Post # 1
I have found the venue of my dreams for my morning ceremony & brunch reception, its a beautiful 19th century Hacienda with gorgeous architecture and grounds. Only one problem, as a Catholic Bride (and Groom) if I am to have my ceremony at this venue the Catholic Church will not recognize the marriage. I have already moved gears towards receiving a Dispense from the Bishop but in case that it gets rejected I am contemplating the following 2 options:
1) Receive the Catholic Sacrament of marriage on Friday Night in casual dress with only our parents as witnesses and then have a formal civil ceremony at the venue Saturday Morning
2) Have the formal civil ceremony as planned (at the venue) and plan to receive a convalidation of the marriage at a later date
I am afraid Option 1 will make the formal ceremony meaningless since we will already be married and are just putting on a show for other people and Option 2 will be frowned upon by our conservative catholic Puerto Rican families who will consider a civil ceremony a great offense and some will probably refuse to attend.
What do you think? Have any brides been in a similar situation?
I have included photos of the venue which has made this decision so difficult.
Post # 3
I would wait to make any decision until you have heard from the Bishop. How does your parish priest feel about doing the ceremony at this venue, many times the Bishop will go with the parish priest and let them make the call.
Post # 4
@tksjewelry: I hope you are right! The Priest is a close personal friend of my parents and would have no problem performing the ceremony at the venue
Post # 5
I don’t believe that Catholic masses (or ceremonies to be considered valid by the church) can be performed outside unless it’s on holy ground.
I wish I could be more helpful, but a convalidation is more meant to bring couples back into the church if they did not marry in the church initially, it really isn’t there to make it so people can marry outside of the church and then get their Catholic wedding. We’ve had bees (such as Mrs. Socks) who have been married first (not necessarily in the Catholic church) and then had a wedding ceremony later. If you went with option #1, the civil ceremony can be flexible with wording. I don’t know how your family will act, but I will guess that they will have wished to have gone to the sacramental ceremony, but will be happy to celebrate your marriage.
Your venue looks lovely though and I wish you the best of luck.
Post # 6
I voted for option 1 because that’s what I’m doing. Actually I’m having the church wedding in the morning the day before, with immediate family and a few close friends in the wedding party. I’m worried about the same thing as you – that I won’t feel like a “bride” for my outdoor venue because I will already have been officially married, per the state and per the church. But I figure my wedding is what I make of it. My friend pointed out there are many instances of situations like this. For example, many people have a religious/legal pre-wedding before going on their destination wedding. Also, in some cultures, it’s typical for the religious leader to marry the couple first, in a private ceremony, then the big public ceremony takes place. These are the things I remind myself about to feel better about it! I considered convalidation, but my family much preferred to have everything done by the reception.
Post # 7
Absolutely beautiful venue, by the way. I feel your pain, I really do!
Post # 8
Post # 9
Tough choice, but I would strongly urge you not to do either. I had a civil ceremony a few months before the catholic one (with the big reception) and felt the civil ceremony was far more special. It could be that we felt we were settled/already married, and may be different for you since it will only have been a few hours, but in my opinion, nothing can replace saying your vows for the first time. I would do the ceremony in the church and then just enjoy your reception at the beautiful venue.
Also, if you do the civil at your venue, and do the church later, it’ll be something hanging over your head to do after the wedding. For me, I just wanted to get on with being married. Just my opinion!
Post # 10
Beautiful venue!! It’s a tough situation. I would go with option 1.
Post # 11
I voted for option 1 because it is the best of the three choices, but I think you should consider having your wedding in the church and then a beautiful reception at that venue. In my opinion, a venue is just a venue, but a church is where sacraments happen. It’s also where possible future children will be baptised. You can have a ritual which is special to your and your FI or proclaim special vows you wrote for each other at the reception. I just think that a ceremony at church is important.
Post # 12
I agree with some of the previous posts. Being a catholic bride, I’d prefer to do the ceremony in the church and have the reception in the hacienda.
But if that’s not gonna work for you and for some reason, you really want to have a ceremony in the hacienda, I would go with option one.
Post # 13
I’m cathoic and getting married outside as well. Go to rentapriest.com
They have real catholic priests that left for reasons like they wanted to get married. Plus the catholic church charges an arm and a leg for the ceremony in the church. You have to try and convince your local priest to come and do your ceremony if you’re not having the ceremony at your local church (and of course pay him more) and you have the hassle of pre-cana. I’m taking the easy route out. No classes and no limo coordination.
Post # 14
We thoroughly enjoyed my pre-cana classes. It is also very important to me that someone who i have a relationship with perform the actual marriage.
I am having a “just vows” ceremony at the church with immediate family on Thursday evening. We are then having a “for show” ceremony followed by the reception at an outdoor venue on Saturday.
Post # 15
Is having only the reception at your desired venue an option? That way you could have the “best of both worlds” by getting married in the Church but having the brunch at the Hacienda.
Post # 16
@kitchenkoala: That’s what I was going to suggest.
We had our civil ceremony and a week later had the convalidation in the church. To be perfectly honest, it was my favorite (and I’m not the Catholic one!). If I had it do over again, I’d do the chuch, then the reception.
If you absolutely can’t….I dunno. Just do what you’re planning on doing now with the wedding in the church and then the ceremony the next day. You can’t please everyone here.