Post # 1
My Fiance and I are looking at some venues to host our hindu-catholic wedding and reception. Which ceremony should be done first (I am thinking having the Catholic one second so she can wear her white dress straight to the reception afterward).
We are having trouble in regards of a menu because our foods are so different and it is hard to get a price on it.
Any thoughts or ideas?
Post # 3
I think you need to talk to a priest about that. If you are already married, I don’t think the church will marry you again. It might just have to be a convalidation. But like I said, you’d get the best info from her priest.
Post # 4
@JTAS: You can’t have both as the Catholic Church explicitly forbids it.
Can. 1127 §3. It is forbidden to have another religious celebration of the same marriage to give or renew matrimonial consent before or after the canonical celebration according to the norm of §1. Likewise, there is not to be a religious celebration in which the Catholic who is assisting and a non-Catholic minister together, using their own rites, ask for the consent of the parties.
The only way to be validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church is to either (1) have a wedding in a Catholic church in the “Canonical Form” (i.e. Catholic wedding) or (2) to request a Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage and have a Hindu wedding. You can’t have both.
I know people often get upset when hearing this because it shatters their dream of an “ideal wedding”, but keep in mind that the Catholic Church isn’t trying to give you your “ideal wedding” but rather is working to ensure God’s Divine Law is enacted on earth. Sorry.
Post # 5
@CoffeeHound: If you google it, you’ll see that some priests in fact allow these types of weddings. There have been Catholic/Hindu weddings before. It may not be “right” to you or to some priests, but there are definitely priests who perform “joint weddings”.
I know other couples such as myself (white/Indian) who have had weddings like this. We had our first wedding in India and our 2nd American wedding here in the U.S., so we didn’t “combine” anything. I think whatever works best for you is the way to go. As far as food, I would just hire two caterers and have the appropriate amounts for both Indians and Americans. Remember some will eat both, too. At our American wedding this year we offered a veg Indian stew and so many American friends/family tried it and loved it! Likewise, my husband’s Indian friends loved the American chicken and salmon dishes.
Post # 6
Thanks Jenn. How long did the Indian ceremony take to complete? Did you ever consider having the Indian ceremony in the US?
Post # 7
Found this blog on google…maybe you’ll find it to be helpful? Looks like this couple had the Catholic wedding first and the Hindu ceremony a month later. Both took place in the US.
Post # 8
I did see that, but we would like to have both ceremonies in one day as it would be easier for our guests to attend both ceremonies if they were held in a central location.
Post # 9
We had an abbreviated Hindu ceremony. It lasted about two hours. Very short for an Indian wedding! Then the reception lasted about five hours or so. We had poojas the day before and after the wedding, too.
We never considered having it here, because my husband’s entire family and childhood friends live in India. There is no way they would have all flown here, nor my family could have flown there. Super expensive, not to mention other logistical problems…
The two weddings worked out great for us, but had we had the option to have one big wedding, I would have loved planning that, too!! I know of so many people who have had these weddings (one big Indian/other). If you do a google search, you’ll find some blogs that give lots of great ideas! PM me if you want more details.
Post # 11
@Jenn23: It’s not about being “right”, it’s about the wedding being valid. If you do not follow Canon Law, your wedding will not be valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church and you will not be eligible to receive Communion. In effect, you distance yourself from the Catholic Church.
As far as Google is concerned, you can find anything there. Someone on this forum was married by a “womanpriest” and excommunicated herself – but she had the joint Catholic/Jewish wedding that she wanted and she still believes it’s valid. Similarly, you can find a “Catholic” priest that will perform ceremonies like this, but they will not be valid.
As far as “whatever works best for you”, that’s fine if you decide that you are no longer Catholic. However, if you wish to remain a Catholic in good standing with the Church, you need to follow Canon Law, just like if you wish to remain a citizen of the US in good standing, you need to follow its laws.
Think of it this way: if you wanted a gay marriage in Florida, or a polygamist marriage in Utah, or to marry your biological father in Tennessee, or get married via a sticky note in Seattle, it would be an invalid marriage. You could still do it, but you wouldn’t be afforded the rights of a spouse and might even get arrested. It’s the same thing in the Catholic Church if you violate form (e.g. by getting married twice in one day).
“…but so and so had a wedding like this…” that doesn’t mean that So and So’s marriage is valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
Post # 12
@CoffeeHound: I totally understand what you are saying. The point is that the OP didn’t ask for advice on whether or not you or anybody else thinks the marriage will be valid. He asked for advice on which order to have the Hindu and Catholic ceremonies. He didn’t ask if it was OK or not. I was simply telling him I knew of people who did this because you simply stated, “You can’t have both as the Catholic Church explicitly forbids it.” which I don’t think is necessarily true. (I still could be wrong as I don’t know much about Catholicism) I just know that I’ve heard of couples having joint Catholic/Hindu weddings and wanted to point that out to him. He came here for advice about that, not for advice as to whether or not the marriage would be valid.
Post # 13
@Jenn23: I cited Canon Law. It is explicitly forbidden. There’s really no way to challenge that, as Canon Law isn’t up for interpretation, and not even a priest can change that (a bishop could, though).
As far as “valid vs. invalid” – when someone asks how to have a Catholic wedding, I assume that means a valid Catholic wedding, since an invalid wedding is not considered by Catholics to be a wedding at all. If the OP desires to have a Catholic-themed wedding (but not a Catholic wedding), then she can do whatever she wants as there are no rules. But she cannot have a Catholic wedding in the manner described.
The “loophole” would if you had a Hindu wedding then a Catholic convalidation later. However, a priest wouldn’t agree to that in the same day. You would probably make you wait months between and in the meantime you could not have marital relations. Also, most churches won’t let you walk down the aisle and perform a full ceremony for a convalidation. Since your first marriage is considered scandal, you are usually required to have a very small convalidation ceremony (though that can vary).
Post # 14
@CoffeeHound: I can appreciate the ecclesiastical argument, but this is unnecessarily confusing. The State of New York will consider it valid provided the forms are filled in and the officiant licensed to perform marriages.
OP – It may be wise to begin speaking to Catholic officiants now to discuss the various religious and logistical issues involved.
My personal thought would be that it’s better to have the Catholic ceremony first, followed by the Hindu.
Post # 15
@teaadntoast: What is confusing? It would be illegal in the Catholic Church to have two weddings. Doing so makes the wedding invalid. It’s as simple as that.
And I cited my reference in case you don’t believe me.
Post # 16
This isn’t about the marriage being invalid in regards to the government as someone stated about New York. The Church, rather unfortunately for some, does not allow another religious ceremony to occur before or after in church ceremony. As @CoffeeHound said, that is the Church law. If you do find a priest willing to perform these ceremonies (there are some that would–I don’t know a specific one but I’m sure there are), you’ll want to check with the Diocesan website or office to ensure that they are in fact a priest in good standing. While I’m for interfaith marriages, the Church discourages two ceremonies.