Expert August 2013

Not even my worst nightmare included this scenario

ToBMrs.V, on August 26, 2013 at 9:38 PM Posted in Planning 0 36
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I haven't post here in awhile, the drama got to be too much it wasn't helping me anymore. But I'm getting married Saturday and the worst thing has happened. Me and my fiance are faithful catholics and went thru all the steps to be able to get married at our church. Well this past Saturday (a week before the wedding) our church called and told us we cannot have a catholic wedding due to a paperwork error. We are now scrambling to arrange a non-catholic ceremony elsewhere . I'm barely holding it together and now have to completey switch gears and figure out how to plan a ceremony outside of a church setting. Please I don't want this thread to become attacks about religion or the Catholic church (as mad as I am). I just need support as a bride. We are lucky our reception venue is suitable and available for the ceremony. But its not the same.


  • Shannon A
    Master May 2014
    Shannon A ·

    I'm so sorry I am Catholic too, and I would be devastated if we couldn't have our wedding in a church. Since it sounds like that is really not an option anymore, try to take comfort in the idea that you can have your marriage blessed by a priest after the fact. I can't believe a paperwork error! ugh

  • Kate
    Master December 2013
    Kate ·

    I am not catholic, but I think you can get married outside of a Catholic Church and then down the line have a ceremony to be accepted into the church at a later time? I think?

    So. Either way, step one is breathe.

    Step two is call officiants in the area. Get recommendations from your venue. Find one with last minute availability. He or she will guide you through the rest. Also let your venue know ASAP that you'll need them to set up for the ceremony.

    You can do this!

  • JustMarried'14
    Master September 2014
    JustMarried'14 ·

    I am devastated for you. I cannot believe a paperwork error is the reason you can't get married in the church.

    Is there anyway to have a Father do a ceremony at your reception site? I will keep in my prayers.

  • Hot chocolate
    VIP November 2013
    Hot chocolate ·

    OH My God how could they do that?? Oh I would be devastated. I am so sorry you are going through this. We are catholic as well. What was the paperwork error? Could it be fixed??? Its soo upsetting that after prematial counselling and following all the steps they can't marry you in the church....

    Ok I would do the non catholic marriage and like earlier said hopefully get vows renewed or a church blessing in catholic church afterwards.

  • BalletShoesRachel
    VIP September 2014
    BalletShoesRachel ·


    If I were in this position, I'd be looking for other churches. Try looking for Lutheran churches instead; they're less popular for weddings, and are very similar in style to Catholic ceremonies. I bet they'd help you out if you explained the terrible thing that just happened.

    I DO hope that, if your church made you pay a deposit or anything, they gave it back!!!!!

    Edit: Also, I do understand the difference, and that it's soooo important to have a Catholic ceremony, BUT at least, if you do it this way, you will have a ceremony in some sort of church! My Catholic family members have always felt very at home in my Lutheran church, and they're pretty hardcore.

  • 2d Bride
    Master October 2009
    2d Bride ·

    I am so sorry you're going through this! Can the church at least do a convalidation once the paperwork gets straightened out?

  • Alysa
    VIP April 2014
    Alysa ·

    Oh my gosh thats horrible! They couldn't have told you sooner? I'm glad you are able to use your reception venue. Good luck Mrs. V! I'm sure it will be great, regardless of the location.

  • Donna
    Master June 2014
    Donna ·

    What a shame! It is definitely possible to hold your wedding outside of a church and have it blessed at a later date. Are you friendly with one of your parish priests? Perhaps he could come to the reception and say the blessing before dinner, if that would make you feel somewhat better. It sounds as if this whole situation is outside of your control, so try to remember that God will be at your wedding, no matter where it is held. If your reception venue can accommodate your ceremony,why not have it there? That sounds like the easiest way to go. You will be with your husband to be and surrounded by people you love. Things will work out. I will be thinking of you on Saturday - have a wonderful and joyous wedding.

  • T
    Expert August 2013
    ToBMrs.V ·

    @Ballet shoe as much as a church setting would be more comforting to my traditional values its just too late in the game to get that done.

    And calling all my friends and family to tell them this and explain it over and over is just horrifying. We are devastated but carrying on. I'm so at loss for how to plan a more "secular' cermony with religious overtones. The search for the officiant is on. All my vendors have been great and understanding and stepping up the late but it all costs $$ which we already spent on the church. I hope they give it back without a fight.

