Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Catholic priest wont marry us outside the church :(

I just found this out yesterday. Neither me nor my finace are really religious, but his mother is however. It was the one thing that i wanted to do for her at the wedding, was to have a catholic priest, turns out they wont marry outside the church and we are having an outside wedding. I LOVE MY VENUE. i guess im just stuck. should i have the wedding in the church and switch it? or should i just have a minister at the outside wedding?thanks guys!
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Re: Catholic priest wont marry us outside the church :(

  • It is up to you.

    However, you need to realize that the Catholic Church won't just let anyone get married there. You need to take a pre-marital class from the Church, meet/talk with the priest about religion in your marriage, and promise to raise your children Catholic. If both your FI and you are not religious, then it would be very wrong of you to get married in the Church.

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  • If you aren't religious, I feel it's actually disrespectful to get married in a church (or even by a religious leader to whom you don't subscribe to their religion).  Especially when that involves making promises that you don't intend to keep.  It's completely fine to not be religious (I'm not either), but don't pretend to be just to placate his mother.

    If you want to incorporate some Catholic tones for your wedding for his mother's sake, perhaps you could ask her to read a bible passage of her choosing?  Or maybe lead you in a prayer or something?  That would probably be a good compromise between what you and your FI want, and what his mother wants, without being disrespectful to her religion.
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  • There are some retired Catholic priests who will marry you outside the church, but they're not doing it as priests, and your marriage wont be recognized by the Catholic church. 

    If you and your FI aren't religious, I think your best bet is to stick with the venue and find another person to marry you. Include some Catholic practices like PP said to keep FMIL happy.
  • This is your wedding, not your FMIL's.  Presumably, she had her Catholic wedding when she got married.  Your wedding ceremony should reflect what you and your fiance believe, not what she believes.  And, as others have pointed out, it's actually quite disrespectful to marry in a church when you don't subscribe to its teachings and don't intend to live your life according to those beliefs.  It's nice that you're trying to make her happy, but that shouldn't be the centerpiece of your wedding.  I agree that letting her do a reading or say a prayer before dinner or something like that would be a better option.
  • My MIL is an honorary nun so I feel your pain.  She insisted that we get married in a church and we are not religious and didn't want to.  So I came up with a solution. I told her if she paid for the church and classes (almost 5k... crazy I know) we would do it. She shut up quickly.  It's your wedding and no one else's. We went with a Christian minister and had a ceremony that looked very traditionally Catholic (Bible readings, prayers, etc) but not in a church.
     
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  • I agree & second what PPs said. Also keep in mind that churches require you to book them Before booking your venue etc because they only perform weddings at certain times. I was in a similar predicament as I had hoped to be wed in a Catholic Church (I am a practicing Catholic) but we are being wed outdoors by a JP. We are going to have a few readings to make it more religious. Best of luck! Just remember that your mom already had her day and now it's your turn...
  • JaxInBlueJaxInBlue member
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    DH and I are not practicing Catholics but my MIL is.  She was also none too thrilled with our decision not to be married in the Catholic Church.  We were not willing to change our plans because we knew they were right for us.  We did agree to a compromise and took precana classes.

    You and your FI need to do what is right for you.  I agree with PPs that it would be wrong to be married in the Church if you do not feel strongly about your beliefs and if you feel that you won't return to an active Church life in the future.  Nevertheless, you and your FI may want to think about some of the other religious impacts that you might encounter - some parishes might decline to baptize children in the Catholic faith, for example - before you make a final decision. (This wasn't enough to sway us, but it may be more important to you.)

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  • I think if you're not a practising Catholic you have no business getting married in a Catholic church or expecting that church to accomodate you. It's a slap in the face of those who are Catholic and who take their beliefs seriously. 
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-priest-wont-marry-us-outside-the-church?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:dba92682-43d2-4e49-b693-2d9dd450813bPost:e721e4f1-ac3b-4aa0-8cda-cd7dfbe0d0de">Re: Catholic priest wont marry us outside the church :(</a>:
    [QUOTE]T<strong>here are some retired Catholic priests who will marry you outside the church, but they're not doing it as priests, and your marriage wont be recognized by the Catholic church.</strong>  If you and your FI aren't religious, I think your best bet is to stick with the venue and find another person to marry you. Include some Catholic practices like PP said to keep FMIL happy.
    Posted by MoonlightSilver[/QUOTE]

    OP, please don't do something like this.  I think this would probably offend FMIL even more.  Priests who do this are acting against the Church, and the Church won't recognize it anyways, so just use a non-Catholic minister.

