We were engaged for one year prior to our wedding date, deliberately so because of our unique circumstances. On one of his visits here we attended an Engaged Encounter weekend together. We arranged for our respective priests to communicate with each other via the Internet and phone if they desired. I met with my priest at least three times to discuss our marriage prep, and we had a Skype session together with him on one occasion. My husband also met with his priest several times, and his deacon, to discuss the Sacrament of Marriage. We completed our FOCCUS test while he was in England as well. I sent him his copy and he mailed it directly back to the administrator of the test. Our review of the test with her was done via Skype. To satisfy the requirement to be counseled in NFP we both took classes separately at our respective parishes. We fulfilled everything we needed to do, we just were not in the same place at the same time when doing it.
In addition, we used a book called something like 101 Questions to Ask Before You Marry - I would send him a question and we would both answer it and email our answers back at the same time so we couldn’t peek before answering. Then we would discuss our answers by phone in depth - NO topic was off limits. We did this for over a month, covering all of the relevant questions in the book (some just didn’t apply to our situation). In the end, when we finally met with the priest together after he arrived on his visa, he told us that we were far more prepared than most couples who go through the established processes, mostly because of the vast amount of communication we were forced to have being separated by 3,000 miles. Neither one of our priests would have ever suggested having a civil ceremony to satisfy the requirement, nor would we have ever agreed to such a thing. We lived under the same roof as brother and sister for 29 days before the wedding - our priest was aware of this and understood the situation and that of utmost importance to us was waiting until our marriage night to consummate our union - so near occasion of sin was not an issue for us. We had higher priorities.
There is no reason why you should have to have six months of preparation unless one of your priests has reason to believe that in your situation you truly do need that amount of discernment prior to marriage. In that case you follow the directive of your priest.
We made every possible arrangement for the wedding that we possibly could without knowing the date. Not an easy task, I understand. But the second we knew he had the visa we booked his flight and set the wedding for 29 days later, then put everything in motion. The timing is tight, you have to be willing to let somethings go that might take longer preparation like getting the “perfect” place for the reception or that photographer who is booked a year in advance. Just keep your priorities in order and everything will fall in line.
I would try to find a way to get the two priests to speak with one another privately about your situation and see if they will not agree to marry you as soon as possible after your arrival, and give them a full understanding of the time constraint you will be under.
We have separation of church and state in this country - they don’t give a rat’s behind that it takes six months for Catholics to prepare for marriage. All they care about is keeping the country safe and controlling immigration. Something I really don’t have an issue with.