Post # 1
My FI and I are Catholic and plan on marrying in a church however I’ve always dreamed of a gorgeous destination wedding and a ceremony possibly outdoors. I recently thought of the idea of having a ceremony at my local church and then having a destination wedding (which will be the formal invite) with an outdoor ceremony and reception there. I was thinking I could then be married as a Catholic in a church with close family and people who can not make the destination wedding.
Is it disrespectful to have a second ceremony not in a church? My family is a pretty traditional Italian family and not sure how they would feel about it. The second ceremony would really be the main ceremony though with my bridal party, the real gown, and also allow me to have my dogs in it which I think would be perfect. But is it wrong that I would not have a priest?
Post # 3
@primadonna5: nope. Not disrespectful at all. In fact, two ceremonies is the norm in a lot of countries. 🙂
Post # 4
@primadonna5: Go for it! I don’t think it would be disrespectful to have a second ceremony esp considering at that point you’d be married already. Catholics have second ceremonies all the time. In fact, my DH and our parents were the ones who pushed for the Catholic chapel ceremony. I always wanted the garden ceremony. To appease all the parties, we married in the Church, and in five years plan to have my garden ceremony as a vow renewal.
Post # 5
I’m doing this, but not for the same reason. My fiance and I are non-religious and our families are. We’re having a non-religious ceremony at a local resort this summer, officiated by a friend. As this isn’t legal in our province, we’re doing a city-hall civil union sometime this spring with two of our friends, one who’s the officiant, as witnesses.
It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure. Two full-blown ceremonies would be pretty challenging, in my mind, but if you want it go for it!
Post # 6
@Peacockfeather: Well I wouldn’t want the first one to be big just immediate family and guests who maybe can’t make the destination wedding. Are you going to have any kind of reception/dinner after the civil union? I’m also thinking it would be weird to just be legally married in church and then have nothing after it to celebrate..
Post # 7
@primadonna5: True on all points. I think that if you want to include as many people as possible, why not do wedding at the church and then just go to a good restaurant after? That’s likely what FH and I will end up doing with a few friends after the civil ceremony.
Only a few of our friends know about the civil being our ‘actual’ wedding date. Our parents would flip their shit and we’d really rather not deal with that, after all it’s not their wedding!
Post # 8
From my experience, having two weddings is frowned upon and sometimes prohibited by the Catholic church.
I think one of the reasons for this is that you can’t be married twice. And your idea that your “main ceremony” with the “real gown” will be the destination wedding is exactly what the church doesn’t want to hear.
The only real way to know if this is possible is to talk to your priest.
Post # 9
Not a bad idea at all! I say go for it. Me and my FI really want to elope but our families would be devistated. We are eloping and then having a wedding three months later with our friends and family. Non traditional but who cares! Its your time do whatever makes you happy!!
Post # 10
OP: You’d need to have the Catholic service first, which it sounds like you have planned on, but I don’t think you’ll gain many fans at the church if you refer to the second service as the “real” one 😉
The Church does not recognize a civil wedding ceremony as valid when one or both people are Catholic. If a couple are married in a civil ceremony, the Catholic person(s) are asked to refrain from receiving the Eucharist until the marriage is recognized as valid by the Church. The reason for this, in a nutshell, is that the Church recognizes marriage as a spiritual reality, not just a piece of paper or a legal formality.
If you’ve already been married in a civil ceremony, how can you have your marriage recognized as valid by the Church? Talk to your pastor, who will probably recommend a process called convalidation; it usually involves an expedited marriage preparation process (to determine that there is no impediment to the marriage) and a simple celebration of the sacrament of marriage so that the consent of the couple to be married can be witnessed by the Church. Another process, called radical sanation, may sometimes be used to recognize a marriage as valid without a formal exchange of consent (vows).
While you may be (understandably) eager to be married as soon as possible, giving your whole selves to one another for the rest of your lives is a huge commitment—and a much greater challenge than waiting to be married. Taking the time to prepare for that lifelong giving through the sacrament of marriage will ultimately make your marriage stronger and richer.
Post # 11
I’m having 2. One in Vegas then a blessing at church when we get back. The priest said we needed to do it in this order due to state law (oh). We just need to have the pre-Cana done first. As long as you keep the priest in the loop before finalizing plans it should be ok. Both my fiancé and I were raised Catholic and one thing you will notice is that if the priest gives you the ok, everyone else will stop questioning it. With the exception of a few rules, most wedding requirements for the church are the priest’s discretion.
Post # 12
The “real” wedding would be the first one in the Church. The destination wedding would be more of a staged wedding since you would already be married. You probably don’t need an official marrying you at the second wedding.
If you read the actor Andrew McCarthy’s book on his wedding, they did something similar. They got married at the registrar’s office ahead of time and then staged a wedding for friends in another location.
something to consider….
Post # 13
@WeddingInVegas14: I agree. Once the priest says yes, family members seem to pipe down.
Post # 14
I wouldn’t do it, but if you can handle the stress, I don’t see anything wrong with it. And unless people somehow get the impression that they need to gift you twice, I don’t think anyone else will have a problem with it either!