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Customs and Traditions

Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem

First some Background:
My FI and I were both raised Catholic but within the past few years we have no longer considered ourselves Catholic. I am personally not a religious person. Both sets of parents are very Catholic.

FI and I do not feel right getting married in a church since we no longer feel that connection to God. We still went ahead and asked FI's family friend who is a priest to marry us. We asked in respect to our parents because we know it would make them happy.

We do no belong to a church so we asked the priest if the church he is at could be our church for the wedding. He said, "for reasons internal to the church I cannot marry you here." Which means (we found out) that my FI and I are too poor and are not welcome in the church since it is made up of old money.

Thus, makeing FI furious. He no longer wants to carry out our parents wishes and get married Catholic. Problem being that we alread asked the priest and our parents would be beyond mad if we did not get married in a church, even though FI and I have different beliefs.

Does nayone have any advice on how to handle this situation?

Re: Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem

  • trix1223trix1223 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited June 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-wedding-vs-outdoor-wedding-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:76f92b67-d39f-4494-8d8a-55682adf3a2cPost:12681fc5-2a49-4191-8cc3-80659f3dd9c1">Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]First some Background: My FI and I were both raised Catholic but within the past few years we have no longer considered ourselves Catholic. I am personally not a religious person. Both sets of parents are very Catholic. FI and I do not feel right getting married in a church since we no longer feel that connection to God. We still went ahead and asked FI's family friend who is a priest to marry us. We asked in respect to our parents because we know it would make them happy. We do no belong to a church so we asked the priest if the church he is at could be our church for the wedding. He said, "for reasons internal to the church I cannot marry you here." Which means (we found out) that my FI and I are too poor and are not welcome in the church since it is made up of old money. Thus, makeing FI furious. He no longer wants to carry out our parents wishes and get married Catholic. Problem being that we alread asked the priest and our parents would be beyond mad if we did not get married in a church, even though FI and I have different beliefs. Does nayone have any advice on how to handle this situation?
    Posted by krmabojo[/QUOTE]

    Well, your assumption about the priest's answer was wrong for starters.  A catholic priest cannot, without specific permission from, I believe, a bishop, conduct a wedding outside of a Catholic church because a sacrament of the church must be performed in a consecrated space.  My Catholic friends on this board can speak to that issue better than this Presbyterian can.

    Please don't accuse the Catholic church of having the rules they do for the money.  That's just unfair.

    But for me, the bigger issue here is that if you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to say to your parents "Mom, Dad, I know that being married in the church was important to you.  And I know that you had hoped that we would too.   But bojo and I do not practice the Catholic faith, and it would be disrespectful of us to pretend that we do.  We will be having a wedding ceremony, but it will not be in a Catholic church.  I'm sure that you're disappointed now, but we hope that you'll come to a place of understanding, and support us."

    Grown ups make decisions, and then own their decisions.  They also live with the consequences of their decisions, which in your case might be making your mom and dad unhappy.  But you need to behave like a grown-up if you want to be treated like one.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    If you aren't Catholic you shouldn't be getting married in the Catholic church its as simple as that. If you aren't religious at all then leave religion out of the ceremony, if you are somewhat religious then just have a non-denominational ceremony. This isn't about what your parents want, this is about you and your FI want. Do you want to start your marriage out with a lie? Because thats what it would be if you were to pretend that you believed in the teachings of the Catholic church just to appease your parents.
    You are a grown woman so you and your FI need to stop worrying about the approval of your parents and just do what is right for you.


  • First of all, if neither of you considers yourselves Catholic, you shouldn't be getting married in the Catholic church.  Don't make a mockery of the sacrament if you don't believe in it.  If you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to tell your parents what you want.

    Regarding the church:
    1. All churches charge a fee to use their facilities for marriage.  It's expensive to light and cool down some of these places.  Music and counseling are also expensive.  Some bigger, prettier churches charge non-parishioners more than their parishioners.  Others do not allow non-parishioners to get married in their church.  If you cannot afford the set fee for the church, you will have to find another place to get married.  That does not mean that the Catholic church won't marry you, just that specific church won't.
    2. As you already established that neither of you is Catholic, no priest will marry you and no church will agree to the marriage.  We Catholics believe marriage is a sacrament, and to get married within the church requires approval by the diocese.  If neither bride nor groom considers him/herself Catholic and have no intention of practicing Catholicism or raising children in the faith, your marriage will not be approved.
  • Every Catholic church I've ever heard of requires at least one, if not both, of the parties to be baptized and confirmed Catholics.  Incorporated into your vows is a promise not to use birth control and to raise your children Catholic.  In my opinion, if you're just paying lip service to those vows, how is anyone supposed to believe you'll keep the other promises you make at the same time?

