(Closed) Wanting to Get Married in a Catholic Church Out of State–Help!

posted 5 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
Member
7898 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I think the most important thing for the Catholic church is that one of you is baptized and Catholic. If your Fiance is unbaptized, you’re going to have to apply for dispensation from disparity of cult. If Fiance is unbaptized, your marriage won’t be a sacrament to the church too. It might also be difficult if you are not a member of the church where you want to marry.

It was all too complicated and a little unnecessary for us, so a Protestant pastor is marrying us. Fiance is Catholic, and I’m non religious. I think others have had ok experiences though. 

Post # 3
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Look at this link: http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/do-i-need-to-be-confirmed-to-be-married-in-the-church

 

That aside–I am a non-catholic (but christian) marrying a catholic in an out of state church.   It is a lot of work!  It is also a much bigger deal to marry someone who is not a baptized christian in the catholic church.  You will definitely need to talk to a priest and have to get special permission.  That is definitely your bigger issue at the moment.

Post # 4
Member
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - country club in Michigan

I’d recommend that you find the church your family (parents ideally) belong to, and approach them with these questions. Our church would not marry us if the Catholic party wasn’t confirmed (in this case, both of us), and they wouldnt marry ANYONE who hadn’t been a member of the church for at least 12 months unless a member of their immediate family was a parishoner. Luckily both Fiance and I are confirmed, and my parents were parishoners, so we were ok. But I know they said you have to be confirmed unless it’s physically impossible to do so. So prepare to take a confirmation class. 

 

You’d do the engagement/pre-counseling sessions at a parish where you live. For example. we’re getting married in Michigan, but are doing all of our pre-maritial work in DC. This involves meeting with a priest, and taking pre-cana classes. They’ll also encourage you to join the local parish, so consider it. We did, and it’s been great. And you can approach and visit numerous local churches until you find a good fit. It took us 4-5 until we found the right one.

 

Keep in mind that the Catholic church can be strict about cohabitating, so if that’s an issue you may not be eligible for marriage. We cohabitate and had to sign a form promising not to engage in any x-rated activities, but were told we can share a bedroom still. When we tried to take pre-cana classes though a number of local churches said they would not let us take the classes at ALL, even though the church marrying us is ok with performing the wedding. It was a bit of a nightmare. 

Post # 8
Member
620 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If you want to get married in the Catholic Church, it is definitely possible to hold the ceremony in a church out of state. Basically, you do all your pre-marriage counseling (pre-cana) local to you, and simultaneously you reach out to a Catholic church you would like to get married in.  Once you find a church, then all your paperwork gets handled and passed over to the new diocese. My Darling Husband and I just went to our local Catholic Church where we sometimes attended Mass (we were never registered there since we were new to the area).

Some churches have all sorts of rules (such as those posted by PP), but other churches are very accomodating. My Darling Husband and I planned to get married in a historic mission on the central CA coast, and had started that process (they double booked our date unfortunately so it didn’t work out). It definitely HELPS if you or a family member are parishioners, but that’s at the church’s descretion.

Definitely worth calling around to other churches in the area you would like to get married in!  Keep in mind there is a 6 month minimum pre-cana, so factor that into your timeline since churches usually get booked at least 9 month in advance.

Post # 9
Member
1210 posts
Bumble bee

nicagrace28:  Getting married in the Catholic Church IS a Sacrament, so there is no way to just have a ceremony unless you did it outside of the church. You definitely don’t have to be confirmed, but you would have to get permission (as someone stated earlier) since your fiance is not baptized. Its just a lot of paperwork. 

I would reach out to the church that you want to get married in and see what they have to say. You can usually call the office and the staff can fill you in on the requirements. Some are strict and some aren’t, so maybe have a few options in mind.

 

Post # 10
Member
4037 posts
Honey bee

nicagrace28:  Episcopalian may not be easier. I had contacted an Episcopal priest, who’s now retired, but still performs wedding ceremonies. I grew up down the street from him. I asked him to officiate for my daughter’s wedding (she’s Protestant and he’s Catholic), because I thought it would be a good “meeting in the middle.”. He wouldn’t do it. He said that either the bride or groom had to be Episcopal. We ended up finding a lovely non-denominational minister, to perform the ceremony in a smaller hotel ballroom, above the ballroom where the reception was held. The hotel did have an agreement with the Presbyterian church across the street, for their wedding clients to get married there, but the fee was almost $3,000.

I remember negotiating for my friend to get married in my Protestant church. She was a then non-practising Catholic, and her H2B a divorced Protestant. She wasn’t interested in her home parish, but loved my church after having been in my bridal party. The minister agreed to talk to them, only because my family had been parishioners since the early 1900s. He agreed to officiate, since the groom was actually baptised/confirmed, in that denomination. Other than that, they had a fairly strict member/former member or close relative of member rule.

Post # 11
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee

I’m a Catholic getting married this year in the church to a non-religious man!

It’s definitely possible, especially if you go to your family/home church/where you were baptised.  I think they’d be very receptive to you and your fiance.  They literally NEVER asked me if I am confirmed (and I am).  They didn’t care about that.  They also didn’t care about my fiance not being Catholic – they did ask if he’d been married before. 

Contact them by email and phone, ask for the marriage coordinator.  The only thing I think may get in your way is the engagement classes or weekend (my church wanted us to do either 4 weeks of classes 1x/week or a weekend away) – but you could do those at a local parish if they allow you to.

Hope it goes well for you!!  I’m so excited to get married in the beautiful church.

Post # 12
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee

*Also, you don’t have to go to your family’s home church.  I am not getting married in mine – but it would just be easier.  We were asked a few times why we wanted to get married in the church we are – be ready to answer that.

Post # 14
Member
16 posts
Newbee

SaraJeanQ:  Not sure how far you are into your wedding planning, but when we first booked the church we ust had to say that one of us was Catholic, but once we got further into planning we had to actally give our priest the documents saying we were baptized, confirmed, etc.  For OP they will definitely want all that sent from her home parish.  Not sure what difference being confirmed makes/wouldn’t make in terms of being allowed to get married there.

Post # 14
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee

nicagrace28:  Keep the thread updated for others who may be searching for Catholic wedding help! Best of luck.  And yes, going to your aunt and uncle’s church is definitely another “in”.  I’m getting married at my Uncle’s church – the priest knows him.  Just be prepared with a good answer when the marriage coordinator asks why you don’t want to get married in your parent’s church.  

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