Post # 1
So i think we finally found a reception site that we like (a miracle!) and it’s about 30 minutes away from my home town and parish. My parish is very large and newly renovated but it’s set up in kind of a strange winding fashion with green carpet. Since I’m having the reception in the city instead of my hometown, I thought it would make sense to have the ceremony in a church close by, for ease of out-of-towners and etc, so I did some research and found two beautiful cathedrals only about 5 minutes away (in different directions) from the reception site. They’re gorgeous but I’ve never attended mass at either and at one of them and I know that you have to be a registered member of one of the parishes in order to be married there – not sure about the other.
I know people do it all the time, but it’s kind of strange to me. I didn’t go to church when i went to college, but when i graduated and came back home, i started attending again at my home parish so it’s the only church i’ve attended with any regularity and thus i like the nuances of it. this is the church where i first took communion and at which i was confirmed and i enjoy my priests (but i am not close with them since we have new priests from when i was more active in high school) and everything but because it’s SO big and meant for such a large congregation, i never pictured myself actually getting married there (we’ll have about 75 people and my parish can easily seat like… 750!). When i stood at the end of Cathedral #1 today however, i felt it – i felt that i could get married there. that would mean switching parishes though, and it just kind of feels… disingenuous? Switching parishes just for a wedding? I obviously chose these as alternatives for aesthetic reasons, but my reason for switching is more than that – it’s about having a more intimate space that’s close to the reception. If I were having the reception in my hometown, I would have the wedding in my home parish – no questions asked.
How have you bees broached this issue of getting married in a different parish? I will go to mass there tomorrow so that i can get a better feel for it (it’s actually the archbishop’s parish), which will definitely help me figure out if it is the right fit for us. But, in general, is this something that anyone out there has felt weird about or am i spazzing about switching for nothing? We’ll be getting the sacrament, which is really the important part to me! My fiancé is currently Baptist but will be converting, and he lives in a different state so he has no opinion on it other than he wants to get married where i want to get married. I will be moving out of state to be with him sometime after the wedding, so I’ll eventually be switching to a new parish anyway, this would kind of be like… an interim switch. lol. i’m a weirdo, aren’t i?
pics for your time!
My home parish:
I’m sure you can’t tell, but both of the cathedrals are a LOT smaller than my parish, they can hold about 150-200 versus my +750 person one 😛
Post # 3
We actually were attending a church after college but, once we got engaged, we decided to look around at the different parishes. We ended up joining a different church because I totally felt that “feeling”! I can picture myself walking down that aisle.
However, before we became parishoners, we went to Mass there. At ours, you have to be a parishoner for at least 6 months before the wedding though. I’d just suggest you go there for Mass for as long as possible before making a decision. We really love this church now and are SO happy there! Sometimes, I think things lead you to places for a reason. 🙂
Post # 4
Different parishes have different rules, some of them will not care at all if you are from a different parish (as long as you can prove you are registered SOMEwhere) others want you to be a parishoner for at least 6 months at their specific church if you want to use it!
I go to my bishop’s parish church as well and they get a lot of requests from non-parishoners to use the church for weddings. They do encourage the people to try to stick to their home parish but if they have a good reason they discuss it with the parish staff and they’re in. Sometimes they do say no though.
It helps if you can tell them you have some good spiritually-based reasoning for using the Cathedral besides convenience for guests or beauty of the building. Since it is the archbishop’s cathedral, and therefore the spiritual “mother church” for everyone in the diocese, getting married there could symbolize your connection with the whole people of God? I know that is why I go to my Cathedral – because it is the “Mother Church” of the diocese and makes me feel a connection with all the other local Catholics/churches, not just the people in my individual parish.
Post # 5
thanks for the comments, thought i’d give an update!
i went to mass at the catherdral on sunday and it was very nice. it was beautiful inside and there was actually a thunderstorm happening so it was pretty dark. the choir was on a balcony and they majestically played the organ and used an incensor – the whole nine yards! a woman was baptised as well, which was very moving. the priest was humerous and delivered a very nice homily as well. we definitely couldn’t follow with the songs though (kyrie, agnus dei, etc). I know my mom isn’t sold on having it there, and i can understand. she wouldn’t say anything, but i can tell! so i went to my home parish yesterday after work and talked to the ladies in the office. we’d never met but they were extremely nice and checked the calendar for the date i was looking for (the whole month is open – yes!) and after making sure my registration was up to date, they suggested we make an appointment to talk to the priest. i left the office and walked down to the empty sanctuary and walked the path that i would likely take down the aisle. and you know what? it was nice. being there alone and not surrounded by hundreds of parishoners, i could finally picture it.
So! i think i’ll keep it at home. my parents live just down the street, which will make it convenient for prep, and i will have received 4 sacraments at the same church i’ve attended for 2 decades :]