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Catholic Church? (hopefully not too controversial)

I really hope this question isn't offensive to anyone. I just feel most comfortable asking it here. Both my FI and I are Catholic. It's really important for him that our marriage is recognized by the Catholic Church. Personally, I wouldn't mind being married non-denominational. Our reception will be Saturday evening (for a number of reasons). As most people know, the latest ceremony the Church will do is 2PM, leaving a huge gap. Here's my question. Is it possible to do a non-denominational ceremony and then at a later time (1 year anniversary?) have a private ceremony in the Catholic Church? This might be completely wrong, but I'm pretty clueless about this.

Re: Catholic Church? (hopefully not too controversial)

  • edited December 2011
    You would need to have a convalidation ceremony to have it recognized by the Church: The Church does not recognize a civil wedding ceremony as valid when one or both people are Catholic. If a couple are married in a civil ceremony, the Catholic person(s) are asked to refrain from receiving the Eucharist until the marriage is recognized as valid by the Church. The reason for this, in a nutshell, is that the Church recognizes marriage as a spiritual reality, not just a piece of paper or a legal formality.   If you've already been married in a civil ceremony, how can you have your marriage recognized as valid by the Church? Talk to your pastor, who will probably recommend a process called convalidation; it usually involves an expedited marriage preparation process (to determine that there is no impediment to the marriage) and a simple celebration of the sacrament of marriage so that the consent of the couple to be married can be witnessed by the Church. Another process, called radical sanation, may sometimes be used to recognize a marriage as valid without a formal exchange of consent (vows).HTHs
  • Vanessa630Vanessa630 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Thanks so much Stephy. That's really helpful, Vanessa
  • edited December 2011
    Hi Vanessa!I'm not sure where you are having your reception, but there are churchs that will do the ceremony later than 2. The church I am getting married at in Hartford is letting me have the ceremony at 5pm on a Saturday. (Saint Peter's Church on Main Street)Just be aware that if you and FI decide to get married in the church you will need to do pre-cana and meet with a priest. The priest we have been going to there is great!
  • edited December 2011
    vanessa, what if you flipflopped that idea? have a private ceremony sometime ahead of the reception with close family or whoever, and then on your reception day have a nondenominational ceremony the day of? then you could have it onsite or closeby, and have whoever officiate
  • edited December 2011
    Stephy's post was correct. I would just like to add that to some Catholics it doesn't "make sense" to have a civil ceremony with the intention of have a convalidation later. If you and your future hubby desire to have your marriage recognized by the Church then what is stopping you now? You already said that having a church ceremony isn't as important to you so why do the convalidation? Sorry if my post doesn't make sense. I just woke up from working nights.
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  • Vanessa630Vanessa630 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Blondie: I actually thought of that, but wasn't sure if doing things in reverse is possible. Would a JP "marry" someone who is already married in a Catholic Church?
  • edited December 2011
    i dont see why a JP wouldnt marry you...you would be paying him to be there to perform a ceremony, its just that you wouldnt have to fill out all the marriage license stuff that day there are people that do things like that- have a private ceremony, and then have someone perform a ceremony at the wedding- ive even heard of people doing it that way so they can have an uncle or someone special perform the ceremony in front of the family
  • Vanessa630Vanessa630 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    That's a really good idea, then. I didn't know that was possible. It would probably make a lot more sense.
  • edited December 2011
    I **think** that is possible. It would need to be explored with a JP. As a guest I would like to know that the couple is already married. It wouldn't make a difference to me but if you make your guests feel like they are watching for the first time it's kind of deceitful, IMO. My feeling is that if you wanted a Catholic ceremony bad enough you would re-arrange your reception around it instead of the other way around. You've stated it's your fiance that really wants to marry in the church. I think a good place to start is to discuss this with fiance if you haven't already. You'll need to discuss where you both stand on issues of faith, religion, and raising your children with religion.
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  • edited December 2011
    Oh, and not that I suggest purposively not telling your priest about your second ceremony idea but depending on the priest he might be leery about marrying you. He'd probably question the seriousness of your commitment to your religion, your understanding of what marriage in the church entails, etc..etc.
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  • edited December 2011
    One last thing, for my third post in 5 minutes..lol. The Catholic church is probably the stuffiest and most unwilling for change. As a result it's followers can be just a steadfast in their ideas. I just wanted to let you know I'm not faulting you for wanting a ceremony closer to reception time. I just wanted to give you another point of view. I'm sure whatever you decide it will be beautiful and perfect for you and your FI.
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  • Vanessa630Vanessa630 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Thanks so much! I really appreciate everyone's input. I knew I'd get some great perspectives by posting here.
  • starrbuk13starrbuk13 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    on the idea of doing the catholic ceremony first, then a civil one on the day of your reception...why even have a JP do it?  at that point, you're legally married anyway...why not just have a close friend or someone do it if a JP won't?  that will also save you the added $$ from a jp...i know it's not as "realistic" but it's a thought :)
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Legally you can't have the Catholic ceremony and then the JP ceremony.  I don't know of any Catholic churches that will marry you without the marriage license which means that if you have a JP later, he's just renewing your vows.If you opted for the opposite, the route of Convalidation is tough as you're knowingly getting married outside the Church rather than having a JP ceremony and converting to Catholicism at a later date.  Instead, what about a few options:1) Find a reception hall that will work with you and your time line.  DH and I were married in a 2 PM ceremony and our reception started at 4:00.  Our cocktail lasted until 5:30 and dinner was served around 6:00 - still an average dinner time for guests and it worked out well.  Our reception was at the Stone Barn and we were really pleased with everything they did.  It was just a small fee to make the reception 6 hours so it went until 10:00 PM.  By that time many guests had left and the die-hard ones were still there.  They joined us at the hotel bar for drinks later.2) Find a Catholic Church that will perform a marriage ceremony after 2 PM.  Depending on where you get married, some brides here have some great ideas for churches.
  • edited December 2011
    banana- i dont think shes looking to have both of them perform a legal ceremony- if she gets married in the church ahead of time, you would have the marriage license for that date, and then the jp would perform the ceremony- a renewal of vows like you said a friend of my moms took another route as well....they wanted to have a quiet ceremony, so they went on vacation, had a ceremony on the beach, and then after the fact(if i remember it was a couple months later), they had a reception to celebrate with everyone....and i dont think they performed a ceremony that day
  • AngelaN611AngelaN611 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My friend was in a similar situation.  She wanted her marriage recognized by the Catholic church, but her husband is not Christian so they did not want the "big wedding" in the Catholic church.  So, the week before their wedding they went to her church with a small number of family friends and did a ceremony there.  A week later for their "big wedding" they did have a JP to do that ceremony in front of everyone. 
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