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  • It's a nice gesture and you tried but it didn't work out.  Your FMIL will have to get over the fact her son is not a practicing Catholic and neither is everybody else.

    But Hobo brought up a good point...if she pays for the church and classes then maybe you two should go for it.
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  • OP, I was in a very similar boat. My parents and FI's parents are all practicing Catholics. I am an atheist and H is sort of ambivalent about religion.  It was definitely uncomfortable telling our parents we were going to get married outside the church, but it was worth it.  There's no better time than a wedding to begin to assert yourself as an adult with your parents.   
  • That is very true, you cannot have a Catholic wedding ceremony outside of a Catholic church, that includes anywhere outdoors. As the previous person said, in order to get married in a Catholic church, you kinda have to jump through some hoops. Honestly, if you and your FI arent very religious, dont swith your date just for your mother. Do what makes you happy, and if thats an outdoor ceremony, do it!
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  • Hi i am kinda in the same boat of wanting the catholic church to recognize our marriage.. My FI is Catholic and i am not so i have been doing a lot of research on what i can do so that they will recognize it. What i have found is if you talk to your priest and let him know what you want and why he should be helpful. We are actaully writing a letter to the Archdiocese to get permission for my FI to get married to a non catholic as well as get married outside the church so we will see what they have to say. Hope that helps.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-priest-wont-marry-us-outside-the-church?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:dba92682-43d2-4e49-b693-2d9dd450813bPost:b1734b80-c159-4ac9-bff4-fc17b4755001">Re: Catholic priest wont marry us outside the church :(</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hi i am kinda in the same boat of wanting the catholic church to recognize our marriage.. My FI is Catholic and i am not so i have been doing a lot of research on what i can do so that they will recognize it. What i have found is if you talk to your priest and let him know what you want and why he should be helpful. We are actaully writing a letter to the Archdiocese to get permission for my FI to get married to a non catholic as well as get married outside the church so we will see what they have to say. Hope that helps.
    Posted by brayoby[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>This is what I did as well.  We are being married by a deacon outside of the church (at our venue) instead because it would be very difficult for my in-laws to see their Jewish son get married in the church.  We heard back from the Archdiocese within a month (which was shocking, we thought it would be longer). 

    </div>
  • Writing a letter to the Archdiocese won't work.

    You are asking to celebrate the SACRAMENT of Marriage, and they aren't going to bestow that upon you outside of a sanctified church.

    If you take your religious beliefs seriously, and want a Christian, Catholic marriage, then you understand than and will celebrate your wedding ceremony as a solemn, holy sacrament within a church. Do the preparation, pray together, etc.

    Have your reception outdoors. But if it means so much to you to celebrate a Christian marriage, then you need to understand Catholic doctrine, what a sacrament is, and realize how seriously the church takes marriage.

    What's more important? Doing it outside? Or having a Christian marriage?

    (I just converted to the Episcopal church, and we have policies regarding marriage as well, but personally, after reviewing them, I have realized that the reasons behind them really do underly and support the true intention of the day --- it's not about me the Bride or him or us, but us and our love for our Creator, and it's still a worship service.)


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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_catholic-priest-wont-marry-us-outside-the-church?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:dba92682-43d2-4e49-b693-2d9dd450813bPost:4a06fa50-decb-4a68-9f91-9d35d5de1a43">Re: Catholic priest wont marry us outside the church :(</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catholic priest wont marry us outside the church :( : This is what I did as well.  We are being married by a deacon outside of the church (at our venue) instead because it would be very difficult for my in-laws to see their Jewish son get married in the church.  We heard back from the Archdiocese within a month (which was shocking, we thought it would be longer). 
    Posted by mbuckley85[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Deacon is the operative word here... :)

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  • I just talked to my FI's priest and they are fine with marrying us at my church... And im having a priest present to give blessings at the event ... maybe its just our priest but to me it seemed they were pretty open as long as i was willing to do the pre cana and engagement encounter so i guess if your willing to jump through the hoops they are willing to do what you want. And he made sure that i understood what that ment for my FI and our children which isnt a big deal for me.
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