(Closed) Catholic Wedding, Or Not?

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
348 posts
Helper bee

I’m not Catholic, but from this quote on their website, it seems your mom is right that it wouldn’t be recognized as a Catholic wedding by the mainstream RC church:

“Will my marriage be recognized by the Catholic Church?

If you mean “the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church”, the answer is “YES”. If you mean the roman jurisdiction within the Catholic Church, the answer is “no”. The White Robed Monks are not affiliated with the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic church.”

Post # 4
173 posts
Blushing bee

Hey there!  I can’t answer all your questions but can help a bit –

It does depend on the parish whether living together is a hinderance from them marrying you – but in this day and age, I think it’s easier to find a parish that will marry you than will not. Whatever you do, just tell the truth – there’s even a pre-marital test that some parishes make you take (FOCCUS) and there’s a section on the test for couples living together, so the church knows it’s something that people do. 
Yes, instead of a mass, you can have a ceremony – really the only thing different is that in a ceremony, there is no holy communion.  I do believe you would have to be confirmed before having your wedding in the Catholic church though.  And most parishes do not recognize marriages performed outside of the church (i.e, outside, on a beach, etc)
As for fees, all parishes are different.  Mine is $750 but I’ve heard others that were a lot less expensive.

I’m sure others will have more answers for you.  Good luck!

Post # 5
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Ok, to answer your first question, it does not look to me like the organization you linked would be able to perform a valid Roman Catholic marriage ceremony.  An excerpt from their website:

Will my marriage be recognized by the Catholic Church?

If you mean “the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church”, the answer is “YES”. If you mean the roman jurisdiction within the Catholic Church, the answer is “no”. The White Robed Monks are not affiliated with the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic church.

What this means is that they are not sanctioned to perform the marriage sacrament in the Roman Catholic church.  If you chose to join a Roman Catholic church later on, your marriage would not be valid until you went through the convalidation process/ceremony.  It would be the same as getting married by any other officiant (religious or not) in any other location.

  • Next, policies/restricitions really vary by church.  I can’t really predict what your church will require.  They might advise you to go to confession for pre-marital sex or to live separately and abstain until the wedding; my church didn’t ask us to either of these things.  Some churches only marry parishoners, some churches have restrictions on music/decor/date and time or ceremony/bridal fashion/etc…  Rules that all churches follow are the requirements of personal records, Pre-Cana, completion of the FOCCUS test, etc… before allowing a couple to marry.
  • Besides a full nuptial mass, couples can also choose to be married in the shorter marriage ceremony.  It’s almost the same format as the nuptial mass, but they cut out the Eucharist, so it’s shorter.  A blessing is sometimes done when a couple marries outside the church, but still wants some kind of recognition of Catholicism in the ceremony.  A blessing does not make your marriage valid to the church; it’s simply an extra personalization thing some couples choose when they are not having a Catholic wedding.
  • Many churches that have an ethnic population allow cultural traditions in the ceremony.  I’ve personally seen Hispanic weddings with jaras, the lasso, etc…  Of course, you would have to ask your church to be sure.
  • Fees vary by church.  Generally, you can expect to pay for: church useage, coordinator fees, musician fees, Pre-Cana courses, lector, altar server, or cantor fees (if used), and it is traditional to give a donation to the priest.  Also, most churches charge more to marry non-parishoners.  I only paid a few hundred dollars to get married; I’ve heard of other people paying thousands.  There’s a big spectrum of possible prices.

The last thing I will say is that if neither of you are confirmed in the Catholic church, you might have a pretty difficult time getting married there.  I’m not sure of the exact canon law on this (probably other bees can tell you), but at least one person has to be a full Catholic, which includes proof of confirmation. 

It sounds like maybe you are interested in recognizing Catholicism during your wedding, but you are not actually interested in receiving the Catholic sacrament of marriage.  If this is true, I think a blessing or using an officiant from the site you listed is a great compromise.  Good luck in your planning!

Post # 6
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

i’ve been having a similar issue. Fiance and I are both confirmed but we just dont go to church very often anymore. It is very important to certain members of our family that we have a Catholic wedding. We are nervous about calling churches to see what the rules will be. We will be living together and are afraid it might be a problem.

Post # 8
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I think living together isn’t as big of an obstacle in getting married in a Catholic church, as the part about not going to church.  A lot of churches these days recognize that when a cohabitating couple wants to get married, why stop them from doing the “right thing”?

Howwever, I can’t name one church that doesn’t require one of you to be a parishoner.  (Or prove that you are a parishoner somewhere, attending mass regularly.)  And when you think about it, the church is just looking to know that you are serious about what it means to recieve this sacrament.  

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