Post # 1
I don’t know what to do. We picked the venue before we were sure about having a Catholic wedding. Once we decided we were, we had to go with the nearby churches (it’s sort of a destination wedding). I realized that I feel no connection to the church, I don’t like the architecture, the lighting, the ceremony time… nothing about it feels right. I don’t know what to do. I should be more excited about the ceremony part because it’s THE most important part… but from the beginning I felt like something wasn’t right. Now, I really don’t feel like that is where I want to be married. Ugh. I feel like it’s too late, but now I’m just feeling super freaked out. Help!
Post # 3
@Macchiato: The first thing I would do is talk to the priest and see what your options are. If you click with the officiant, that can go a long ways toward making you feel better about things, and he is also the best resource you have for finding out whether you might be able to adjust the time, etc. If you discover you’re also unhappy with the priest, then you really maybe want to look into other options. He may be able to put you in contact with other parishes and see if other arrangements can be made. It would be unusual, but not impossible. Try to make an ally of him when you meet with him.
If the dilemma has become “I’m not sure we should get married in any Catholic church …” well, then, that’s a different set of problems to tackle.
Post # 4
Thanks. No, it’s just that church. I wish we were getting married at our local cathedral. It’s BEAUTIFULLLLLL.
Post # 5
@Macchiato: Well, knowing that it would involve some upheaval in the planning, have you looked into it?
– if you haven’t sent the invites out, it would be easier to change venues than if the invites are already mailed
– Cathedrals are often a little less restrictive than parish churches about who can get married there (i.e. they don’t give you as much static about whether or not you’re a member of the parish; out-of-town weddings are often easier to coordinate at a cathedral.) However, they might have a higher “required donation.” When my sister got married, they wanted to do it at my brother-in-law’s family parish but initially had a lot of trouble setting it up because they were both living out-of-state at the time and there was some snafu about how even though his parents had been attending Mass there literally for decades, they somehow weren’t “officially” registered as members and the secretary was giving them a really hard time. So, they looked into their options at the nearby cathedral. The answer was, “Certainly, you can have your wedding here. We require a $2000 contribution to the diocese.” There have been threads on here about people feeling the cost of a Catholic church wedding is unreasonably steep … Cathedrals take it to a whole new level. (Fortunately for my sister, the in-laws were able to get things straightened out at the parish church for them to have the wedding there.)
Good luck to you! However the wedding turns out, I hope you have a wonderful marriage!
Post # 6
Keep in mind that the reason the ceremony is “THE most important part” is because of what is happening internally to you as a couple. It could be held in a prison or on a beach but the reason that it’s the special part is because of the vows. The backdrop is not that important.
Incidentally this is why many Catholic churches have such high donation fees and rules. Many brides take an approach to the ceremony that emphasizes externals (architecture, lighting, decor) and not the spiritual aspects. The church staff believe that by setting a high bar to having a wedding there, that they will discourage brides who have the wrong attitude (from their POV).
But I understand wanting to have more of a “connection” with the church – can I ask what the church’s name is? If it is named after a particular saint, maybe do some reading about that saint’s life and ask that saint to pray for you and your groom-to-be? if it is named after a concept, like Blessed Sacrament Parish or Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, read up on those aspects of Christianity. The patron assigned to your wedding church can provide the foundation for your devotional life as a married couple 🙂
We got married in a church named after St. John (the beloved disciple). I feel that St. John and we have a special connection now and he is looking out for us and our marriage.
to a certain extent, somehow you didn’t pick the church, the church/saint kind of picked you! So maybe try connecting to that aspect of it.
Post # 7
@Magdalena: What a neat way of thinking about it! That gives me a cool idea for our liturgy, actually …