Marriage ceremony

My fiance and I cannot afford (or have time to plan) a proper wedding celebration for at least a year. However we would like to get married sooner in order to live together, combine finances, insurance, etc. Can we then have a big church wedding in a year or so? Would this be considered only a vow renewal? What’s the difference between the two?

Well, other people will have good insight on the whole marriage vs. vow renewal thing. And don’t forget, your parish probably requires a bare minimum notice of six months before your wedding date to get you squared away with pre-cana and whatnot.


Hey! Looks like you might be able to use my budget wedding thread! :smiley:

Lots of people were very helpful to me on this matter. It helped me feel reaffirmed that an expensive wedding is not what’s important- it’s the sacrament. And you can still have a great wedding without blowing a boatload of money :smiley:

I’m not going to have a big fancy wedding, is what I have decided. It’s the Sacrament that counts. Everyone will have to be happy with a low key affair. And sheetcake and punch. LOL

No, you cannot live together before your in-church wedding. You may have a party whenever you wish.

Katey, can you clarify if you meant to be married in the church for your first wedding or not? That would probably help the discussion. Your OP can be taken to mean one of two things. One is that you want to get married in the church twice and the other that you want to have an invalid civil type wedding and then get married in the church. Which is it?

You can only be married once.

That marriage must follow all of the Church requirements, including premarital preparation (which is usually a minimum of 6 months). It requires a priest and two witnesses, and does not have to be expensive at all.

You could then have a reception at a later time, not a “big church wedding.” If you want a large wedding, then wait the year. Your finances and insurance for this short time will not matter in the long run.

Go talk to your priest now to get things started on premarital preparation.

Quick question relating to a marriage ceremony.

My wife and I were both baptized in the Baptist denomination and that is where we were married. Now we are going through RCIA and we are wanting to get this marriage blessed in the Catholic Church.

Has anyone else had this done or know of the process that is required?

You can receive a blessing if you wish, but if this is the first marriage for both of you, you are already validly, sacramentally married. Welcome home!

It is important, as a practicing Catholic, that you get married in the Church. While I can understand your concern about insurance and finances, the validity of your marriage is of utmost importance. A civil ceremony may be “legal” in the secular world, but, it is not in the eyes of the Church.

Coming off planning my cousin’s wedding Mass, I can tell you that the liturgy, itself, will not entail a great deal of expense. I paid about $125 (my aunt pitched in an additional $150) for a cantor and the organist. I did the programs, chose the readings and music and worked with my PV. If finances are a problem, you can certainly consult your pastor about arrangments for the fee.

You can have a simple reception for just a small group of family and friends. This could be a breakfast, lunch or dinner (depending on the time of day you choose to marry).

I told my cousin (and I will tell you) that folks, sadly, will make much ado about the reception and all of the trappings and not consider the sacramental nature of the marriage. For me, it is more important to have my marriage blessed by the Church than to have my dress designed by Vera Wang, my flowers flown in from the tropics or have some fancy menu that I cannot even pronounce served at my reception.

It is better to begin your married life with the blessing of Christ and His Church than without it. There need to be three people in your marriage: you, your future spouse and Christ. Without Christ, without the blessing of His Church, you would be starting off on the wrong foot.

Please, please talk to your pastor. Something else to consider is that what you will be doing is a life-long commitment. The Church provides you with the necessary counseling and guidance so that you and your fiance can make your future marriage work. Through the guidance of the priest and a sponsor couple, the Church helps you understand the complexities of married life like finances, children, family situations and the like. Please, whatever you do, do not leave the Christ and His Church out of planning for your marriage.

You cannot be Married twice. The Sacrament of Marriage can be celebrated outside of Mass in a simple Marriage Rite. You could renew your Vows on your one year anniversary, it would not however take the form of a full wedding.

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