Catholic Weddings

Time to Meet With Our Priest

Hi! I'm new and I have a question that no one in my family seems to have an answer to. I just got engaged and my fiance and I want a full Catholic mass. We are hoping to have our wedding in June 2011 which makes it a year and four months away. Is it too early to contact the priest? Also, we want a priest who is not the priest at our parish. But we still want to be married in our own parish. So should I contact the priest we want to marry us first? Any help would be great because I have no idea where to start.

And I am hopefully starting my master's program during the summer so I would love to have this started before school starts again.

Re: Time to Meet With Our Priest

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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Most church bulletins say to contact the priest at least a year in advance, so IMO it's not too early at all. It absolutely couldn't hurt to put a call in now and ask what you need to do.

    If you want to bring in your own priest, talk to the parish priest about that. Our parish priest was open to allowing a family member to come in, but he would co-officiate the Mass. (The family member can't make it, though, so it's a moot point for us.) Sometimes it depends on the parish and priest.
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    edited December 2011
    Most churches require at least 6 months for marriage prep. I think the first thing you need to do is contact the priest that you guys would like to marry you. Then, he can contact the current priest at the parish you will be getting married at. This way it isn't awkward for you to do it the other way around. What you are wanting to do is totally acceptable, but the priest of the parish you are getting married at essentially has to give the "outside" priest permission to witness the ceremony in his church. If you go about it the other way, it may be a little weird. I would just explain what you are trying to do to the priest you want to marry you and let him take it from there. Most priests (esp if it is in the same state) know each other anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem.

    Then, you can ask your priest how much time he requires for preparation. This is going to vary from parish to parish and priest to priest. You may find your priest has different requirements of the priest that is currently at the church where you are going to get married. You may have to fullfill both requirements. For example, we are getting married back in our home state and parish, but are doing our marriage prep where we currently live. We not only have to fullfill our current parish's requirements for marriage, but also our priest's who is marrying us.

    I hope this makes sense and is helpful to you. Good Luck and congrats!
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    Theresa626Theresa626 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    It is NEVER too early to contact the church. Getting a date at a church takes longer than everything else in the wedding planning process.  Contact both priests right away.  Your priest has to write a letter to the bishop asking for permission to marry you there and then once the other parish recieves that letter, you can begin. But, both should know right away so they can start the process. Also, become a parishioner at your local parish and donate for a minimum of three months on the envelope system so you can get married there. Every church around here won't marry you unless you're donating on the envelope system for a minimum of three months. 
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    ootmother2ootmother2 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    We booked the church 15 months out.  Neither the bride nor the groom was a member of the parish but they loved the church and it was close to their reception site.
    The pastor was very accomodating on everything.

    The uncle of the bride, a deacon of the Church, did the vows and the pastor said the mass.  Two other priests, family friends were also on the altar.

    Surprisingly there was no charge for using the church but using their organist and soloist was required.  Actually paying them was required if you wanted someone else but she was fabulous and secular music was allowed.

    It seems that almost everything these days rests with the diocese or at least the priest.  This would include music, dress, flowers, membership, etc.
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you everyone! This helps so much! I called the priest today and I am really excited to get the process started. It has been my dream to get married at my home church. Thanks again.
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