Getting Married in a Church

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BellaGinaG Posts : 1 Registered: 5/24/10
Getting Married in a Church
Posted: May 26, 2010 1:34 PM

So we've been engaged almost a week, he proposed last Saturday! Naturally we've been discussing details of the wedding. Both of us are from Catholic families but I definitely participated more in the church when I was younger than he did. I've been Baptized, First Communion, and have been Confirmed. He has only been Baptized. I went to Catholic school for 9 years (Kindergarten to 8th grade) and went to church every week during that time with my mom. Now I don't go to church unless it's Christmas or a funeral but I still have the same beliefs as a Catholic/Christian but just don't see why you have to go to church every week in order to be considered Catholic. My fiance has never attended church on a regular basis and we currently don't. Problem #2 is that we have been living together for the past year and a half (and obviously are not abstinent). Ultimately we were dating 4 years prior to moving in with each other, it was only inevitable that we were going to get married once we were financially ready to do so. I'm feeling like we are going to be seriously judged by the priests and churches that we talk to about marrying us. We don't actually belong to a parish but we want the traditional wedding in a church, preferrably an old rustic church that has been around for a long time. I want to get married in a church without having to lie in order to do it! Unfortunately if we want an older church we're probably going to get a more traditionalist pastor with more traditionalistic views on marriage so we are probably going to have to look at other more modern churches. Has anyone else run into this problem? We live in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Any input would be appreciated :)
~Gina

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MikaylaK Posts : 53 Registered: 5/23/10
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: May 26, 2010 2:11 PM Go to message in response to: BellaGinaG

Hey :)

I'm a Catholic, too, so I understand your concerns. I would recommend finding the church you want with a young priest (those are generally more open-minded) and then you wouldn't have to lie or anything. Then there are also the wedding talks that you would have to attend with your fiance.

Another option would be for him to get confirmed before the wedding, if he so wishes. If not, it's not a problem.

As for living with him already (and not being abstinent), I don't see why at least the abstinence could come up. They should assume that there are people who live together for all sorts of reasons. A friend of mine moved in with her boyfriend because her lease was up and they were raising the price of rent. They are both Catholics, and had no problem getting married in the Church.

As I said, find a young priest and talk about your options. If you wish to be married in the Church, there's no reason that they should deny you. You are not divorced, for instance.

Good luck!

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Colelle Posts : 48 Registered: 6/21/09
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: May 26, 2010 4:07 PM Go to message in response to: BellaGinaG

So half my family is Catholic, so I know a little bit about the whole wedding thing in Catholic churches.

First, most likely you can't just pick a church and have a wedding there. Many require that you have been members of the parish for at least a year. On top of that I guarantee you'll be required to do pre-marital counseling through them (which hopefully would be good and worthwhile and not shabby). I had one friend that was living with her fiance' with their toddler, and the priest refused to marry them unless the fiance` moved out until the wedding, despite the effects that would have on their child. So depending on what church you go to, they may be absolutely inflexible in the whole co-habitating thing. Others may have you vow to sleep in separate rooms until the wedding, etc.

You should definitely do some more research though--catholic.com is a great resource, you may be better to ask this on their forum since they know much more than I do about Catholic weddings.

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agd1017 Posts : 464 Registered: 9/14/09
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: May 26, 2010 7:06 PM Go to message in response to: BellaGinaG

Does your family (or his) currently attend a Catholic church? If so, you may be able to get married in that church, depending on it's rules. My grandparents are Catholic, I grew up in this church myself. Their (the church) rules are that if your parents or grandparents are members of the church, you can be married there. However, there are other rules, such as abstinence and not living together. So, in that respect, you may not be eligible to get married in the Catholic church.

All you can do is ask. The person who suggested talking with a younger priest is a good one. They are usually more open to the ways of the current time. Good luck.

Amanda and Eric
10/10/10

Amanda and Eric

 

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Vinylmation Posts : 2 Registered: 6/7/10
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: Jun 7, 2010 3:23 AM Go to message in response to: BellaGinaG

I'm getting married in a historical Church next year and from what I understood, its okay if you aren't a practicing parish member. You just pay the higher cost for not being a member. However, most Churches will ask that both of you have been through all the sacraments first before they will marry you. Find out what the rules are at the Church you want as each one may be slightly different.

My cousin's husband had to get Confirmed before they were allowed to get married and the lady in charge of ceremonies asked me if both my DF and I had all the sacraments taken care of. They may also ask you to find your own Pastor but if you don't know of any personally, then they will assign one to you. If you have any preferences over languages, make sure thats known as well. Don't worry too much about your living situation. The way the Church is being run lately, they of all people have no right to judge anyone. Congratulations!

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: Jun 7, 2010 3:43 PM Go to message in response to: BellaGinaG

I am Catholic and had a Catholic wedding, and it's not something that I'd recommend for someone who is not committed to his/her faith. I'm going to give it to you straight and I'm sorry if what I say upsets you, but I think it's best for you to go into this informed.

