Post # 1
Hi bees! I need some help.. i’m torn between getting married in a catholic church or having a catholic priest officiate our wedding at our venue. We have alread booked our ceremony site which is in the same place as our reception. But I’m still torn. My fiancé and I are both catholic so it’s important to us to have a priest officiate. We like the conveniece of having our ceremony and reception at the same venue but I’m just not sure. Did anyone else have this issue deciding between a church or another venue? im also still waiting to hear back from the Church I inquired with. We moved so were not currently registered with aby particular church so I need to talk to them and see if we eve meet the qualifications to marry in the church. But here is a picture of our ceremony site that we already have booked, it overlooks the ocean and long beach skyline, it’s pretty amazing and we would of course have a priest officiate
And this is Saint Bartholomew, the catholic church in our area that I am waiting to hear back from. It is a beautiful church.
Thanks for for taking the time to listen. I’d love to hear what u decided to do if you had a similar situation. Or how your ceremony went if you had a priest officiate outside of the church 🙂
Thanks bees! Xo
Post # 2
Well, there’s really no decision to make, because you can’t have a Catholic ceremony anywhere but a church. Other churches besides Catholic churches are possible with a dispensation (that’s what we did) but definitely not outside. No priest will do a ceremony outside.
Post # 3
luckyinloveee: PP is right. You can’t actually have a Catholic ceremony outside of a church (Church rules) unless there is some extreme case where there was a tornado and there are no churchs or other standing buildings available to use and you have to get married right then and there. It might not always be ideal, but those are the rules.
You also usually have to be a member of that Church to be able to get married there. Sometimes priests will marry non-members but you might have to pay an extra fee. If you are Catholic and getting married in the area in which you live, then I’d just become a member of the Church. Should be pretty easy – just talk the church lady, fill out a form, and see if they have any rules about how long you have to be a member for you can get married there.
Post # 4
You can’t have a Catholic ceremony outside the church. Done! 😀
I was kinda whiney about this when I first found out – but in the end I loved it. No worrying about the weather! I knew all my guests would be comfortable and dry. No worries about rain or heat or wind! no worrying about how many seats to set up or what direction to face. Or setting up speakers for music and sound. I knew everything was going to go perfectly and it did. It was such a beautiful ceremony. I almost can’t believe I ever wanted it any other way.
If you have any other questions – feel free to ask!
Post # 5
luckyinloveee: We wanted a catholic ceremony and a priest to marry us. Both of those required a church. So we (and our guests) went to a chapel to get married. It was a short, beautiful mass. Then we all got in our cars and drove to the reception hall. Was it convenient? Nope. But the church is not known for being convenient.
Many of my Catholic friends did decide to get married at their reception site (by someone other than a priest) and then get their marriages blessed by the church later. But that wouldn’t have flown in our families.
Post # 6
luckyinloveee: A Catholic priest will only marry you in a church. If you want a wedding somewhere else you would need to find someone else to officiate a civil ceremony.
Post # 7
luckyinloveee: As PP have mentioned, you’ve gotta have it in the church if you want it to be Catholic. I’ve run across the following reasoning before:
No one would argue against the beauty of a natural setting; after all, creation reveals the presence of the Creator in a powerful way. But Catholics remember that Jesus Christ promised to continue to be present whenever his friends gathered in his name. The church building is the “house” in which the followers of Jesus do this on a regular basis to celebrate weddings and funerals and baptisms and confirmations and reconciliations and anointings of the sick—in short, all the most important events of their lives. For Catholics, it makes sense to begin a new household in this sacred house. Doing so symbolizes the new family’s connection with the wider community of believers—not only those present at the wedding, but also all the parishioners who gather in that space, and ultimately, the universal Church.
ETA: This is copied & pasted from CatholicWeddingHelp(.com)…it’s an OK source of info on various topics related to planning a Catholic wedding
Post # 8
luckyinloveee: you can have a priest marry you (depending on your area) but it will not be a full catholic ceremony/mass and it might not be valid in the actual church. so it all depends on what you really want. you have a ways off until 2016 but i suggest finding a church and a priest you like, and discussing this with them.
Post # 9
luckyinloveee: I ran into thie same problem because i have always wanted to have an outdoor ceremony, but the Catholic church does not allow for that.
Therefore, only close family members are invited to a Catholic ceremony at 11am, then at 4:30, we are doing an outdoor ceremony followed by cocktail hour, and dinner & dancing at our reception venue with everyone.
We too, wanted to make it convenient for a majority of our guests since we have a lot of people coming from out of town. Most of my close family members are within a close distance to the church so they’ll be fine with going to the Catholic ceremony and then will hang out with one another in the area before heading out to the second ceremony/reception to meet everyone else that’s invited.
Hope this made sense!
Post # 10
luckyinloveee: Which one steals your heart?
Post # 11
Agree with everyone. It really isn’t a Catholic ceremony if it isn’t in a Catholic church. Most priest won’t do a ceremony outside a church.
Post # 12
souza_2005: Since she’s new to the area, and doesn’t know the priest, this might start her out on the wrong foot. OP be very careful about asking the priest about an off-site wedding. In my area, this is a strictly followed rule. Your marriage is not valid in the church if it is not literally in the church. Maybe in other parts of the country there’s some grey area. (But I really don’t think so). If the first thing you said to the priest was to ask about an outdoor ceremony, he’d get the impression that you aren’t very committed to your faith. So definitely don’t lead with that question!
Post # 13
Thank you everyone for your input. I know that we won’t be able to have a full out catholic ceremony with a mass if we do it outside of the church but there are some priests who will officiate your wedding outside of the church. I have already contacted one who said they would do it. I’m just unsure. I guess I would need to get more information from the church. I’m still waiting for the father to call me back. Since we have moved we have not registered with a church in our area so we are not aware of how this new church works or what their requirements are In order to be married there. I appreciate all of your thoughts though.
Post # 14
koi424: you’re right, they might get turned off by that. That’s good advise that I didn’t even think of. Maybe I shouldn’t mention that. I don’t want them to get a bad impression of us. Thanks for posting!
Post # 15
cnguyen1104: I have thought about that as an option too.. Maybe even have a small church wedding a few days before with just immediate family. Thanks for your input 🙂