Latino Weddings

Civil Marriage First. Religious Ceremony Later.

Ok ladies, I am driving myself insane with my situation. BTW I am new to 'knot'.

My boyfriend and I have agreed along with our families that it is time for us to tie the knot.
(I know it sounds like we're being forced into marriage, but trust me that is not the case at all, just helps that our families are 150% behind us on this :) Not only because my parents already see my FI as their wonderful son-in-law, but both of our families all want us to start our lives together and start having children. He is my best friend and from the moment I met him I knew he was going to be the one who broke down my walls and taught me to truly love a person.

We can't afford the wedding of our dreams right now so we decided to do a simple civil marriage between the two of us for right now and then in a year or so throw the wedding we desire and can afford.

My concern is this : Can we get married at city hall and then have a Catholic ceremony?
To me that sounds like it would be the renewal of vows, but obviously that is not what I am trying to achieve.


Re: Civil Marriage First. Religious Ceremony Later.

  • XML&MrPXML&MrP
    10 Comments
    member
    Of course you can, you can do whatever is best for your FI and yourself. The way I see it is that the civil ceremony only ties you legally and the religious ceremony is obv. In the eyes of God and thats what really counts, before then in His eyes you are not married. Best of luck to you both!
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  • I'm doing this.  I'm having my civil ceremony in July and Catholic ceremony in Sept. (different countries).  And exactly what previous poster said.  When you get married in the church you don't need a civil ceremony because it's automatically recognized. 
    weddingcake-1
  • Nati05Nati05
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    member
    Well some countries actually require you to do it this way. I'm getting married in Ecuador and we HAVE TO get married at city hall first (few weeks or days before) or else the religious ceremony can't even happen. Many people here do what you're consdering because culturally the two ceremonies are considered two different things. I know countries in Europe do this as well. Point is, I think it's fine now that I've learned about this and seen it from this perspective.

    I will say though, since you're new lol, this topic is NOT a popular nor accepted one on TK. It's considered a Pretty Princess Day (PPD) where you're getting married again to show off and get gifts when you're actually already married. So be careful posting about this on other boards if you're looking for others to agree with you. GL :)
  • in so many countries ( I am argentine) people have to get married "por el civil" first. Many countries like nati says it's a MUST before you even get married in a church. I think you need to do what you and your FI think it's best. 
    miaawallace
  • i am in the same situation. we are definately going to do it civil first.
  • pearlaquapearlaqua
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    member
    edited June 2012
    Other Boards (Etiquette) would say that this is very tacky, that your wedding is the Civil Hall wedding day, etc.  I know the culture in many Latin American countries allows/calls for separation of civil and religious weddings, but I will tell you that if you are inviting a large portion of non-Latinos to your wedding, they will think your plans are rude.

    Your guests might be offended that you thought them good enough to get you a wedding gift on your Dream Wedding Party day but not important enough to inculde on your Actual wedding day (civil ceremony).  I know this is not your intention, but unless you send out a long explanation of why you are doing this (which would itself be weird), people will be confused.

    You can only get married once, you can choose a Big Catholic Wedding or a Civil Ceremony to actually get married.  The Catholic Church will only do a convalidation under certain circumstances and "We couldn't afford my dream party" isn't one of those circumstances. Check with your priest for clarification.

    The gap between Civil and Religious that other posters alluded to was also likely a matter of a day apart to comply with the law of the land, not a year apart to fulfill your dreams.  Guests will take the difference in those circumstances into account when deciding whether to attend or not.

    You are right, what you are envisioning is a Vow Renewal.  When you invite people to the scenario you are asking about, you aren't inviting them to a wedding, you are inviting them to a Vow Reneweal.  People don't get as excited for those as they do for a wedding, so be prepared for people to not come esp. if they have to travel.

    I wish you the best of luck! My intention is just to tell you how your plans might be seen by the people you are considering including.  Run this by the Etiquette Board, they might tell you lots of angles to consider.  I personally wouldn't get married until I could have the wedding I wanted instead of potentially offending those near and dear to me.
  • In Response to Civil Marriage First. Religious Ceremony Later.:
    Ok ladies, I am driving myself insane with my situation. BTW I am new to 'knot'. My boyfriend and I have agreed along with our families that it is time for us to tie the knot. (I know it sounds like we're being forced into marriage, but trust me that is not the case at all, just helps that our families are 150% behind us on this :) Not only because my parents already see my FI as their wonderful son-in-law, but both of our families all want us to start our lives together and start having children. He is my best friend and from the moment I met him I knew he was going to be the one who broke down my walls and taught me to truly love a person. We can't afford the wedding of our dreams right now so we decided to do a simple civil marriage between the two of us for right now and then in a year or so throw the wedding we desire and can afford. My concern is this : Can we get married at city hall and then have a Catholic ceremony? To me that sounds like it would be the renewal of vows, but obviously that is not what I am trying to achieve.
    Posted by cecilia702
    This is called and recognized by the Catholic church as a convalidation. I had absolutely no problem with my church, and I doubt you will have a problem with this because according to the Catholic religion if you are not married by the church, you will never receive absolution, and it does not actually recognize any marriage not performed by the church nor does it view this as a Vow Renewal.

