Skip to main content

Post content has been hidden

To unblock this content, please click here

Stephanie
Just Said Yes August 2022

Non-religious couple trying to please Catholic family. Help!

Stephanie, on September 13, 2021 at 9:21 PM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 21
My fiance and I grew up in catholic families. However, neither of us are religious and don't need a religious ceremony. His father is very much religious and is requesting that we have a priest. I was willing to agree to this request. However, he was also under the impression that we would marry in a church, but we are not. I've heard it can be difficult to get a priest to perform a ceremony outside the church. His father asked if we would cancel our venue if we couldn't get a priest. I am not willing to do that and my fiance agrees. I really don't want to start my marriage upsetting my father-in-law, but I also need him to respect what we want. I feel that I don't need a priest to tell me that my marriage is valid and I don't want a mass. I guess I am just looking for advice on the situation. Is it possible to either have a priest at our venue or could one bless our marriage if we have a non-religious ceremony?

21 Comments

Latest activity by A.B., on September 24, 2021 at 11:15 AM
  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content

    I am not Catholic nor did I grow up Catholic but I personally have never heard of a priest performing a marriage ceremony anywhere but in church.

    Ultimately if you aren't able to find a priest who will perform a ceremony outside of a church, your fiance will need to speak to his father and explain that while you'd hoped to be able to honour his request, you are unable to. It is your wedding not your father-in-law's and if a priest is only available in a church, he is just going to have to accept that neither of you want a church wedding.

    • Reply
  • Rosie
    Master February 2022
    Rosie ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content

    I too am not religious, but my understanding is, not only might it be difficult to have them perform the marriage outside of a church, but also unless either of you yourselves was catholic with proof of being christened, they also wouldn't perform the marriage, and they'd likely ask both of you to reaffirm your commitment to the church and/or convert.

    could you seek a blessing for your marriage after the fact (or in the weeks before) through your FIL's church where the congregation prays for you or similar? OR have a person read a blessing on the day? This seems like the best compromise.

    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    That is also a concern. We were both christened, but have not been involved in the church and don't really plan to be.


    I am hoping that a blessing of some kind might work.
    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    Yes. That is a discussion he is prepared to have. I don't want him feeling like our marriage isn't real or that we will be damned, but hopefully he can accept that this is our wedding.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    You will have great difficulty getting a priest to marry you if you are not a current member in good standing (up to date on confession, tithes, communion). They absolutely will not marry you outside of the church even though Protestants see God everywhere. The ceremony is a reflection of your (you and fiancé’s) beliefs or lack of. Guests attending should respect the couple’s choice because other family/friends had the opportunity to marry as they wished or will have in the future so this is your chance now. Don’t let someone take that away because you only get one go at the ceremony. The reception is for the guests as a thank you so you can be more open to pleasing them at that point.
    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Master August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content

    So. DH is Catholic. I am not. I agreed to do pre-Cana to try to get married in the Church.

    ...We had a civil ceremony, so you can imagine how well that went.

    A priest will NOT marry you outside of the Church. If you do not have a relationship with a church/priest, it is exceedingly unlikely they will marry you IN the Church. They canNOT marry you without you doing pre-Cana and a bunch of other things the Catholic Church requires.

    Your FH needs to talk to his dad and explain all this. And then both of you need to have a united front, and refuse this demand.

    • Reply
  • Jasmine S.
    Rockstar May 2022
    Jasmine S. ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    You could explain to your FFIL that you spoke to some priests and they refused to perform your service, even in the church, because you are not members. He will likely throw a tantrum and try to press the issue, so I strongly recommend not discussing the wedding with him at all.
    • Reply
  • J
    Devoted September 2021
    Jay ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    If neither of you are interested, don’t do it. You probably could find a church willing to marry non-members, but you absolutely would have to be married within the church building (they only grant exceptions to that in rare cases, it’s a long process that requires approval from I think a bishop, & they’re unlikely to do that for a non-religious, non-member couple). I’m getting married in a church because my fiancé wants to, & it’s been a struggle for me. The only reason I’m continuing to stay remotely okay with it is because this is important to him. On top of all the religious stuff—getting your records, meeting with priest, pre-Cana—there’s the added stress of dealing with a literal second venue, travel between venues, different rules, limited ceremony options, etc.


    I have a cousin whose entire family is Catholic, & she is too but her husband is not. They got married outside, decided to include a beautiful Bible passage, plus a non-denominational reading, & a Catholic prayer.
    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    His father of course has a connection with his priest. My fiance is trying to set up a meeting to speak with him about all of this. However, if he will be as strict about our involvement as you say, it could definitely be a problem. I really don't want to fake my feelings and beliefs and we probably do need to put our foot down. Also because I am concerned this will continue as we have children and he tries to tell us how to raise them.
    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    I think that is the plan right now. My fiance wants to meet with his father's priest to discuss our options. His father wanted to discuss options for if we can't get a priest and he just told him we'll talk if/when it comes to that. So we will see.
    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    I have asked him if his father would like to read something at our ceremony. I'm not sure if that would please him. I'm in a tough spot because neither of us our interested in a church wedding or Catholic ceremony, but my fiance wants to make his father happy. I know that when push comes to shove, he will do what is best for the two of us. I just hope his father can accept that and doesn't think I am damning his son or something.
    • Reply
  • J
    Devoted September 2021
    Jay ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    If his father is that religious, there’s not going to be much you can do to convince him, unfortunately. Getting married in the church is kind of a requirement for a baptized Catholic (not saying that’s correct, just what the beliefs are).