    I was raised Catholic.  FI was raised devout Christian.  We've both moved away from the church, and our ceremony was completely non-religious and performed by DH's uncle.  Your ceremony should be a reflection of your beliefs as a couple.  Your parents can deal with it.  Ours did.
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  • ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited July 2010
    This has nothing to do with money.  If you are married by a Catholic priest, he must follow certain guidelines.  These guidelines are in accordance with the church's rules.  They include the following:

    - Ceremonies must be performed in a church. 
    - Couples must participate in pre cana (pre-marital preparation).

    The priest can't give you a free pass on these requirements because:

    - He'd be breaking the rules of his faith
    - Your marriage would probably be deemed invalid anyway

    Again, this has nothing to do with money.  My husband and I are Catholic and know that even if we attempted to "buy a ceremony" it wouldn't be allowed, approved, or valid. 

    Most Catholics just accept and/or embrace the requirements.  If you can't, then don't have a Catholic ceremony.  Good luck with your decision.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-wedding-vs-outdoor-wedding-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:76f92b67-d39f-4494-8d8a-55682adf3a2cPost:ae1dc863-aea7-489d-9780-eb71537c3f28">Re: Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem : Well, your assumption about the priest's answer was wrong for starters.  A catholic priest cannot, without specific permission from, I believe, a bishop, conduct a wedding outside of a Catholic church because a sacrament of the church must be performed in a consecrated space.  My Catholic friends on this board can speak to that issue better than this Presbyterian can.
    Posted by trix1223[/QUOTE]

    <div>Ditto this.  Marriage is a Sacrament in the Catholic Church.</div>
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  • Even with special permission from the bishop, the priest cannot perform a ceremony unless it is on consecrated ground (i.e. in a church).  It has nothing to do with money.  Your assumption that you are "too poor" to be married by a Catholic priest is insulting to the priest and to the faith.

    If you don't want to be married Catholic, or in the church, then don't.  Tell your parents that you respect their wishes, but it is your life and you will do things the way you feel is right.  They can hate it all they like, as PP said, you are old enough to be getting married, so you are old enough to make an adult decision for yourself.
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  • edited July 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-wedding-vs-outdoor-wedding-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:76f92b67-d39f-4494-8d8a-55682adf3a2cPost:e081bd2c-8e24-4e0c-95eb-c6fef91a0392">Re: Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>First of all, if neither of you considers yourselves Catholic, you shouldn't be getting married in the Catholic church.  Don't make a mockery of the sacrament if you don't believe in it.</strong>  If you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to tell your parents what you want. Regarding the church: 1. All churches charge a fee to use their facilities for marriage.  It's expensive to light and cool down some of these places.  Music and counseling are also expensive.  Some bigger, prettier churches charge non-parishioners more than their parishioners.  Others do not allow non-parishioners to get married in their church.  If you cannot afford the set fee for the church, you will have to find another place to get married.  That does not mean that the Catholic church won't marry you, just that specific church won't. 2. As you already established that neither of you is Catholic, no priest will marry you and no church will agree to the marriage.  We Catholics believe marriage is a sacrament, and to get married within the church requires approval by the diocese. <strong> If neither bride nor groom considers him/herself Catholic and have no intention of practicing Catholicism or raising children in the faith, your marriage will not be approved.</strong>
    Posted by mica178[/QUOTE]

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  • All of these ladies have covered every point I can think of. Listen to them.

    We will not be married in the Catholic Church. FI is not Catholic and it would be wrong for him to go through with such a blessed sacrament when he doesn't believe in it. Why should we start our marriage out with a lie? We will have a nice nondenominational ceremony outside.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Most churches probably offer a special 'rate' to parishioners who attend Mass on Sundays and support their church with regular offerings or tithes. The church has bills just as anyone else does. Plus the janitors, musicians, officiates also need to be payed. Why should they allow anyone to just use their sacred and well tended building as a pretty back drop for a wedding ceremony, when the people are not committed spiritually and financially.

    If you are not mature enough to stand up for what you believe, then you are not ready for marriage. Just tell your parents the truth. No one should participate in a sacrament that has no meaning for them.
                       
  • Yep. It's time to tell the parents that you're not religious. I told my mom when I was 18. It was heartbreaking for her and sometimes she cries about it, but we still have a great relationship! why have a ceremony that you and FI dont' want? My FI and I are not religious and have absolutely zero desire to have a religious ceremony. So we aren't. The parents can deal. You might as well let it out now because it will come out eventually, especially if you plan to have children who will not be raised in the religion.

