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Customs and Traditions

Can we be married in a Catholic Church if we're already married by another minister?

The lowdown: its 62 days until our wedding and I'm just way too overwhelmed by all the grandiose phoniness. My mom has taken over and made it into HER wedding, so much that I'm afraid in all the chaos of that day that Steve and I will forget the real reason why we are there.

So...my best friend is a non-denominational licensed minister. She is willing to marry us in a VERY small ceremony at the park. (Just us, her & her husband and our two witnesses) I know this will be more meaningful and special and more along my fiancé's and my tastes. Neither of us is happy with the flashy traditional weddings our mothers want, we feel its meaningless and spoiled

If we are married by my friend then can we still have the Catholic ceremony in September? Or will the Church forbid us? I know they have some strict rules (my anger at that hypocrisy will be saved for another day)

Any thoughts are appreciated

Re: Can we be married in a Catholic Church if we're already married by another minister?

  • You want to be legally married in a park now, instead if waiting two months...yet you still want to go through with a Catholic ceremony in two months? I don't get it.

    No, the Church and your priest is not going to be OK with your plan, most likely. Were you going to not tell your priest you were already married? I'm sure you have been through Pre-Cana and others have impressed upon you the meaning of marriage in the Catholic Church-if you don't believe in that, why have the Catholic ceremony at all? It's just a farce then.

    Yes, if you get legally married outside the Church, you can be granted a Convalidation, and be married in the eyes of the Church. However I highly doubt any priest would be willing to go along with your plan.

    If you and your FI do not want a Catholic wedding and everything that comes with it, cancel your September wedding and get married by your friend. But don't go through with a fake second wedding after eloping. And especially don't lie to your families or your priest about being married already.

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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You would be doing a disservice to yourselves AND to the Catholic Church to marry there. You speak about the hypocrisy (in your mind) of the Catholic Church and their "rules". Are you not the hypocrite marrying in a faith for which you have such disdain? Your best friend is a minister but is willing to promote your charade? My thoughts are for you to recognize where the "grandiose phoniness" actually resides.
    rajahmdNOLAbridealmost
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer

    The lowdown: its 62 days until our wedding and I'm just way too overwhelmed by all the grandiose phoniness. My mom has taken over and made it into HER wedding, so much that I'm afraid in all the chaos of that day that Steve and I will forget the real reason why we are there.

    So...my best friend is a non-denominational licensed minister. She is willing to marry us in a VERY small ceremony at the park. (Just us, her & her husband and our two witnesses) I know this will be more meaningful and special and more along my fiancé's and my tastes. Neither of us is happy with the flashy traditional weddings our mothers want, we feel its meaningless and spoiled

    If we are married by my friend then can we still have the Catholic ceremony in September? Or will the Church forbid us? I know they have some strict rules (my anger at that hypocrisy will be saved for another day)

    Any thoughts are appreciated

    If your wedding is stressing you out, why would you have 2? You're not going to forget why you're standing at the alter with you FH. There's no reason to have multiple weddings.



    Anniversary
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  • Another vote for not having a Catholic wedding at all.
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    NOLAbridealmost
  • tiny specktiny speck member
    1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited July 2013
    If you don't want the Catholic wedding, don't have it. And if you go and have the small wedding, you likely won't be able to have the Catholic wedding anyway. I don't think the church would grant a convalidation just because the couple didn't feel like waiting for the Catholic ceremony.
    [Deleted User]
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 2013
    If your wedding is stressing you out, why would you have 2? You're not going to forget why you're standing at the alter with you FH. There's no reason to have multiple weddings.
    Uhhh, this. Do you think that doing a quick, private ceremony before a public one will change what you still need to do to prepare for the bigger one? If you do this, will wedding fairies appear and take care of finishing all the details?


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    itzMS[Deleted User]s-aries8990
  • rajahmdrajahmd Galifrey member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited August 2013
  • RajahBMFD said:
    If your wedding is stressing you out, why would you have 2? You're not going to forget why you're standing at the alter with you FH. There's no reason to have multiple weddings.
    Uhhh, this. Do you think that doing a quick, private ceremony before a public one will change what you still need to do to prepare for the bigger one? If you do this, will wedding fairies appear and take care of finishing all the details?