First off, most Catholic churches do not allow non-member weddings. You can't just pick a church and have your wedding there. Generally, you can get married at a church if yourself or your parents (sometimes grandparents) are members there. If your parents are church members and you want to get married at their church, you shouldn't have a problem. If you do not want to get married at their church, you may run into problems. If you're open to joining a church yourselves, great. Call your local parrish and ask if you can join. I'll tell you this, though: membership is usually based on geographic location, with parishoners assigned to a certain church. This is kind of stupid, IMO, because not every church is the right fit for every person, but that's the way they do it. They will sometimes make exceptions, but not for new members and not because you like the look of another church better for your wedding. My mom was technically a member of a church in her town for years, but she started attending a church in another town because she found the priest there more inspiring. She attended this church for YEARS and eventually applied for a waiver to change her official membership from the church in her town to the other one, and the priest of the new church had to write a letter vouching for her, which he was happy to do since she was involved in the church and had attended there for years. So as far as the church goes, you will probably find that you're limited to either your own local church or your parents. I've talked to a few people on here who have had different experiences, but that has been my experience with Catholic churches everywhere that I've lived. In fact, we had a hard time finding a church for our wedding, as I had been living in northern VA but attending a church in DC and I was inelligible to join that church - but fortunately it worked out well and we have a new church that we like even better.

More importantly, if you don't agree with many of the teachings of Catholicism, you're going to have a hard time drinking the Kool-Aid necessary to have a Catholic wedding. For example, did you know that in order to have a Catholic wedding, you are required to make a promise before God that you will raise your children according to the teachings of the Catholic faith? This does not mean that you raise your kids according to your own interpretation of Catholicism, but according to the teachings. If you are Ok with making a promise to God and later breaking it, fine - but that's something I would take seriously, and I thought long and hard about it before committing to it, as I also prefer my own interpretation to the actual teachings. You'll also have to pledge to go to church regularly yourself. Personally, I thought that this stuff was pretty harsh, but I understand why they require it. People who were raised Catholic but do not practice or follow the teachings are NOT really Catholic and shouldn't pretend. I understand that the Catholic guilt is making you feel like you should have a Catholic wedding, but if you don't intend to get back into it, you shouldn't do it.

As far as the living together goes, some priests might refuse to marry you if you live together, but others will point out that cohabitating is not a sin. Premarital sex, however, is a sin and they will ask you to stop until your wedding. If you're not willing to do that or you're not willing to lie to a priest, then you should plan to get married elsewhere. Again, some people on here have reported finding liberal priests who don't care about that, but it hasn't been my experience. We were told to stop having sex until after the wedding and to attend Mass more regularly. Of course, you are on the honor system about whether you actually do it, but a priest is the last person on earth that I'd lie to. If you're not committed to changing your ways, then I suggest you get married in a secular ceremony, because despite your upbringing, the Catholic church really isn't the right place for you as adults. Your families will just have to deal with that.


DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: Jun 7, 2010 3:51 PM Go to message in response to: MikaylaK

I would recommend finding the church you want with a young priest (those are generally more open-minded) and then you wouldn't have to lie or anything.

HA! Sorry, but I had to laugh at this because our experience was totally the opposite. I have attended church at least semi-regularly my entire life and have met many priests. The church I attend now has several priests and priests-in-training. When we did our wedding counseling through them, we were assigned to one of the young priests. He was actually ordained just a few weeks before our wedding. Though the guy was the same age as me, we found him to be surprisingly conservative and truly hardcore about a lot of things. When I commented on that to one of the older priests in the church, he chuckled and said that the younger priests are usually much more strict, as they are fresh from the seminary, have recently learned all the rules, and don't have the experience yet to know when to bend them. He also mentioned that the teaching in seminaries is much stricter now than it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago, and that the new priests are getting more and more conservative. So based on that, you'd be better off with a priest who has been around long enough that he got the more laid-back training and has relaxed even more over the years!

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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mrscreamer2be Posts : 153 Registered: 6/14/09
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: Jun 8, 2010 1:06 AM Go to message in response to: BellaGinaG

I got married in the Catholic Church in historical old town San Diego. Even though I had been attending the church for years (though not regularly) I had to become a member for a year and attend church regularly. I would not recommend getting married in a Catholic Church unless you are willing to do what the church says.

I agree with ArtBride. Getting married in a Catholic Church requires a lot of work and it's not for people that aren't particularly religious(I'm not sure if you are or aren't). I wasn't a regular church-goer before I got engaged. I began attending church every week and learned a lot about myself and the church.

My husband is not Catholic and I am not confirmed, but my church was okay with this. We attended pre-marital counseling. We had a great experience with this. We went to an all day seminar on a Saturday and attended counseling for 6 weeks, once a week for 2.5 hours, with 3 other couples.

We did live together before we got married. The church told us they weren't there to judge us, but would like for us to abstain until we got married. Which we did.

Even though my husband is not Catholic, we vowed to raise our children Catholic.

I do attend church regularly now and will be joining the adult classes in September to become confirmed.

Edited by: mrscreamer2be on Jun 8, 2010 1:09 AM

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mrscreamer2be Posts : 153 Registered: 6/14/09
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: Jun 8, 2010 1:09 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I think you're right! I was nervous to talk to the priests in the very beginning because of the whole living together thing. My mom belongs to another historical church in S. Cali. So she asked one of the "young" priests there. He scolded her and said that I should ask him myself!

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ElleNChuck Posts : 50 Registered: 6/10/10
Re: Getting Married in a Church
Posted: Jun 10, 2010 11:57 AM Go to message in response to: BellaGinaG

As a "recovering Catholic" I can tell you that most churches aren't going to marry you with out being a member, going through pre-cana classes, and various other requirements. Every church does things a little differently. I do have to ask though, if you're not particularly religious why do you want a church wedding? Do you want it just for the back drop? If so, there may be other places more suitable. A lot of religious people tend to view brides picking a church because it's pretty as an insult to their faith.

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