Post # 1
Hey there to all bee members!!
Long story short my fiancé is Roman Catholic and I am Baptist; we decided to have our wedding ceremony held at a beautiful events center. Throughout the planning process we discovered it was near impossible to find a Priest who would marry outside of the Catholic Church. It is also VERY important to my fiancé and his family to have him marry in the church as to complete one of his Sacraments and it is also important to me to start our marriage off the right way – as I myself plan to become Catholic and also raise our children Catholic. I did not have a strong religious upbringing and want better for my future children.
Has anyone had their wedding “blessed” prior to their outdoor, beach, events center, etc. type of wedding? If so what exactly happens during the blessing? We also want the blessing to happen prior to due to us also wanting to take the pre-marital classes and the FOCUS test.
We are meeting with the Catholic Priest this Friday to discuss having a marital blessing prior to having our wedding at the events center. Hopefully it will go ok 🙂
Any knowledge on this topic would be GREATLY helpful and appreciated!!!
Post # 3
You are right in that you can’t have a catholic wedding outside of a church. What you are talking about “blessing” is a convalidation but it happens AFTER the wedding.
You could have a small morning catholic wedding and then do a “guest invited wedding” at the venue later… but you would be legally married at that Catholic ceremony.
I’m afraid those are your two options. The best is to just have a Catholic wedding in the church or get married before the “wedding day” festivities in the church.
Post # 4
Thanks for your reply KLP2010!
I did look around the web prior to posting on here and I did see people posting their experience about having a convalidation after they returned back from their honeymoon – this was an option a few weeks ago for us; until we weighed the odds and would just feel better about having a small ceremony/blessing (basically where it is just the vows) with us and our parents so that we are married FIRST in the Catholic Church then have the “wedding day” at the events center the following weekend. This way at least my fiancé is completing his final Sacrament and I am still having my beautiful events center wedding 🙂
Does anyone know how having a small blessing/ceremony FIRST before having an outdoor wedding works? Personal experiences would be great to hear!! Also – does anyone know what first meeting with the Priest includes; such as topics that are brought up? I have heard some horror stories on here!
Post # 5
@lauramuse: Meeting the priest is so hit or miss. All we did was talk, tell him how we met and a little about ourselves (well, mainly me as DH has been at this parish for his entire life), and took the FOCUUS test… that was it. Just paperwork and small talk.
Most likely you would have a non-mass wedding, but you would still have all the parts of the mass except communion. So there will be the 2 readings, gospel, homily, rite of marriage, lords prayer, intentions, and closing blessings… In short, a wedding 🙂
Make sure you also talk to whomever is doing your “secular” wedding. There could be legal things I’ve known officiants to balk over and not bring up until day of. “What do you mean you’re legally married? I can’t do/say something?” Just be upfront that you will be legally married but wish to have a ceremony and vows. There just MIGHT (not sure) be something where they can’t say “I now pronounce you” etc. but be upfront and you’ll be fine.
Post # 6
“…until we weighed the odds and would just feel better about having a small ceremony/blessing (basically where it is just the vows) with us and our parents so that we are married FIRST in the Catholic Church then have the “wedding day” at the events center the following weekend.”
Actually, you can’t do that. There are only three forms of a Catholic wedding, and all require a 30 minute or more ceremony, including readings from the Bible, prayers, and a blessing. This is the form that most likely applies to your situation (and is the shortest): http://foryourmarriage.org/rite-for-celebrating-marriage-outside-of-mass/
As far as KLP’s comments, I agree fully with letting the secular officient know the situation. Many states have laws against performing a marriage ceremony without a wedding license in hand (which you can’t get if you are already married). These laws are intended to prevent gay marriages in states where gay marriage is illegal (also polygamist marriages in some states where that is common). So the marriage ceremony has to be changed from a wedding ceremony to a vow renewal (using different wording) in that situation. Since Florida doesn’t recognize Common Law Marriage, I have a feeling that you might need a license to hold a wedding ceremony.
Also, (and it’s a minor thing) – this wouldn’t be your fiance’s last sacrament. The Catholic Church has 7 sacraments (Baptism, Reconcilliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Last Rites) and since it is difficult (though possible) to both be married and become a member of the clergy, it’s rare that people receive all 7 (also, unless he’s been in a near-death situation he probably hasn’t received Last Rites).
Post # 7
One other thing since this hasn’t been mentioned… You can get married in the Catholic Church at your events center (best of both worlds!)
To do this, you need a “Dispensation from Canonical Form”. This is permission from the bishop to get married anywhere (including in your events center). Once you have this, you get married in the events center by a secular official and that counts as a Catholic wedding (you just send the church a copy of your marriage license).
So how do you get a Dispensation from Canonical Form? You ask a priest and the priest asks a bishop. So what’s the catch? They don’t give those out for any old reason. You need a good reason to justify why you’re not getting married in a church. “The events center is pretty” or “I already paid for the events center” or “It would be a pain to go from the church to the events center” are not good reasons. “While I respect the traditions of the Catholic Church, my father is a Baptist minister and it is important to me and my religion that he marries us.” is a better reason (as is anything framed around your Baptist beliefs and not around aesthetics or cost).
Post # 8
I agree with CatholicBee. A dispensation from canonical form might be the best option for you.
I got a dispensation from canonical form. I wasn’t Catholic at the time I was married and it was important to my parents that I was married in our church. We really didn’t have to do much to get the dispensation, we just let my FI’s priest know that is what we wanted to do and he took care of all the paperwork with the diocese. We still had to do regular pre-Cana. We then held our wedding in my parent’s Baptist church with a Baptist minister and cermony…but the ceremony was considered a valid Catholic Sacrament.
The only caution is the one CatholicBee has mentioned. We were allowed to do this because it was important to my parents that we be married in the church I grew up in. I don’t know if you would be able to obtain a dispensation just to be marrried in a specific venue.