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Catholic Weddings

Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding

I'm in that awkward state before engagement.

My (future) fiance has made it very clear that he wants out of the planning and wants to "show up".  I LOVE planning so its typically right up my ally.

However, I've never seen a Catholic wedding.  I've been to a Catholic reception but it was a huge affair with 200+ people. 

FFI and I are thinking 20-25 including bridal party, with 10 little ones (11 and under, most under 8)

I've read about the ceremony but I feel so uneasy since I'm planning something I know nothing about.  He dis say what readings he didn't want so I've even got readings.

I also don't know what to do about Mass.

I was thinking Mass in the morning, with a downstairs cake and cookies and some punch and maybe finger sandwiches for all.  (including priest and music ministry and wee ones)

then maybe a late dinner at a semi-fancy restraunt...adults only.  No dancing or that kind of nonsence...just a nice dinner together.

I'm mostly concerned about keeping costs down and keeping inlaws and parents happy.

Re: Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding

  • Welcome! The ladies here have loads of knowledge and experience, so feel free to stick around and ask questions!

    Once you're engaged, start with the ceremony. Be sure you want to be married in a Catholic ceremony and meet with a priest to discuss the requirements (you will need to do some pre-marital classes, possibly NFP classes and other prepwork). Once you have a date set with the Church, then you can start figuring out a reception. The Church may have pre-set times that they do wedding ceremonies, so it would make sense to get that squared away before getting too far into other planning.

    I'd recommend budgeting everything out in detail and determining what you want to spend money on and what isn't as important. You'll need to have some things that can be cut/reduced if others are over-budget.

    And - don't call dancing "nonsense"! Tongue Out
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-but-never-seen-a-catholic-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:d551a4b7-8732-4eb1-9bbf-f45a5053d382Post:bd1eff3f-6cf8-491b-a282-a279b4e3aac5">Re: Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]Welcome! The ladies here have loads of knowledge and experience, so feel free to stick around and ask questions! Once you're engaged, start with the ceremony. Be sure you want to be married in a Catholic ceremony and meet with a priest to discuss the requirements (you will need to do some pre-marital classes, possibly NFP classes and other prepwork). Once you have a date set with the Church, then you can start figuring out a reception. The Church may have pre-set times that they do wedding ceremonies, so it would make sense to get that squared away before getting too far into other planning. I'd recommend budgeting everything out in detail and determining what you want to spend money on and what isn't as important. You'll need to have some things that can be cut/reduced if others are over-budget. And - don't call dancing "nonsense"!
    Posted by Riss91[/QUOTE]

    Have you ever heard of someone sucessfully using the new online prep from the dio of chicago?  he works weekends and I work days so it'd be really hard to get time to go to our dio's classes.
  • Some priests allow the online classes, others may not. We only had to go to one weekend's worth of classes. Others took night classes over a few weeks. Some do an Engaged Encounter weekend. It just depends on what your priest wants you to do.

    Also, if you're required to take an NFP course, that might not be possible online. NFP classes are very difficult to do online as you would likely need your teacher to review your charts.

    But, you will both likely need to rearrange work schedules for things along the wedding planning process, so that should be something to expect. And the marriage prep is really the most important part of wedding planning, so I would be sure to have that settled first.
  • Some people that have FI overseas have had to do the online route and they have been successful, though it might be more cumbersome trying to discuss the topics together via skype or online chat.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-but-never-seen-a-catholic-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d551a4b7-8732-4eb1-9bbf-f45a5053d382Post:2d154d64-b36c-4b03-a343-47f79d58dc8a">Re: Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding : Have you ever heard of someone sucessfully using the new online prep from the dio of chicago?  he works weekends and I work days so it'd be really hard to get time to go to our dio's classes.
    Posted by rascalsunshine[/QUOTE]

    I have never heard of someone doing the online prep. For us our marriage prep included meeting with the priest twice at his home. He has been very flexible with timing these meetings with us since we are not living in the state we are getting married in. We did sign up for the self-study NFP class through the couple-to-couple league. So that is something you can do if it isn't possible to attend classes (although I think it may have been easier for us if we had an instructor instead of teaching ourselves). Also many dioceses will allow you to do an engagement encounter weekend. This is what we did and then we only had to find one weekend we could both attend instead of trying to go to classes.

    Good luck and welcome! I agree that the first step (after he proposes!) is to get everything squared away with the church and priest and then go from there with planning. I know our priest provided us with a planning booklet that helped us to pick readings and such.
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  • Tami87Tami87 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-but-never-seen-a-catholic-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d551a4b7-8732-4eb1-9bbf-f45a5053d382Post:8395696a-4f6e-4956-a5b7-4a1290e1b317">Re: Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE] Also, if you're required to take an NFP course, that might not be possible online. NFP classes are very difficult to do online as you would likely need your teacher to review your charts.
    Posted by Riss91[/QUOTE]

    I wanted to add if you do the home study through couple-to-couple league you mail in your charts to a instructor and then they comment on them. Although I agree that it probably would have been better to be able to talk to someone in person this is what ended up being easiest for us to schedule. Although the nice thing is since we are members now for a year we may attend refresher classes in person anytime for free. So we might look into doing this because although I think I have gotten the hang of it, it wouldn't hurt to talk to someone in person.
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  • its not polite to "tier" your reception.  Youd be fine doing what you are doing in terms of the cake/punch/finger sandwiches, but it isnt really polite to tehn invite only some to a dinner afterwards, at least in terms of it being officially part of the wedding.