    I agree with PP that if you bring this up in another forum, they will not take kindly to it- and I actually had people jump down my throat because of it in another forum. Live your life YOUR way. The people you are inviting to your wedding are more than likely people that value you as a person, and you and FI as a couple. I KNOW FOR A FACT, that there will not be a single soul on my guestlist that view this as rude.  
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  • edited June 2012
    Many people in the latin culture do it. You have a right to live your life the way you want. If people get upset at such a petty thing, then that is on them not on you. People are more understanding than what they are given credit for. No matter what you do for wedding, you will be criticized for it.. trust me.. not inviting all the tias, not inviting all the cousins, inviting too many people, the food, whatever! In the end if they truly love you, your friends, white, black, Asian, Latino, Jewish, etc,  will accept it as it is and understand you. No comments on the knot can compare to the real life family and friends  you have and they will always stand behind you!
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  • In Response to Re: Civil Marriage First. Religious Ceremony Later.:
    Many people in the latin culture do it. You have a right to live your life the way you want. If people get upset at such a petty thing, then that is on them not on you. People are more understanding than what they are given credit for. No matter what you do for wedding, you will be criticized for it.. trust me.. not inviting all the tias, not inviting all the cousins, inviting too many people, the food, whatever! In the end if they truly love you, your friends, white, black, Asian, Latino, Jewish, etc,  will accept it as it is and understand you. No comments on the knot can compare to the real life family and friends  you have and they will always stand behind you!
    Posted by sarita86
    I think emphasizing the cultural relvance/reason to your friends who might not attend a Vow Renewal (which is what your original plan is, technically) would go a long way.

    People on The Knot are not, on the whole, familiar with all customs so advice about how you might offend people without the cultural background is not always applicable.



  • My fiance and I are doing this also. We had set the date for this year but because my FIL couldn't make it because he's stationed in Afghanistan, we decided to change the date to next year so he can be here. But we had already gotten some things ready for this year so we're doing a very simple, civil ceremony, a get together at my mother's house and next year we'll have the dream Catholic wedding. I wish you all the best! Felicidades!
    Jazzyliza
  • I'm in the same situation; doing civil first due to military reasons. Excetp we're debating if we should wait five years for our anniversary to fall on a Saturday, in order to do the church wedding. Either way, it's more common than I thought. I'm glad to know we're not alone on this. Hope you were able to figure things out.
    Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. -- Franklin P. Jones
  • I got engaged last month and we are planning a civil ceremony before the end of the year because my FI is in the military and we are moving from our hometown to another city and we want to be legally married before moving. As for our dream wedding, it'll happen in the summer 2013 because we want all our family and friends to be part of it and it takes time to plan and save and for our family and friends to save to come too since not everyone lives in our city.

    I think you should do what you want and works for you at the time. If you dream of the big catholic wedding and can't afford it yet it's okay to do the civil first and then the big one because in church you aren't married in the eyes of God until you do it in church so I don't see it as a renewal of vows because it was in the courthouse first it doesn't count to God until it's in His house...well good luck!  (:
  • Do what you want, but realize that people might not come to your "wedding" if you're already married. Military or Catholicism or whatnot.

    That's all I'm trying to say, that you can always do what you want, but don't expect all the guests to be on board with your plans.

    And to the last poster who wants to have their "dream wedding" afterward, you can't have a wedding after you're married.  You can have your "dream celebration" or "one-in-a-lifetime party" but it's not a wedding.

    It might be nitpicky or semantics, but guests will be less confused if you don't confuse them.
  • In Response to Re: Civil Marriage First. Religious Ceremony Later.:
    Do what you want, but realize that people might not come to your "wedding" if you're already married. Military or Catholicism or whatnot. That's all I'm trying to say, that you can always do what you want, but don't expect all the guests to be on board with your plans. And to the last poster who wants to have their "dream wedding" afterward, you can't have a wedding after you're married.  You can have your "dream celebration" or "one-in-a-lifetime party" but it's not a wedding. It might be nitpicky or semantics, but guests will be less confused if you don't confuse them.
    Posted by pearlaqua
    Are you Catholic? It doesn't seem like it.

    The proper terms is Convalidation but the church will not treat it as a vow renewal or refrain from performing a traditional WEDDING ceremony. It is VERY common for Catholic brides to wed in the courthouse before their Sacrament is received. I was a witness in my SIL's wedding two months prior to her religious ceremony. It's just a cultural difference you obviously can't relate to.
    Jazzyliza
  • I got married by a JOP at a small party in March which was thrown together in 2 1/2 weeks. We got married so that we could be Godparents to a child being christened in the Catholic church. According to our friends' priest being engaged alone did not qualify us to be padrinos but a marriage certificate did. We had a great time but I told my FI at that time that I still wanted to have my "church wedding". He agreed! After looking at several dates we landed on January 18 (almost 1 year after our civil ceremony) due to the fact that we will have many family members traveling a fair distance. We are having a "Blessing of the Marriage" in an Episcopal Church. As a nod to the groom's heritage it will be a bi-lingual (English-Spanish) ceremony and at the reception we will have both jazz and salsa bands! This will be my dream wedding and I can't wait! I make no apologies for having 2 ceremonies; one is civil and the other is religious. Enough said.
    karolita7
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