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Catholic Weddings

2 weddings or what???

Here is the deal, We originally wanted the wedding to be on the beach so we booked them. Paid $1000 down to do this....Then later on I decided to convert to Catholicism, Which means if we get married outside of the church we have to have it recognized in the church later on or We have to have 2 weddings. We thought about having a private ceremony in a church the day before and then having the big wedding the next day. Does anyone know the process to get it recognized in the church or should we just do the 2 separate ceremonies?? Please help!! It's starting to be very frustrating to me. Any thoughts?    

Re: 2 weddings or what???

  • meltoinemeltoine member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments First Answer
    edited December 2011
    If anything, you would have to have the Church ceremony first and the beach one later. Although, the Church really frowns on having "two weddings" A convalidation (official Church recognition of a marriage that took place outside of the Church) is only available in very specific cases, and your wanting to get married on the beach isn't one of them. It's reserved basically for people who were married in a civil ceremony and then converted or returned to the Church later.
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  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    You should make an appointment with your priest ASAP and discuss your options. Although I imagine he's basically going to say that they would prefer you to cancel the beach wedding and re-schedule it inside the church, if you are serious about having a Catholic marriage. I sympathize with you not wanting to lose the thousand dollars, but you need to decide if the money or your faith is your bigger priority (and maybe you can get the money back if you can find someone else to take your reservation). Did you book the ceremony and reception for the beach location, or just the ceremony? If you wanted the reception on the beach, maybe just cancel the beach ceremony and then do a church ceremony followed by a beach reception.
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  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    ditto the pp's. if you have not yet begun your conversion process, once you do, yoiu will realize the importance of the sacrament, and most likely this will all become very clear to you why you cannot have the beach wedding. you can also ask abotu getting even a partial refund.  if you explain the situation, they  may be very understanding. 
  • edited December 2011
    talk to your priest! you will have to go through pre-cana classes. also for your marriage to be legit in the church it has to be done inside a church, by a priest. there must also be a witness to sign the marraige liscence. the religious ceremony is also legal so if you do the church first you will be officially husband and wife at that time.
  • ag.4.24.10ag.4.24.10 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I have already started the RCIA classes and it was explained to me why we cannot get married on the beach. We already met with one Priest close to where we are getting married and thought about doing a private ceremony the morning of the beach ceremony But now we are thinking that it's already going to be crazy and hectic the day of so we are going to do it at our church here locally. We are meeting with our Priest in 2 weeks. The plan now is to get married(have a private ceremony, family only) Friday April 23rd which means we will legally be married..then have a ceremony with all of our friends and family on the beach(not an official ceremony)...The ceremony and reception site are together.  I just wondered if there were any other options out there since I am still unfamiliar with the Catholic religion...I am learning but not all the way through the classes yet.    
  • edited December 2011
    The other option is to have the church wedding, have the beach reception, and skip the fake ceremony.
  • ag.4.24.10ag.4.24.10 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Leah- I thought about that too
  • edited December 2011
    You could always use the space for cocktail hour or reception or even pics and not have totally wasted the $$ if they won't give it back.
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    A friend of mine was in your same basic situation ... booked a beach wedding, husband decided a Catholic ceremony meant a lot to him, so they were married in the church on Friday with immediate family and had the beach wedding as planned on Saturday. She said it worked for her. Your call. Just be honest with your guests no matter what you do. Don't pretend the beach ceremony is the real thing. I agree with Leah, though, the beach ceremony doesn't seem necessary since you'll already be married. If I was in your shoes, I would invite everyone to the church ceremony and find another use for the beach location so you don't waste your money (or see if another local bride will book it so you can get a refund). Or have a private ceremony with family only and then a larger party for everyone.
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  • ag.4.24.10ag.4.24.10 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    mbcdefgHow do you not pretend that it's the real one? We weren't going to tell anyone about the private ceremony since it was going to be immediate family only that will be there.  If I cancel the beach one my mom and I both will loose alot of money. And we can not afford to loose any.  ANd we thought about having the ceremony in the Church and then going to the beach for the reception but since it's out of town for everyone I didn't want anyone having to drive once they got there.
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    You could just be honest with them and put something in the programs about how you've already been married in the Church, or make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony. Or, again, just skip the fake ceremony and invite just immediate family to the church ceremony and everyone else to a reception. People will understand. How far from the church is the beach location? As long as it's within about 30-40 minutes or less, it's O.K. to have the ceremony and reception in two different locations. You don't HAVE to have everything in the same town. Then you could invite everyone to the church and then to the reception as well. Talk to the beach site and see if they can do anything for you. Again, if you can get someone to take your date, maybe they will give you your money back. Talk to your local board and see if anyone would be willing to buy your date from you so she can use that location. Maybe put an ad on Craigslist as well ... someone looking to get married in under a year might want to take the date, because a lot of venues offer discounts to unload an unbooked date.
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  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    you will be married.  the priest will sign your marriage license.  the church and the state will say you are legally married.  that's why the one at the beach will be a "fake".  you cant get married more than once.  
  • edited December 2011
    Maybe instead of having a wedding on the beach you can renew your vows? Or have your marriage blessed or something? You can still have everyone pray w/ you for your marriage and your future w/o having the actual ceremony.
  • edited December 2011
