Post # 1
I have been with my fiance for almost three years and this last valentines we got engaged. My mom converted when I was a baby after she had met my ex-step-dad. Since she converted this also brought me and my sister along to the Catholic faith. I went to a Catholic elementary school and High school but starting about freshman or sophomore year I was starting to lose interest in the faith but have still gone to Church even after graduation. The only reason I am still gong is because my mom still wants me to go because in her eyes God is number one. I understand this is how it should go and such but I don’t feel the same way as she does about faith. My fiance is atheist so it wouldn’t bother him if I don’t go to church. I don’t know how to tell my mom that I don’t want to have a Catholic wedding since I do not agree with a lot of their reasonings and explanations. I know it should be my choice whether or not to be Catholic but it feels like I can’t tell my mom that i don’t want to go because she will blame it on my fiance that he told me I shouldn’t go even if he doesn’t tell me this… Is it bad that I don’t want to have a Catholic wedding but still want to have my wedding in a church?
Post # 3
What kind of church are you thinking of having it in? My Fiance and I were both raised Catholic, but we are not active in a church. We are having an outside ceremony and that is a big NO-NO in the Catholic Church, so I’ve been struggling to find an officiant. I think I’ll end up with a Christian faith officiant. I know I could go the Judge route, but I do want to have something religious. My parents understand this, my Future Mother-In-Law does not. I figure that it is our wedding and we should choose what we want. It just seemed hypocritical to have a Catholic church wedding when we don’t go on a regular basis. I’m not sure that this helps you, but I wanted you to know that you are not the only one having these issues. I wish you luck when talking to your mom about this.
Post # 4
I’m a firm believer in standing by what YOU believe in. As a Catholic, I’d be VERY sorry to see you leave the Church, but I trust that you’ll find your own way in your own time. Many in the Church (or at least in my parish) believe that we must each find our own path to God & God “nudges” us in His own way. That being said, DON’T let yourself be “forced” to have a Catholic wedding if you don’t believe in it…IMO, that would be a travesty in itself because you may regret it. I think everyone who is having a Catholic wedding, somewhere deep down (for some REALLY DEEP down, to the point that they don’t realize it themselves) is being nudged by God to do it. Sounds like you aren’t.
Therefore, if this is something you really believe in (“something” being NOT having a Catholic wedding), stand by it & take the consequences for making that decision. Have a heart-to-heart with your mom about how, if you’re going to come back to the Church, it has to be when YOU’RE ready, in GOD’S time (not hers, although you don’t have to say that last part). She’ll hopefully understand.
That being said, if you’re not going to have a Catholic wedding, I’m just curious: why do you want any kind of religious service? If you feel an affinity with a specific denomination, IMO, you should pursue your marriage under THAT denominations customs/requirements & be consistent with that. Good luck with whatever decision you and your Fiance make…if you don’t mind, I’ll pray that you’ll keep yourself to God’s call…in your time & His.
Post # 5
I was thinking about maybe in this really pretty Episcopalian (SP?) church that I always drive past but I don’t know what their requirements are or another option is where my Fiance sister got married which was in a Baptist church and her Father-In-Law wed them. I’m still not 100% sure what I’m wanting to do quite yet…
And to respond to ms.pascua its not so much that I want an entire religious service I just mostly want my wedding in a church because I am more drawn to the beauty of them, I don’t want to be married in a courthouse or such, it just doesn’t seem…right to me.
Post # 6
Oooh I fought this battle too. My mother threatened to pull out their $10k contribution to the wedding if we were not married Catholic. I drank a lot of wine. And cried a lot. I’m with @pascua on this one – it isn’t my spiritual path anymore (I don’t know if it ever was…) and I do not want to be offensive to those who do practice the faith out of love.
We ended up settling on convalidation after our outdoor wedding in VT with an Episcopal who is very liberal. Our ceremony is more spiritual than it is based on one religious doctrine. So, I go with my parents and husband after the fact and sign some paperwork for 15 minutes with her priest. He ships it off to Rome and we’re good by my dead grandmother. It still bothers me that I feel like I’m lying about asking the Pope to validate my marriage in the eyes of the church, when I didn’t want it in the first place. But that is $10,000 for some fairly harmless paperwork.
Our Episcopal is very chill – she gave us the outline for two ceremony types, as well as a civil service outline and all of them could be adapted. We are doing our “pre-wedding spiritual prep” with my Presbyterian minister at the church I work at in D.C. I think a lot of your Catholic relatives will be very familiar with the Episcopal system if you decide on doing a mass – they both like ritual and many of the prayers etc are the same.
Post # 7
I would most defiitely do what makes you and your fiance happy. Don’t marry in a church or anywhere else just to make others happy, even if it means losing out on $10,000. Funny how things roll though, I too am Catholic and would LOVE to get married in a Catholic church. My problem is that my fiance is divorced and the church requires annulments of a previous marriag eand creates a problem for us. I was told it is a process that can take up to 2 years. Also, there are 9 month required classes prior to getting a wedding date that would be very difficult for us to attend at this time.
