(Closed) catholic church marriage req for visa issue- help?

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Your civil wedding doesn’t have to be the church wedding. They can be separate events. In Europe, it’s actually commonly done that way anyway.

Post # 4
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I know someone who did that just recently.  The groom was from Mexico.  They applied for a fiance visa for him and then had 90 days to get married before the visa expired.  They had a quick marriage in a court house with their family as witnesses, and then invited some friends to a small formal dinner afterward.  This was last year; their Catholic church wedding was just last month.  She still used her maiden name on the invitations and such.

The bride said she used this website and its forums to help her:


Good luck!!

Post # 5
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I know from reading the comments of other Bees that priests generally do not like to have the wedding mass not be the legal marriage, but it seems like this is the kind of situation where it would be acceptable. Talk to your priest.

Post # 6
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’m not Catholic, but we have similar marriage requirements to Catholics in the Orthodox church.  In South Korea where we live, we are not allowed to get married in the church without the legal wedding done first (in Korea the ceremony and legal paperwork are always separate).  We got legally married in April because of my visa situation (I’m Canadian), and are getting married in the church tomorrow morning.

Post # 7
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Definitely talk with the priest at the church you want to get married in and let him know all the details.  I think (think!) that instead of a marriage ceremony you’ll technically have a rite of convalidation, but it’s the church saying ok, now you’re married here too.  I don’t think this is too uncommon and I’m sure they’ll be fine with helping you through this process!  After all, their goal is to keep people marrying in the Church.

Post # 8
2867 posts
Sugar bee

Yeah a friend of mine did this.  She got married in Peru where her Fiance was from, then had a Catholic wedding in the U.S.  In Peru, it’s common to have a civil service and then a church wedding.

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