Post # 1
Long story short: our original wedding date was this fall, but one of us needs an annulment to get married in the Catholic church. To get it, we would have to postpone the wedding until fall 2013, nearly 1 year. We are trying to decide whether to postpone the wedding.
– always been my dream/wish to get married in my family church
– we have done VERY little planning and it would be a scramble to get everything done in the next 6 months or so
– my family/community supports a Catholic wedding
– more time to prepare generally, and not feel rushed
– have to wait a long time, when we’re ready to be married now
– we’re on the older side so waiting another year seems like a waste of time
– have to wait to have children
Has anyone been in this position before, not only Catholic but where you had to decide whether to postpone a wedding for other reasons? What did you do? For those who are married, would waiting an additional year have been a good idea? Or do you think it makes sense to just go for it and start your lives together? (We already live together fwiw.) Thanks for any input.
Post # 3
Is it possible to just get married now by the JOP and still plan the bigger wedding for next year?
Post # 4
@soon2bnixon: That’s not an option we’ve considered–we want our friends/family/big ceremony to be at our actual wedding.
Post # 5
O ok… sorry I wasnt able to help 🙁
Post # 6
What benefits would you get from a JOP wedding now and a Catholic wedding later? You say you want to be married so that you can have a child… but could you really get pregnant and pop out a kid before next Fall in your Catholic wedding? Technically you’re not supposed to be sleeping together until you’re married in the Catholic church (and thus would be committing a mortal sin and couldn’t take communion for the year between the JOP and the Mass). But if you’re already sleeping together then the cat’s out of the bag a bit, though you might not be comfortable being pregnant at your Catholic wedding?
I honestly am not sure what I’d do if my priest called me today and said I couldn’t get married this August but had to wait til next– I’d be pretty upset! I don’t think I would get married any other way, though? We’re Catholic enough that anything other than a full-Mass isn’t going to cut it.
Post # 7
Just saw that you don’t want the JOP. If you plan on raising your kids Catholic and living in the Catholic community, don’t get married somewhere else. While Fiance and I may not always be the best Catholics, we love our church and we plan to be a part of the faith community for the rest of our lives and especially want our children to have a strong foundation within the church.
If Catholicism isn’t that important to you, and that’s totally your choice, then you could find another non-Catholic church to host your wedding (though you may have to become a member of that church) or you could have an outdoor wedding and have a Catholic marriage years later down the road.
Post # 8
I was raised Catholic. Not practicing now, however. Mainly for reasons such as this – I feel that the Catholic church is too strict when it comes to rules and regulations about what I believe adult human beings should be able to decide for themselves. It’s like an exclusive club, and you have to follow their rules to be able to join. What that has to do with God is beyond me.
That said, you’ll have to weigh your desire to marry – the love of your life, the man of your dreams, your best friend – with having the wedding ceremony at your preferred location of the Catholic church. Due to all your pros and cons only you can decide your own priorities.
Also, how does your Fiance feel about this issue? He’s the main person whose opinion you should be considering, IMO.
P.S. Since you already live together, brace yourself for possible further intrusion from the priest, he make also require separate living arrangements before allowing you to marry, along with waiting for an annulment.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
I always expected to be married in my family church- it’s a beautiful, Gothic building… a bride’s dream to walk down that aisle. However, due to wanting a shorter engagement and limited venue availability, we’re getting married at a museum. We’re having a religious ceremony- straight from the United Methodist Hymnal, with our minister coming from an hour away to officiate. There’s a little part of me that’s a little disappointed that we won’t have the ceremony there (a little girls’ dream that won’t come true), but the ceremony itself is more important than the venue in which it is held.
You can plan a wedding in six months if you’re organized/good with making decisions. Ideally, an all-inclusive venue- a lot less stress for you (ours is not!). We were engaged Jan 13th this year, having a six-month engagement, and we’ll have almost everything decided by mid-month- so you can plan a wedding in 3 months.
One thing to think about- will there be any issues with the priest that you and Fiance live together? I’ve seen this on a number of recent posts, and it’s worth researching- if the priest is going to make you live apart, etc., you might want to take that into consideration.
