Post # 1
I just started planning my wedding and have contacted my parish about beginning the process. I haven’t been a member for all that long, just a few months, but I’ve had only good experiences up to this point. However, the contact person at the church who handles weddings has been nothing but rude to me- first she told me that I couldn’t get married there because I haven’t been a member for over a year, then when I pointed out that the website stated you don’t have to be a member at all, she denied it. In the same conversation, she suddenly changed her story and told me that I could in fact get married there, and when I asked why she had initially told me I couldn’t, she denied saying that. On top of that, I basically had to insist on signing up for marriage prep and meeting with one of the priests about beginning the planning process. It was such a strange conversation, and it completely turned me off but I hoped that maybe it was an unusual occurance. Then today I had a similarly discouraging conversation with her during which she rudely belittled the fact that my fiance and I both have to work busy, long schedules and implied that I wasn’t taking my upcoming marriage seriously. She gave me one time option for meeting with the priest and then made another rude comment about my fiance’s and my commitment to the process when I said I wouldn’t be able to make that particular appointment (scheduled for next week… even if I were to take off from work, I would need at least 2 weeks notice). I tried calling the office to tell them about the incidents, but the coordinator there was completely unconcerned, unapologetic, and told me there was nothing she could do and no one else I could talk to.
I’m so disappointed! I’m not sure what to do… I don’t know if my sanity can handle more than a year of dealing with that kind of attitude, I’m not even sure I want to be a member there anymore! But I also don’t want to have to start my entire church and venue search over again! What do I do?!
Post # 3
I know how you feel. We had a similar situation at our parish and I had been a member there for two years, going to Mass weekly and tithing weekly too. So I obviously did not have commitment problems – one person just had a bad attitude and was rude.
I wound up having my fiance deal with them (even though he was actually a member at a different parish) because I couldn’t handle church people being mean to me. I mean I deal with mean people all the time at work, but just it being a church representative and therefore an “authority figure” made me feel like a horrible person and that I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I would analyze my behavior trying to figure out what I did wrong, what did I say wrong to provoke the yelling (literally yelling)? The answer was always Nothing! I just don’t get it.
And I know for a fact I’m not the only one this has happened to at my parish…
I don’t know why churches put anti-social people in these positions.
You have my sympathy 🙁 I wasn’t about to let myself be run out of using my own home parish for my wedding. Would your Fiance be willing to take that part over? I have a theory that jerks like this wouldn’t try half the stuff with a man on the phone, that they would with a woman.
Post # 4
@Magdalena: Thank you for the encouragement! I just don’t understand why rudeness has become so common and acceptable… but I guess I should just keep trying and hope that my contact with her will be minimal. I think you’re right about delegating this to Fiance… maybe she’ll be less rude to him.
Post # 5
Is there a different church you could be married in? I wouldn’t stand for that kind of rudeness. I’m sorry you’ve had such an awful experience.
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
Don’t let this little biddy get in your way. Kill her with kindness.
A family member of mine is the accountant for her Catholic church and the people who work there are old hens who a) baby the priests (who love it) and b) couldn’t hack it in the professional world. There is a strange dynamic in her rectory…the women make the trains run on time, but have no official titles or power…so they hold onto their little pieces of the power pie with white knuckles.
Be patient, kind, but persistent. Don’t worry. It’ll work out.
Post # 7
Hey @mrsmeehan2013: , I am sorry this happened to you, I hope this does not deter you from getting married in the church.
Who knows if this woman (I’m guessing it is a church secretary) is just a crabby person or had a bad day. You are going to deal with the coordinator and the priest, not that lady, so it should not be too much of a problem.
As for apologies from the coordinator, I suppose since it was not the coordinator’s fault and she did not see it happen then perhaps s/he doesn’t want to take sides.
Post # 8
I am also getting married in a Catholic Church, and honestly, its been the worst “vendor” I’ve had to work with. Many times I leave messages and never get called back. The secretaries I leave my messages with are not always the friendliest either. So…I know how you’re feeling. I’m not sure if you switched parishes that you would find anything better.
