Post # 1
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I really want to get married this year, but have no date, no plans, nothing! And the thing that is holding me back is the church ceremony.
My Fiance and I are both Catholics, but haven’t actually attended church in a while, so we don’t really have a parish that’s ours. Now I know what you might say…why get married in a church if you’re not practicing? Well, even though I don’t attend, I still consider myself Catholic, and would like this blessing. And I know that’s what my family wants as well.
However, I just can’t take that step to go to church and make the arrangements. I don’t know which church to go to. I’m afraid they won’t accept us because we’re not parishoners. I’m afraid I am too late to go through the process and get married this year! Ugh.
On top of that, I have this whole silly fear of the ceremony looking ridiculous because most likely I’ll have a small wedding (~15 people)…and churches are usually big. I am just so picky and crazy about stupid details that it stops me from doing things.
Am I overthinking everything? Is it too late at this point to find a church, go through the paperwork and classes (in order to get married by this fall?)
Post # 3
I think you just have to take that step and go into a church. Perhaps you could ask around in your local area first to find out other people’s experiences? I’m not Catholic, but I’ve seen a wide wide wide range of responses from Catholic bees about their experiences with priests and parishes. Some priests seem really inflexible, but the Church itself seems flexible enough if you search a little bit. Also, I’m not sure about your area, but are there any university chapels in the area? Universities with theological schools or with Catholic chaplins might have smaller spaces on campus which would be better for your 15 person wedding…
Post # 4
I am Catholic too and don’t go to church regularily either and we are getting married in a Catholic church without any problem. I would suggest going to the one in the area you want to get married in and try there. I’m not sure about where you live or the type of wedding you’d like, but often churches in the country are a lot smaller. I would have loved to have been married close to my family’s cottage, but the church there was unfortunately too small for our guest list.
Post # 5
Yeah, I know I just have to go ahead and take that step.
I live in a more populated city, near Boston. All Catholic churches I’ve seen a somewhat big.
I’m just hoping I’m not too late for Pre-Cana. I think classes are in March?
Post # 6
I think another obstacle you should consider is having a date. Meeting with the priest, you will need to have a general idea of a date.
And don’t worry about the size of the wedding party, big or small, as long as you are committed to each other, then it doesn’t matter about the amount of people you can fill out a church.
Post # 7
Definitely start calling churches. You can just check them out before making a decision. Many will allow you to get married as long as you BECOME a parishioner in the process. Maybe try a Unitarian or non-denominational church? Still a church, but often less stringent rules than the Catholic church.
FH is not Catholic either, and I’m not really practicing, but we are getting married at the church my parents got married at.
Post # 8
Do either of your parents or grandparents have a church where they are regular parishioners?
We are getting married at the church where my Aunt is a member. While we both are members of churches near our home we wanted one that was in a more convenient location in regards to the reception.
Post # 9
I think you have time to still get married in August. I would first call a couple of churches in your area and see what they require. Some need you to take classes before giving you a date while others will give you a date right away. If you are not from that parish, you will probably need to pay more. Could your parents or FI’s parents talk to their parish priest?
Post # 10
I’m getting married and just started pre-cana!
I belong to a large cathedral parish. I was googling images of wedding pictures and came across a couple that had a small wedding (less than 30 people) and had their wedding ceremony in one of the chapels. Do you have smaller chapels in your church or a chapel attached to the church for daily mass or blessed adoration? Just a thought…or maybe a Catholic student center or Newman Center at a nearby college? They tend to be smaller.
Post # 11
All churches and diocese are different, so I’d go to your diocese website to start. My diocese requires 6 months of marriage prep, so you’d be okay in my diocese. Some churches require that you are a parishoner for a couple of months before you begin marriage prep, so worst case scenario, you could get married in November or something. But from my experience, not many churches require this extra time. And my diocese offers multiple pre-cana workshops a month in multiple formats.
Also, in my diocese, each church has geographical boundaries, and they are pretty strict about wanting you to be a parishoner at the church that you live in the boundaries of. But its not like that for all diocese, so you can just call up a church and ask.
