Military Brides

Getting married on base...

Hi everyone!  This is my first post.  My fiancée is in the army, we live in Virginia.  We are having a ceremony and the reception at a beautiful historical mansion in NY, where we are both originally from.  We are doing the ceremony before the reception at the venue.  I don't want to get married inside a church, the venue is gorgeous and I love the idea of everything being in one place.  
We plan on marrying before the "Wedding" but I would like it to be recognized by the church without having to have the ceremony at a church.   We were thinking maybe getting married on base at the chapel, but not sure if that would be recognized by the Catholic Church?  Anyone know?  Did that make sense?  

Re: Getting married on base...

  • calindicalindi
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    First off, I'm curious why you are planning to get married before your "wedding" in New York?

    You'd have to check with the specific church and priest who would be doing your religious ceremony about the logistics of having BOTH a religious ceremony and a legal ceremony. This would be more of a question for Catholic Brides than over here.  The girls here could offer advice on the logistics of getting married on base, and a few might be Catholic, but truly the only way to know for sure is to talk to your specific priest.

    If I may offer one request - please, please, please be honest and upfront with family and friends if you choose to get married before your ceremony/reception in New York.  There's no good reason to keep it a secret, and tons of reasons to be upfront and honest with the people you care about.  Good luck!



  • Beachy730Beachy730
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    A marriage is not recognized by the Catholic church unless it is performed in a Catholic church.  There is some debate and confusion on if you can get a deacon or someone to perform it outside of a church but you would actually have to make some calls and find out if there is one in your area even willing to do that.  But I've never heard of anyone's wedding being recognized by the church without being held in the church.
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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    You have to get special dispensation from the bishop.

    5. Why does a Catholic wedding have to take place in a church?

    For Catholics, marriage is not just a social or family event, but a church event. For this reason, the Church prefers that marriages between Catholics, or between Catholics and other Christians, be celebrated in the parish church of one of the spouses. Only the local bishop can permit a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place.

    From what I know, most bishops will not permit it. If I were going to get married and then have a Vow Renewal, as you are (which I won't because I am perhaps the most anti double wedding for military person you will ever 'meet'), I would get married by a Catholic Chaplain on base, in the chapel. This means, of course, that your ceremony in NY will be completely a renewal, as neither the legal nor church authorities need to recognize it 2x. Thus, no one would even need a license to preside over your renewal.
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  • edited December 2011
    Since you are completely new, I'll give you the heads up that a lot of people on this board do not agree with the wedding before the wedding concept.  It's just an FYI so that a big arguement isn't started. 
    My FI and I are Catholic and we are having our ceremony at a site outside the church because we wanted it next to the ocean.  Unfortunately, we couldn't convince the church to let the priest marry us there.  It is actually at an Episcopal church, which has an outdoor seaside chapel, and the Reverend invited our Priest to attend and to help officiate but they still turned us down.  It is really important to both of our families for our marriage to be blessed by the church so we are working on having that taken care of that same weekend (wedding is a Friday) so out of town family can attend if they would like. 
    I am exploring are having it blessed/vows renewed at our church between the scheduled masses on the Sunday after our wedding.  I am still waiting to hear about that, but in the meantime I did some research and found the Archdiocese for the Military Services.  I haven't had a chance to call the number I was referred to, but they blessed my parent's marriage and baptized my sister.  If you want to check out this route, you can go to for more information.
    Hope this is helpful and good luck! 
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  • edited December 2011
  • edited December 2011

    the answer is yes...i'm a army brat and my FH is in the army we are getting married on post also..the catholic church will recognize your marriage. The chruch has  priest who are also active duty miltary members. i would go to your bases RSOC (religious center) they will go into detail with what you have to do. I do know that here at FT.SILL your required to take a course and speak with the father, its up to him to decided if you can be married on post. But from experence the priest on post are very understanding...just explain to them your situation,and dont worry. Wink

  • edited December 2011
    Thank you Michelle!  I will check that out!  Thank you to everyone!  You all have been very helpful!  
  • edited December 2011
    Well, me and my fiance met while we were both serving in the Army.  He is near retirement now and are planning our wedding.  I am Catholic too.  The churches on base service Catholic and Protestant faiths and some do Lutheran as well.. so you can get that done.  Also, you can get your marriage recognized by the Catholic church after the wedding.  Talk to your priest/parish to find out the process so you'll know before hand ok.

    Take care and good luck to ya!

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