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Catholic Weddings

second wedding - what's OK?

I was married in 2002. Long story short, 10 months later, it was over (ex walked out on me). About two years after the divorce was final, I obtained an annulment from the Church. I wasn't dating or anything at the time, but I wanted to have the annulment as soon as possible. It was something of a healing process for me.

I am now engaged to a wonderful man! He has never been married before. Both of us have a very strong Catholic upbringing and are happy to be having a very traditional Catholic wedding.

Here's my confusion: My annulment includes language that says that a second marriage is to be celebrated as simply as possible. We've already met with our priest and he says we can still have a full Mass and pretty much a standard wedding. He also learned at the feet of our late bishop, who felt the same way.

We want to have a reception and everything - like I said, it's his first wedding, and personally I would like to celebrate the fact that I found happiness after everything I went through! We are trying to keep the guest list small - family and a few close friends - but we have big families so it's not tiny.

I would like to wear a wedding dress again, but I'm not planning on anything big and princessy - more understated, simple and elegant. We are limiting our attendants to two each - his two brothers, and my sister and best friend (who introduced us!).

My mother keeps telling me that we're going overboard, that this isn't simple. She thinks it will be awkward for my family members to attend a second wedding. And despite the fact that our priest says we should do what we like, she just thinks he's steering us wrong and that another priest would tell us this is too much.

I don't know what to do. Are there any second-time Catholic brides out there, and if so, what is your wedding like?

Re: second wedding - what's OK?

  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i agree with the priest and your mom, if that makes sense.  yet at the same time i think you ARE taking steps to keep it somewhat low key.  also an important factor here is that while it is your second wedding, its your FI's first - he didnt get to have the big wedding yet.  he deserves to have this sacrament celebrated too.

    if its awkward for some of your family members, they DO have the choice not to attend.  if they do choose not to attend, you should try understand their reasons why (even if you dont agree with them) and not hold it against them. 

    as a side note, its nice to see that you took care of the anullment right away - rather than waiting until you wanted to remarry, like so many seem to do.  this has surely helped you avoid many headaches, adn it help you cut all ties at the time of your divorce.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_second-wedding-whats-ok?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:a8f55d38-a0e5-4675-b8bc-3f60776ca398Post:12334dd1-c19b-4eb5-99c0-efba9837fec9">Re: second wedding - what's OK?</a>:
    [QUOTE] as a side note, its nice to see that you took care of the anullment right away - rather than waiting until you wanted to remarry, like so many seem to do.  this has surely helped you avoid many headaches, adn it help you cut all ties at the time of your divorce.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, calypso. Believe it or not, I actually felt it was helpful. It is a very emotionally difficult process, and it forces you to take a good clear look at yourself and your marriage. But once it was over, I felt a lot better. It definitely provided a measure of closure that I certainly didn't get from the civil divorce process.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree that if you are taking steps to ensure that your wedding and reception are a celebration of the sacrament, rather than a big Pretty Princess Day Party, you are fine. Family and a few close friends sounds low key to me, and I totally understand how that can end up being bigger than one might want!

    On the same note, I would listen to what your mom says and her suggestions for lowering the volume. If she doesn't have suggestions, ask for them. Sometimes, others have perspective that we don't. If her suggestions are good, consider them. If not, respectfully listen to her advice and then ignore it!

    My FBIL got his marriage annulled without plans to remarry. He had recently returned to the church after being away, getting married, having a messy divorce and then getting his life back on track. He said it was amazingly healing and is a big advocate of obtaining an annulment as a step in the healing process. I'm glad you found the same thing.
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  • Theresa626Theresa626 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It's your wedding, do what you like.  I think you should go all out and wear the big white dress and do the nice reception and have fun with it.  Don't give a damn what people think about your wedding.  How dare they sit there and judge you when you are giving them a free dinner and a nice party?  They don't know your circumstances and have no right to judge you.  You have every right to celebrate your new found love and not to be ashamed of your past.  You have your priest's blessing and I think you should do what makes you happy.  The only thing I would warn you about is not to go in debt to fund your nice wedding.  But, I'd say that for your first marriage too.  
  • Theresa626Theresa626 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    groovy, just curious, exactly what did you have to do in the annulment process that made it so much more healing?  What steps do you have to take?  
  • edited December 2011
    Theresa, I did not get a lot of closure out of the civil divorce process. A lot of it felt out of my control. I didn't want a divorce, but my ex did and he essentially got to call all the shots. I never felt like I was "in control" of the annulment process per se, but I was taken through it step-by-step through my priest and advocate and the tribunal. I felt like my voice was heard.

