(Closed) Living together prior to wedding and can’t find a church to get married in!

posted 10 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
2640 posts
Sugar bee

Wow, I know even in some Catholic churches, they’ll still marry cohabitating couples.  While I understand some churches turning you down, I’m surprised that you’re having too much trouble.  And I support you for not wanting to lie.

How far until the wedding?  Could you live appart?  I know it’s been two years….

You said you don’t currently attend a church.  Why is a church wedding so important?

Post # 4
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Tanya123 said exactly what I was going to say.  If neither one of you are regular church-goers, unless this is a big point of contention with family, why a church wedding? 

On the flip side, though–my best friend just got married last summer, and she is Catholic and her husband is not–he’s agnostic now, but was raised Methodist, and they lived together for several years prior to actually getting married.  While they both had to attend pre-marriage classes through the church, it was never an issue that they lived together. 

 And never underestimate the power of picking up the phone.  A lot of churches are behind the times when it comes to technology, and a lot of churches don’t have a huge full time staff, if any at all.  Get busy with the phone, and block off some Sundays to actually visit the churches during a service that you’re looking at.  

Post # 5
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Getting ahold of churches is a huge pain no matter what your living situation is. Call, or, better yet, show up in person. Prepare to be persistent.

I don’t think you need to make a huge issue of your living situation at the outset, first just try to figure out if they will marry you at all. Many churches are available only to members. Then ask what are the requirements in terms of preparation, living together, etc.

Post # 6
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

What about a Unitarian Church?  They may be more accepting.

Otherwise- are you wanting your ceremony in a church or do you just a member of the clergy to marry you?

If you are most concerned about having clergy conduct the cermony, you can find officiants of a variety of religions that will conduct ceremonies outside churches.

Post # 7
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

My friend and her fiance were in a similar situation. He is a non-practicing Catholic and she is a non-practicing Lutheran. They attend a non-denominational church together where they live, but they are getting married in her hometown. During a trip back home they met with her parents’ and her childhood Lutheran pastor. They were completely honest about their living situation. He refused to marry them. She and her family were devastated.

My now-husband and I also lived together. Most Catholic churches are okay with it; they don’t exactly condone it but most won’t refuse you. They are even questions on the FOCCUS test for couples who co-habitat, couples who have been married before, and couples are of different faiths. {More info here: http://www.foccusinc.com/sections/foccus_content.asp?PKID=6} The priest who did our pre-marriage counseling wasn’t thrilled, but he didn’t judge us. He actually joked with us about it.

I suggested she meet with a Catholic church in her area. She did a few weeks later and they are more than happy to marry them. I would definitely second the post that said to go in person. Most churches are behind the times, plus they are more likely to see that you are very committed because you took the time to come in not just send an email.

Good luck!

Post # 8
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

Hi, we moved in together (post-engagement), and our pastor has no problem with it…I even have Methodist pastors in my family, so I think the problem is just that they may be less likely to be good with email, especially non-member email.  Would you consider attending once or twice to build the relationship before asking to use the sanctuary…not that you should need to at a Methodist church…I’ve found them to be one of the most liberal of the "big" churches…after all their saying is "Open Hearts Open Minds Open Doors"

Post # 9
329 posts
Helper bee
  • V
  • 10 years ago

I’m throwing a wrench in your line of thought…..

I would think that it has nothing to do with living together but rather the fact that you don’t go to church!

Catholic church rules dictate that the couple MUST belong to the parish and technically must attend service every Sunday (or should try) for at least a year. My church had a website and they recommeded not to bring any wedding talk unless we had gone to church actively for at least 3 months!

There’s absolutely no way all churches will say no to marrying you because you live together. It’s probably something else.

Post # 10
27 posts
  • Wedding: August 2009

My Fiance was raised catholic.  I was born catholic.  (I was baptized but never went to to church.) 

