Post # 17
2 of my FSILs decided they wanted small weddings so they took off to Rome. Not technically eloping as most of family did go, but there was no issue with the church. You just have to insure you get the appropriate permissions etc from your local church authority.
Post # 18
Especially if you’re leaving the US, you need to contact the church that will be marrying you well before the wedding date.
Technically, you are required to get married in the diocese where the bride or groom lives. However, it’s obviously very common in the US to have destination weddings (to be closer to families, etc). So the requirement to get married where you live isn’t a big deal in the US. However, in other countries where destination weddings are very rare, this can cause an issue. Your diocese needs to explain to the other diocese why you’re travelling to get married.
Getting married at the Vatican can be a very, very beautiful and special ceremony (and it’s pretty much free!) but you need to start the paperwork 6 to 12 months before the wedding.
Post # 19
I was debating on this, but FH adamantly refused. The six month rule is more flexible than people realize. We had a four month engagement without even a discussion on why it was so short. We got engaged in late May, and wanted to get married before the end of the year. I emailed the priest about potential dates from October-December. He sent back two dates in October, so we got married in four months. Two friends of ours did two months, but that was because he is in the military and was moving overseas, and waiting would have caused all sorts of problems.
I am curious about how the priest responded.
Post # 20
Yes you absolutely can get married in the Catholic church without the big traditonal wedding! My fiance and I are doing it 2 weeks before our “big” wedding because he’s Catholic and would like to finish his sacraments.
We didn’t want to ruin the emotion/excitement of our big wedding so it’s just he and I and our 2 witnesses. We talked to the priest and explained the situation and basically all you need to be married under canton law is the “rite of marriage” which is basically vows, blessings, and exchange of rings. You don’t have to have a nuptial mass which means no readings/songs/etc.
Post # 21
Totally. I’ve even heard of priests wishing brides would just have a simple ceremony. A lot of priests think weddings today are overblown.
Post # 22
my mom’s godson and wife–had a civil ceremony for immigration reasons. then they did the six months catholic marriage prep. they were later married in the church–it was an extremely small wedding ceremony with a catholic mass–less than 20 guests of family and friends. then we went to a thai restaurant and got a couple tables. it was extremely fun! it was really low key and it’s one of my favorite weddings because it was about the couple themselves and God. they didnt do flowers or add anything extra to the church. he wore a suit, she wore a simple dress.
you probably can’t “elope” because of the six months marriage prep required by the church, but you can DEFINITELY have a small intimate catholic wedding.
Post # 23
@Aubergold: Completely. A friend of mine actually told me that her grandmother got married in the rectory wearing her Sunday best with just two witnesses and the priest.
You will have to talk to a priest about what he’s willing to do though. I’m sure a very small wedding is no big deal and he won’t care whether or not you have a reception or not. Honestly the only reason I had a reception was to thank my guests for coming.
Post # 24
Hope it all worked out well! Re. the 6-month waiting period – it’s usually not a rigid 6-months-for-its-own-sake, it’s the average amount of time couples typically need to go through marriage prep, get their baptismal certificates in order, take care of any necessary dispensations, etc. If you can get it all done in 3 or 4 months rather than six, and if you want to keep it small and simple, most parishes will be very accommodating (and appreciate your level-headedness and your clear focus on the marriage
and not just the wedding!)