    Be aware that many parishes/dioceses have a required engagement period (mine was at least 8 months). you may have already surpassed this.I know I'm kind of going against the conventional wisdom of the board, but I think either a private ceremony beforehand or a convalidation later is perfectly legitimate in your case. When you planned your wedding, you didn't know that being married in the church was going to be important to you. Neither did most of your RCIA classmates. However, when they come into the church at easter, they'll have a convalidation ceremony, so why can't you?I think there's a difference between your case, and between the people who knew that they were Catholic, wanted a church ceremony, but still wanted the pretty beach picture ceremony. You didn't know the rules of the game at first. They did. Anyone, first things first is to ask your priest. He'll be able to help you. And if you do do the private ceremony beforehand, I would put in your programs something to the effect of "A and G were joined in the sacrament of holy matrimony on 4.23.10, and now wish to share their vows with friends and family"
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    However, when they come into the church at easter, they'll have a convalidation ceremony, so why can't you?um,  no.  the folks from RCIA will be CONFIRMED at easter, which is not a CONVALIDATION, which is a ceremony that legitimizes a marriage performed outside of the church.  Confirmation is a separate sacrament, and not related to marriage.run all of this by your priest.  maybe to help you out, the church would be willing to waive their fees since you'll be losing money on the beach wedding.  they may do this in an effort to help steer you in the right direction.
  • ag.4.24.10ag.4.24.10 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I know that we will be married on 4/23 legally and the priest will sign the license....I know it's not fake. I am saying if the guests dont know then it won't hurt them. The most important people in my life will be at the private ceremony.  Oh and our church is an hour and a half away from the beach. So its quite a drive. We are meeting with the priest on the 7th so I guess we will just have to wait and see.
  • ag.4.24.10ag.4.24.10 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Caly---What do you mean by engagement period? How long we have been engaged? We have been engaged since Feb.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Be aware that many parishes/dioceses have a required engagement period (mine was at least 8 months). you may have already surpassed this.this was posted by lap, not me.but some do require at least 6 months preparation before you can get married.
  • ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    As a recent guest at a faux Catholic beach wedding, I would advise against it. What you essentially will be doing is having two religious ceremonies -except the beach one will be a show. Like a play. You will be pretending to take the sacrament of marriage. That you took the day before. See where I'm going with this? Getting back to the wedding I went to just a few weeks ago, everyone knew it was a sham and many of the more devout Catholics were seriously offended. Barely anyone took communion. So, just get married in the church if you want a Catholic ceremony, and have your reception at the beach. Or skip the Catholic ceremony and do it at the beach. To those of us who believe in the sacrament, your idea is offensive. Sorry :(
  • ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I just read about the distance from your church to the beach. You don't have to get married at [i]your church[/i]. You can have the ceremony at any Catholic church - and there's bound to be one close to your desired reception site. We had a DW and therefore got married in a Catholic church that wasn't in our parish. Not a big deal.
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    So then invite everyone to the church and to the beach reception. People can choose to attend either the ceremony, the reception or both. I agree that a 90-minute drive is far. I did it for one wedding and was not very pleased, but since I had already blocked out a whole day for the wedding it didn't make too much of a difference to me. Plus the reason I was peeved was because they could've easily picked a closer reception site but chose not to. However, had they been in your situation, I would've understood. Even if I chose to only attend the ceremony or the reception, I would've understood the circumstances. If you choose to have a ceremony on the beach as well, don't hide it from people. You say "what they don't know won't hurt them" ... but what happens if they find out? THEN they will be hurt. Why take that chance? Be upfront from the beginning. I'm sure people will understand what happened. And like a PP said, talk to the church and explain the situation. Like she said, maybe they'll waive the fee or decrease it. Did you ever try asking the reception site if you can get your money back? What if someone else books your date? Did you ever ask your local board if anyone wanted your date? I think you just want people to tell you it's O.K. to have two ceremonies and pass the beach ceremony off as the real thing. I don't think you're going to get that here.
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  • ag.4.24.10ag.4.24.10 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    NO I am not trying to get anyone to approve of what I am doing. I was simply asking for advice. When I started planning my wedding, I didn't want to be Catholic, FI and I had a few dicussions around this and I decided this is what I wanted to do. I have only been in RCIA for about 2 months and recently learned why we can not be married outside of the church. But anyways I have booked every vendor, thats why I am saying I will loose alot of money. If I hadn't booked everything then I wouldn't care to change my plans....And since we have 5 months to go it's kidna hard at this point to change anything.
  • ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Find a Catholic church near your reception venue. Problem solved. Or don't have a Catholic ceremony. I'm curious about what type of ceremony you intend to have on the beach, though. Who will officiate it?
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    honestly, your FI being the catholic, should have known better and never should have allowed the beach wedding to even be considered.  you can be married in teh catholic church as long as one of you is catholic.  you dont even have to convert if you dont want to.
  • edited December 2011
    Calypso - the married couples who are being confirmed at RCIA (even if just one member is becoming catholic) will have a convalidation ceremony either that weekend or the weekend after. please don't assume I don't know what I'm talking about.
  • ag.4.24.10ag.4.24.10 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I would have the preacher at the Church I grew up in officiate it.
  • ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Okay, so just have that type of wedding. I'm sure it would be lovely. You and your FI could request a convalidation by the Catholic church at a later date once you're both Catholics. That could be done privately, or just with immediate family present.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    You and your FI could request a convalidation by the Catholic church at a later date once you're both Catholics. but just know that its a request.  they dont have to grant it, and youd still have to do all of the marriage prep, etc.  as long as you know this at the outset, adn are ok with it, then its up to the two of you.
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