Customs and Traditions

catholic wedding

I'm catholic and therefore my parents (who are paying for the wedding) want me to get married with a full mass catholic ceremony.  I have not attended church regularly in about 5 years.  I am nervous to call my parish preist about our engagement and our wedding.  To make matters worse, we are living in CA and planning to have a wedding in PA.  Any ideas on how to deal with my preist/ my nerves?  My fiance keeps pressuring me to call him, but he is not catholic and I don't think he can understand how I feel.

Re: catholic wedding

  • There is a whole Catholic wedding board to help. I would call your priest ASAP cause there is a whole proccess of premarital stuff you have to do & it will prolly be longer since your FI isn't Catholic. As far as your nerves, just know that the Church will still perform a wedding even if you're not very practicing. The biggest thing: CALL YOUR FIANCE Don't assume he won't understand. Pressure from family & others is universal. Open up to him & let him connect with you. You might as well speak some on the subject of religion now, too, since it will come up when(if) you guys have kids.
  • You should not have a wedding in the church just to please your parents.  It would be meaningless to you and your FI, and an insult to people that actually do practice. 
  • While normally I would agree that whomever is paying gets to make the decisions, in this case, you shouldn't get married in a Catholic Church.  It sounds like you really don't want to and this is a decision that you and your FI should be making.  Your mother does not get to make this particular decision.
  • Oh, and even if you do decide to have it in a church, you have the option of doing the ceremony without Mass. Since FI isn't Catholic & you're not practicing, it might be a possible comromise??
  • Don't be discouraged by what some people say.  Priests are approached very often by catholics who haven't been practicing for awhile.  Most of them are fairly understanding, but however, they do encourage you to start practicing again.  It would be a good oppertunity to really look at why you stopped practicing (was it over disagreements about Catholic teaching?  or simply didn't get around to going to mass every sunday?).  In my experienced, most priests are really overjoyed when someone actually has the guts to ask questions and to be honest with them and themselves.  For a couple with a mixed marriage (catholic and not-catholic) the priest may encourage the rite of marriage w/out the mass for pastoral reasons:  Communion is a sign of unity if the groom and half the congragation did not recieve communion.  Contact your priest at least 6 months ahead of time.  Yes you will need to do some marriage prep, but you can probably do this in California.  The prep may include an engaged Encounter weekend retreat, meeting with a married couple.  My fiance and I took the FOCCUS test, (takes about 1/2 hour)  which helps you to figure out some areas of conflict and to work through them.    It's never to judge, but to help couples build a strong foundation for their marriage (because the divorce rate is 50% and that just sucks).   Sorry for the long post.  I hope this helps ease your mind a little.  It will all be fine :)
  • I meant to say, "Communion is a sign of unity but not so much if the groom and half the congregation did not receive communion.
  • Call ASAP to the parish where you want to get married. I live in NYC and wanted to go home and get married where I grew up and the Priest had MANY hoops to jump through. It ended up not being worth it to me. He wanted us to go to three engagment weekend encounters which each cost 300 dollars. Then he wanted us to meet with him 8 times which was not at all feasible for us with travel costs. My dad was very upset but we told our parents that we would have a convalidation ceremony here in NY on our year anniversary. If it is not extremely important to you then I would push your parents that it is not what you want but you will look into the ceremony at a further time so your children can be baptized and raised catholic (if that is even something you want.) This is a really hard decision but in reality should be yours and your FIs decision. Like I said my parents were upset but understanding once I explained the issues I had run into. Sorry this is long. If you need anything else page me on the May10 board! HTH!
  • I'm Catholic and FI isn't and when we first got engaged, my mom was all gung-ho about us being married with a mass. I (even though I really care about my faith) didn't want a mass b/c it felt as if I was excluding FI from his own wedding. My parents are contributing (not the whole thing), so they do have a decent say in what's going on, but the only thing mom's been pushy about was the mass.I explained my thought process to her and it seemed like she had a counter offer to everything I said. FI isn't Catholic; your dad isn't Catholic and we still had a mass. Among other things she finally said "So you're going to alter your wedding to fit other people's perceptions?" (referring to no mass cuz majority of guests weren't Catholic). And I called her a hypocrite b/c she wants me to change what FI & I decided on to appease her. When we finally went to talk with the priest, he said we could have a mass ONLY IF FI was a baptized Christian. Non-Christian=no mass. But he suggested no mass due to the unifying aspect of the ceremony. Definitely call your priest and talk to him about it. You may get some ammo from your priest to throw back at your mom like I did. But definitely don't put off talking to the priest. Because your FI isn't Catholic, you'll need dispensations to get married in the Catholic church (if that's what you and your FI decide to do).
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  • I think it's worth it to go talk to the priest of your would-be parish and find out what it would entail.  Get all the info then make your decision! 
  • I would definitely call ASAP.  My fiance' and I are getting married with full Catholic Wedding Mass and it was a six month process for the mass preparation and then Pre-Cana.  Don't be nervous.  The priest isn't there to judge you - and if he does - find another priest!!!  Know that this is about you and your fiance bringing your two lives together as one in the presence of God, your family and friends - why would you be nervous!!!??  It's all good!!  
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  • u know...i was also nervous about going to talk to my preist ...i am catholic and my fiance ...well he is also but never completed his confirmation....we found out almost too late...but my preist ...who barely remembers or knows me was very willing to let my fiance join the adult cathocism classes a lil late so he could get his confirmation...and is helping us take the neccessary steps towards having our wedding in florida...we live in ny....so go speak to him...if he doesnt remember or know you...its ok...they do not judge and are more then welcome to help ...if im wrong...then change ur preist lol ....ull be fine!
  • So, here's my story. I grew up Catholic, did the whole first communion, confirmation, etc etc thing. I was forced to attend Bible studies and church. Why was I forced? Because I got nothing from it. Only boredom. It wasn't until I grew up when I realized that my faith is much more than all of that. I don't attend church, but personally, I don't feel I need to. My FI, Matt, was not raised Catholic, but his parents were married in a church. The church where our ceremony will take place is the most beautiful place I have seen and have always loved it. Getting married in a church was my decision, so my parents were pleased when I told them of our plans. Matt is open to new ideas, which is one of the things I love about him. He understands my faith and is willing to learn more about where I stand.After talking to one of the priests I fondly remember, he told me he would be glad to marry us, even though I am no longer "practicing" and Matt is not Catholic. Like Valacker2, we did our FOCCUS test, and we did great on it, from what we hear ;) We have a couple of "classes" or retreats to go to during the year, in order to show our commitment and appreciation to the church. Mind you, long before we got engaged I did mention to my FI that I wanted my children to be baptized in the Catholic church. (Again, he's totally fine with this.)So that being said, if you don't feel this is something that comes from you, AND your FI, it's probably not the best thing to do. Your wedding is supposed to be a reflection of who you are as a couple. For us, it's symbolic of how we will live our life together. What matters the most- is that you are celebrating this day with the love of your life and the people who will be there to support you- hopefully, your parents will respect whatever decision you will make because now, it's about you and your FI...it's not about them anymore.
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