So I guess what I’m saying is that its probably not too late, and after you find the church you will belong to, just schedule a meeting with the priest and he will have all the answers for you.
Post # 12
My church (where we do attend weekly) has in the bulletin that they need 12 months notice. So, even though we weren’t engaged, we went in October to begin what they needed for an Oct. 2010 wedding. Over and over we kept getting, “wow, y’all are here early.” The coordinator, the priest, everyone kept commenting, “thanks for coming in early.”
So, even though they state 12 months, obvlously, my church isn’t used to that being the case!
Pre-cana differs between parishes and diocese themselves.
Perhaps, this sunday, pick a church and go to mass. You don’t have to receive communion, just go to mass. Then, if you aren’t happy with the dynamics of that church, next week go to another.
I think your first step is going to be going to “A mass” again…. first..
Keep us updated!
Post # 13
“And the thing that is holding me back is the church ceremony” —- I learned an important phrase at work. Failing to plan, is planning to fail. What’s holding you back at the moment, seems to be the planning piece, as you had mentioned. =)
“However, I just can’t take that step to go to church and make the arrangements.” —- Is there a reason why you can’t take the step into the Church? I promise you will not “fizzle” when walking in through the doors. =)
“I’m afraid they won’t accept us because we’re not parishoners.” —- Of course they will accept you. If they tell you that you need to be a parishoner, then register to be one.
“I’m afraid I am too late to go through the process and get married this year! Ugh.” —- Well, you won’t find out unless you actually start the process. =)
“On top of that, I have this whole silly fear of the ceremony looking ridiculous because most likely I’ll have a small wedding (~15 people)…and churches are usually big. I am just so picky and crazy about stupid details that it stops me from doing things.”
It’s okay to have a small Catholic wedding, as the most important people will be there… You, your Fiance… and most importantly… GOD.
“Am I overthinking everything? Is it too late at this point to find a church, go through the paperwork and classes (in order to get married by this fall?)”
Most likely. But, if you don’t start the process sometime, then it will not happen.
Post # 14
it is definitely not too late and there are actually multiple preparation options available to Catholic couples (the most popular being Pre-Cana). some courses meet weekly for a while, and one couple i know actually did an intensive weekend retreat. i only had a 4 month engagement and we got everything done no problem. i would go speak with a priest at a church you are interested in, see what you learn (you may be surprised!) and then go from there 🙂
also–many parishes list in their bulletins that they need 6-12 months notification for weddings, but my pastor told me that it is really only so they can put it on their calendar, so if your date is available there is no problem.
Post # 15
Signing up to be a “parishoner” takes litterally 5 minutes if that. All they need you to do is fill out a form. So maybe registering as a parishoner will make it less scary? I duno I originally thought we would go the Catholic pre-cana way, but Fiance is Lutheran. After our meeting with both my church and his church- I chose HIS church. So I can’t really be of anymore help :o( Sowwies but I hope you get over the guilt/fear :o)
Post # 16
I know a priest who would rejoice at actually having a bride say she wants a small wedding. Since you’re not a member of a parish, my advice is to look up parishes in the area. You can go to Masstimes.org. Go to Mass at that parish to check it out. If you find one you like, after you leave mass, make sure to greet the priest just to make an impression and show some interest in the parish. If you want to avoid being rude in the eyes of the priest (by treating the parish as a wedding chapel vendor). I would then find out the parish office hours and call the parish secretary and inform her that you are interested in registering at the parish and having your wedding there. She will likely ask if you are already registered elsewhere. Hopefully from there you can schedule your first meeting with the priest.
Registering just means you’ll start getting donation envelopes which they only use so that they can send you a report of your donations when you file your taxes each year. You might get some other mailers but that’s about it. No one is going to hound you for being a bad Catholic because of what you did or did not donate.
You are only required to notify your parish 6 months before you plan on getting married. However you should not book your reception hall or anything else like that till you are set with the parish. They will need to look into whether you have any impediments to marriage: ie. You’re married, you’re too close of blood relation, you’ve previously taken vows of celebacy and some really weird situations, and then you go from there.