Wedding 911

what's the least bad thing to do at this point?

cross-posted in wedding woes and Catholic weddings

I'll be the first to admit I've done a lot of things wrong in this process...I'm looking for third-party advice on what the least-bad course of action might be.

I'm an 'accidental' PPD.  The 'real' wedding is Sept 6, the one everyone knows about is Sept 13.  Why don't they know about the other one?  Lots of issues with the Catholic Church and annulments.  According to the Church we're not really even supposed to talk about how/why we're able to get married while the process is still underway.  But suffice to say that we can only be married by the priest we've been working with, in a state where almost none of our relatives live (it's where my FI had lived, then he lost his job and moved away, which had been our long-term plans anyhow).  We haven't told many people about this, between the attitude of the Church, the discomfort of bringing up my FI's previous marriage, and not wanting to make others feel 1) that we didn't want them at the real wedding or 2) obligated to come to somewhere so far away.  And, we had already made plans for a Sept 13 ceremony (and others had done so as well).  It will be a renewal of the vows but is intended look/feel like a regular wedding.

My FI and I are okay with it really...we put it in terms of, if we went to a wedding and found out later that the couple had been married already, how would we feel?  And both of us would have wondered what the situation was, but shrugged it off.  If we like the couple enough to go, we like them enough to not care how they planned things.  Not the best course of actions perhaps, but we did what we thought was right, and for months and months weren't even sure ourselves what would/could happen because the Tribunal was being so unhelpful.  We can't take that back.  But now, my mom is upset at how we've handled the situation (since we made her lie, she feels, by not telling people).  Trying to explain now is near impossible (without a going-into-the-details explanation of what/why/how, which seems inappropriate).  But, people will learn sooner or later.

I had been unsure about having a big wedding all along, but I did want to celebrate with family, and I didn't want to regret not having one later.  Secondarily, there'd be questions/judgments from friends and family, and I worry about hurting others by not including them.  I know now that I should've gone with my gut.  The stress from wedding planning - I'm not a big party or attention-lover - has been stressful, the guest list decisions were traumatic, it's expensive, and my relationship with my mom will never be the same.  I feel guilty that my parents are paying for an ordeal that I don't want and about which I can't stand to think anymore.

We had never wanted gifts or money, we signed up for no registries, and spread the word that we did not want anything.  (Not because it's not a real wedding, but we both have everything we need and the wedding day is, to us, about celebrating with friends.)  Then I heard about some letter that my aunt (mom's twin, but doesn't know about the situation) sent to all the invitees, I assume asking for gifts or money or something.  I really don't want people to feel like they have to give something on principle, but especially if it then comes out that it's not a real wedding.

So, I've already sinned, and I accept any and all judgment and criticism.  I should not have planned the PPD all along - or at least should have had the invites read that it's a renewal of the vows, not a wedding.  Now what?

Can --should-- we call off the PPD now?  Or just go through with it?  People have made reservations and bought tickets.
Make a general announcement?  We can't reliably contact everyone prior via email or phone to do so beforehand.
Regarding the presumed gift collection/whatever it is - despite two guests accidentally giving a bit of a slip, I've not told anyone I know.  Should I address this with the aunt, parents, anyone?  Refuse to accept anything given?

Re: what's the least bad thing to do at this point?

  • So first, a general comment:  this is why PPDs are a terribly bad idea.  They cause tons of confusion, hurt feelings, and guilt.  It is never a good idea to lie to people.  I'm sorry that you seem to have learned this the hard way.

    Now, as to what to do at this point:  if you truly cannot move either your September 6th ceremony or your September 13th reception at this point, I would send out a clarifying announcement/mailing to those who received invitations.  I would word it to say something like "nyiamo and nyiamo fiancee will be married in a private ceremony on September 6th.  The event on September 13, 2014 at XX:XX will be a celebration of their marriage."  Others may have different suggestions on how to word these announcements--I think they will be somewhat awkward no matter what, but you've put yourself in an awkward situation.

    Then, you can still have a party on the 13th as planned.  Have a DJ.  Serve dinner and cake.  I'd even say you can wear your big white dress--some here would advise against this, but if white dresses are appropriate at plenty of events other then weddings I don't see why they can't be worn at a party celebrating a wedding.  But DO NOT do fake vows.  DO NOT to any of the distinct trappings of a wedding--cake cutting, bouquet toss, first dance, etc.  You may have been looking forward to these rituals, but the fact that you're posting here tells me that you realize you've messed up and are trying to follow proper etiquette going forward.  Those rituals are reserved for a wedding reception--not a party after-the-fact.

