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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Living Together = Church Issues

I was curious as to if anyone getting married in a Christian Church was having the same issue. My fiance and I just moved in together mainly to save for the wedding as we don't expect nor anticipate any financial help from our families. We both had houses and thought it silly to pay 2 mortgages when we could save money for the wedding. Additionally we are both full time students Anyway, now we are being told that we may not be able to have our wedding in the church because we live together. Is this common at every Christian Church?? I was raised and am a member at the Church we are looking into but now it seems we will need to find an alternative. I'd still like to get married in a church though. Any ideas?? Or similar problems??
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Re: Living Together = Church Issues

  • This is a question for the actual church, not through hearsay from friends. Schedule a meeting with your priest or minister ASAP to talk about the wedding in general. It also depends on what division of Christianity you are - Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Latter-Day Saints, etc. "Christian" is a big umbrella statement, so if you narrow it down maybe you will receive better responses.  Who knows, the topic may not even come up (although I imagine it might if you have to fill out forms with your addresses on it). The main thing is not to lie about it. I'm Catholic and haven't met with our priest yet, but other Catholic friends & Knot members have said that some priests don't care if you live together, whereas others may give you a mini-lecture on it. They may also encourage you to live a chaste lifestyle until the wedding (maybe move out, or sleep in separate bedrooms, or just refrain from sex until the wedding night). It really depends on the individual priest and parish.
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  • Ditto, you need to speak directly to your priest or pastor regarding this issue.  As previous pp said, don't lie about it. We got married in DH's Lutheran church and the pastor was completely okay with us living together.  On the flipside, I had a friend that had to find a new church because her Catholic priest found out they were living together and refused to marry them. It really varies, you need to speak to them directly.
  • You can absolutely get married in a church! Certain denominations may not be willing to marry you, but if you are willing to try new churches there are plenty who will do it. More liberal churches are your best bet. I believe most Presbyterian churches would be willing to marry you. Don't give up! :)
  • No, this is NOT common at every christian church. It sounds specific to yours or your denomination. Some churches require counseling, some don't, some you have to take classes, some will just marry you etc...Even if you were raised in this church it sounds as though you need to find another that fits your personal beliefs/logic (why waste money=move in together...big deal). Good luck.
  • we got a little lecture from our pastor.  But promised him and ourselves we would remain sex free until the wedding night.  It's been VERY hard, but it will make it ten times more special for the wedding night.  Our pastor was aganst it and FI parents don't even know that we are living together, they are that strict.  But due to economy reasons, we moved in together and the pastor understood that.  Just talk it over with your pastor.
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  • I agree that this is something you should discuss with your actual priest, I'm not sure who told you that you may not be able to have your wedding in the church because you co-habitate maybe they are older and they themselves are the ones who don't agree with it and are just trying to make you feel upset.  I'm Roman Catholic and thus far have had no problems with my church(FI is nonpracticing Episcopal) though I've always felt my church to be slightly more tolerant than other RC churches on the initial paperwork we filled out it asked us for our addresses and we did put the same one down so they know we live together. [url=http://www.theknot.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.theknot.com/tools/tickers/tt322cb.aspx[/img][/url] 
  • I go to a Christian Church and I did have that problem... they wanted us to leave apart for a year.... so we are going to get married out side and have a judge marry us my aunt is going to do the prayer and my best friends mom is going to do a reading so we dont loose that aspect of it....
  • you really need to discuss this with your priest or minister, or whoever is the wedding contact at your church.
  • Definitely talk with your minister/priest.  Since it's their church, it's their rules.  My FI and I have lived together for over 2 1/2 yrs and we're getting married in the Catholic Church.  I think our priest is very liberal. GL
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  • I will be getting married in a Baptist church this weekend, and it was never an issue or even brought up. :) Thank goodness.
  • I have known a couple people who lived together and got mairred in a catholic church. usually the priest will recommend during your engagement to find seperate sleeping arrangements. i think it really depends on your priest. My fiance and I were going to move in together but then we got engaged and decided to hold off on moving in to make it easier for us to get married in a church.
  • di&jdi&j member
    First Comment
    I'm getting married by my church (Baptist), and part of the requirements is to take pre-marital counseling and we're not "allowed" to live together prior to the wedding.  That was actually one of the first questions asked, and we were advised that if we wanted to get married at the church we'd have to live separately.  Fortunately, this is not a problem since I live at home so I can save for the wedding.  But you need to discuss things with your church and pastor, some churches will not bend and you may have to be more flexible as to who marries you. 
