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Catholic Weddings

Married at a different parish?

I've been a lurker for a while and have really appreciated the wise and faithful advice this board has provided for other people. I have a question about arranging a parish for my wedding I hope you can help with!

I live pretty far away from everything (including airports and family) for grad school, so while I LOVE my parish and priest here my fiance and I decided it would be easier on both of our families to get married near my parents (about 5 hours away from my home). The problem is there isn't a natural church to try and work with- my family isn't religious and I go to two different parishes whenever I'm visiting based on when I can sneak away for mass. I just got off the phone with one of the parishes and got a talking to about how unusual a situation this is and they wouldn't give me any information until they talk with my priest- ack.  We haven't heard back from the other parish yet. While I know my priest can straighten everythign out (we've already had our first meeting with him and he's onboard with our plan), we were hoping to get information about available dates from both parishes (and pick one) before involving the priests since they are so busy with more important matters.

Does anyone have sage advice on how to proceed or how to coordinate different parishes? I'm probably overreacting but I'm really worried I misstepped somehow. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Married at a different parish?

  • We were married at a parish near our reception location, and we brought a priest in from another location. Would it be possible to see if the priest you know from your home parish could travel to perform your ceremony elsewhere? You would cover his travel expenses, obviously.

    You can always try calling again to see if they have anyone penciled in for the dates you are looking at. But you might need to wait until your priest makes the phone calls. If you know anyone that works at the parishes in the area, see if you can have them help you out. Sometimes just having a connection will help things along!
  • You might also consider where you want your parish home to be.  The parish where we were married was out-of-town for both our families, but it was where we were members and planned to raise our family.



  • I'm also attending grad school and am 5 hours away from where we'll be getting married! In my case it was the parish I grew up in, so they already new me and it wasn't a big issue. We haven't been able to do the FOCCUS and Pre Cana stuff through them though, but they were fine with it as long as we kept them in the loop and my priest at school has been emailing them. I think the key is getting to meet with the pastor or office manager at the parish you are hoping to be married at in person and explaining why it's important to you to use thier parish. 

  • Another option is to see if there are any historic Catholic churches or maybe a college chapel near your parents. Sometimes these are more flexible with non-members because they aren't really a parish. Although sometimes you are encouraged to bring in a priest to marry you so you might have to see if your priest is willing to travel.
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