Post # 8
You can push through the Pre-Cana classes faster in a lot of areas – some churches do it as a weekend retreat, some of them a series of classes once a week. Not sure how to push annulments through the system faster though 🙁
Post # 9
I also struggled with this too. I was baptised a Catholic as a baby and I attend church on the holidays and when I need guidance, however I’m not what you call a ‘fully fledged’ Catholic. I even sought advice from the priest at my Grandmother’s church and got a bit of a dressing down for even questioning my beliefs!
Anyway in the end we’re having a destination civil ceremony and a Presbyterian blessing when we return to our home town (still in talks with the Minister back home). It’s been a bit of a spiritual journey for me and I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the lack of support we were offered by the priest, but God always has a plan and this is the direction I’ve been guided in by him :0) x
Post # 10
We’re having a hard time because, while we’re both Catholic we want to get married outside (not allowed in Panama). Similarly, it has to be in 2 languages but we want it to be short and personal. It’s not at all common to have a wedding not in the Catholic church in Panama, so we don’t want to disappoint anyone, but my family is secular. I think we’re going to find an Episcopal priest, incorporate Catholic traditions as well as some more personal elements. We may end up doing a small Catholic wedding one day too, but I don’t know. You’re not alone though!
Post # 11
@ courtandjj – With all due respect, I understand that you may no longer believe in the Church and may not agree with HER teachings, but the teachings have remained constant for well over 2000 years and will not change. From reading you post, it appears that you do not want a Catholic wedding, is there any particular reason why?
As a fellow Catholic, it is understood that we should not be attending weddings of Baptized Catholics if they so choose to have the wedding outside the Church. Would you be ok if your mother decided that she could not attend your wedding? I know this is a tough position, but I do pray that you will reconsider and realize just how important a Catholic Mass is for a Catholic. Outside of the Mass, you will be missing out on Communion (or the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ). After all, HE should be the most important guest/witness to your bond of love…
GOD BLESS… and I truly do hope you do not take offense to what I have shared with you.
Post # 12
I was raised catholic but we are not getting married Catholic, My FH was baptized but nothing else, and his mom can’t find his baptism certificate, and I doubt she would even give it to us (She doesn’t like either of us, obviously, you’ll know why after you read my next sentence. She basically dropped him off and said “take him I don’t want him.”) and he was raised by his great grandmother, and after her husband died from cancer she stopped going to church, so he did too. My FH is an atheist and I respect his wishes and don’t want to force my religion onto him.
Post # 13
My husband and I were married about 7 years ago in a civil ceremony, small court ceremony, and when we went switched churchs than started the process of baptizing our 3rd child our priest wanted to get our marriage validated in the church. My husband was baptized Episcipalian then converted to Catholic his senior year of high school. If you go with the non Catholic service then decide later on that you do want to be a part of the church you might have to go through the Convalidation. Which, if you priest works it out for you, you can by-pass the Pre-Cana. As far as the baptismal certificates, as long as you know what church you were baptised in, you will be able to call that church and they will still have your certificate on the books.
Post # 14
@domestic_cat: I could not agree anymore. I was born into being a Catholic and my fiance is not. That is the most stressful thing about my wedding, religion. My fiance does not believe in the Catholic ways and I’m not so sure I do either… especially after how the priest treated me about the situation. There should be no judgment on others. Now, we’re getting married at the hotel where our reception is and I am much relieved. Luckily, my family is accepting. I originally wanted a church wedding so I could have God as my witness but realized God is all around! I’m going to have a beautiful cross in the ceremony so intensions can still be incorporated. Just thinking about religion can be stressful…
Post # 15
@courtandjj: Don’t make this about where you want to get married. This is about your Mom coming to grips with the fact that you have lost faith. Understand that when you tell her this, it is going to be like telling her that you have terminal cancer. Since the gift of faith is given at baptism and it is primarily the parents’ job to foster the development of faith in their children and to Catechize their children, your mother will likely also struggle with blaming herself. Between her blame and her concern for your spiritual well being, she may try to make up for whatever failures she did in the past by becoming controling. The control is the result of panic. She wants the reassurance that she hasn’t ruined everything. Blaming your fiance will likely be her trying to make sense of it. If he ruined it, its less of her fault.
This is where your own self esteem has to come in. You have to be strong enough to be independant from your mother and accept the emotional heartbreak she will go through with this. Her heartbreak is not a rejection of you. If anything, she’s going to need you to be there for her, and you need to help get her to not blame herself. You need to focus on how she has been positively there for you and ask her that if she is worried about you to just pray for you but to respect that you are an adult. What you want is her love and acceptance. Try to direct her focus back on positive ways to love you effectively rather than the type of anxious love that leads to controling behavior.
In regards to money, contributing less or no money may not be so much of manipulation but of the belief that a non-catholic wedding is invalid. Technically speaking, Catholics are not supposed to witness or attend weddings of Catholics marrying outside of the Catholic Church. Some priests council that this causes more trouble and that you should go to the wedding to show love and support to the individuals and to not cause family feuds.