Connecticut

Afternoon ceremony for Catholic Church in Hartford, CT area

Hi,

My fiance and I are having a reception at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, CT next May. I have been searching for weeks now trying to find a Catholic Church that would allow us to have a mass between 3-4pm. We are even willing to do a half mass if needed. We have been running into the issue that a lot of Saturday vigils are at 4 or 5pm and some confessions are done in the afternoon around 2pm. Does anyone know of any Catholic Churches in the Middletown/Hartford even New Haven area that holds ceremonies after 2pm on Saturdays? 

Thanks for your help!!
Jill :)

Re: Afternoon ceremony for Catholic Church in Hartford, CT area

  • I think your best bet would be to try to find a church that has a later mass on Saturdays.  A church that has a 6:00 Saturday mass would be more likely to allow a 3:00 wedding, than one that has an earlier mass.  You can go onto the Hartford archdiocese website and search under parishes to find out local mass times.  They break it down by the hour.  Many have masses in the 6:00 hour.  Keep in mind that it may be difficult to find a church willing to marry non-members.  You may need to elicit the help of your own parish priest to help facilitate this.
  • I also had my reception at St. Clement's on a Saturday and could not find a Catholic Church. Instead, we used the First Congregational Church in Middletown (very pretty church), and you can have your marriage blessed by the Catholic Church afterward.

    Good luck finding one though! :) I hope you're able to. It was THE biggest disappointment for me.

    "Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are."
  • I also had my reception at St. Clement's on a Saturday and could not find a Catholic Church. Instead, we used the First Congregational Church in Middletown (very pretty church), and you can have your marriage blessed by the Catholic Church afterward.

    Good luck finding one though! :) I hope you're able to. It was THE biggest disappointment for me.

    This isn't as easy as it sounds and the Catholic church really isn't a fan of wanting a convalidation because you picked your reception venue first.   In the meantime while your marriage is not valid in the Catholic church you're also not able to receive any Sacraments like Communion and you can't serve as a Godparent or sponsor for Baptism.  The issues with this are way further reaching than, "We wanted something that was within driving distance and at 2 PM."    Remember, the Catholic Church sees marriage as a Sacrament and a major life choice.   The decision you make in how to have your ceremony isn't just one that ends after you exit the church.

    I'd call around to the local churches again.

    The other option is to see how late you can hold your ceremony and either talk to the venue  about moving up the start time of your reception or host something else for your guests in between the time the ceremony ends and the reception begins. 


  • Amanda1443994Amanda1443994 member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its
    edited June 2015
    banana468 said:

    I also had my reception at St. Clement's on a Saturday and could not find a Catholic Church. Instead, we used the First Congregational Church in Middletown (very pretty church), and you can have your marriage blessed by the Catholic Church afterward.

    Good luck finding one though! :) I hope you're able to. It was THE biggest disappointment for me.

    This isn't as easy as it sounds and the Catholic church really isn't a fan of wanting a convalidation because you picked your reception venue first.   In the meantime while your marriage is not valid in the Catholic church you're also not able to receive any Sacraments like Communion and you can't serve as a Godparent or sponsor for Baptism.  The issues with this are way further reaching than, "We wanted something that was within driving distance and at 2 PM."    Remember, the Catholic Church sees marriage as a Sacrament and a major life choice.   The decision you make in how to have your ceremony isn't just one that ends after you exit the church.

    I'd call around to the local churches again.

    The other option is to see how late you can hold your ceremony and either talk to the venue  about moving up the start time of your reception or host something else for your guests in between the time the ceremony ends and the reception begins. 



    This is very true. For me, it was extremely easy to have it blessed afterward but probably only because my family is very involved with the Church, my grandfather has been a deacon for 30+ years in our parish, and my grandmother visits the nuns/priests every day. So this was not an issue for me, but it may be for you. Definitely do some research, but if you really have no other options, you can consider this one.
    "Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are."
  • had similar issue when i got married hubby was not sure if the catholic church would validate our marriage because i was not catholic and i wanted to get married in my church. ( i am armenian orthodox) finally we sat down with the deacon of his church and he said he could get married in my church and his marriage will be valid and there would be no need to get any special papers or approvals or to even have it blessed later on. btw his church in middlefield does not do weddings after 1 on saturdays i think they only have morning mass on sundays you could check them out. 

    but keep in mind any catholic church you  look at you will have to take in to consideration you are not a member of the church they might not marry you, they might want an insane amount of money just to do it or you might have to find a sponsor to sponsor you in the church. 

    its sad most venues dont take into consideration church wedding times. most venues have an 11 am start time for afternoon receptions and a 6-7pm start time for evening weddings.

    some venues will allow you to do an earlier start time for ceremony but you have to pay  more money for it i know my venue wanted around 2000 or something just to start earlier.

    some venues may even do a 3 pm start time but they are hard to find and also they might only do it if no one else wants a later evening wedding


    also remember no gaps in between ceremony and church driving time to and from both places should be around 30 minutes but no more than an hour.

    this was my time line if your unsure

    girls and me got ready photographer came around 330 
    limo came to my house around 430 
    church was at 5 and my parents house is right down the road so we had a short drive
    ceremony was from 5-545 
    6-7 was photos at the park
    reception started at 7 
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