    As far as your aunt is concerned--that's a doozy, but by sending out that letter it is she who is being rude, not you.  Can you stop her or anyone else from distributing it any further?  All you can do at this point is to try and stop further distribution and tell anyone who asks you about it that you were horribly embarassed by it and did not ask for it to be circulated.  You do not need to refuse gifts--if someone wants to give you something, just accept it graciously and be sure to send a thank-you not ASAP.
    [Deleted User]Liatris2010
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    First of all, forget the aunt and what she's doing. That's not your doing nor your business nor anything you can do anything about. As far as the reception, I suggest you continue to plan the party, nbd.

    As I understand the ceremony, it will be in the church on the sixth. What type of ceremony were you  planning on doing on the thirteenth? 


    nyiamo said:
    cross-posted in wedding woes and Catholic weddings

    I'll be the first to admit I've done a lot of things wrong in this process...I'm looking for third-party advice on what the least-bad course of action might be.

    I'm an 'accidental' PPD.  The 'real' wedding is Sept 6, the one everyone knows about is Sept 13.  Why don't they know about the other one?  Lots of issues with the Catholic Church and annulments.  According to the Church we're not really even supposed to talk about how/why we're able to get married while the process is still underway.  But suffice to say that we can only be married by the priest we've been working with, in a state where almost none of our relatives live (it's where my FI had lived, then he lost his job and moved away, which had been our long-term plans anyhow).  We haven't told many people about this, between the attitude of the Church, the discomfort of bringing up my FI's previous marriage, and not wanting to make others feel 1) that we didn't want them at the real wedding or 2) obligated to come to somewhere so far away.  And, we had already made plans for a Sept 13 ceremony (and others had done so as well).  It will be a renewal of the vows but is intended look/feel like a regular wedding.

    My FI and I are okay with it really...we put it in terms of, if we went to a wedding and found out later that the couple had been married already, how would we feel?  And both of us would have wondered what the situation was, but shrugged it off.  If we like the couple enough to go, we like them enough to not care how they planned things.  Not the best course of actions perhaps, but we did what we thought was right, and for months and months weren't even sure ourselves what would/could happen because the Tribunal was being so unhelpful.  We can't take that back.  But now, my mom is upset at how we've handled the situation (since we made her lie, she feels, by not telling people).  Trying to explain now is near impossible (without a going-into-the-details explanation of what/why/how, which seems inappropriate).  But, people will learn sooner or later.

    I had been unsure about having a big wedding all along, but I did want to celebrate with family, and I didn't want to regret not having one later.  Secondarily, there'd be questions/judgments from friends and family, and I worry about hurting others by not including them.  I know now that I should've gone with my gut.  The stress from wedding planning - I'm not a big party or attention-lover - has been stressful, the guest list decisions were traumatic, it's expensive, and my relationship with my mom will never be the same.  I feel guilty that my parents are paying for an ordeal that I don't want and about which I can't stand to think anymore.

    We had never wanted gifts or money, we signed up for no registries, and spread the word that we did not want anything.  (Not because it's not a real wedding, but we both have everything we need and the wedding day is, to us, about celebrating with friends.)  Then I heard about some letter that my aunt (mom's twin, but doesn't know about the situation) sent to all the invitees, I assume asking for gifts or money or something.  I really don't want people to feel like they have to give something on principle, but especially if it then comes out that it's not a real wedding.

    So, I've already sinned, and I accept any and all judgment and criticism.  I should not have planned the PPD all along - or at least should have had the invites read that it's a renewal of the vows, not a wedding.  Now what?

    Can --should-- we call off the PPD now?  Or just go through with it?  People have made reservations and bought tickets.
    Make a general announcement?  We can't reliably contact everyone prior via email or phone to do so beforehand.
    Regarding the presumed gift collection/whatever it is - despite two guests accidentally giving a bit of a slip, I've not told anyone I know.  Should I address this with the aunt, parents, anyone?  Refuse to accept anything given?

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I'm confused.  Has the Tribunal reached a decision regarding the annulment?

    Assuming the answer is yes, I would follow the advice of @bostonbride2015.  And I would get counsel from your priest about this.



    Anniversary
  • Responding in semi-reverse order...

    The tribunal has not reached a decision (it's a favor of the faith case, not regular annulment) but our canon-law-degree-holding priest says that the situation allows him to marry us in the Church.

    The wedding on the 6th is the actual wedding, just the simple version of a few readings and the vows (since my fiance's not Catholic, we can't have a full mass).  The 13th would be a full mass (which my mom really really wanted; I kinda did because well I'm Catholic, but wasn't hung on since my fiance is not).  Vow renewals in the Church can be done kinda however you feel, from what I've been told.

    Bostonbride, that's hard-to-hear but good advice.  I don't know if we could reliably notify everyone (or close to everyone) like you suggested, but that might be the best thing.  Thanks all.

    Regarding my aunt, I can't stop the spread now (I learned of the letter about a month ago).  I would try and go through my mom to communicate something to my aunt, but I don't know if my mom knows (because I think --hope-- she would've put an end to it).  For sure there will be surprise/shock/embarrassment if anything is given.
  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    nyiamo said:
    Responding in semi-reverse order...

