Post # 1
I’ve been raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, and have remained in the church my whole life. I grew up in NY and have moved to FL about 5 years ago. We decided to get married in my hometown in Western NY.
I was so excited. We booked our reception as soon as we could. It unfortunately is 45 minutes north of my former catholic school church. I needed to find a church closer to my venue. My parents still live in our home town but have switched churches. Through all of this, I can not believe how difficult it was to find a church that would “accept” us.
One of the churches said we weren’t part of their parish family so they couldn’t accommodate us. I can understand if there are parishioners wanting to get married but please. We tried at least 3 other churches.We finally found a beautiful cathedral downtown. The priest took us in (because it’s the head of the diocese and I guess low on parishioners..I don’t know). I was so thrilled!! Until I received the “rule” book. No flowers can be thrown by flower girl, flower girl and ring bearer must be of school age, no bubbles, rice or anything thrown, etc. I can go on. The worst was that I have to walk down the aisle to the same music as my bridesmaids. Does anyone else have this issue? Any recommendations?
I just wish the church would try to be more accepting and not make fellow catholics feel like outsiders:-(
Post # 3
ugh i feel for ya there… it took us a minute to find a church that would take us too! i am in the same boat, i grew up catholic and fi did not. we are also limited on our music choices but im hoping i can speak with the guy who handles all that and coax him into some songs that are a bit more… modern? lol (just newer versions of older songs). we cannot have an aisle runner or rice or a unity candle (were doing bubbles and streamers) 🙂 but that is an odd rule about the flower girl and ring bearer… i would just speak with them and ask them if it would be possible to incorporate some of the things you want into the ceremony 🙂
Post # 4
hmm i think those rules depend on the church. i’m getting married in a catholic church and we don’t have the music rule. we have the flower petal rule because it can stain the floor when people walk on the petals. we’re allowed to use an aisle runner but opted not to since it would be one more thing to worry about. the unity candle is actually more of a protestant tradition than a catholic tradition so some churches get touchy about that.
Post # 5
Those aren’t “Catholic rules”, those are the rules of that Church. And I hate to break it to you, but many of those rules now apply in the vast majority of protestant churches, too. Aisle runners and thrown flowers are banned for insurance reasons (someone falls and breaks a hip then sues the church so insurance companies ban them). Rice is banned because it kills birds. Bubbles are sometimes banned because they make walkways slick and people fall. The school age requirement is because people think it’s cute to have a 2 year old walk down the aisle and kids that age aren’t mature enough to do that – they run around and disrupt the service. I’ve never heard of that music requirement and can’t really think of a reason.
Post # 6
My assumption about the music rule is that you are using the church’s organist, and the organist does not want to learn multiple new pieces of music. I have heard of other churches who have rules about different things that you wouldn’t think matter… but the churches have had problems with things like bubbles and petals so they make up the rules…
Post # 7
The music rule may be because it’s a processional just like at the opening of any mass. So all of the ministers of the sacrament would walk in together as a sign of unity. But I’ve never heard of that as a “rule.”
Post # 8
- Wedding: December 2010 - Savannah, GA
You received the rule book, but have you talked to the Priest about these things. If you go to him and talk to him about some of these thing, you may get him to compromise on some of them. Probably the music would be the thing you’d have the best chance of getting him to budge on, because it’s pretty standard for the music to change to announce that the bride is entering. Approach him with respect, which I know you would do anyway, and explain to him why something is important to you. Just don’t go in there expecting him to give in on anything, because he might be old school who doesn’t bend the rules.
Post # 9
The priest told me he runs his wedding masses like a sergeant in the army…
Hopefully I can fix the music through the organist. Oh well, at least I have a church selected. At the end of the day, these little things won’t matter. It just seems that some of these rules are almost like a control issue. I can see why many of my catholic friends opted out because of all of the stress that happens when trying to get married in the church. It is important to me so I can make the sacrifice.
Thanks all for your insights!
Post # 10
“Rice is banned because it kills birds.”
Rice doesn’t kill birds.
Rice is most likely banned because, like glitter, it’s hard to clean up.
I completely understand why you’re frustrated. It seems like Catholic churches have the most rules of any faith/venue/what-have-you. It’s almost a punishment to have a Catholic mass. “Thou shalt not have fun on your wedding day!” But I like the way KLP managed to work within the rules to have a fun nuptial mass. Just keep an open mind and find a way to make the rules work for you. Good luck!
Post # 11
@MightySapphire: I think CoffeeHound is right on this one – the rice thrown is raw and the birds eat it and it expands in their stomachs a LOT and can kill them. I agree though, it is a pain in the butt to clean up!
We are getting married in a catholic church and I need to check on these rules!! We are getting married in a school church (ie not open to the public) so hopefully some of these rules wont really apply?
Just have to become catholic now 🙂
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
@Miss Sydney: That’s an urban legend. Uncooked rice doesn’t kill birds or make them sick or anything else like that. It’s difficult to clean and easy to slip on; that’s probably why it’s not allowed.
Post # 13
@spaniel: If you’re looking at Snopes to disprove that argument, they quote someone from the “USA Rice Federation” as a counterargument, which is just lazy (and inaccurate).
But it doesn’t really matter. I haven’t come across any venue around here (Catholic, protestant, or even banquet halls) that allow rice. Most of the venues around here don’t allow “bubbles” anymore. None of the venues with hard-flooring (marble or wood) allow temporary runners or flowers to be thrown. I think it’s more a sign of the times than a “Catholic thing”.
Post # 14
thats what you get when marrying catholic 🙂 i try not to look at them as rules but more of a reminder that this wedding is not just about me..its about Fiance, Myself and God. Some of them are unreasonable sure, like no flash photography, but i understand why they do it…it interferes with the ceremony…in the end its not really a big deal. you get to throw your party and show your personality at the reception.
Post # 15
I went through a lot of those same issues. Couldnt throw anything inside or outside the church, couldnt have more then 4 flower arrangements, and SO many countless other headaches I can not even tell you. I do not know why the Church makes is so difficult for young couples to get married, its very disheartening and I have a very sour taste in my mouth about it since my weddings. As far as throwing something for you and your new husband after the ceremony, you could think of having ribbon wands. I wish I had thought of that but I found this picture like a week after my wedding and was like DOH that would have been a perfect compramise because you arent throwing anything they need to clean up but it still looks cool:
Post # 16
I’m sorry you feel like the Church is making you feel like an “outsider.” I have to agree with the previous posters though–the “rules” you refer to aren’t necessarily mandates of the Catholic Church. Rather, they are guidelines set forth by the indvidual church parishes to ensure the sanctity of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is upheld. If there were no guidelines/rules/restrictions/what have you, anyone could do anything they wanted, and it could potentially take the focus away from what’s truly important.
As our priest explained to us, the Unity Candle is not written into the Rite of Marriage, but is an optional item that is allowed by some (but not all) parishes. He stressed that there is no greater unity than the bond we share through the Eucharist, so he didn’t recommend doing a Unity Candle–but he would NEVER advise a couple against it if they wanted to use it.
Use your reception as a time to express yourselves and make it about “your day” and keep the Nuptial Mass about the Mass.