    I see you mention kids above—I think it’s worth pointing out, although you may already know, that if you get married in a Catholic ceremony (no matter if it’s with or without mass, or if one of you isn’t Catholic) part of the vows include a promise to raise children Catholic.
    • Reply
  • S
    Super September 2022
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content

    I have been kind of struggling with a similar situation lately. Although, I will say, no one has pushed us to bring religion into our wedding yet, but there has been side talk and it's very frustrating.

    His mom's family is very religious and they are Catholic. Growing up, his parent's weren't strict with religion but he did go to Catholic school. They were, what we call, "ChrEasters" those families that only attend church on Christmas and Easter. But his grandma and aunts are VERY religious.

    I grew up going to a Church of Christ (not Catholic). We were weekly/bi-weekly church go-ers. My mom is the type that tells me I am a "bad person" because I don't go to church.

    My fiancé and I have similar thoughts and beliefs as far as religion. We both believe in God/a higher power, but we believe he is everywhere and that we don't need to attend church or get married in a church for God to be with us.

    Apparently some of his aunts are "disappointed" we aren't getting married in a church. We are having the minister from my old family church perform the ceremony, but again his family is Catholic and mine is not.

    I'm already thinking about our children and what we're going to do about them. Neither of us go to church, nor do we plan to go regularly in the future. If we don't baptize our kids we'll hear h*** from both sides of the family. If we baptize them Catholic we'll hear h*** from my family and if we baptize them elsewhere we will hear h*** from his family. There is literally no winning and I have absolutely no idea what to do.

    I'm sorry, this comment is not helpful to you at all. I just wanted to share that I definitely relate to you and your struggles. I hope you can find a middle ground with your parents. Don't let them force you to do something you're not comfortable with.

    • Reply
  • Victoria
    Dedicated November 2022
    Victoria ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    For what it’s worth, a lot of Presbyterian ministers (not all, but most I know) will marry anyone wherever they’re needed! If daddy dearest is THAT insistent on a religious based ceremony that might be a good compromise…. But also might not be cuz he seems pretty adamant about it being Catholic. One of my bridesmaids is dealing with this from her FMIL presently so I know how stressful it is. But at the end of the day it is YOUR wedding to happen how YOU want it. End of story. Do you! If you want some dude in a Cookie Monster costume to perform the ceremony you are allowed to have that! Go forth and celebrate!
    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Master August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    His father having a connection won't change Church rules. He will be told what I told


    And yes, if you give in on this, he will try to dictate everything else.
    • Reply
  • Katherine
    Expert October 2021
    Katherine ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    My dad is catholic and goes to church every week. We were forced to do all things needed in a catholic church (baptized, ccd, communion, ect.) His requirement was for me to get married in a church and honestly it's the last thing I wanted. He really wanted me to get married in the catholic church we grew up in. Me and my fiance aren't very religious. Me not so ever and my fiance is kinda religious. Catholic churches are way to strict for our liking so we went to our own church we felt comfortable in. Plus my fiance was married before me and would have to do all these things we just weren't going to stress over just to get married in a catholic church. It's your wedding and if ur not comfortable doing something you shouldn't do it. Unless he's paying for it he doesn't really have a say. My dad is paying for my wedding so it's the only reason I'm getting married in a church.
    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    View Quoted Comment
    That's a good point. We are paying for our wedding.
    • Reply
  • W-K
    Super October 2019
    W-K ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content

    A clerical shirt with minister's collar is only $40 on Amazon. Just sayin' Smiley xd

    • Reply
  • Lauren
    Dedicated September 2022
    Lauren ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    Catholic priests will not perform marriages outside of a church because marriage is a sacrament and Holy sacraments take place in churches except in extenuating circumstances. We are getting around this by getting married the day before our wedding in a church with just family and the bridal party and having our friend officiate on the day of the reception.
    • Reply
  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content

    I can't speak on the logistics of marrying in the Catholic church, as I know nothing about them.

    I can tell you, however, that you need to put your foot down here.

    I understand you don't want to upset your FFIL. But it isn't his marriage ceremony - it's yours and your FH's. It is the founding moment of your marriage, and it needs to represent that for you, not your FFIL. It doesn't matter if it's valid in his eyes or not, either. He can either choose to accept it, or he can't. You aren't responsible for his feelings, and you shouldn't allow anyone to make you feel like you are.

    You can try for a blessing, but my very limited research into that just now brings up something called "convalidation" that sounds like just remarrying in the Church.

    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇

×
ReCaptcha Verification failed. Please try again.

Related articles

WeddingWire celebrates love ...and so does everyone on our site! Learn more

Groups

WeddingWire article topics