    we had a small wedding (75).  what we opted to do was the ceremony and mass at 11am with a luncheon reception at a restaurant which saved us TONS.  by eliminating the dancing (which is nonsense IMO!) we were able to book a place that charged a minimal room rental and you just paid for food, you didnt pay for "ambience" and "wedding" stuff.  you will pay much, much more to book a wedding "Venue" than to book a private room at a restaurant.

    what we then did, was had a very nice rehearsal dinner the night before - since we only had 2 in our WP, our RD was just our parents and siblings and the priest.  This allowed us to have a much nicer dinner for that smaller group and it was totally legit and didnt offend anyone.

    we were also EXHAUSTED on our wedding night as we were up very early due to having a morning wedding.  You honestly probably wont even want to go out to dinner that night after everything is done.
  • We did the online prep (we're under the archdiocese of Chicago, so it was definitely approved). Neither of us are in the US right now, which is why we needed to do it. I thought the class was ok. It would have been nicer to do it with other people, and I think we started goofing off toward the end, because it got a little tiresome. I said some of this in another post, but some of the info they give and the questions they ask, you really would have to be a moron not to know already, so there's not a lot of incentive to pay close attention. They also don't do a great job of facilitating discussion. You download some question sheets, and it's implied that you should fill them out and discuss them, but the videos don't actually say, "Ok, fill sheet 1 out and discuss now," and our priest didn't want to see them. Since we'd already talked about most of the topics there wasn't really a reason for us to do them. I wanted to, but T didn't, and I didn't press the issue after the first couple.

    I guess bottom line, I'd suggest that you do the class in person if it's at all possible. But if it's way too much of a headache to work that out, do the online version.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-but-never-seen-a-catholic-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d551a4b7-8732-4eb1-9bbf-f45a5053d382Post:d8ab20f9-7879-4ba5-8652-23a08581b502">Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm in that awkward state before engagement. My (future) fiance has made it very clear that he wants out of the planning and wants to "show up"
    Posted by rascalsunshine[/QUOTE]

    Um, he will <em>have</em> to attend classes and I'd gently suggest that you do try and include him marriage is about a becoming a <em>unit.</em> A lot of people aren't fussed by the small details but venue choice, menu etc should include him. Start as you mean to go on yanno?

    I highly recommend <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Catholic-Wedding-Book-Guidebook/dp/080914462X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0" rel="nofollow">The catholic wedding book a complete guide, its a REALLY comprehensive guide with out being dull. </a>

    Youtube is a really great recourse for catholic weddings, lots of people film them and put them up.
    <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Catholic-Wedding-Book-Guidebook/dp/080914462X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0" rel="nofollow"></a>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-but-never-seen-a-catholic-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d551a4b7-8732-4eb1-9bbf-f45a5053d382Post:c1aeaac4-87f9-47ff-add9-11e5270c5548">Re: Catholic but never seen a Catholic wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]its not polite to "tier" your reception. 
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    This is one of those things that varies regionally.
  • I think it is perfectly acceptable, and in fact a great idea, to "tier" the wedding in this way, although I would not actually consider this a "tier." What would be rude, (and does not sound at all like what you are suggesting,) would to offer a dinner after the wedding to only *some* of the guests, and then invite everyone for the rest of the evening. I think that once you've invited everyone to a cake/punch reception immediately afterwards, then I'm sure it is perfectly fine to later have a dinner with your family. (As long as it's not like, [and again, I'm sure you're not going to do it this way,] "ok, now everyone else has to leave so that the family can stay here and have a nice dinner." It's fine as long as it's a completely different event- different location, and the cake/punch thing has an obvious ending time, and it's not apparent that the family is rushing out the door to get to the dinner.)

    In fact, that is pretty much exactly what my B, SIL did for their wedding. SIL's parents had like NO money, so SIL's really rich aunt stepped in and offered to pay for and plan a very nice cocktails/horsdurves reception immediately after the wedding, then the families went to dinner later. I'm saying this b/c SIL's aunt is a VERY wealthy "socialite," and I'm sure that if there had been anything rude or unacceptable about that arrangement, she would have known and done something different!
    Anniversary
  • I think the bigger issue w/ the wedding in the morning, dinner at night plan will be that people aren't going to want to devote their day to her wedding. Especially if she invites the same parents of "wee ones" to the late night fancy dinner. Nobody with kids wants to spend the morning out with them at a (to the children) boring function, and then have to hire a sitter at night to go to another function for the same couple.

    The other problem is that the church may not allow an early morning wedding. Often those times during the week are reserved for funerals, and lots of churches have Saturday morning mass at 10 or 11. I know the parish we're having the wedding at only does weddings at noon or 2pm on Saturdays. This needs to be worked out before any other plans are settled.
  • I think the usual wedding times are 10 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm (give or take an hour-ish).  I know the parish where my husband and I were married reserves the 10 am slot for funerals, so as PP said, you will need to check with your parish.

    I don't see anything wrong with what you've described, as long as you're open with all those involved.  Since you're thinking only family/close friends, I doubt that will be a problem.  I'm not sure, though, how you would go about inviting families WITH children to your wedding/cake and punch reception and then inviting families WITHOUT children to the fancy dinner.  Especially if you have people traveling from OOT.  I guess if you scheduled the dinner late enough, people would be disinclined to take their kids, but I sort of agree with BTCarolus in that it could end up being a long day for some people.  I would think you could do a 7 pm wedding and then a small reception at a restaurant to celebrate?

    I don't know... it's good to have an idea of what you want.  Once you get engaged and on a church calendar I'm sure it will all fall into place!


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  • Also, I didn't see anyone else post this, but www.catholicweddinghelp.com helped me out a lot with regards to order of the ceremony and stuff like that.  Also this board.  ;)
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