Post # 1
So I need to vent and I need some advice. Here’s some background info. My fiance and I are having a Disney wedding and we are having a very intimate ceremony in church so our marriage is considered sacramental. My fiance and I are getting married in two weeks in a Catholic Church. The whole process has been extremely frusturating due to the fact that the people at the church have been nothing but rude to me and my fiance! First, I am Catholic and my fiance is Greek Orthodox. The priest said that there would be no issue with us getting married in the church-however, the priest has been extremely rude to my fiance for being Greek Orthodox. He has made snide comments to him and about his family. Then the priest kept insulting me because our wedding was going to be a small intimate wedding and I wasn’t going to be picking out flowers or an aisle runner to decorate the church. He was upset because he didn’t think we were taking our upcoming marriage seriously. I told him that we were serious and that is why we still were getting married in a church rather than just skipping it. Then when I schedule an appointment to speak to the lady who would be playing the organ, she completely didn’t even bother showing up! When I called her to reschedule, she told me that she couldn’t even believe that she had to waste her time playing music for us when it was such a small ceremony. Then she was upset because we decided to skip the cantor due to the fact that they were charging $350 for a 40 minute ceremony! This was on top of a required donation of $600 for the church and not to mention that dosen’t even include the organist, the priest, and the alter boy donations. She told me I was a bad person that should not have been allowed to even get married in the church. I’m so tempted to just get married at our Disney wedding. I always wanted to be married in a Catholic church, but I don’t even feel comfortable at the church anymore. What should I do Bees?
Post # 3
Honestly, if you want to get married in the Catholic church (good for you!!) then get married in the Catholic church…but it doesn’t have to be THAT church. Could you go to another church? Better yet, speak to the Bishop about what has happened. He should know about that. I know the Bishop here would be horrified if a priest acted that way.
Post # 4
@Fall_In_Love22: Thanks for your advice! I think we are going to end up trying to get married in the church on our one year anniversary or something at a different church! My fiance and I don’t want to be involved in a church that behaves that way anyway.
Post # 5
i’m sorry you’ve been having such a hard time. but don’t let this sour your views of the catholic church. they’re all very different, so you may have a much more pleasant experience at another church. getting married thru the church can be stressful, with all the classes and other requirements that need to be fulfilled. you shouldn’t have to deal with rudeness and bad attitudes on top of everything else. i hope it all works out and you find a church who will treat with respect and kindness 🙂
Post # 6
The Catholic Church is made of men and men make mistakes. Just don’t think all Catholic priests are the same: look for another priest. A priest who makes offensive comments on someone from another religion is not very coherent with the Gospel. The Pope himself is working hard to strengthen intereligious dialoge in the world….Why shuold this priest be offensive towards an Orthodox? I can understand you feel angry!! Good luck!!!
Post # 7
@sasi: Yes, ditto what sasi and MirandaV said. It’s great that you are prioritizing having your marriage take place in a sacramental context, and it wasn’t very pastoral of this priest to behave that way toward you. And it was extremely un-pastoral of him to behave that way toward your FI!
I know that some priests get very jaded about weddings – and, to a degree, I can understand it. They have to deal with wedding requests from people who are not active members of their parishes but who just want to get married at “the pretty church that will look nice in the photos.” They have to deal with couples (and, let’s be honest, brides in particular) who get caught up in the extravaganza and the ego trip and lose sight of the sacramental nature of matrimony.
This is not what you’re doing. I can see how it may seem a little jarring to a clergy member that you want to get married in the church but make the main celebration a Disney wedding – but, still, the pastoral thing to do would be to embrace your wish to sanctify your marriage as a sacrament and to work with you. It sounds like this priest is trying to “upsell” you about flowers and aisle runners … he’s behaving like a vendor, when usually it’s the priests complaining about being treated as such by couples who don’t understand that a church may be a venue but it’s not a customer-vendor relationship!
One question: is this your regular parish? (Do you have a regular parish where you attend Mass?) If it is, this would be a good reason to look into changing to a different parish. If you don’t attend Mass regularly, maybe now is a good time to start, and to try a few different churches in the area and get a feel for a few different priests. If you’re having the wedding out of town for travel reasons, to be near family, etc., definitely look at some different parishes in the area. There are usually 6-month-to-one-year waiting periods, requirements that you be a member of the parish, etc., but if you explain your special circumstances and the fact that you are only having a very small wedding, you may find a priest who will work with you. (Ask to speak directly to the pastor rather than talking to the parish secretary and you will usually have better luck, or at least get a direct response and less of a run-around.) You may even find a priest who will solemnize your marriage as part of a regular Sunday Mass. It’s an unusual option, but it’s perfectly legitimate, so you might think about whether that would work for you and your Fiance.
Finally, I’d say spend a little time praying about it. Best of luck, and blessings on your marriage!
Post # 8
I think it’s probably that they don’t think you take it seriously. That it’s just a to-do you want to check off of your list before having your grand disney wedding. Also, if they are aware you are having another wedding after the church wedding, then this might be the problem. I was told very specifically that we were not to have any additional ceremonies after our wedding…that it would be suggestive that we didn’t take our Catholic wedding seriously.
You are entitled to do as you wish, but keep in mind churches take great care to make every wedding special and thoughtful…but they might have their attenas up for suspected cafeteria catholics…and thus they may not even realize they are being so judgmental.
The thing I love about the Catholic church is that in general they are very tolerant and understanding. But they aren’t all cut from the exact same cloth. I’d go to another church if you are being treated badly. Kinda late now though.