    The tribunal has not reached a decision (it's a favor of the faith case, not regular annulment) but our canon-law-degree-holding priest says that the situation allows him to marry us in the Church.

    The wedding on the 6th is the actual wedding, just the simple version of a few readings and the vows (since my fiance's not Catholic, we can't have a full mass).  The 13th would be a full mass (which my mom really really wanted; I kinda did because well I'm Catholic, but wasn't hung on since my fiance is not).  Vow renewals in the Church can be done kinda however you feel, from what I've been told.

    Bostonbride, that's hard-to-hear but good advice.  I don't know if we could reliably notify everyone (or close to everyone) like you suggested, but that might be the best thing.  Thanks all.

    Regarding my aunt, I can't stop the spread now (I learned of the letter about a month ago).  I would try and go through my mom to communicate something to my aunt, but I don't know if my mom knows (because I think --hope-- she would've put an end to it).  For sure there will be surprise/shock/embarrassment if anything is given.
    Does this priest know he's doing a vow renewal? Most will not let you have the blowout with a wedding party.
    Ive known of a few big parties that were ppds (and everyone knew) I think its a regional thing. Around here the catholic church seems ok with it I guess.

    image
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    @nyiamo, is your FI not baptized?  I have been to several Catholic weddings with a full Mass where one party was not Catholic.  I believe that the situation you reference would be for if one party is not a baptized Christian.

    And, I can't think of any priest that would go for a vow renewal that had all the feels of a real wedding. 



    Anniversary
  • nyiamo said:
    Responding in semi-reverse order...

    The tribunal has not reached a decision (it's a favor of the faith case, not regular annulment) but our canon-law-degree-holding priest says that the situation allows him to marry us in the Church.

    The wedding on the 6th is the actual wedding, just the simple version of a few readings and the vows (since my fiance's not Catholic, we can't have a full mass).  The 13th would be a full mass (which my mom really really wanted; I kinda did because well I'm Catholic, but wasn't hung on since my fiance is not).  Vow renewals in the Church can be done kinda however you feel, from what I've been told.

    Bostonbride, that's hard-to-hear but good advice.  I don't know if we could reliably notify everyone (or close to everyone) like you suggested, but that might be the best thing.  Thanks all.

    Regarding my aunt, I can't stop the spread now (I learned of the letter about a month ago).  I would try and go through my mom to communicate something to my aunt, but I don't know if my mom knows (because I think --hope-- she would've put an end to it).  For sure there will be surprise/shock/embarrassment if anything is given.
    Cancel this. Your mom is the only one who wants it, and she isn't getting married. The ceremony of the 6th satisfies the requirements of your faith. No need to make a mockery of that by redoing it all a week later.
    image
    [Deleted User]holyguacamole79
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Why can't you just get married on the 13th and cancel the ceremony that is on the 6th. It's perfectly fine, though not done often, to have the full mass when one party is not Catholic. If you want the priest who is helping with your FI's annulment to perform the ceremony, can't he come to the Church on the 13th and marry you there?
    holyguacamole79
  • Around me, the Church would actually prefer you have PPDs, or at least have the big party when you can afford it, than to live in sin. I had a couple of aunts encouraging us to do that because we moved in together, and they had asked their priests about it! But, that doesn't mean you have to reenact the vow at the second mass. I would do the whole mass if that is what you want, but have the priest do a blessing during the homily, and not any of the other traditions.
  • I see nothing wrong with getting legally married one day and then doing the ceremonial bit another.  Who cares?  You have to do the legal bit that way because of a technicality.  That should hardly stop you from having anything you want with regards to your wedding so if you want to get married again, do it!!  I 100% do not see why it should be anyone's business that you did the legal bit a few days earlier.  Enjoy your day and anyone who has a problem with it isn't someone worth worrying over.  If it were me I wouldn't bring it up if it didn't come up (because, why?) but if someone asked I wouldn't hide it either.  "Yeah, there were some technicalities with the church so we had do it in X state a few days ago for the legal/official portion but today is the full wedding and the celebration with all of our great friends and family!"
    EunoiaPhoenix
  • I see nothing wrong with getting legally married one day and then doing the ceremonial bit another.  Who cares?  You have to do the legal bit that way because of a technicality.  That should hardly stop you from having anything you want with regards to your wedding so if you want to get married again, do it!!  I 100% do not see why it should be anyone's business that you did the legal bit a few days earlier.  Enjoy your day and anyone who has a problem with it isn't someone worth worrying over.  If it were me I wouldn't bring it up if it didn't come up (because, why?) but if someone asked I wouldn't hide it either.  "Yeah, there were some technicalities with the church so we had do it in X state a few days ago for the legal/official portion but today is the full wedding and the celebration with all of our great friends and family!"

    You give terrible advice.

    image
    image
    levioosaparticuliersylphe
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