Post # 10
I would just wait the year because you said it was your dream to get married in the church. It will go by so fast that you won’t even know it. Plus, that will give you time to get everything together that you want to get together. I think that when you look back, you’ll be happier that you got married in the church, since that’s your dream, then having a ceremony that you may or may not regret in the future. Trust me, we’ve been engaged for a year and a half (and are also Catholic, I might add) and it has gone by so fast.
Post # 11
@Sunfire: he make also require separate living arrangements before allowing you to marry
@rebwana: if the priest is going to make you live apart, etc., you might want to take that into consideration.
I’m not sure which priests you’re talking to, but I’ve never heard of this actually happening. And if it does happen, it’s because people aren’t doing their jobs right. Depending on your church, you will most likely get the “you shouldn’t be living together” looks. There will be more questions on your FOCCUS test and more things to discuss, also because an annulment will be involved. But the Church does this to ensure you’re really prepared for marriage. People who ignore some of the Church’s teachings (and choose to live together or remarry) may be apt to ignore other teachings, so the Church likes to make sure everything is clear. (Not that I necessarily agree with this, but just to give some rationale to why they do certain things.)
I’ve known lots of couples who cohabitated before Catholic weddings, they made it work and were honest with their priest about their decisions. SIL and Future Brother-In-Law lived together before their marriage and grandma wasn’t happy, but they stood their ground. Being straightforward and confident in your choices is the way to go. And if the priest doesn’t let you marry for it? Take it up with someone higher. Cohabitating couples get married in the Catholic church all the time.
Post # 12
Thanks all for the input–it’s really helpful. We talked to the priest who is going to do the annulment, and he knows we live together and didn’t say anything about having to live apart to process the annulment, so that at least won’t be an issue hopefully. If we do get married outside the church, once the annulment comes through we will have the marriage consecrated so we can still be involved in the church with our family in the future. It’s definitely tough to weigh the timing vs. having my dream wedding. My fiance is willing to do whatever I want but would prefer to get married sooner since he isn’t Catholic, but ultimately it’s up to me. Which makes it hard because I have to make the decision!
Post # 13
pretty much what kenic135 said.
my fiance is in the military and we’re in a long distance relationship. many military couples choose to have a jop ceremony first and then a big wedding later, and there are a lot of advantages to doing it that way and that’s actually what my fiance wanted to do. yes, it would have been easier and quicker, but i just couldn’t get excited about it. like you, i always dreamed of getting married in the catholic church and i just felt like it wouldn’t feel the same if i was already married when i walked down the aisle. like, i’d be saying “i did” instead of “i do.”
i say wait & take your time. enjoy being engaged and planning the wedding you’ve always wanted. i’ve been engaged for about 9 months and it’s going by so fast! tho sometimes it feels like my wedding day can’t come fast enough, i know it will be worth the wait 🙂
Post # 14
@Kenic315: our wedding isn’t planned til fall 2013 and it feels not rushed cuz because we have time to get everything tigether. I too think time is gonna fly by before you know it!
Post # 15
I was married by a JOP who came to our wedding site and we had a short little ceremony followed by a nice reception. I was also pregnant. We had a very hard time getting some info from my Darling Husband ex wife so that we were able to get married in the church. We didn’t have the info we needed for the Catholic ceremony, hence the JOP wedding. It was very difficult for me. I hated not being able to fully participate in the mass. We also had a very long wait. 3 years later we were finally married in the Catholic church. If I hadn’t been pregnant I would have waited to have the Catholic ceremony. Our situation was also quite difficult and the process doesn’t normally take 3 years. Don’t let that part scare you! Good luck with your decision!
Post # 16
Thanks, all. I think we are just going to go ahead and get married on our original date, then have our marriage blessed in the church later. I’m coming around to the idea that our wedding doesn’t have to be in the church to be beautiful, and since I don’t practice Catholicism anymore, it would purely be for sentimental reasons to wed in the church. I don’t know that nostalgia for a building is worth waiting a year to start my life with my love!