Post # 1
A while back I wrote about how I was denied to be a parishner at this one church. Well good news is we visited many more churches and now can narrow it down to 3. How do we chose?
Church 1) Pros: Very nice inside, I love the Priest. He was Irish and I am Irish so I appreciate his sense of humor, and his sermon was by far the best..
Cons: The Priest I love is only a “weekend helper”, so I have no idea how the other priests at this parish are. And the church is short (not too long of an aisle for me to walk down)
Church 2)Pros: Beutiful! The biggest of all three, and the most beautiful. It also has a cute courtyard, and had donut hour after church. I love donuts. 🙂
Cons: This church has a huge congegration as it is attached to a huge catholic school. I’m not sure they would have our date. Also the priest was a little dry, and the Deacon was very very very very very dry and cold.
Church 3) Pros: Nice looking, has a long aisle, closest to where my fiance lives, some of his family are parishoners there (but they don’t actually go to church). The priest was nice, and gave a nice sermon.
Cons: The priest was also Polish, and had a thick Polish accent. But he is not the only priest there. Its kind of a plain church, kind of a smaller parish, not as many younger people
Which would you chose?
Post # 3
I like the idea of having your wedding at the church you will go to, or at least the church you will go to most of the three. It is a nice reminder of your wedding when you go to church every week (or however often you go), and that makes it really special.
Also, I’m not sure about the three churches you are choosing from, but for my church you are required to be a member before even being able to book a date. Fortunately I was able to become a member right away because I lived so close, but for those outside of a certain radius, the wait was six months before even being allowed to be a member! I hope this isn’t the case for you, but just thought I would mention it.
Post # 4
It is possible to have a wedding in one parish and bring in a visiting priest from another parish to officiate. (You have to get permission from the host parish to do so, but it’s generally not a problem, and sometimes even appreciated because it lightens the workload of the priest who would otherwise have to officiate.) If you really connect with the Irish priest from the first parish, you could approach him to see if he would be available and willing to officiate your wedding wherever you end up having it.
As far as choosing which church, LAZB is right: you should try to have your wedding within the community where you regularly attend Mass. Planning a Catholic church wedding is a little different in nature from “venue shopping” for other kinds of weddings. The church is meant to be more than a pretty backdrop for the photos. That’s the reason why parishes have rules and restrictions about non-members having wedding there, and waiting periods for establishing membership. They want to discourage people from swooping in, having a wedding in “the pretty church,” but never otherwise joining the community or supporting the parish. So if you like the church with the donuts, or whichever one, and can see yourself attending there regularly, that’s your best bet.
Also, little known fact: wherever you live, that automatically establishes you as a member of the parish in charge of that territory (parishes are geographic divisions of a diocese), so you actually already have your foot in the door as a member of whatever parish that happens to be. Whether or not you like the church’s architecture, its priest, its donuts, etc., is a separate matter …
Post # 5
I voted to go with the pretty church and great priest. I was bummed that the church where we are members was already booked as well as another church that is soo beautiful because I planned my wedding in 5 months.
I really lucked out in finding a really pretty church that even had my date available and the priest was so down to earth and friendly (He was Irish too). He gave a great sermon at our ceremony that everyone complimented and said they really paid attention and didn’t doze off… ha ha He even brought my Darling Husband to tears.
Post # 6
First one! A good priest/pastor is always a good thing, even if he is just a weekend helper. I’m sure you can request that he officiate for you.
Post # 7
I don’t care how gorgeous # 2 is and how much you love donuts… if the priest/deacon personalities are “dry” and “cold” it’s not worth it…
Church # 3 – Priest has thick polish accent…. if this is an issue with how you regard how he is going to sound, and if everyone will be able to understand him… then, no.
Church # 1 You like him, he is irish, like you, and has the same sense of humour that you do, and his sermons pleased you very much… WINNER!
Post # 8
It really would just depend on their policies. We actually parish-hopped for our wedding–the parish that we regularly attended was undergoing major administrative changes at the time of our engagement, and since I teach for the parish school, I had serious reason to worry about wedding crashers. Other churches in the area had different policies. One said that we had to be parishioners for a year before setting a wedding date. We finally found an AMAZING church that was fine with us not being parishioners once I explained the situation. We had a great marriage prep experience there, a beautiful wedding, and we still go out there once a month or so for Mass, even though it’s a 45 minute drive.
Sorry to ramble–the nutshell is, ask lots of questions!
Post # 9
Are you friends with the awesome priest on number one? If you’re close to him, you can ask him to officiate your wedding mass at another church (the one closest to your fiance and his family). I think a priest that makes you feel comfortable is key. A dry priest would make you feel out of touch with the spiritual part of the Sacrament of marriage.
Post # 10
Thanks ladies for your advice! No, I don’t know the priest personally at Church #1 yet, although I may start making myself known to him, and start attending mass regularly. I should also mention that I am not Roman Catholic, but will be attending RCIA classes. So my fiance (who is Roman Catholic) will have to make all the arrangements, which is good for him too to take on an important role in wedding planning. 🙂
Post # 11
That’s awesome – congratulations!
Another good thing to know: whichever parish you end up going through RCIA at, it might be smart to look at having the wedding there. The RCIA coordinator will know you personally and will know you are serious and not just there for the day of the wedding, never to be seen again afterward. It can help enormously to streamline things when you have one of the parish staff in your corner advocating for you. So yeah, definitely get to know the priest you like on a personal basis, and try to befriend your RCIA director as well and that should help a lot.