  • Kate
    Master December 2013
    Kate ·

    Ugh. If someone did that to me you better BELIEVE I'd be getting my money back. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this. But you can do it!!

  • Donna
    Master June 2014
    Donna ·

    If you find a good officiant he will be able to help you put together a ceremony that is religious, although maybe not strictly Catholic in tone. I do not know where you are from, but in our area Philadelphia, there is a group called Journeys of the Heart, that provides nondenominational religious officiants. I have heard very good things about them. Another possibility could be that your priest may know of a minister who would be willing to perform the ceremony. I know our parish priests are friendly with clergymen of other denominations.

  • Private User
    Master March 2014
    Private User ·

    Now I guess it depends on your church and how strict they are but why not opt for a wedding ceremony and not a wedding mass? That is what FH and I are doing as I am not a Catholic. He his however I am Methodist therefore in the Catholic church I cannot take part in communion and therefore cannot have a wedding mass. The ceremony is nearly identical minus two or three parts. I know it would not be the same but at least you are still going to be married inside a church. I would ask if they offer this option.

    And by paperwork error what do you mean? Did one of you not submit your baptism certificate or miss your Pre Cana day? I have a hard time believing that one small paperwork error could not be resolved within 4 days.

    Best of luck to you!!!

  • Z
    Master May 2012
    Zoe ·

    I'm so sorry! All I can say is, "By your 5th anniversary, this will just be a funny story" but I know-- right now it's just awful! All my thoughts are with you!

  • T
    Expert August 2013
    ToBMrs.V ·

    People these suggestons of finding another venue on less than week's notice are not helpful. I know they are thoughtful and well meant though. I live in a highly regulated city, nothing is free, everything requires fees and licenses. We are doing it at our reception venue which is an art gallery. The are being very accommodating and allowing us to rent the space longer and meeting with us. Which is a huge help the switch though from church to gallery is beyond my heart's comprehension though.

  • mc4dj13
    Master November 2013
    mc4dj13 ·

    This is literally my worst nightmare! I too would like to know (if it isn't too personal) what the reason that they are not allowing you to be married in the church. You shouldn't have put any money down, yet. Our coordinator asked us to bring the payments the night of the rehearsal. I am so sorry a fellow catholic bride is going through this! Prayers and hugs!

  • T
    Expert August 2013
    ToBMrs.V ·

    @mc4dj No we had to pay everything up front it was due 30 days in advance. Thanks everyone for all the supportive comments. I don't want to get into the personal facts of this but it really is an error on our local church's part in processing the paperwork for my FH's previous marriage and then the hierarchy of the church is not willing to budge their process to look at it quickly. We cannot have anything done at the church and cannot be married at all there until this process is done. I don't even think we can have our marriage blessed. And I have no idea why they didn't realize this until a week before.

  • Chrissy
    Expert June 2014
    Chrissy ·

    Rev. Anne Fuller, who posts on here, writes ceremonies. I'm planning to work with her on mine. I'm not sure how long it takes or if she could do it in a week, but it's worth a shot. It's probably smart to work with a professional to pull the ceremony together, as they should have good ideas and guidance for you.


  • Cheetah2B
    Master June 2014
    Cheetah2B ·

    This sounds harsh, but I would treat them as a paid venue at this point.

    They screwed up, not just the paperwork, or the day, but the fact you can't marry into your religion now(I mean NOW, not including you can have it blessed at a later date).

    I would get the search for an officiant and a park/non denominational small town church going, am at the same time, start sending certified letters. You didn't back out, they screwed up an obviously integral part of your marriage/ceremony. Personally, I'd be on the horn to your arch-diocese(sp?), and see what can be done.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. Hopefully everything works out, and you can still have as much as you can of what you wanted!

  • mc4dj13
    Master November 2013
    mc4dj13 ·

    From your last post I understand more now. Can they at least give you an explanation as to why it took them a week before your wedding to tell you? Our church said if both people have been previously unmarried then 6 months is all they need for the preparation. If you need an annulment it is going to take longer. They should have told you this upfront. There is no use worrying about it now, I guess. If I paid and found out they left this information out I would be pissed.

  • Marissa M.
    Super August 2013
    Marissa M. ·

    I don't have any advice or suggestions but as another Catholic bride getting married this Saturday, I'm saying extra prayers for you and hoping everything is as perfect as possible for you!!

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