  • i am also catholic but my fi is lutheran and my pastor really gave us a bad time - especially since we wanted an outdoor wedding- and it would cost us more money to get married cause he is a diff religion than i. and he wasnt happy that we are living together but we have been dating for 7 years and just been living together for the past 2 years.  so i got a beautiful room at a local restaurant who is taking care of everything, a jop, and i found this beautiful irish wedding poem that my friend of many years is going to say before the ceremony not only as a reading but to also welcome God into the ceremony. so if your priest doesnt want to do it and you have your bans of marriage and counseling done you can always go to rentapriest.com and youll find priest in your area that will be able to work with you. remember its the churches rules not God's so do what you want but remember to include him in the ceremony since God is everywhere.
  • we are Catholic (living in the Northeast) and the priest did not bat an eye when we both said our address was the same. Besides it being 2009, the area we live in is pretty expensive for both rent and mortgages.  I cannot expect they find a lot of couples who can afford to pay two.   I know in the Catholic faith, a lot depends on the actual parish & pastor as well as the Diocese.  Our pastor was actually more concerned about why we wanted to get married in a church(i.e. we understood the importance of the sacrament or just wanted pretty pictures)  That made me feel really good about our decision as we were both raised Catholic.  I am sure you can find a parish that is more forward thinking. 
  • we lived together, and were very upfront about it being purely for financial reasons (we had a chance to buy a home when the market was good, and the other issue was that due to residency requirements with my H's job, it would have been impossible for him to move into my place after the wedding, adn his place would not have worked for us.  thus, we would have been faced with living apart after the wedding, until we could make arrangements for a place together). however, we did choose to abstain and keep separate bedrooms, and made this known to the priest.  we are Catholic, and felt it was the best choice for us as we prepared to receive our sacrament.
  • What a great post! I'm going through the same exact thing! I grew up in a Christian home.. and sex before marriage is completely frowned upon. My parents know I'm not a virgin, but it "breaks their hearts". I just don't think they understand that these days it's almost impossible to find someone that has waited for marriage or where both partners are still virgins in their mid-late 20's. With that said, we also live together due to financial reasons.. why pay 2 rents/mortgages when we could be saving together towards our wedding and a house. I haven't lived at home since the beginning of college, and I'm not going to move back home now just because some people may think it's wrong. My parents were upset at first, but they needed to understand that my lease with my friend was up and she too was moving in with her boyfriend and they eventually understood. My next worry is when we decide to meet with someone in the church to marry us. Are they going to not marry us because we live together or suggest we find new living arrangements? I'm scared and that's why I haven't started the process of meeting with someone at the church to talk about marrying us at our ceremony. I know every church is different, but I have a feeling mine doesn't have any understanding with this matter.
  • IT VARIES FROM EACH PASTOR AND EACH CHURCH. WE HAD SOME FRIENDS THAT THEIR PASTOR MADE THEM ABSTAN FOR 6 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING EVEN THOUGH THEY LIVED TOGETHER. FOR US IT ISNT AN ISSUE. WE'VE BOTH BEEN MARRIED AND NO ONE IS STUPID...NOT TO MENTION IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLANNING WE FOUND OUT WE HAD A SURPRISE BUNDLE OF JOY. jUST TALK IT OVER WITH WHOEVER IS DOING YOUR CEREMONY. HE MAY BE OKAY WITH IT AS LONG AS YOU PROMISE TO NOT HAVE SEX FROM THAT POINT UNTIL THE MARRIAGE. IM SURE YOU CAN WORK SOMETHING OUT
  • My fiance and I were planning on marrying in a Christian Church, the same church my parents were married in.  When we moved to Texas, from California, we moved in together, simply because it would be a waste of money to rent two places.  When the church found out we would be living together, they told us that they would not allow us to marry in the church unless we met certain requirements and were granted an exception.  Talk to your pastor, they probably have something in place already for these situations.  We were told that we had to repent, attend premarrital counceling, attend the church's services regularly, my fiance would have to baptized (I already am) and obstain from premarrital "relations."  And we would have to request an exception from the Church Elders. 
