Catholic Weddings
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Not Catholic, but fiance is..

I'm willing to incorporate traditions from both families, but my Mother In Law to be wants us to be married in the Catholic church by a priest, the whole 9 yards. I was brought up in the Baptist church. I'm not sure my family will be comfortable with the wedding being strictly Catholic. I've had a Pastor in mind to preform my wedding since I was younger. I'm not even sure I want to be married at a church. I'd like to be able to sit down and discuss this with her, but every time we talk, she seems so excited and starts talking about other things she wants us to do.

Do you have any advice to help me discuss this with her without hurting anyone's feelings?

Re: Not Catholic, but fiance is..

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    edited December 2011
    This is your and your FI's wedding.  Your FMIL is welcome to her opinions, but ultimately you have to work this out with you FI, not your FMIL. 

    Talk to your FI about what he wants.  Does he want his marriage to be recognized by the Catholic church?  If so, you have two options:
    1. Get married in a Catholic church (typically not with a mass if both parties aren't Catholic)
    2. Get married in your own house of worship (this requires a special dispensation).

    In either case you will have to do marriage preparation through the Catholic church.  Your FI would have to promise to try to raise your children in the Catholic faith.  You don't have to promise this, but you would have to commit to not interferring with his efforts to raise the children Catholic. 

    Feel free to ask if you have more questions.  I also highly recommend www.catholicwedddinghelp.com as a resource.  You may find this page on mixed marriages particularly useful:
    http://catholicweddinghelp.com/questions/wedding-form-options.htm
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    edited December 2011
    Why would you sit down and talk to your FMIL about this? You and your FI need to sit down and talk. If you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to make your own decisions about what you want for your wedding.

    Are your future IL's paying for it? Is this why it is more of an issue as to where you get married?

    And pp has some very good suggestions and websites for you, too.
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    ashleyxlynnashleyxlynn member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    They are paying for a large majority of the wedding, and she is helping me the most with planning and decorations. Wedding planning is her thing, she loves to do it and I'm excited to have her help. I love her to death, but she's trying to take over and plan it all for me rather than help me.

    I'm going to sit down with my fiance and discuss all of this with him. Hopefully he can help me out with her and all will be well.

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    Riss91Riss91 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think pp are right... you and your FI need to discuss what you want beyond the wedding. How do you plan to live after the wedding? How do you want to raise your children? Once you've decided all that, then determine which church you'd like to be married in. Then your FI should tell your mother what the decision is. Not you. Have him do it - it's his mother.

    If you decide you do not want a Catholic wedding, and your ILs will no longer help pay for it - just start saving and pay for it yourselves. It doesn't make sense to get married in a ceremony that isn't your belief system, just to have your ILs pay for it. Too many people do that these days!
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    Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    you need to discuss this with your FI, not your ILs.

    for the catholic, a marriage performed in another church by a non-catholic officiant is not valid or recognized by the catholic church.  your FI (not his parents) will need to decide whether that is important to him or not.
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_not-catholic-but-fiance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:f12e5356-1867-4320-beb3-96e8befc4cbePost:257d0140-ed0c-4c63-8cc9-58a193839225">Re: Not Catholic, but fiance is..</a>:
    [QUOTE]you need to discuss this with your FI, not your ILs. for the catholic, a marriage performed in another church by a non-catholic officiant is not valid or recognized by the catholic church.  your FI (not his parents) will need to decide whether that is important to him or not.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    Calypso, I've seen you categorically say before that a mixed marriage perform in another church by a non-Catholic officiant won't be recognized as valid by the Church. 

    However, my understanding is that it would be recognized as valid if the Catholic first got a dispensation from canonical form from his bishop.  That's what <a href="http://www.catholicweddinghelp.com" rel='nofollow'>www.catholicweddinghelp.com</a> says, which is where I usually go for these types of questions. 

    Is that website mistaken?  I'm not trying to get in a fight, just genuinely curious about the discrepancy.
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    Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    i was always told that it wasnt valid, and that you could get the dispensation, but that it had to be under very certain/extreme circumstances. 

    agape can probably help us on this....
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    bel138bel138 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I thought the dispensation for getting married in another Christian church was special circumstances like the bride's dad is the pastor of the church and is going to marry them. Not just because it's a mixed marriage.
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    agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    A Catholic can marry a baptized non-Catholic. They have to get permission from the bishop to marry, in general.