    It's not easy by a long shot. You have to relive some hard memories. I had to take a good hard look at myself (I made mistakes too!). I learned a lot. But through every step, every communication you get from the tribunal makes it clear that they are praying for your peace and healing. That was very comforting. The day I got the declaration of nullity, I truly felt that that chapter in my life was closed.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_second-wedding-whats-ok?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:a8f55d38-a0e5-4675-b8bc-3f60776ca398Post:63737a10-ffa1-406e-b12a-84a0f282260c">Re: second wedding - what's OK?</a>:
    [QUOTE]It's your wedding, do what you like.  I think you should go all out and wear the big white dress and do the nice reception and have fun with it.  Don't give a damn what people think about your wedding.  How dare they sit there and judge you when you are giving them a free dinner and a nice party?  They don't know your circumstances and have no right to judge you.  You have every right to celebrate your new found love and not to be ashamed of your past.  You have your priest's blessing and I think you should do what makes you happy.  The only thing I would warn you about is not to go in debt to fund your nice wedding.  But, I'd say that for your first marriage too.  
    Posted by Theresa626[/QUOTE]

    I agree. I think it would have been different if you got the annulment for the sheer sake of getting married again, but this wasn't the case. You did what you needed to and your priest doesn't see a problem in it. Give your FI the Sacrament he and you deserve. This is the start of a life in union through Christ it deserves all the praises you can give it. You want to be proud God gave you this man to share your life with in the way of the Church!
  • edited December 2011
    You do what you think is right. I think how you described it, your wedding sounds like it would be wonderful and not overly festive. You want people there to celebrate with you that mean something, and you should be able to have a beautiful reception with them! This is the start of your new life together- the one you should have had the first some, so YES it's time to celebrate Wink
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  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I think it sounds like you're working on finding the happy medium between respecting the fact that this is your second wedding and honoring the sacrament.  I think that marriage should always be celebrated.  It's a sacrament!  You and your FI are standing before God, your families and loved ones and declaring your love for each other!

    Yes, some of your family members might be uncomfortable, but as PPs said, you got the annulment before you were engaged, and if that's still not good enough for them, they do not have to attend.  That's their choice, much as annulment and remarriage was your choice.
  • Theresa626Theresa626 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Alyssa, I don't get what the deal is with judging people who have more than one fancy wedding.  If they have the money to do so, why is it so horrible for them to throw a nice party?  It's ridiculous to judge people on this.  What makes someone who has three small quiet weddings a better person than someone who has three large weddings?  Also, who are we to judge others?  People make mistakes.  I don't think anyone tries to go into a marriage thinking it might not work out and maybe they'll get divorced.  Sometimes people just make mistakes and it's not our place to look down upon them for that or for their decisions regarding fancy parties.  
  • edited December 2011
    All I can say is good for you, I'm glad you found the right person, and ENJOY YOUR WEDDING!
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  • Theresa626Theresa626 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Marissa, I just read your catering disaster.  Wow, that is truly truly awful.   I am soo sorry you had to go through all that.  I can't imagine how upsetting it was for you.  I hope that there were parts of your reception that you were able to enjoy.  
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i just had to read the catering disaster... holy cow!  i honestly would have asked for a full refund, not just $900.  wow.  that has to be the worst wedding story i've ever heard...
  • M&Mf4meM&Mf4me member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    OP-

    I am a second wedding bride as well.  Honestly, as my fiancee and I see it, and my understanding is the Church does as well,  this is my first MARRIAGE.  I have had a ceremony and a sacrament that wasn't valid.  Now, I know what I am doing this time..  I hate to say this but it is true, I was not a good Catholic, and I had no idea what I was doing. 

    My marriage this time is about celebrating GOD in our relationship, what we have waited for, a Sacrament.  I intend to celebrate it, how many non-virgins walk down the aisle?  How many people don't judge that as a 1st wedding?  When you have a sense of respect for the Sacrament as you should it will show through no matter how "fancy" you make the other things.

    Blessings,
    Shell.
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  • edited December 2011
    This is my first marriage, and his second.  We don't intend to have his first marriage annulled because they were together for 28 years and have three great kids together.  We were both raised Catholic but do not currently attend church.  It is important to me to be married in a church, but I don't know where to start since the Catholics won't have us.  

    Could anyone recommend a denomination that might resemble Catholicism in its general teachings?  I would love to be married in a gothic-style church if possible.  Any suggestions?
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_second-wedding-whats-ok?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:a8f55d38-a0e5-4675-b8bc-3f60776ca398Post:f48890fb-bf1d-4787-8e7d-4f18d019dd35">Re: second wedding - what's OK?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is my first marriage, and his second.  We don't intend to have his first marriage annulled because they were together for 28 years and have three great kids together.  We were both raised Catholic but do not currently attend church.  It is important to me to be married in a church, but I don't know where to start since the Catholics won't have us.   Could anyone recommend a denomination that might resemble Catholicism in its general teachings?  I would love to be married in a gothic-style church if possible.  Any suggestions?
    Posted by jdabrowska[/QUOTE]

    I don't understand the reasoning for not applying for an annulment.

