding did) with all the hullabaloo (dress, cake, bridal parties etc.) and around 50 of our friends and family will be joining us for that. 

Post # 7
Member
9057 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I remember thinking that there seemed to be a ton of catholic churches while I was in Maui. 

Post # 8
Member
4336 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@AdriannaJean:  I don’t think that’s the fault of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church doesn’t require a limo, a photographer for 10 hours, $5,000 of flowers, 10 bridesmaids, an expensive wedding dress etc…

You are right in saying that it’s the “traditional north american” wedding that has all these hoops… but nothing about the Catholic Church requires this. There’s no reason that someone can’t just walk to the church in a simple, nice dress, get married, and have a casual cake and punch reception with a few friends and family, and THEN spend as much time as they want with the new spouse. But even then, I think that in addition to the overly extravagant show that most north american weddings have become, I also think that those who just want to have their “alone” time with no one else but the new spouse demonstrate a feeling of entitlement that has not been present in any other culture or time up until our own. Up until recently, in pretty much every culture, a wedding has always been a huge party with many friends and family, followed by a huge celebration, and in some cultures, the bride and groom even spend the days following the wedding ceremony visiting with relatives! (I realize at this point, that I am mostly just rambling, and not even really directed at the OP anymore, especially since all I know about her is that they don’t want the parents there, and I don’t even know if anyone else will be there.)

And yes, all that’s required is the priest and two witnesses, but I don’t think that’s the ideal, and I think it’s very unfortunate that the huge party and planning of the wedding and reception causes couples to be so overwhelmed that they have gone from one extreme to the other, and have forgotten (or never knew) *why* it’s important to be surrounded by ones friends and family on the wedding day.

Post # 9
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@TheDistrictBee:  According to my mom, a catholic priest can marry you anywhere and you still have to fullfill the requirements, such as baptism, communion, pre-marital classes, etc.  Find out if the location has a priest locally that would marry you and allow you to take the classes where you are now and just takes proof you fullfilled all the requirements.

Post # 10
Member
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Hi – For a Catholic marriage you have to be married in the church.  Prior to the marriage you must fulfill the requirements others have outlined.

I only want to point out that you dont have to have a big mass with tons of people.  I was married by my priest on a Thursday afternoon at 5:30 with 8 people there.  We did a vows only ceremony so there were no readings or music.  It was very simple and private and under 15 minutes.

Post # 12
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

You also have the option of getting married at a regularly-scheduled Sunday Mass. People rarely do this, of course, wedding traditions being what they are, but it’s a 100% valid option. You don’t get to select your own readings if you go that route, you have to go with the readings that are in the Lectionary for that day, but it’s certainly a possibility if you want to have a low-key wedding but still have it take place at a Mass.

Post # 13
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I recommend St. Malo in Allenspark Colorado. My husband and I got married there in May and it is *magical*. It is this gorgeous little Catholic stone chapel in the mountains.

MALO IN MINIATURE (SAINT MALO) - ALLENSPARK

 

There was a fire at the nearby retreat center last year so the website is down, but you can contact Our Lady of the Mountains in Estes Park and they still coordinate weddings there.

Post # 14
Member
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Many churches will let you fulfill your requirements locally and get married there. Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA would be great options.

I have been a witness twice at 2 Catholic weddings that only had a couple people at them. If family drama is that much of a concern, you really need to discuss it with your FI. Somewhere there is a compromise here.

And you should have the wedding you want, not what some random stranger on the Internet thinks is the right thing to do:)

Post # 15
Member
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

you can have a catholic wedding in mexico. some chapels are right next to the beach

BUT catholic weddings arent legal so you would still need to go to the courthouse or whatever to have a legal wedding. the catholic wedding here in mexico is being married in the eyes of god/church…but without the legal wedding youd still legally be single so you need both

if you want PM me and ill give you some suggestions! im having a catholic wedding here in mexico (cancun) and doing the legal bit seperately

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