(Closed) Priest: "Separate rooms 1 month/no alcohol night before: us, MOH & Best man"

posted 4 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Wowza! We also live together and our priest simply said “I would hope you will lead a chaste life before the wedding”.  That’s all that has been mentioned but our wedding is in august and we havent had that meeting yet!  The alcohol thing seems crazy to me!! My Maid/Matron of Honor is jewish, how can you impose that on people of different faiths? 

Post # 3
422 posts
Helper bee

That’s very odd– while I’ve heard of priests suggesting that a couple living together refrain from having sex for a little while before the wedding, I’ve never heard that you shouldn’t drink alcohol the day before/day of. I’m with you– what if you want a beer at the rehearsal dinner or a mimosa in the morning? If you aren’t drunk while you’re standing at the altar, it shouldn’t matter.

Post # 4
733 posts
Busy bee

He wants to make sure you and your witnesses are not under the influence during the ceremony. People do show up to weddings plastered, or severely hung over. You have to be in your right mind to give full consent. That’s what he means.

The Church does not approve of pre-marital sex. They just don’t. It’s up to you if you want to follow that, but of course he does not want you engaging in pre-marital sex.

Post # 5
2076 posts
Buzzing bee

Since the first point was just a suggestion, then I would take it as such and continue to live how you want to live.

The second point makes him sound like a looney tune.  How would he even know if you drank the night prior?  And to also put that on your witnesses?  No, just no.  And I have to laugh at him saying that it would make your wedding invalid.  Silliest thing ever.

But if you are not comfortable with these rules then I would be looking elsewhere.

Post # 6
1806 posts
Buzzing bee

This is what I really dislike about indoctrination (and I’m talking about the priest, not the OP). It sounds like you have a fundamentalist on your hands and as such, he may be sticking to the letter of the word with no flexibility.

Invalid how? In the eyes of the church? God? You? There are a lot of different variables here.

Look. This is YOUR wedding and it’s the only time you will have THESE EVENTS. Instructions and opinions will vary. Nothing will truly become invalid if you have a beer or two at your rehearsal dinner or a glass of champagne at your wedding. These are typical wedding customs. They are not specifically aimed at harming marriage or Catholicism or anything else.

And not sleeping together the night before the wedding but every night leading up to? Same thing–that is a tradition. One month? What is that recommendation founded on?

Do what you must in order to get a church blessing if that’s what is important to you but don’t forget about the other NORMAL things that are important to you, too. I promise you–by being yourself and participating in normal customs, your marriage will not automatically become invalid and no lightening will strike you down as you sip that beer. Or sleep in your own bed.

Post # 7
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

We lived together for eight months prior to our wedding and our priest,  whom I’ve known for 15 years,  didn’t give us a hard time about it. He said he’d be surprised if we weren’t living together.

If either of you is intoxicated at the ceremony,  they will not marry you as you are not considered of sound mind (this might become a problem if either of you wanted to seek an annulment at any point).  We weren’t told we couldn’t drink the night before though. 

ETA your Maid/Matron of Honor and best man also need to be of sound mind as they are the two people who are witnessing that your marriage occurred. 

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  bookbee88.
Post # 8
11392 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Well, as you are a Catholic this is what the church believes and it doesn’t seem that unreasonable.

I’m not a Catholic, but the suggestion to take time for spiritual reflection is actually the best reason I’ve heard for not sleeping together before marriage if you are already sleeping together. 

Re the drinking the night before, that seems like it could be extreme or it was his way of being sure no one shows up hungover. I can see why a spiritual leader would want people clear-minded as they take this most solemn oath. 

Idk, we;ve heard some crazy stories about priests on the bee, but this one seems in line with the church’s thinking and not based in egregeious bigotry or misogyny, plus just suggestion re the sleeping together! 


Post # 9
733 posts
Busy bee


View original reply
BalletParker:  Exactly. Given the fact that the church has very specific rules for annulments, he is just trying to make sure that everyone is of sound mind and body before taking part in the sacrament. Is he being a little extreme? Maybe. But he has probably learned from years of experience that he has to be very specific or else people are showing up hungover or drunk because they only drank last night. To them, the night might have ended at 3 am and the wedding started at 7. Who knows?

The Church tells us to listen to our conscience, so listen to what your inner you is telling you. I disagree with some of the Church’s teachings, but I do so thoughtfully and respectfully, and when I hear the priests talking about the things I have chosen to disregard myself, I don’t get upset about it. That is the Church’s teaching, and I respect that.

Post # 10
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
summerbride2016:  We got the lecture on living in sepearte bedroooms by the priest who did our marriage prep.  He went so far as to suggest that one of us spend the at that time 9 months prior to our wedding living with other people instead of our house.  A lot of our friends had lived together and never had a priest say a lot about it.  We continued as we were and it was not mentioned again.  After that meeting, DH looked at me and said “I’m 30 and not couch surfing for 9 months,” and I replied “I own the house and am not moving out for 9 months.” 

I think the Maid/Matron of Honor and Bridesmaid or Best Man not drinking at all the night before is silly, but I’m sure that the recomendation is coming from experience of the priest.  DH was in a wedding where they had a last minute Bachlor party the night before the wedding and while their weren’t any hang overs, no one was at their best that day.  It didn’t help that all they had to eat that day was the donuts I sent with DH. I’m sure that your priest has seen that behavior more than once and wanted to warn about it.  It’s a bit over board, but I’m sure it is coming from a good palce.

Post # 11
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I’m not a believer and have zero experience with religious traditions but I will drop my 2 cents off anyway. 

A friend of mine was in the wedding party when her younger sister got married. She told me that a couple of the other braids maids drank so much the night before that they could barely stand straight during the ceremony. She ahiwed me the wedding video and you could easily see whom of the girls that was not feeling well. 

Maybe your priest has some bad experience with people having hang overs during ceremonies and just want to have that off the table. 


About the “living apart”-thing was maybe only a suggestion they do because it’s how it “should” be done and the church doesn’t promote living together before marriage and all. 

I would just take everything he said as a suggestions but do exactly how YOU want! No need to discuss it with him further. 

Post # 12
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I was Maid/Matron of Honor at my best friend’s Catholic wedding, and the priest encouraged us to have a few beers after their rehearsal. He actually said, “Go out and have a good time, and I’d recommend two beers tonight. Just enough to relax but not enough to be hungover! See you tomorrow!”

Post # 13
694 posts
Busy bee

Born and raised Catholic in a large Catholic family. Whoever said this is just how the Church does it is not correct. I have NEVER heard of this. If anything, the priest usually wants to partake in the drinking!!! Lol

Post # 14
13904 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Some churches will recommend (or even require) couples to live separately before wedding, in line with church teaching of no pre-martial sex.  The church I belong to requires couple live at separate addresses for 6 months before they will sign off on the marriage.  It depends on how conservative the diocese is.  It sounds like yours is pretty liberal by just asking for separate bedrooms. 

As for the alcohol — I’ve never heard of this and I’ve spent my life in the Catholic Church. 

Post # 15
12 posts
  • Wedding: May 2017

My Fiance and I work for our diocese – as in, our boss is the bishop. I am nearly positive that the no alcohol is a “preference” by your priest and not required canonically. I mean, personally, I wouldn’t recommend anyone get wasted the night before a wedding, but what rehearsal dinner doesn’t have at least a little wine or champagne?

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