    The Catholic church believes that marriage is until death, so the church presumes that your fiance's marriage was valid (until proven otherwise), so he is a married man. so you want another denomination that "resembles" Catholicism in general teachings, but not that one?
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    honestly, i think its a bit absurd to try for an annulment when a marriage lasted 28 years and 3 kids were borne of that marriage.  i'm not sure of the grounds they could even have an annulment.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_second-wedding-whats-ok?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:a8f55d38-a0e5-4675-b8bc-3f60776ca398Post:de41fe73-7b3e-41ee-8821-d2327871ef3c">Re: second wedding - what's OK?</a>:
    [QUOTE]honestly, i think its a bit absurd to try for an annulment when a marriage lasted 28 years and 3 kids were borne of that marriage.  i'm not sure of the grounds they could even have an annulment.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    I would never cast a judgement on anyone's life. There are all sorts of things that can go into it...just because it lasted long does not mean it was valid.Just because there are kids does not mean it was necessarily valid.

    I know of several people personally who when talking with them I learned that what appeared to be a Long happy (and very holy--- they were both practicing catholics)marrage  was not at all--- one of the couples were basically forced into it at the beginning.
    These couples received annulments...and no, my diocese is not liberal in handing them out.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_second-wedding-whats-ok?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:a8f55d38-a0e5-4675-b8bc-3f60776ca398Post:f48890fb-bf1d-4787-8e7d-4f18d019dd35">Re: second wedding - what's OK?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is my first marriage, and his second.  We don't intend to have his first marriage annulled because they were together for 28 years and have three great kids together.  We were both raised Catholic but do not currently attend church.  It is important to me to be married in a church, but I don't know where to start since the Catholics won't have us.   Could anyone recommend a denomination that might resemble Catholicism in its general teachings?  I would love to be married in a gothic-style church if possible.  Any suggestions?
    Posted by jdabrowska[/QUOTE]

    <div>Are you really on a Catholic board asking for recommendations for another Christian denomination?</div><div>
    </div>
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    well, i know a person who was in a similar situation.  married over 20 years, had two kids, had the civil divorce.  she met a man and he wanted her to get an annulment.  she wouldnt do it, becuase she said she had loved her husband and the marriage was valid, etc.  she had no reason for annulment.  perhaps OP and her FI are in teh same situation.  if the facts are the same as my friends (which im inclined to think tehy are, seeing as tey dont wantt o seek teh annulment) then they are doing the right thing IMO.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_second-wedding-whats-ok?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:a8f55d38-a0e5-4675-b8bc-3f60776ca398Post:21aa843e-0357-4e5e-bc35-a3c96f165165">Re: second wedding - what's OK?</a>:
    [QUOTE]well, i know a person who was in a similar situation.  married over 20 years, had two kids, had the civil divorce.  she met a man and he wanted her to get an annulment.  she wouldnt do it, becuase she said she had loved her husband and the marriage was valid, etc.  she had no reason for annulment.  perhaps OP and her FI are in teh same situation.  if the facts are the same as my friends (which im inclined to think tehy are, seeing as tey dont wantt o seek teh annulment) then they are doing the right thing IMO.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]
    Doing the right thing by not seeking annulment? I'd let the church decide. It's being obedient to the church's decision when all the facts are laid out. It is morally neutral whether one wishes to seek an annulment or not.

    Dating someone (even to the point of getting engaged) when one is still presumed to be married to someone else is not the right thing.

    Also, one can be of complete mind and heart going into marriage, but the other might not be.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i think too many people view annulment today as the catholic equivalent of divorce.  its not.  there are very few legitimate reasons for annulment.  i think to pursue an annulment just because you want to marry someone else, when there is no legitimate, church allowed reason for annulment is wrong. 
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Since we don't know the circumstances of this poster's FI's previous marriage/divorce, it's hard to say if he'd be eligible for an annulment, but as a Catholic you should at least look into it.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_second-wedding-whats-ok?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:a8f55d38-a0e5-4675-b8bc-3f60776ca398Post:dceb59ed-6c31-47e9-93dd-b7df7f0bd405">Re: second wedding - what's OK?</a>:
    [QUOTE]i think too many people view annulment today as the catholic equivalent of divorce.  its not.  there are very few legitimate reasons for annulment.  i think to pursue an annulment just because you want to marry someone else, when there is no legitimate, church allowed reason for annulment is wrong. 
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    I know many people think its equivalent to divorce,which is isn't. But that isn't what we are talking about here.

    One cannot apply for annulment if they don't think there are grounds. That's not how it works. One can seek an advocate. The advocate then acts as a "triage" of sorts... they figure out the cases that have meat to them. If the advocate doesn't think they have a grounds for annulment, they tell them right then. The person still has a right to apply for the tribunal to hear his case, presenting grounds.

    It is morally neutral for someone to seek an annulment.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i just realized i keep referring to OP, but i actually have been referring to the person wtih teh 28 year marriage.

    One cannot apply for annulment if they don't think there are grounds.

    so this.  the person with the 28 year marriage doenst think there are grounds for the annulment.  so they arent applying, and tehrefore cant be married in teh church.
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