    However, I am curious - why do you think it's about how much money you have?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-wedding-vs-outdoor-wedding-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:76f92b67-d39f-4494-8d8a-55682adf3a2cPost:8d4a3d53-c697-4ac1-8ceb-87a8a9f30819">Re: Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]Every Catholic church I've ever heard of requires at least one, if not both, of the parties to be baptized and confirmed Catholics.  Incorporated into your vows is a promise not to use birth control and to raise your children Catholic.
    Posted by aerinpegadrak[/QUOTE]

    Just to clarify:  one person does need to be baptized and confirmed.  Both do not.  Usually if one is not Catholic and not baptized (in any Christian faith),  they have the ceremony without a full Mass.  

    And there is not a vocal promise to not use birth control. 

    There are questions asked by the priest before the vows, including if you are both entering into the marriage freely and willingly, will you honor your spouse all the days of your life, and will you freely accept children should you be "blessed" with them, and yes raise them in the Christian faith etc.  

    The vows follow, and pretty mch the normal vows.

    I don't mean to be snarky, but I just wanted to clarify misinformation.

    I agree with pp-  Catholic marriage is a sacrament, and if you don't believe that- you shouldn't get married in the church just to please your families.
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  • To clarify one other point - you can be married by a catholic priest and have it NOT be in a church.  FI and I are doing just that - the only requirement was that it had to be in an actual building, with a real ceiling, not underneath a temporary or flimsy structure.  However, our marriage is also not considered a sacrament.  If you're ok with the non-sacrament piece of it, you should continue to explore your options.  All our priest had to do way apply for dispensation to marry us in a building that was not a house of worship, which took about 2 months.
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  • I feel your pain. I have just moved and originally wanted to get married in a Catholic church but came across soooo many churches that told me no because I am not a parishioner for at least a year. I did have one church tell me if I pay an extra fee, they will marry me. So I can see why the girl in the OP thinks it's because of money. That was basically my breaking point. I've had so many negative experiences with the Catholic church that my FI and I just decided we'lll have out ceremony at a place that has meaning for the both of us. Yes, we're old enough to make our own decisions, but it is never easy to disappoint family, especially parents who we are close to. I let my grandmother down who I was very close to. Our relationship is not the same since she found out and it hurts me. It's just something you will have to come to terms with. It's unfortunate that such a joyous event can cause turmoil in families.
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  • My sister's vows included promising to "welcome all children as a gift from God" or something like that.  Translates as no birth control.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-wedding-vs-outdoor-wedding-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:76f92b67-d39f-4494-8d8a-55682adf3a2cPost:42f5b99d-0402-42bd-bd13-b8c3a50462cd">Re: Catholic Wedding vs. Outdoor Wedding Problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]My sister's vows included promising to "welcome all children as a gift from God" or something like that.  Translates as no birth control.
    Posted by aerinpegadrak[/QUOTE]

    <div>I don't want to turn this into a theological debate, because we are trying to  help a knottie and not talk about religion, but I do want to just clarify to non-Catholics who may be confused that the Catholic Church does allow the use of natural birth control such as thermo-sympto natural family planning.  The Church does not require you to have a ton of children that you cannot afford or take care of!  On the contrary, the Church wants us to plan for our children and take care of them as best as we can.  The most important is to let God be the creator of new life, and a physical barrier like condom or the pill is contrary to that.</div>
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  • Yes, but a couple where both parties aren't fully commited to Catholic beliefs probably aren't going to be cool with all the work that goes into successful natural family planning.  So that's just one more thing an interfaith couple has to sort out if they want to get married in the Catholic church.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • aerinpegadrak, I agree.  It is understandable when a couple doesn't agree to these teachings, and they can have a non-sacramental marriage just as well outside the Church; no problem in that.

    Most importantly, I hope that krmabojo knows that she's being supported with any decision she makes.  It is not an easy decision at all.  While we may had to have clarified some misunderstandings on the Catholic part, our advice is was only out of genuine care and charity for her.  
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  • To be completely honest if both feel that you're not close to God why are you having a priest of any sort marry you and why are you concerned about making a comittment in "God's sanctuary" (that is what the church symbolizes)? In any denomination of Christianity you are supposed to be making a promise before GOD and are asking him to bless the comittment you're making to eachother when you marry so if you don't believe in Him- to me- it would seem that a traditional service would be kind of a formality/for pomp and circumstance anyway.
     
    Also- to the "too poor comment" it costs money to prep a location for a wedding and some churches require more money than others. And the internal reasons the preist was taking about may very well have been to the fact that you don't consider yourselves Catholic- it might have been him beating around the bush saying that he didn't feel comfortable marrying you because you're not Catholic, who knows.

    My BF says that he's always wanted to get married in a church and I've always been partial to an outdoor service. I pointed out to him what better way to honor God than to be married surrounded by the nature he created? That notion might help sway parents to your outdoor ceremony idea.
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