Catholic Weddings

Not sure which church to go to?

Hello,

I am getting married in a Catholic Church for my boyfriend. I have learned so much on here. I am confused on what to do as far as which church to start attending. He grew up going to St. Andrews, but hasn't attended in years. He goes to Mass on occasion when he visits his parents who now live an hour and a half away (different church from St. Andrews). I want to get married in another church about 20 minutes from St. Andrews (closer to where I would like to have my reception, and historic and pretty). He said we can start going to St. Andrews this Sunday since it would be easier to deal with since they know him and his family. But, I want to get married in another church. He doesn’t mind getting married in another church by the way. Also, I am concerned that the churches I want for an October wedding (morning) may not be available anymore. The other church I like is out of town in the mountains and historic/pretty as well, and is also a popular church to get married in.

Basically, I just don't know if we should start going to his church while I find out if the others are available and tell his Priest our plan, or if that would offend his church? Or if it’s even possible to find out about dates if we aren’t members there yet? I just don't know what to do. We are not officially engaged, but in the very early planning stages since apparently everything gets booked up so quickly. We will be soon though!

Thanks so much! Hope what I wrote wasn't too long and made sense!

Re: Not sure which church to go to?

  • edited December 2011
    are you catholic?  does the church mean anything to you, or simply the location of where to host your ceremony?  since your FI has ties personally i would lean towards having it there.  there are many churches that allow you to get married their without being parishoners, some are more strict.  i don't think any priest/church would take offense, i'd worry more about your FI and family and yourself in what you want.  is it a closer church, or one that actually means something to you?
  • edited December 2011
    No, I am not Catholic. I just wanted to elope, but it means a lot to his parents that we marry in a Catholic church, so therefore it does to him too. He doesn't care what church we marry in as long as it is Catholic. There are a couple churches I am interested in, one being out of town in the mountains. I want to go with the one on the area first which is also much closer to where I would like the reception to be (within blocks, the other one would be over 20 minutes away and I don't want people driving around areas they are not familiar with especially with all the traffic in Raleigh). I like architecture, design, and art. So although I am not Catholic a beautiful historic church means more to me than one built in the 80's that looks like anything else around. I hope that doesn't offend anyone, but hopefully there are those who can understand where I am coming from.

    I am happy to go through the extra planning and time to marry in a Catholic church. I love him and want him to be happy too. But, it is also my wedding and I feel that me marrying in the Catholic church I have already agreed to a lot and if he doesn't mind which Catholic church it is in I am going to choose one that would mean more to me.

    I am just concerned with how to go about finding out if a church is available and which one to become a member of.

    Thanks again!
  • edited December 2011
    By the way, we live almost an hour from both Catholic churches. I am choosing churches closer to his family, unless I go with the one out of town in the mountains. I'm just really concerned everything is booked up by now for an October wedding and trying to find out the best way to find out and book it, while still respecting the church and how things are done.
  • edited December 2011
    the only way to answer your question would be to start calling the churches themselves, no one here on The Knot can answer that question for you. if you and your fiance have made a decision on a church you would like, then call them. if they are booked, then call the next place on your list, and so on. if you are concerned about a place being booked then you really need to start calling these churches to find out. GL!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks! I wasn't even sure if it was ok to just call the churches and ask if I wasn't a member. I really have no idea how the Catholic church works so I wanted to make sure that would be ok before I actually did it. So that answers my question! Thanks so much!
  • tnspighttnspight
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Just to add to pp, the church you choose may want you to be a member for six months prior to getting married there.  Something to check anyway...  GL
  • edited December 2011
    If the churches are as popular for weddings as you say, they'll probably have some sort of membership requirement. That means that at least your fiance will need to attend regularly for some time, and ideally you too. I bet they'd also prefer to hear that you actually want to become members for the long term (even after you're married).

    Go to masses at both churches and figure out which one you like better - which priest you like, which community you feel more comfortable in. If your fiance hasn't been to St. Andrew's for a long time and his family doesn't even go anymore, I don't see any reason you have to go to that one.

    If it's that important to get married in the Catholic church, I do hope that you both consider becoming a part of the church rather than just meeting the minimum membership requirement or donation just for the sake of using the historical, pretty building. Please take the sacrament seriously.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the info. We do plan on becoming members and attending church pretty regularly, even though we're about an hour away. I believe his brothers still go to St. Andrews and his history with the church I guess just helps. Whether we go to the one I like or the one he grew up in we will both take it seriously, even after the wedding. Thanks again!
  • Theresa626Theresa626
    1000 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Call the churches you like to see what they say.  Sometimes, if you are a member of another church for six months and have been donating, they'll take that and it is ok. 
  • edited December 2011
    Just like pp said, I would contact the churches. I also recommend meeting with the monsignors at each church. Most of the time, monsignor is the person who works with you pre-wedding, and in my experience building this relationship has been incredibly rewarding.  We will end up asking out monsignor to preside over our wedding.  Since the church doesn't mean more than a location to you, I would also pay a lot of attention to what your FI likes - remember, because he is Catholic, and so is his family, this ceremony will have a different meaning, more sacret, than to you. If you see that he likes one of the churches more than others, whether you agree that it is historic/pretty, let him have it, it will mean a lot ot him... most churches are quite nice inside anyways.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    my vote is for your boyfriends/fiance's church.  ideally, you shoudl get married where you plan to attend as parishioners (you can attend with him even if you never convert, both to learn and to be supportive of teaching your children the faith if/when you have them).

    its not always that easy to just walk in to a catholic church and get married there.  they usually want you to be a parishioner, and of course you will have your precana, etc. to deal with as well.  the church you pick should have meaning, not just be pretty or in a good location. 
  • clearheavensclearheavens
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Not sure which church to go to?:
    If it's that important to get married in the Catholic church, I do hope that you both consider becoming a part of the church rather than just meeting the minimum membership requirement or donation just for the sake of using the historical, pretty building. Please take the sacrament seriously.
    Posted by ring_pop
    I agree with ring_pop.
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  • shanno1676shanno1676
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Get engaged first...
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  • edited December 2011
    Catholic churches have strict requirements on getting married. There is alot of paperwork and you have to attend counseling, retreat(s) etc. The entire experience can take up to six months or more depending on how available the retreats are. I agree with ring_pop that this is a sacred ceremony and must be taken seriously.
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  • Jay+MarissaJay+Marissa
    500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Be careful when you call up and talk to these churches--nothing POs a Church more than someone who treats a Church like a wedding venue (and rightfully so, because it is not--it always makes me mad when someone includes their church in their vendor reviews)

    Having a lot of respect and asking questions will go a long way. To be honest, I kind of doubt you are going to get the church you want though. It really is a big deal and I would do a lot of research before diving into it.
  • edited December 2011

    I don't know how it is in your state but in California most of the churches require you to have an initial meeting with a priest before they will even book a date with you, so you may want to schedule a meeting first just so your following the rules.

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