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Catholic Weddings

For Anyone With Annulment Experience...

I'd like to know:

1) If anyone has gone through the annulment procedure while trying to plan a wedding--how did it go?

2) If anyone has had a convalidation ceremony because they were not married in the Church initially--how did that go?

3) If anyone was denied an annulment, and chose to remarry, how do you practice your faith? Do you feel like an outsider?


Thanks for any personal experiences you share. I greatly value the input.
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Re: For Anyone With Annulment Experience...

  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I don't have personal experience with annulment, but the only people I know who have been granted convalidation underwent RCIA and became Catholic between their marriage and convalidation.  I don't know of any couple in the US that was Catholic to begin with, got married civilly, then got the convalidation afterwards.
  • divinemsbeedivinemsbee member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    1) My best friend's father sought an annulment from her mother after their divorce, but it was way before he had met his second wife, let alone before wedding planning started. It was a really nasty divorce, and he was the Catholic one and his faith is very important to him and he really didn't want to be married to her still in the eyes of the Church. Even though their case was pretty cut-and-dried (infidelity with a side of crazy-pants), I think it still took almost a year to work through the system, and that's pretty short. His new wife went through RCIA before they were married and they had a full Mass wedding.

    2) I do know a couple, I'm very close with the wife, who got a convalidation after being married almost 5 years. They mainly got the convalidation in order to baptize their children in the Church (one is 3, one is due any day). I do know that she is Catholic, but he isn't and has no plans to convert. I'm pretty sure that if you are both Catholic to begin with it makes it harder to get the convalidation. They did have to find his baptismal certificate (he was Baptist), and they had to sit and talk with the priest, but after the paperwork, it was pretty easy. However, she knew the priest really well and this varies from parish to parish.

    3) My Mom is incredibly involved with her Church and her faith is a very important part of her life. My parents are also divorced but their marriage was not annulled and she is remarried. My Dad isn't Catholic, and although he was raised Baptist, by the time they were married he was pretty non-practicing. He didn't want to convert, although he did agree to raise all of their children Catholic. When my parents divorced, my Dad made it very clear that he didn't care about the annulment and would not be doing anything to help her get one (the marriage broke up firstly because my parents were very incompatible and secondly because of infidelity on my Mom's part).

    My Mom confessed and continued to receive Communion and act as an EM until she remarried about 5 years ago (to the man she had the affair with, they've been together since my parents' divorce, almost 15 years) (I feel a need to say that he is a very nice man who has been very good to my siblings and I and treats my Mom really well and they are really happy). Her new-ish husband is also non-Catholic and because of the lack of annulment they could not be married in the Church. She no longer receives. She is active in the Ladies Guild and Parish Council. I think it hurts her sometimes, and maybe she wishes she had gotten one, but untimately she still loves the Church and makes a point to stay involved in ministry.

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  • edited December 2011
    We began our planning before our annulments were final, but we both had been in the process for several months at that point. We discussed a tentative date with our families, I had my dress, and we had begun general discussions with possible musicians, florists, etc., all with the caveat that things could change. I think his annulment was completed in both instances last November. Mine, oddly, was more of a nailbiter due to never being able to find my ex & their psychology expert holding my case for three months. It was affirmed in the first instance this January, and we met with our priest then to set the date. We weren't able to submit our application for marriage, or attend our remarriage seminar, until after mine was affirmed in the second instance, in April, six months before our wedding. I think mine took over 18 months altogether, but that was because we spent several months trying to find my ex, and finally had to start over in a new diocese when we couldn't find him. FI's, on the other hand, took less than a year. When we weren't sure what was going to happen, we were really torn. We visited Episcopalian churches and talked about going to the Church but not receiving or going to Confession. We weren't happy with any of those options, so we were overjoyed when the annulments were affirmed & we learned we would be able to marry in the Church. I'd say you can begin planning in general terms - look at dresses, start exploring florists, etc. But don't put anything in writing, or put any money down, until you have at least the first decision in hand. Linda
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  • edited December 2011
    LV - PM for you.

    Linda
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  • Nickie431Nickie431 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My fiance is not Catholic.  He'd eloped at a young age with a girl he'd known only a few months.  She'd failed to share with him that she suffered severe (untreated) mental illness and quickly became abusive.  Their divorce was finalized just five months after their marriage.

    Considering the emotional demands of the process, he didn't want to initiate an annullment until we were officially engaged.  We submitted the paperwork in May, and everything was completed by Novemeber of the same year--even our priest was surprised at the speed, but it was a fairly cut-and-dry case (including that she was not open to having children).  Our advocate told us we submitted at a good time of the year, because apparently that dioceasan tribunal gets busy in January and September--not sure why.

    We did not determine a date or meet with our priest until his annullment was issued.  Especially with he and his family not being Catholic, we didn't want to plan a wedding and then have to postpone "due to the Church," plus, honestly, I needed a longer engagement to prepare myself emotionally and mentally for our upcoming vocation of married life.

    Best wishes!
    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
  • kap617kap617 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My fiance is not Catholic, but his annulment went rather quick.  All of the initial paperwork was submitted in May, and we just received a letter today that the annulment has been approved.  So that was 5 months.  HIs situation wasn't even that cut-and-dried, because there wasn't any mental illness or abuse and they weren't super young or anything like that.  The marriage was annulled for a "grave lack of discretion," which basically means that neither of them understood what marriage really meant before they entered into it.  

    I was really lucky and was allowed to hold a date at the church, even though the annulment was in process.  I've set a reception site (which was also going to be the ceremony site if the annulment was denied), purchased a dress, and contacted several vendors (flowers, DJ, photog).  You aren't supposed to do any of this... but I couldn't bear just twiddling my thumbs for months while we waited to hear.
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