(Closed) Newbee planning a Catholic Wedding

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Welcome to the boards and congratulations! I think it’s great that you and your SO started with the important part of the wedding day in your planning (the actual wedding :).

I recommend going to pre-cana. We went to one that was just a day, and it was one of the best things we did. They bring up so many topics for you to think abotu and discuss later (considering your communication style, your beliefs about finances, how you each view household responsabilities). It’s not like a group counseling session where you discuss heavy issues with strangers (what I’d pictured before I went :). We chatted with some people during lunch break and there were couples there from other faiths and one couple who didn’t identify with any church (not sure how they came across the idea to go to a pre-cana, but they are open to everyone).

For the service issue, we went with the full Mass and our non-Catholic friends said they loved the ceremony. We both have family members who aren’t Catholic (or who don’t
“practice”) but they enjoyed the ceremony too. Remember that everyone will be there to support you and will be happy if you both are.

Have fun planning!

Post # 4
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Hi, and happy de-lurking!

I would also recommend you don’t skip the pre-cana program. If you can find a good one (ask around for recommendations) it is really worth your time. My husband and I attended a “Three to Get Married” weekend seminar (it was two weekend days) that we really enjoyed. Even if you know each other really well already, it brings up important subjects and teaches you how to communicate even better in a welcoming environment. They also had long-married couples come in and speak about their experiences with having kids, finances, dealing with your in-laws, and more. Most everything was very practical advice that’s applicable to anyone getting married, not just Catholics.

If your fiance’s cousin is going to officiate your ceremony, why do you need to be in communication with a local priest?

Post # 5
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think its acceptable to do just the ceremony.  I don’t think too many people would be hurt – esp if lots of family members are not Catholic.  My family is Catholic, his not but we’re not marrying in the church at all.  My father wasn’t Catholic though and my parents still did the whole thing.  I guess it depends on what you can compromise on.  Maybe after going back to mass for a while you’ll better decide. 

I agree – def. go to some pre-maritial counselling. 

Post # 6
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I agree with not skipping precana.  It’s not there to annoy you.  It’s there to properly prepare you for marriage.  Please consider doing it.  And it’s fun too.

As for the ceremony.  You can do whichever.  But I wouldn’t skip Eucharist, because of your guests.  The ceremony is for you and your Fiance.  Do what is best for you.  Your guests will understand.

Post # 7
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

WELCOME!!!!  not that I have much to say differently from everyone else, but I really think that you and Fiance need to talk about what you guys would like for your wedding, and if part of that is the Eucharist, do that for yourselves, don’t avoid doing it just for your guests… this day is about you, and that ceremony is about you joining your lives before God… and if people don’t want to sit through the ceremony that symbolizes your love, they don’t deserve a free meal!! (haha totally kidding!) but really, it is about you, so go with what you want!!

As for Pre Cana, Fiance and I absolutely LOVED the program!  It was fun, interactive and a great opportunity to talk and just focus on the MARRIAGE… which a lot of us forget to do in amongst all the planning and details of the wedding day!!

Whatever you do, good luck, and welcome to the hive!!!

Post # 8
6 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

Hello! I am also new here. I am going to have a catholic ceremony and when we met the priest he advised us to have the ceremony without the mass because a big part of the guest list is not catholic. He also said that it was mandatory to have the pre-marriage course, I guess that it depends on the priest. 

Hope everything goes well ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 9
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Have you talked to your church’s wedding coordinator yet?  Our coordinator required us to take the classes and show her the certificate we got upon completion.  After the classes, we have to take a compatibility test… which should be fun!  I recommend getting those taken care of sooner than later.

Also, you’ll each need to obtain an original copy of your baptism certificates within 6 months of the wedding.  They check these to make sure you have no prior marriages on record.

Post # 10
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’ve always been of the understanding that pre-cana was a pre-requisite. There was only one instance here on the bee where a couple wasn’t mandated to do pre-cana and right before the wedding she found out their church wasn’t in “line” with Rome and was considered a schismatic church! That’s probably not your case, but I agree with all the above… it’s not as bad as it seems, and it’s worth it!