    Oh, I want some wedding detail fairies! Sign me up man.
    Me too me too me tooooooo! 
  • edited July 2013

    It sounds like you shouldn't be having a wedding in the Catholic Church at all. Are you even practicing?  Do you plan to in the future?  If you don't like the Church teachings then it's time to say "bye bye" and get married in whatever way you see fit.  Catholic or non-Catholic is entirely the couple's choice and you shouldn't be letting your parents influence this decision.

    So let's say you go with the Catholic ceremony: both Church law and etiquette prohibit what you're proposing.   According to Church teaching, you'll be invalidly married in the civil ceremony and would be barred from the sacraments.   You can get a convalidation if you're truly sorry for entering into the invalid marriage in the first place, but that obviously wouldn't be something you can pre-plan before the civil ceremony...otherwise you're not truly sorry. 

    Regardless of whether you go with the Catholic or the civil ceremony, regular old etiquette rules regarding multiple ceremonies come into play....so you can't have a private park ceremony followed by a larger ceremony (either Catholic or otherwise) without looking like a AW.

    mcda04
  • The lowdown: its 62 days until our wedding and I'm just way too overwhelmed by all the grandiose phoniness. My mom has taken over and made it into HER wedding, so much that I'm afraid in all the chaos of that day that Steve and I will forget the real reason why we are there.

    So...my best friend is a non-denominational licensed minister. She is willing to marry us in a VERY small ceremony at the park. (Just us, her & her husband and our two witnesses) I know this will be more meaningful and special and more along my fiancé's and my tastes. Neither of us is happy with the flashy traditional weddings our mothers want, we feel its meaningless and spoiled

    If we are married by my friend then can we still have the Catholic ceremony in September? Or will the Church forbid us? I know they have some strict rules (my anger at that hypocrisy will be saved for another day)

    Any thoughts are appreciated

    I'm doubtful you're going to appreciate my thoughts when I'm through, but here they are:

    1. If you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to cut mama's apron strings and say, "NO!" to something you don't want.

    2. If your parents are paying for the wedding, then they do get a say. If you don't like that, you should have paid for it yourself. (see point 1).

    3. No, you cannot LEGALLY GET MARRIED and then have a ceremony in the Catholic Church. Under extenuating circumstances -- and being unwilling to stand up to your mother does not count as an extenuating circumstance -- the Church will perform a convalidation, which recgonises a previous marriage and makes it valid in the eyes of the Church, thus bringing you and your FI back into communion with the church.

    4. As to the bolded...rules you don't like aren't hypocritical. Does the Catholic Church have a lot of rules? Yes, yes it does. But those rules are promulgated by the Church for a reason. They don't apply to everyone -- just people who want to be married in the Catholic Church and have their marriages recognised by the Catholic Church. If you don't like that, then don't have a Catholic wedding. In order to have a Catholic wedding, you have to go through pre-Cana (and I assume that if you're 60-odd days out, you have done that), you have to promise to raise your kids Catholic, you have to agree to abide by the rules of the Catholic Church. If you think those rules aren't fair or are hypocritical, then you shouldn't be getting married in the Catholic Church. To get married in the Catholic Church while secretly planning not to follow those dictates would be....hypocritical. Pot, meet kettle. 
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    lisabeats
  • It doesn't sound like you want to get married in the Catholic Church at all.  

    The good news is that you're an adult and don't have to get married in the church at all!

    I would cancel the church wedding and replace it with a different ceremony.

    Also, you need to learn how to tell your mother "no" before you get married.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    [Deleted User]
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    If you are old enough and mature enough to get married, you are old enough to stand up to your mother.  Grow up and tell her no.  

    Are you seriously asking if the Catholic Church will help you lie to your family and friends about getting married?  You shouldn't have to ask.  Of course they won't.  If you get married in the park, that's your wedding.  The thing later would not be a wedding, because you would already be married.  You can lie to your guests and have a fake wedding if you want, but a priest isn't going to help you.
    [Deleted User]
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