(Closed) Catholic/Protestant Ceremony–Long Post

posted 11 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 3
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I had an interfaith (Independant) Catholic/Jewish ceremony outside.

The Catholic Church won’t recognise a marriage that occurs outdoors, so if you have the wedding that you want, it won’t be recognised by your fiance’s church.  I think that this would be a big deal for your fiance. 

I don’t think an organist makes it more formal.

Why won’t your family attend a Catholic Church and how is that different from his family attending a wedding at a Methodist pavilion?

I think you are being a little “all or nothing” about this.  If you do’nt like the orgnist see if you can compromise and have it in a Catholic church without the organist.  Another compromise would be in the pavilion with a Catholic preist (If they recognise the consecration of the ground) and an organist.

Post # 4
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

 I’m having 4 different weddings to cover the many religious/cultural traditions we are dealing with, so that might be a way around it (have 2 ceremonies). 

But…May I ask why your family wouldn’t be able to go to a Catholic ceremony? Between our two families we have Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant (United Church of Canada/Luthern), Muslim, Atheist, Aboriginal, and Buddhist family members (not to mention his Confucian culture, and Hindu friends).  If we had a ceremony in a Buddhist temple, or a mosque, or a church, every single one of them would come. I can’t imagine someone saying, ‘you are mentioning the word God…so as an atheist I don’t want to be there.’  Sitting in a place of worship different from your own is not at all the same as holding the beliefs of that religious group.  Perhaps you can find a way to make your family more comfortable with a Catholic service?

Post # 5
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t understand why your family would not attend a ceremony in the Catholic church. I’m Catholic, and I don’t know a whole lot about the Methodist church, but from what I do know, it’s not THAT radically different. And even if it wasn’t, why would that matter? As the previous poster said, they don’t have to agree with the teachings of Catholicism in order to attend a wedding ceremony. I have friends that are Jewish, and I would never not go to their wedding just because I don’t agree with their religious views.

I sort of side with your fiance here that maybe your family needs to be pushed to become a little more tolerant. Maybe the reason they are like this is because everyone has catered to them instead of challenging them to be a bit more open-minded. It’s not a very Christian way to live to not be respectful of other people’s beliefs. It’s up to you what you would rather do, but I wouldn’t not have a Catholic ceremony because of a few stubborn people.

Post # 7
1580 posts
Bumble bee

You definitely don’t have to seat people according to sides. I’m not!

When will you be getting married? There is marriage prep required to be married in the Catholic church. Are you 100% certain your fiance only wants to get married there for aesthetic reasons? When you grow up with a certain religion, you still do feel attached to that religion, even if you don’t really practice it. So maybe he has always seen himself getting married in the Church. Maybe there is a spiritual element for him.

All are welcome to attend and participate in a Catholic mass, just not receive communion. As far as I am aware, all other churches welcome everyone too. I’d never not go to a wedding because of the religious location where it is being held. Maybe your family is just threatening you because they really want it in a Methodist church. I can’t imagine that they actually wouldn’t come.

Post # 8
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Ok, I commented in your other thread, but now that I see your explanation, I’ll comment here too.  🙂  The constraints are: you’re having a big wedding, your Fi wants to get married in the Catholic church, your family won’t attend if it’s in a Catholic church, and you and your Fi disagree on the formality of the event. 

I think the main issue here is compromise.  Your Fi seems like he’s making a lot of demands without trying to come up with any solutions.  Have you sat him down to tell him all of this?  Maybe once he realizes how overwhlemed and frustrated you’re feeling, he’ll be more likely to “give” on the location of the wedding.  Also, you mentioned that a civil ceremony is a possiblity; honestly, that sounds like the best option to me.  That way, neither family feels put out.  Maybe, if you have a civil ceremony in a neutral location, you can even go back to the Catholic church later on for a special blessing or convalidation ceremony for his family. 

Post # 10
23 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

What if your future Father-In-Law is a pastor?  Must do a protestant wedding over catholic, right?

Post # 11
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

View original reply


A Catholic must always have a Catholic wedding.  That’s required by Church law.  However, in some cases, you can apply for a special permission (called a Dispensation from Canonical Form) to not have a Catholic wedding.  You generally have to have a good reason, and a father in law that’s a minister is usually considered a good reason to have him officiate. 


To get that permission, you need to contact your local priest.  He’ll want to meet with you, then he’ll fill out all the forms and deal with it from there.

Post # 12
1551 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Is there another church, maybe a different, larger Methodist church that could accommodate everyone?  It seems that the organist and vocalist are important to your Fiance.  That way you could get the non-Catholic ceremony your  family is comfortable attending and he could have the type of ceremony he wants.

If having a valid Catholic marriage is important to him, you can always apply for a dispensation (I got one just because it was important to my parents that I marry in my home (non-Catholic) church) or you can get the marriage convalidated later.

Of course, if an informal, outdoorsy wedding is what you really want, I think you and he have to really decide what is important to the two of you…what each of you can live with and what each of you feel you have to have.

You might also consider a Catholic service that does not include Mass.  That way, there is no Eucharist in which the non-Catholics can’t participate; the ceremony is more wedding than “church service.”

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