I think you need to be in communication with your FI’s cousin, however. If he is the one officiating and signing everything, you need to make sure he will sign off on it. You don’t want him to not sign or do it because he discovered last min. you haven’t fulfilled church requirements for the sacrament. 

Another way to look at it is like how your parents went to classes for your baptism, you went to classes for confession, communion, and confirmation. Marriage is no different. The main difference, is that it’s focused on you as a couple instead of “faith knowledge.” That was completed with confirmation. Now, Sacraments you receive are added graces. I.e. Marriage, Sacrament of the sick, etc… The cool thing about marriage, is that we get to give the Sacrament to eachother… it’s not the priest, they only “witness” it.

As for communion, I agree with whoever said do what’s right for YOU as a COUPLE. Don’t worry about your guests. They can live for an hour…. Communion only adds about another 15-20 min. max to the wedding. It’s not going to add an hour. Even if you don’t do communion you will still be doing everything else from a mass plus your “vows.” So, you still do liturgy or the word, readings, the our father, petitions, etc. 

As for us, a large chunk of guests aren’t Catholic… and many are barely hanging on to “belief in any God.” For us, we looked at it as a day about and for us. We WANT the first thing we do as husband and wife to be receiving communion. God is such an important part of our relationship and future family… If we have the ability to have Jesus, physically present at our wedding, well.. he’s the one guest I want to make sure I invite before anyone else. That’s a pretty special gift.

For our guests, we’ll be having the entire liturgy in the programs. It will help them follow along, see when to stand, kneel, etc… 

Post # 12
597 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I would really talk to your fiance…sounds like you prefer marriage outside of mass ceremony (which is very similar to the mass one with a few key parts like the Eucharist skipped)…which is a step above the one for unbaptized spouse, etc…. While your fiance prefers a full mass. We were not asked to attend church every sunday, but we do have to complete the marriage prep…it’s a requirement in our area. We’re doing ours in a weekend(one evening and then a full morning/afternoon)…it starts with mass, then goes into lectures/teachings from 3 different priests and 6 married couples….we have to read a book before we attend as well…. we also are required to do a natural family planning class (also done in just one day)

Post # 13
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m getting married in a catholic church too.  At my church you HAVE to go through pre cana unless you have a very specific reason why you cannot, and then they work something else out for you.  It’s more of a church policy at my church rather than being up to the officiant to decide (in fact, the church secretary needs a copy of my pre-cana certificate two weeks prior to the marriage ceremony).  I guess it wouldn’t hurt to make sure you talk with the church your being married at because they might not be okay with you skipping pre-cana even if the priest who has agreed to come in and marry you that day is okay with it.  Pre-cana really wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I went into it thinking we weren’t going to get anything out of it and was pleasantly surprised by the experience.  Granted, some of the conversations were a little weird (like the talk about “natural family planning”) but most of it was great because it helped us actually talk about things that we’ve both thought about before but might not have ever really sat down and discussed with each other.  One of my favorite parts was an exercise where they had us write a letter to our fiance telling them what we loved and admired the most about the other person and what our hopes and dreams for the future were.  It was so nice to hear my fiance read me his letter… It made me tear up!  If it were between doing pre-cana and going to church every sunday, I’d much rather do pre-cana.  I’m not an “every sunday” church goer by any means (more like an every-third sunday kinda gal).  My fiance isn’t catholic, so we’re not doing a whole mass because about half of the guests wouldn’t be able to receive communion.  I’ve been to catholic wedding ceremonies where non-catholics felt put-off by being told they could not receive communion, and I really didn’t want to go there. 

Post # 15
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

It sounds like your wedding priest is from a different church than you’re getting married? Make sure you clear that with the church! It’s strange, but everyone gets finicky it seems when you try to plan a wedding.

You’ll have to do the pre-cana, as well as a foccus test (which is the aforementioned compatibility test) – don’t worry about your answers on anything! It’s not pass-fail, they just want you to know what you may have problems with in the future. It shows things that you may not have discussed, etc.

While you’re abroad, you may be able to start planning readings, songs, ceremony musicians, etc. Good luck! Planning long distance isn’t fun at all :

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