Post # 9
I’m getting married in a church and have talked to several church ladies. My cousin is getting married in a catholic church this summer, and my brother did three years ago. I don’t know what is about these church ladies but they are so rude, my sister in law had a wedding planner who did her florals for her, and the night of the rehearsal she(church lady) told her the wedding planner wasn’t invited inside and had to stand outside! I know the churches aren’t techinally a business, and I think some of these ladies aren’t paid but they are so rude, I don’t know why they are allowed to treat people that way!
Find out if there is someone else you can work with, and if you are stuck with the church lady double check everything she tells you and try to send emails rather then talking on the phone, thats what cousin does now. Good Luck!
Post # 10
@mrsmeehan2013: I’m sorry what you are going through. I was attending daily Mass, had volunteered teaching CCD for 2 years and had previously assisted in the youth ministry program. The parish priest suffered a stroke a few months before I got engaged and was in a nursing home while different random priests were temporily assigned to the parish. We had no idea if the diocese was going to combine us with another parish eventually or what. My husband wanted to get married in his parish, but my argued that because our parish was in a smaller city and we’d been member’s so long, it’d be significantly less expensive. My Mom also suggested that most of the family wouldn’t attend the wedding if it were in my husband’s city because it was too far away and we just weren’t that close to the family to begin with. Meanwhile my husband comes from a very small family and had maybe a handful of friends. My mom basically told me we’d end up spending a large sum for a wedding barely anyone would attend and she was concerned I’d start feeling sorry for myself on my wedding day.
So my husband and I decided to have it at a parish near my parents’ but not at my parish. I had no idea you were required to get married in your parish and was treated by the secretary of another parish like I was lying to her. It was like she was trying to get me to admit that I was such a bad Catholic that my parish priest had refused to marry us or something. I finally gave in to having the wedding at my parish, but temporary assigned priest barely spoke english and wouldn’t let us set a date for some reason he couldn’t explain. I then spoke to other priests’ in the area about the problem. One just congradulated me and told me it’d be no problem and refused to even address that I was having issues with the priest at my parish. Another priest over the phone confided that I wasn’t under his pastoral authority and thus he was limited in how he could advise me. I eventually called the diocese and waited for a phone call from them. Then I spoke again to the priest who pretended I didn’t have an issue and he finally advised I talk to the dean of the deanery. I had no idea who that was so I finally got that information from him and contacted the dean who was confused about the entire issue and eventually said he’d call the priest at my parish and set him straight.
The entire thing was so stressful, we ended up waiting till I was done teaching CCD for that semester before resuming wedding planning and delayed out wedding date.
Had I to do it over again, I would have researched how expensive a wedding at my husband’s parish would have been, and not let my Mom feed me with thoughts of “You’re just not important enough to the family” influence me.
Post # 11
I’m sorry you had a bad experience! Maybe from now on you can work with your priest only?
We were married in the Catholic church and the process was a really good experience. My husband has been a member of the church since he was very young and I recently converted to being Catholic. When we figured out a date we called and the office reserved the date for us. From that point on our dealings were with the priest and through our pre-cana experience. We had an initial meeting with the priest where we gave them our general information and the priest talked to us in general about the ups and downs of marriage. He also gave us a book to help plan the readings and music for our marriage mass. The only other time we met with the priest was two weeks before our wedding to let him know our choices for the mass. Our pre-cana was with five other couples and took place over three Saturdays (8 hour days). But the experience as a whole was very good, informative, and sparked some good discussions between my husband and I.
I would say hang in there with the church. You have to understand that in the eyes of the church marriage is a sacriment and just like with first holy communion and confirmation there is preparation to be done. It is a time commitment to decide to get married in the catholic church considering pre-cana alone. Looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way though. Just like with anyone there’s rude people making life difficult.
Post # 12
@twoangels: That sounds horrible! I’m sorry you had so much trouble!
To everyone- thanks so much for the support and advice, it definitely helps to know that there are other people who had similar problems and were able to get through them. As an update, the next time I called the woman to let her know a day and time that worked for Fiance and I, I was expecting the same rude attitude but it seems like maybe the office woman I talked to said something to her because she was MUCH more helpful and we were able to set a date to meet with the priest without any rude comments or judgement. From here on out it sounds like my contact with her will be minimal… thanks for helping me calm down and put things in perspective!