Post # 1
I’m trying so hard to not be “that girl.” I try to be polite, patient, considerate, etc. with this church. I fully realize that no one cares about this but us–they’ve made that abundantly clear–but is it so unrealistic to expect that people at least not be intentionally obstructive? I’m silly enough to still think of my parish as my faith family. You’d think your family would at least be a little happy you are getting married.
Both my fiance and I are Catholic so we called our parish to set a date after we got engaged. But the date we wanted was “too close to Easter” so the secretary said she would have to ask Father. I called her once a week or more for the next three weeks to see if we had an answer regarding the date. Every time it was, “He is very busy so I haven’t gotten a chance to ask.” or “He is thinking about it.” She lost our paperwork over and over again. Couldn’t remember my name from the begining of a phone call to the end. Just a nightmare. Finally I wrote directly to our priest (who thankfully is a wonderful man) to ask him if he had made a decision on our date. He had never even heard that we were engaged and trying to set one! The one we wanted was already gone so we took the following week which we have since been told repeatedly is a real pity beacuse “its too far from Easter and all the flowers will be dying.”
We then signed a book-sized contract detailing how much we had to pay them and what ALL of the rules are for them to deign to administer this sacrement for us. And from there it has been just one thing after another.
Now we are three weeks out from our wedding. The choir director that ignored me since January is now surprised to hear that I’ve arranged some of my own musicians. Which apparently we weren’t supposed to do. But seeing that I have written him 5 emails, called several times, and even texted him a reminder that he was supposed to send us information, and never received a response….I really don’t know what we were supposed to do. He wants me to pay his cantor too, since he had her rearrange her schedule to be at our wedding (would have been nice to know) even though we already have our own.
At this point, I will be more surprised if these people and a priest show up the day of our wedding than if they don’t.
Sorry for the rant…this has just so not been what I thought it was going to be.
Post # 3
Wow- sounds like a pretty disorganized parish! Our experience was super-smooth. I’m sorry you’re having trouble! The only issue I’ve heard re: weddings and Easter was when my friend was wanting to get married when her fiance’ was not traveling for work (he lived in MS and she was in AL during their engagement). The church agreed to it, but they usually discourage weddings during Lent, but afterwards should be smooth sailing?
Post # 4
Goodness! Sounds like my husband’s and I’s story. We got married just after Easter as well.
The priest at my parish had suffered a stroke a few months before we got engaged. His replacement was a young priest from India who wasn’t ready to handle a parish. He frequently didn’t show up to celebrate Mass because he kept offering to perform private Masses for friends. He tried to stop a number of weddings because he seemed to believe all the marriage prep had to be completed before a date was allowed to be set. I eventually tried to talk to several priests in the area, most of whom weren’t helpful. I think a large part of it was that I didn’t simplify the problem down to difficulties with this priest. Eventually I figured out how I needed to present the problem and was told to talk to the dean of the deanery. The priest who told me to do that was then hesitant to even tell me who the dean was! He just kept saying how beautiful it was that I was engaged. Affirming but not helpful! Finally I got ahold of the dean. He seemed very well aware that there were a lot of problems with this priest. He said he’d try to talk to the priest.
I was so stressed, my husband and I decided to delay our wedding and start the wedding planning after the school semester was over. By that time, a new priest was assigned to our parish. The ironic thing was that the priest assigned to the parish was the priest we had been trying to arrange to bring in to do our Latin Mass. Things went a bit more smoothly after that, except the priest was annoyed with us that we hadn’t started on any of our marriage prep. He seemed annoyed we had given him all this extra work to do and made some sacrastic comments my husband at the wedding rehearsal because my husband wasn’t understanding some of his instructions. It was more along the lines of rolling his eyes and saying “Its not rocket science!” Then he spent the majority of his homily at our wedding condemning gay marriage. I mean, my husband and I don’t descent from Church teaching, but it just seemed like a more positive homily affirming the institution of marriage would have been more appropriate. After all, while we don’t descent, we also had friends who were gay at our wedding and some our relatives are very liberal.
Did I mention that the chior director called me a month before our wedding (after telling us there were absolutely no problems repetitively and then not communicating with me for several months) that he had no one to do the music for our wedding. At the last minute, we arranged to have an organist and that was the only music we had.
Had I do to it over again, I would have seen all the troubles, told my parents to stop insisting we have our wedding in their parish (which was mine but wasn’t going to be mine anymore) and arrange our wedding at my husband’s parish. My parents had convinced me it would be too expensive and way too far for family to travel.
Post # 5
Woah. You win. I would be absolutely furious if a priest turned my wedding into a political tirade. With all of the DOMA stuff in the news right now that is one of my biggest fears.
Yes, unfortunately, my biggest regret is insisting on a Catholic wedding. It shouldn’t be that way. My fiance has been having doubts and is falling away. I thought this experience would be welcoming and loving and would reaffirm for him that this is where we belong. Its only made things worse.
We haven’t even had to deal with their reherasal coordinator yet…whose reputation definitely proceeds her. I don’t even want to know… I’m seriously considering trying to cut our losses (which were very expensive) and finding a whole new ceremony location with only 3 weeks to go.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2014 - Glen Sanders Mansion
Our wedding is exactly one year from today (!!!), and it will be during Lent. I called 4 or 5 churches and no one wanted to marry us during Lent. Not only that, but they made me feel like a terrible person for even suggesting such a thing! after doing some research, I learned that the decision to marry a couple during Lent is really up to the parish priest, as there is nothing in canon law that actually forbids it.
We have instead decided to go with a priest from the Old Catholic order, who will do the ceremony on site 🙂 We can’t wait. He is great and completely non-judgey.
Post # 7
@somethingbluebonnet: Oh man. That parish is super disorganized! I’m so sorry.
I ended up in a screaming match with the music leader at our parish for my mom’s funeral. Oh… and I may have told off our deacon/pastoral administrator for over an hour. 😛 We’ve been VERY involved parishioners for 20+ years (since the parish opened!) and it was SUPER annoying that I had to strong arm them.
Take a deep breath. It sounds like the pastor is a reasonable person. I would suggest writing him a NICE letter, that gently but clearly explains the issues you’ve had with his employees. Priests are not always the best managers (I worked at our parish for 10 years), so unfortunately, sometimes parish employees are not the most qualified or responsible people.
Post # 8
Some parishes are quite organized, and others are …. well… jumbled messes. My priest would be TIcKeD if the people working at his parish were so sloppy and uncommunicative.
Unlike wedding coordinators, who go into the business because they love weddings and organization, people who work at a parish office go into their jobs because they love Jesus and can direct a choir, play the organ, or handle accounts. So you get a mixed bag, to say the least. Sorry you are having such a hard time!
I know the rules are usually that you can’t have secular music, but you don’t have to have the local choir or cantor. So many people have talented singers in their families that I have been to lots of Catholic weddings where the relatives sang the psalm or “Ave Maria.”