[quote="AnneTeresa, post:1, topic:298863"]
I would like to know more about people's convalidation experiences. We want to have our marriage convalidated.
How long did it take to get your marriage convalidated? What steps do you have to go through? Did you have to take marriage prep courses? Who performed the ceremony? Do you exchange wedding vows if you are already civilly married? Do you need witnesses? Did you have a party after? Is there a new marriage certificate issued?
If anyone has any written information, that would be helpful too.
The convalidation is actually a wedding ceremony, and is effectively treated as such. Some paperwork is required, such as recent copies of baptismal certificates. Marriage preparation is required, though it is possible the couple might not have to go through the full blown pre-Cana. We simply met with the pastor and talked in lieu of pre-Cana, but he already knew us fairly well. The long and short of it is that it can happen in less than a month to roughly a year, depending what the pastor requires.
I'm also assuming that there are no marriage impediments. If an annulment is required, then that process has to be completed before any of the marriage prep can start. If either party has been married, the decrees of nullity, final divorce papers, and/or death certificates will be required.
To cover some of the other issues:
The Church considers it a new marriage, therefore vows are exchanged.
Witnesses are required.
How you celebrate is up to you.
The Church records the marriage. Whether or not a new civil marriage certificate is filed is dependent on the local civil laws.