Ellie
Devoted January 2020

Incorporating Catholicism into a non-church Venue?

Ellie, on May 10, 2019 at 10:22 PM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 0 12
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My FH is a devout Catholic and I'm a non-denominational Christian. We're also from two different states (IL/NY) but we've made our life together in DC. Unfortunately as a result we've had to do a bunch of things differently to accommodate the fact that the vast majority of our guests will be flying in or driving a distance to attend our ceremony.


One of those decisions was to have the wedding reception and ceremony all in one very beautiful venue. However, I've been feeling somewhat down about it because I think originally we both wanted some kind of chapel but the logistics of having out of town guests travel during a winter evening in DC from a long distance or a hotel to a chapel then to a reception seemed unfeasible.


I just don't know how we could incorporate his Catholicism and my faith into the ceremony in a meaningful way... Any ideas? or anyone been in the same or similar position, what did you do?

12 Comments

Latest activity by Ellie, on May 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM
  • A
    Devoted August 2019
    Amanda ·
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    We are braiding a cord of three strands as our unity ceremony. Symbolizing God in our marriage. You could also do a prayer. You could still have a cross at your ceremony even if it's not in as church.
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  • Alycia
    Super July 2021
    Alycia ·
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    My fiancé was raised in the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. Im nondenominational Christian. We are getting married outdoors because the world is God’s church if you believe in Him. Walls dont make a location more holy.
    For your service, look into the American Catholic Church. There are some that use the Roman Catholic Bible. They are less strict about Roman Catholic traditions though, so it doesn’t matter that you are interfaith. We found Goodshepard America Catholic Church to do our service. You can check their site for ideas:
    https://goodshepherd-church.org/
    They are sending a Deacon to do our service. It will have some traditions for my fiancé, but we get to really decide what we want.
    • Reply
  • plangalCG
    VIP May 2018
    plangalCG ·
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    Have you asked him what he would like to incorporate? You could do readings or prayers. There are also sometimes ex-priests who work as officiants and do a more “Catholic-y” ceremony, or so I hear. I’d say the main thing that makes a Catholic ceremony Catholic is that it’s almost always long, involves a full mass, and is in a church. (Lifelong Catholic who did not have a Catholic ceremony.) it’s possible to have a non-Catholic ceremony recognized by the Church, if that’s something he wants.
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  • Bridget
    Devoted October 2019
    Bridget ·
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    I can’t get married at church because my fh is divorced. I cried for three days when I realized it (originally he thought he was baptized Catholic and since his first wedding was civil, the church wouldn’t recognize it and we would be ok to marry at church, but his mom had him baptized Presbyterian ???? other than that day he says he’s never been in a Presbyterian Church and his dad was Methodist! so the Roman Catholic Church says nope- clear as mud right)
    Anyway I want the feel of what’s comfortable to me so I found a former Catholic priest who is actually a Franciscian Friar who has since aligned with the Independent Catholic Church. We met with him and he was exactly what I want, with readings etc. but he’s open to having it wherever and whomever as long as you’re ready to commit. I felt so at peace and happy after meeting and talking with him. He was actually giddy when I requested doing Ave Maria and placing flowers and a prayer to Mary.
    I would see if there is someone in your area. i Found him on a google search!
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  • C
    Master January 2019
    Cassidy ·
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    I have no suggestions, but just wanted to comment.
    If your FH wants the marriage to be recognized in the church it has to be in a church (unless you get permission to have it someplace else) with a priest or deacon. I Think there’s a way to get the marriage approved afterward as well, you have to do some paper work I believe.
    If he doesn’t care about having the marriage recognized, I guess you could include some of the readings.
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  • April
    Dedicated January 2020
    April ·
    • Flag
    I'm in a similar situation because me and my FH are Catholic but having a church and reception venue is too much trouble when nearly all our guests are coming from out of town. Plus neither one of us is active in the church now. Originally I wanted to have the church wedding so it's recognized but we realized being recognized by the church isn't as important to us (or our families). However when I look up officiants, I plan to look into ones with catholic backgrounds and see what we could include in the ceremony.
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  • Ellie
    Devoted January 2020
    Ellie ·
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    That's awesome! I'll definitely take a look at that link and see if there's anything I can find that might help us out. Thanks! Best wishes for your service!

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  • Ellie
    Devoted January 2020
    Ellie ·
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    That's so sweet! I think that'd be great if I could incorporate a cross somehow but not sure if there are any special rules regarding things like that. I'll have to find out.

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  • Ellie
    Devoted January 2020
    Ellie ·
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    I think he's a bit down about us not being able to do it the way we want to but I think he's let go of some dreams because of the logistical issues. I definitely think readings or prayers are a must and would be great to incorporate. I'd love to find a way to have it officially recognized but looks like I'll have to do some serious research to sort it all out it seems.

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  • Ellie
    Devoted January 2020
    Ellie ·
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    Haha definitely agree on things being clear as mud. It seems like there are so many different rules and intricacies depending on the situation. And it's great you found a Catholic priest who was willing to officiate. I think I'll definitely try to do my research on this.

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  • Ellie
    Devoted January 2020
    Ellie ·
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    We'll definitely have to look into this. I'm sure this is something he'd definitely want at least at some point (assuming we can't figure it out in time). Thanks for letting me know!

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  • Ellie
    Devoted January 2020
    Ellie ·
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    I think I'll do the same seems to be the overwhelming advice. I guess we're not the only one dealing with complicated logistics for guests! Best wishes!

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