(Closed) Getting Married Catholic?

posted 4 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee

This can definitely be done (at least in the US), but usually with the following caveats: the church ceremony takes place first and is the legal ceremony, and the couple completes whatever premarital prep courses or retreats that are standard for the parish/diocese. Parishes don’t have requirements for the size/formality of weddings, but they tend to be strict on required prep and having the Catholic ceremony before the other one (if it takes place after, it is considered a “convalidation” and the church has additional requirements). Also, all of this assumes both parties are Catholic. Different rules for marrying outside a Catholic Church building exist for situations where one member of the couple is a member of a different denomination or religion.

Post # 3
Member
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Yes! We had friends who didn’t particularly care to be married in the Catholic church, but both of their families insisted. They planned their “wedding day” on a Friday with a ceremony (at another location) and the reception. They had the church wedding the Monday before with just immediately family, from what I hear it work out just fine!

Post # 4
Member
1412 posts
Bumble bee

Yes, you can legally & religiously be married in the church, and not invite people other than friends/family. You wouldn’t need a second ceremony at that point, but I’m sure you could says vows elsewhere at a later time. However, a Catholic priest can not marry you outside the church, they’re not even supposed to ‘fake marry’ you ie. preside over a second/fake ceremony. 

My uncle is a priest and is marrying Fiance and I in the church. (Not his church, but another one) He said he legally can’t marry us at a different non-Catholic Church venue, but if I was ‘insistent’ he would preside over a second ceremony, but only b/c I’m family. (I was never insistent, nor did I ask, he just threw that out there)

Post # 5
Member
1495 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

jjohnston730:  I know of people who have done this but it will require you to have two separate marriage license (within NY state). Check with your church first but it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you complete the pre-cana and have a valid marriage license.

Post # 6
Member
1321 posts
Bumble bee

prinzesschen:  what? you can’t have two separate marriage licenses for the state OR for the Church. once you are married, you are married. I think the people you know may have explained it to you wrong.

jjohnston730:  You can totally do this, but your second ceremony would technically just be a vow renewal (the non-church one). You can say vows and have it go just like a regular ceremony, you just won’t have to sign a marriage certificate then. Your legal marriage date is the Catholic ceremony. Your Catholic ceremony can be small in the sense that it’s just your family there, but they won’t necessarily make it a 5-10 minute ceremony, as all of the components still have to be there (I’d say at least 30 min depending on the homily, probably longer). 

Post # 7
Member
1495 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I am just telling you what my priest told me. I didn’t have this issue as I was getting married in the church but was going to initially get married in city hall. What he said is that we would need a marriage license to get married in city hall, but in order to get married in the Church, he would be required to see a valid marriage license in order to perform the ceremony.

Post # 8
Member
1321 posts
Bumble bee

prinzesschen:  I think what he was describing to you was a convalidation. You bring your marriage license from city hall to the priest, and he convalidates the marriage after the fact. It’s not two separate licenses, you can only have one marriage license and be legally married once. 

Post # 9
Member
1495 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

tjacob2014:  I wasn’t asking for a convalidation, I was asking him for a full ceremony. Maybe that is what he meant, but that was not what I was asking of him. I was just trying to be helpful in my response to you.

Post # 10
Member
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

As the others have said, I don’t think you can do a “fake” Catholic wedding first – it would be legally binding, then your other ceremony would be a vow renewal.  You could do the reverse, have the legal ceremony at your venue and then have a convalidation later, but (at least in my archdiocese) you need a really good reason why you can’t just get married in a church in the first place.

Post # 11
Member
1321 posts
Bumble bee

prinzesschen:  Thanks for the response. I’m sure there was some confusion there (as there usually is with a lot of people, getting married in the Church can be complicated depending on the situation), but I’m just trying to clarify for OP that you indeed can’t have two legal marriages, or two marraige licenses, just like others are saying. The second of the two would be a vow renewal, and Kikibear makes a great point that not all priests are willing to have the Catholic ceremony be the second of the two, as in having a convalidation be something that is planned. Convalidations are truly meant to rectify a Catholic with it’s Church that did not follow canon law in getting married outside of the church without permission. It’s not meant to be a loophole that allows Catholics to have two weddings, or to get married outside of the Church first. 

In OP’s situation, an initial Catholic ceremony with just family, and a small vow renewal at her venue followed by the reception would be the way to go. 

Post # 12
Member
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

You can do that! I had friends that got married privately at their church with their priest and the following day had a ceremony at the reception venue. The priest was there, and said the legal aspect happened the day before, and that it was a blessing of the union that day. But that was in MA and from what I’ve gathered talking to other Catholic brides, different diocese may have different rules, but hopefully they can work with you and figure out the best option.

Post # 13
Member
1199 posts
Bumble bee

You have to have a marriage license to get married in the Catholic Church, and you have to complete pre-Cana. Also, if you aren’t both Cathokic, you may need to get a dispensation. Either way, I’d make sure you meet with the church’s wedding person at least 8 months before the ceremony.

Post # 14
Member
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I’m Catholic and marrying in a church a month after you, if your profile date is right.  My fiance isn’t Catholic but we still do have to do pre-cana and in my parish this has to be done more than 6 months ahead of time (we’re doing ours this coming weekend). Since it isn’t offered every week/your schedule might be busy, I would definitely look into starting it soon.  The only person who can really answer all these questions is the priest at your parish.  I’d err on the side of the people saying this isn’t really possible though, it would be a wedding and then a vow renewal, and a vow renewal in a church isn’t meant to look like a fake wedding.  But I’ve seen huge weddings where the church is packed and tiny ones with just witnesses and parents, so really it doesn’t matter how small it is if you want to get married there first 🙂

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