    A Catholic can marry a non-baptized person. They have to get a dispensation from the bishop called "disparity of cult", in general.

    Both of these couples must marry "in the Catholic Church" for it to be considered valid. This means they go through pre-marital investigation, marriage prep, etc, and marry according to Catholic form (which means in a Catholic church, by a priest, etc)

    There IS a "dispensation from form" for special circumstances. The couple still must follow all of the other requirements, but the location of the wedding itself is somewhere else. Wanting to get married outside is not a special circumstance. 

    For the OP, who isn't even sure she wants to get married in a church, will have some difficulties. If you aren't tying the marriage in with your own religion, and have strong ties to getting married in your church, then there might not be "special circumstances". Marriage is a huge deal in the Catholic faith, not something to just decide to have a wedding for the sake of itself anywhere. The walls of the church are symbolic of the community that one is professing their vocation to, and promising to live out a Christian life and domestic church in the home. 
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks, agape.  The OP's comment about having a pastor that she has wanted to marry her since she was young makes it sound like she may have a strong connection to her own church.  It would probably depend on the priest they talk to in terms of if that qualifies as a special circumstance.
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    agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_not-catholic-but-fiance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:f12e5356-1867-4320-beb3-96e8befc4cbePost:cd91a2d5-3d4f-4577-b286-41255f2587b0">Re: Not Catholic, but fiance is..</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks, agape.  The OP's comment about having a pastor that she has wanted to marry her since she was young makes it sound like she may have a strong connection to her own church.  It would probably depend on the priest they talk to in terms of if that qualifies as a special circumstance.
    Posted by SaraAndrew2010[/QUOTE]

    <div>She also said she's not even sure she wants to be married in a church. </div>
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    ootmother2ootmother2 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited December 2011

    Talk this and the rest of your future plans over seriously with your FI, not his mother.

    You can be marrried in your church with your Pastor as long as there is a Catholic priest offficiating with him.  You can also be married in a Catholic church with your Pastor and a Catholic priest.  The above situations require dispensations from the church but they can be done.

    FIRST, decide what direction you and FI want to go.  This is a big decision for both of you and not to be taken lightly.

    His mother should realize that you both can just walk away from her and HER planning if she's holding the subect hostage.

    Good luck!

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    edited December 2011
    I know how you feel.  My FI is Catholic and I am Baptist.  My FMIL really wanted us to be married in the Catholic church.  My FI and I talked about it and he said that he would like to be but understood I wasn't Catholic and that we could be married someplace else but that a Catholic priest had to be present for it to be valid in the Catholic church.  After talking it over we decided to get married in the Catholic church (since i'm currently not a member of a baptist church). 

    I was also told that if I really wanted that I could have a Baptist pastor stand up with the Catholic priest to represent my religious background.  I don't if this is possible for you but it is a suggestion.
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    ootmother2ootmother2 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_not-catholic-but-fiance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:f12e5356-1867-4320-beb3-96e8befc4cbePost:c4de123f-a79f-4691-a703-6866b950cc35">Re: Not Catholic, but fiance is..</a>:
    [QUOTE]I know how you feel.  My FI is Catholic and I am Baptist.  My FMIL really wanted us to be married in the Catholic church.  My FI and I talked about it and he said that he would like to be but understood I wasn't Catholic and that we could be married someplace else but that a Catholic priest had to be present for it to be valid in the Catholic church.  After talking it over we decided to get married in the Catholic church (since i'm currently not a member of a baptist church).  I was also told that if I really wanted that I could have a Baptist pastor stand up with the Catholic priest to represent my religious background.  I don't if this is possible for you but it is a suggestion.
    Posted by megs3124[/QUOTE]

    Yes, that is possible, I posted it above.

    Example:  One of my brothers was planning to marry a young woman who was Protestant, Congrigationalist, I believe. The parents of the bride arranged to have one of the local priests assist at the wedding to make sure that it was valid in the Catholic Church (and, well, to make my grandmothers happy too)

    A while after they were married and starting a family, they decided that they really thought that "one family, one religon" was the best thing for them so my brother started attending her church and raised their children in that faith.   I really don't remember any real objections by the family.  There is no such thing as a BAD religion!
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    Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    There is no such thing as a BAD religion!

    well, except those westboro baptist church crazies!  but that's more of a cult, and not baptist in any way....
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