His family requested we have a catholic wedding so we were going through some major hurdles to find a church as neither of us are practicing catholics.  After some asking around through networked folks in town we found a church that would marry us.  They were ok with us living together and ok with us not actively practicing.  Here are tips that helped us get through the process.

– Kids, kids, kids.  We mentioned we were interested in raising our kids with religion.  This won over the priest big time.

– Someone the priest has known for a long time through social connections made the initial contact for us.  Ask folks if they know of any more liberal churches.  You would be surprised as who might be able to help.

– Offer to join the parish.  It may not be a committment you want to make but it may help the priest make the decision in your favor if you can. 

– Lastly, and this might sound totally cruel.  Find a "poor" church.  Most churches will want some sort of fee to get married there.  Normally churches that are more desperate for money are more willing to be accommodating. 

Hope This Helps

Post # 11
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

What is the pressing reason for wanting a church wedding if you are both non-practicing?  For many couples it is important to their parents that this happen.  It may also be the case the you believe it will be more special or beautiful in the church.  Bear in mind that marriage is a sacrament in the church and it should not be one that priests take lightly.  We are having my monsignor bless the marriage and do a dispensation so that our marriage is approved by the catholic church, but I am willing to bet that he would not have been as accomodating as he has been had I not been an active church member.  We have lived together for two years as well.

Perhaps you should consider attending a few services in the churches which you would like to approach.  I do not suggest emailing them as this seems very impersonal, unless you have an already established first-name basis relationship, which you state you do not.  Also be prepared to meet with the minister/priest a few times beforehand for premarital discussions. 

I agree and commend you for not wanting to lie about your living together, as you shouldn’t have to.  However, please remember to take into consideration that this is a minster/priest’s life devotion, not only their job, and that this requires their having faith in the two of you as a couple to attest before God that you are joined for life.  At least one of you should be prepared to instill this same type of faith in a church.

Post # 12
2889 posts
Sugar bee

We live together and I wanted to get married in a Catholic church I often attended in high school but never belonged to. Through my aunt, who is an active member, we set up an appointment to meet the priest. He didn’t ask about living arrangements but told us one or both of us would need to join the church and maintain a budget for at least a year before the wedding. Since we don’t live near said church he asked us if we were attending church near us (not really but sometimes sounds a lot better) and hoped to see us at mass when we were in town. He told us that we would need to do the pre marriage classes but mentioned that theere is a weekend course since we would not be around to attend the after work version. Pending these conditions, he agreed to marry us. Which makes me think the financial contribution can go a long way. I also agree with another poster, attend the church and greet the priest a couple of times before asking him to marry you.

Post # 13
36 posts
  • Wedding: October 2009

I agree… my experience with the Catholic church has been very accepting.  I think that’s the best route to go!

Post # 14
123 posts
Blushing bee

I agree with trying Catholic church. With all the scandals it’s been involved in, I don’t think they are all that "picky" these days. Alternatively, try more liberal church. Good luck to you !

Post # 15
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I know this is an old topic but I am new and looking at venues for our ceremony and reception. My mom keeps suggesting a church wedding while I keep picking out chapels and places for both. We live together too neither of us currently go to church. We both believe in God. I’m shocked at some of the rules in order to get married in certain churchs like having to be a member and one person above said you have to attend church every sunday for a year, etc.

I don’t feel that I need to prove my faith in God to anyone except God. He knows where I stand! Also I shouldn’t have to prove that I love my FI to anyone but him. Once again God and Fiance know where I stand.

I have never been baptised, my dad is catholic and my mom is baptist. I went to church occasionally growing up but we pray at dinner, before bed and whenever needed. Growing up I was very curious about God learn a lot about my religion from my dad and I’d ask my parents to read the bible to me before I go to sleep at night. So why do I have to jump through hoops to marry my love? For everyone elses religious justification? I don’t need someone to tell me what to think  or believe, I know whats in my heart and soul. And my God can see into both he knows whats in there.

Sorry if this sounds snippy or anything I’ve been reading a lot and felt my feathers getting ruffled.

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