Newly engaged sister church shopping for wedding


My sister is newly engaged. Both she and her fiance are Catholic. My sister has been attending one Catholic church for years and her fiance has started attending the same church ever since they started dating about 6 months ago.

So they’re planning on the place to have their wedding. The Catholic church that they both attend isn’t “pretty” enough, so they’re church shopping. They want to get married in a “pretty” church. They’ve already talked to a priest - the priest is the one who we all know andd have baptised several members of our family. So they want to be married by this priest, but not at his church but at another church.

Personally, I think they are putting too much emphasis on the place and not enough on the Sacrament of marriage. They want everything to be just perfect for the pictures. They’re even considering going to another city or even state to get married, just as long as they can find a pretty Catholic church. To me, it’s just like choosing a venue like where to get the flowers from, where to buy the dress, etc. Am I wrong for thinking that way?

Also another thing is that they haven’t gone through the premarital counseling yet. And they are both trying to “get away” with the least amount of time in premarital counseling. I think the average time is 6 months, but she talked with one priest about it and he said they could do a weekend retreat and then like 3 or 4 sessions.

I guess what bothers me is that my sister and her fiance are placing too much empahasis on the wrong thing. How should I approach her or should I just keep my mouth shut? Am I overreacting?

Thank you for any advice and God bless you!!


Thank GOD they are getting married in the Church!! :thumbsup:

Buy them a copy of “Three to Get Married”.

Support them in that decision and let the Priest who gives the FOCUS test do the rest.


I think you are right about the emphasis being on the wrong things.

Perhaps get her Fulton Sheen’s Three To Get Married as an engagement present. That is non-confrontational, and can be a great “congratulations” type book… and at the same time hopefully get her to think a little more seriously about the undertaking of marriage.


Great minds think alike.


My husband and I married in the church we planned to attend together as a married couple. The ceremony was more special because the priest knew both of us personally. He tailored his sermon to be about our relationship and who we were. Many parishioners (whom we didn’t know but were excited/curious about their church’s newest family) attended the wedding. And we received “Congratulations!” and friendly winks and grins every Sunday for MONTHS after the wedding.

What’s “prettier?” Stained glass windows and elaborate woodwork (that you’ll barely notice the day-of and will quickly forget in the years to come) or returning week after week to the very place where you vowed your love before friends, family, and God?

I hope your sister reconsiders marrying in the church they plan to join as a married couple!


No matter where she intends to marry and who will perform the ceremony, have she and her intended actually spoken with the PASTOR of the parish they currently attend?


She’s only spoken on the phone with the priest that’s in charge of weddings. She told him that she wants to have the wedding at another Catholic church and for a priest from yet another Catholic church perform the ceremony. So I don’t even know why she even called the priest at her own church to discuss these things. But she did call the priest that she wants to perform the ceremony and he told her that she would need to contact the church that she wants the wedding at. And then she tells me that they’re giving her the runaround. Ugh.

I just hope that she realizes that marriage is more than just the pretty things…


A couple wanted to get married at the Anglican church I attended, because it was prettier than their own, and they were refused. So it might not go as easily as she hopes.

One thing that you might suggest, if you think it won’t make it worse, is that she look at a chapel of some sort, often they are regularly used in that way. My friend recently married and didn’t want to marry in the church she was attending because it was very large, and the wedding was smaller. So she was married, by her priest, in the RC chapel of a local university.

But encourage her to get what she can out of the preparation!


They are having a Catholic wedding…Praise God! My honest advice is just to keep out of it and let them plan their wedding. Some things they do may seem frivalous but it is really nobody else’s business. Just like when you plan your wedding (or if you are already married) it will be your and your husband’s business only. When she complains to you about getting the run around…just tell her you will pray that everything works our for her, that way you are not getting involved and then getting frustrated. I really do not see anything wrong with them seeking out a very attractive church. The Eucahrist will be present in whatever church they are married and that is all that matters on the spiritual side…so you should be content with that. I happen to love beautiful Catholic churches and being Italian I have been brought to tears just visiting Italy and some of the churches there. If they want beautiful pictures for years to come…why fault them?


Actually I can understand wanting to be married in a nice pretty church. It’s not so much about frivolity but the seriousness of the occassion. Most the churches in my area are the modern frankly starkly designed churches of the 50s, 60, and 80’s. My home church looks more like a conference center then a church so did the church I grew up in. I would prefer to be married in an older church which has the feeling of tradition and ceremony over the starkly designed newer churches. Just my 2 cents.


There are some very ugly churches out there. I picked pretty for my wedding, nothing wrong with a pretty Catholic Church :thumbsup:


There’s nothing wrong in wanting to get married in a pretty church, but something just doesn’t seem right to me when you go searching for the prettiest church to get married and that’s basically the only criteria.

So here’s an update.

My sister found a pretty church and it’s like 1.5 to 2 hours away. She’s doing the counseling with the priest from that church. And then she says that she’s going to have another priest from another church marry her.

All this because she wants a pretty church. Oh well.

BTW, I think she’s also settled on this church because this priest said he could do the “short cut” version of the pre-marital counseling. :shrug:

She still hasn’t talked with the priest that she wants to marry her yet. But so far, the plan is to get married in Feb before Lent.


I have some advice, because at a time in my life I was very much irritated, annoyed and had had it with the “lack of faith” of my siblings. This is not a good place to be.

Please take whatever irritation you have with your sister, and do the best you can to turn it into sympathy. Please have sympathy for her lack of understanding, please have sympathy for her lack of focus on what is important and please have sympathy because she has not been blessed by God’s beautiful grace as much as you have.

I could agree with you completely that your sister’s priorities are not right…but what is the point? In the end you are right and she is wrong…so what? The focus needs to be not that she is wrong but that she needs our compassion.

Thank God, thank him everyday that you can see what is important…because without his grace you would be exactly like your sister and so would I. You are a good sister and I can tell you love her very much because you care about her spiritual life, keep this in mind. Love her, pray for her and then pray some more.

She is getting married in the Catholic church this is wonderful! When I think back to my Catholic wedding Mass and how clueless I was as to the profound spiritual nature of it all I am embarassed. God is good…pray that he gets through to her.

Hope this helps a little, praying for you and your family.


Let it go. It is a sacrament and the Lord will be there to guide them. Let the priest doing the FOCUS test figure the pre-marital counseling. Ours was a year long and we still have our issues. The Lord will be there to guide them.


Congrats to your sister, I’m newely enganged my self :slight_smile: Anyway I don’t see anything wrong with this, and I don’t think the Church does either. I’d just support them in their decission, and I’m sure the Church and your Priest will as well.


Introduce them to the bishop’s website.

Tell them to explore the entire site and sign up for the monthly newsletter. It’s a good one.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit