(Closed) Catholic wedding advice?

posted 10 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

My friend ran into a lot of problems where the catholic churches that she was interested in having her ceremony won’t marry her unless she was a member.  You may want to inquire at the church for their rules and that will help with the course of action.  Good thing you are thinking about this now.

Post # 4
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2008

I would find the church and become a member.  The fees are less for members.

 

MissPickle 

Post # 5
Member
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

Myself and three other girlfriends had the exact same problem.

You need to find a local parish ASAP. Become a registered member. Like tomorrow. You need to start going fairly regularly as well.

If that is going to pose a problem, consider contacting the churches in which you were members as children… if your parents are active members, you might have a Priest on your side and that will help considerably while going through this whole thing.

Then start giving money (seriously) to the church… even if it is like 5 bucks each week, make sure you use those little envelopes they give to you after you register.

You’ll have to take Pre-Cana and all that, but first join the parish you want to be married in, then inquire as to the wedding. In some dioceses, you will have to literally be a member more than six months. Also, in some parishes, they have only specified times in which they will perform ceremonies, so the time of the ceremony is up to them. My friend (getting married in Feb) was not even allowed to choose her wedding date due to rules of the specific church she is having her ceremony at. They basically gave her three dates and said "choose". Don’t forget about Holy Days of Obligation- you can’t get married on them. Also, no weddings during Lent. At all.  

I decided against a Catholic ceremony due to the "red tape" because my FH is not Catholic and I am. I got a lot of flack from my family for that decision. Also, I hadn’t joined a parish since moving after college two & a half years ago(I was a member of my college parish b/c it was a Catholic school & made my confirmation there). But I will just have our marriage "blessed" and therefore valid in the church… the ceremony just won’t be there. Also, the church lady at the church I wanted to be married at (sometimes a nun and in some cases, not) pretty much said that she wanted a letter from my former parish stating that I was a Catholic in good standing before she would work (i.e. talk) with me on anything. It was a major PITA.

Good luck. PM me if you have ??’s or need any help.

Post # 6
Member
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Can anyone give me advice on getting married in a Catholic church in Philadelphia?  I just got engaged and my FH is Catholic.  We would like to get married in a Catholic Church but I see a couple of hurdles.

1.  I am not catholic

2.  We live in Chicago but I am from the Philadelphia area, so we will not be parishoners

3. My mom is a Methodist Pastor and would like to participate (a readings, prayer or something)

Does anyone have any experience with a nice, liberal church in Philly?

Thanks! 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2018

We are getting married at a catholic church that we are not members at, and the priest said that in circumstances like that he must technically ask permission to marry us from the church that we are members of.  So it wasnt a big deal, just see if you can ind an easy going priest 🙂

Post # 8
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee

Believe me, I’m pretty sure the Catholic Church would like more members rather than less. Go back to your childhood parishes and get advice and then see if they have contacts in the church you desire to be married in – the priests might be able to move things along for you.

Post # 9
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

(Oh man, I typed you a nice response and it disappeared b/c I clicked to see where you’re from– I’ll try to re-write).

It’s interesting to hear other people’s situations.  Here’s ours:

We’re getting married in a Catholic church.  We don’t belong there, it’s the old family church.  The priest is pretty by the book, so I don’t think we’re getting away with anything by not belonging.  The priest at the church, and the priest conducting the wedding, if different, may want to meet with you.  There are no fees, just a donation of your choosing.

I do think you should join a parish that’s near your home, which makes it easier to go. Not so much for the priest who only seemed to care whether or not we went, but for the pre cana people.  When we told her we bounce around between NYC-Westchester-Connecticut, the pre cana woman nearly lost her mind and insisted we join one for support in our first year of marriage.  One of the old church ladies also suggested it to us and told us to get the envelopes because that’s the only way they can track whether you’re in attendance or not.

There is also an old rule about annoucing the wedding for two weeks in the church that you belong to in addition to the one where you’re getting married, if different.  I have yet to know of it being done, but I can’t say it enough, each priest does his own thing.

As for pre cana, some priests want you to do it far in advance in case any issues come up and some don’t care as long as it’s done.  You’re in Stamford, so that’s the Diocese of Bridgeport– trust me, that lady wants you to belong to a church!! It’s a two day course or a weekend retreat.  We almost took a one day thing in NY, but luckily I checked the Diocese web page first and learned they require the two days. We took the course. You can register online here: https://www.bridgeportdiocese.com/marprep.asp

Also, you’ll need to get all the paperwork for you and your Fiance (Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation Proof) by calling the churches where you had these Sacraments and they’ll send you a little certification.  This has proven difficult for us since we’re all over, so start early!