  • I think it depends on your church, minister, and area.  We are actually 'renting' the church and bringing in our own non-denominational officiant.  If you are having a really hard time you might be able to 'rent' the location and bring in someone who is willing to perform the ceremony.
  • We live together and our Pastor frowned upon it but he simply said that there are some Preists or Pastors or whatever that won't marry you if you live together. It is completely up to the church. He did give us a mini-lecture on how it is frowned upon in the eyes of God but thats all he said about it. I would just talk to your church and see their views on if they will marry you or not.
  • Thank you everyone for the helpful responses! We are in the process now of getting with the minister at my church. We go to a non-denominational Christian Church. We do have a couple others in mind, one that my finace previously attended and another that is in the area that we would be willing to attend. (We don't want the church just for the pics or to say we were married in the church) It means many more things to us than that so we really want to belong to the church we are married in. I'm sure many understand that. Well, I suppose it's time wait for the verdict and proceed from there! Thanks again!
  • My FI and I live together, but chastely, and really, it depends on the denomination you're in. If you're Catholic, you may have a LOT of difficulty with this :\ I did want to mention the importance of living separately before the wedding: It's a sin to have pre-marital sex, so being separated avoids the sin. It may be 'silly' to have to pay two mortgages until you are married, but you aren't husband and wife yet, and it's a time to enjoy your engagement. Don't forget, your ultimate purpose to each other as Christians is to get the other to heaven, so try to help each other be chaste until the wedding. Sleep in separate rooms if possible, it won't be fun at first, but you will feel renewed when you come together. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  • Definately talk to your minister. I was looking into my grandmothers church that I've gone to off & on my whole life and they would only ask that the week before the wedding that we not "live" together. We got married at Knott's Berry Farm in the little church there and it was lovely.
  • It definitely depends on the church. But we just lied (oops) and gave our parent's addresses and said we didn't live together. It was important to us to get married in the Catholic Church and we didn't want that to stop us from being married there. We had no issues what-so-ever and we're happy that we went about it the way we did.
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  • If getting married at the church is something that is important to you, then maybe you need to look at other ways of saving money, other than living together. Could you live with a friend until the wedding date? Or are there ways in the wedding to cut costs? I also am one that is not getting a lot financial help from my family for the wedding, so I'm all about using coupons and hitting the sales in order to save some cash!
  • Not in the same problem, but know people that were. I've noticed that in the Catholic Church, at least in these stories, they usually don't even ask. If they do know they might give a little lecture, but they will not tell you to have the ceremony elsewhere. A friend wanted to get married in her Methodist childhood church and she was told she couldn't because they lived together. She went to a couple other Methodist churchs and as told the same. She ended up having her ceremony at a Non-denominational church
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  • But we just lied (oops) and gave our parent's addresses and said we didn't live together. It was important to us to get married in the Catholic Church and we didn't want that to stop us from being married there. We had no issues what-so-ever and we're happy that we went about it the way we did.you may have snowballed your priest, but God knows.  that is really blatant.  its one thing to avoid the issue unless asked, but to actually say "we dont live together" its pretty bad.  makes me wonder if you meant it when you said "till death do we part".
  • My fi's priest WANTED to marry us to "help make it right."  He doesn't like that we're living in sin (as they say), so he said it would make no sense to him to force us to continue that way.  He also knows that we live together for financial reasons and not for sex.  I'm sorry, but people can find ways to have sex without sharing an address.Question for those of you whose priests/pastors told you to move out/not have sex for x amount of time before the wedding.  Did you actually do it?
  • My FI and I were both raised Catholic and now live together as well.  After much talk about this we decided not to get  married at any church since our church would not marry us.  Our faith is important to us, but we felt that moving to a different faith wasnt what we really belived in.  With that being said  we found a family member who really wanted to get ordained and he is going to perform the ceremony for us at the catering hall.  This is going to make it more intimate. We are so excited!
  • That last post was a bit harsh! Shame on you for judging someone else. God does know, and God also knows that you living together should not affect the kind of relationship you have. God knows if you love each other. If I had to lie in order to have God as part of my wedding, I might have done so in order to get around what I might see as a pointless rule. I was raised Catholic. I know alllll about stupid rules that RELIGIONS invent masqueraded as divine directions. I also believe that MOST people don't follow every single one. So, you know what, only YOU can decide how to handle this situation. Get yourself right with whatever God you believe in, and don't worry what others have to say! Good Luck!!
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