I’ll try to think what other advice I can give you– reserve the date at the church you want. Go and see what type of music they have/allow so you know if you want to use them and can book them early.  Also, different priests insist on different layouts.  My friend got married in a Catholic church where the priest put chairs for the MOH/BM and flipped when she told him there were 2 of each. Another wedding all the BMs stood or sat in the first pew.  If that kind of thing matters to you, check with the priest about his rules. 

Let me know if you have any other questions, you’re in the same area as me so I’d be glad to help!

Post # 10
Member
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

Yogigal- You need to figure out which church you want to get married in first. You will need someone on the Philly end to help you out- do you have family or friends there that can help you get started? Also, unless your FH is an active Catholic, you cannot get married in a Catholic church. You have to have letters from his current parish stating he is a Catholic in good standing and have Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation certificates. Most of the time, Catholic priests are not very likely to do interfaith wedding services, as getting married Catholic means you are intending to raise your children Catholic and intending on being an active Catholic.
You may be able to have the Catholic service, but then you will need to decide if you want a full mass or not. (i.e. Communion or not- non Catholics cannot participate in Communion so this may help your decision).You will have to participate in Pre-Cana, and depending on the parish, you may have to do a weekend retreat, as you are not Catholic. Yes, PITA, but there are different rules for interfaith marriages. Which is ultimately why I personally chose not to have a Catholic ceremony afterall.
SirenLover- I agree that most would think they would like more members than less— but honestly, there is so much red tape and so many rules, I was thinking to myself- WTF don’t they want people to be Catholic? B/C by the way they do this stuff, it seems as though they are trying to make people run off!!  But then they say that Holy Matrimony is a sacrament in the Catholic church and it is not something to take lightly, and that this is a contract between two people and God. So its like geez. 🙂

Post # 11
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

A good friend of mine was married in a Catholic church neither her or her husband (or families) belonged to – same situation, went as kids hadn’t been in a long time. They found out they could get married there by calling around and asking what the requirements were. They had to be careful not to mention they lived togeteher before the wedding, though in the end this church didn’t really mind that much. Not enough to not preform the service anyway.

Call around I thnk it’s all you can do for right now. 

Post # 12
Member
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Thanks everyone! My head hurts :(. We really need to join a church here in Chicago however we currently bounce between my church and his. I know the priests in Philly might not like to hear that.

Another question. Do you think I can “join” a catholic church without converting? Or can he just join so that he is in good standing? I am assuming he is still an official member of his family church, but we do not send money. I give to my Presbyterian Church but I’m not an official member.

This is way too complicated.

Post # 13
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Yogigal, I feel you.  I’m not Catholic, my fiance is, and we’re getting married in my hometown although neither of us live there.  You do not have to join a Catholic church, just him.  There definitely are Catholic churches that will marry you even though you’re not Catholic, you just have to look for them!   My fiance didn’t belong to a church here in NY, but after we found a church in my hometown to marry us, he signed up at a place near us who will also do the pre-Cana stuff for us.

With some leg work, you’ll find a place for sure! Good luck!

Post # 14
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

The requirements vary by church, and by how lenient the priests are.  Most churches will ask you to have a letter written.  If your husband’s family still belong to the church, see if a letter of permission can be written on his behalf.   Some churches only require a certificate of precana completion.  So I would call around the various churches and ask sweetly, and mention that you’re living in a different state.  They may be able to help you. 

Another option is, if it gets too difficult, get married in a different church, or a non religious ceremony, and get a marriage blessing through the Catholic Church later (it’s only about 10 minutes). 

 

Good luck!

Post # 15
Member
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

Yogigal- no you can’t officially "join" without fully converting (which is a LONG process). You could register, but you couldn’t fully partake in the sacraments- you’d have to go through RICA (=convert) classes for all of that. Just have FH join a church, make sure you guys attend often and you shouldnt have a problem unless you have a PITA church lady.

Post # 16
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

Sweeney2Be- I didn’t mention that, but I forgot to warn my newly converted Fiance about giving a different address and he gave the same as me– oh the lecture I had to listen to!  It’s weird to think to lie to a priest, but some make it really painful if you don’t.  I’m going to hell to advise lying to a priest…well, that and a few other things 😉

Yogigal- I don’t know if you have any interest in converting, if you are already Christian, which you are, it’s not that hard.  My Fiance did it and he just had to take a class once a week for 4 or 5 weeks and then get confirmed (church ceremony). His confirmation included some extra part because he was another Lutheran before, but just saying something, I can’t recall what.  It’s probably more involved for non-Christians because you have to do all the Sacraments leading up to Confirmation.

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