Two wedding ceremonies, one wedding Mass?

Have a small wedding this March, with an actual church wedding this December. Is this doable, or does it even make sense? Please don’t ask for details on the matter, as I cannot give them. Would the small ceremony [March] not be allowed to be conducted in the church? Would the priest not be able to do it for us? What would be different for the December wedding, or would that just be a ceremony for vow renewal? Would there be no Mass? I’ve had friends, non-Catholics though, who have had to have separate ceremonies like this, but usually with not as much time in between. Any advice here is wonderful, thank you!

The Church does not permit two separate Marriage ceremonies. Nenewal of Vows usually takes place once a year in a parish or diocese on a date set by the parish or diocese.

Is this something new? Any parish I’ve ever been in had renewal of vows when the couple wished to have them and most did it on their anniversary.

The first ceremony would not be in the Church though? That would still not be allowed, correct?

I’ve never heard of the once a year renewal of vows either. Is this new, like Phemie suggested?

To deliberately marry outside the Church, and thus contract an invalid marriage, hardly seems like a wise way to start your life together (I’m trying to be charitable here). Do what’s required by the Church, marry in a simple ceremony with 2 witnesses and then renew your vows at a later date with the big celebration if that’s what you want. Why put yourself in a state of sin to start off your married life?

You make a very good point. :slight_smile: Thank you.

there is only one wedding, and if you are Catholic that is the one performed according to the rites and laws of the Church. You see your priest and arrange things and prepare for the sacrament properly. If because of civil law or other reason it is necessary to go through a civil ceremony first, you are not married in the eyes of the Church unless and until you go to your priest and arrange for a valid marriage ceremony. You may therefore NOT live as man and wife in the conjugal sense until that happens.

“in the Church” does not necessarily mean, in a church building, although that is usual, but it means, complying with Catholic law and rites. See your priest. the experience of non-Catholics you know is irrelevant. You are bound by the law of the Church if you are Catholic. See your priest, asking friends is useless, as is discussion here since you are not free to give essential details. See your priest.

That is what takes place here. The parish usually has a Wednesday evening Mass in February where anyone who wants to can renew their Vows just by attending the Mass, no special pre-registration necessary. The Bishop also celebrates a special Mass inviting those at 25 and 50 years during the past year. I’ve never seen a renewal of vows at a regular Sunday Mass.

Usually I don’t see it at Sunday Mass either but rather on the couple’s anniversary. That’s certainly what Mom & Dad did on their 25th. Mom even got a new wedding band to replace the original which had broken some 6 or 7 years before.

Few couples in my parish opt for a renewal. My feelings: I spoke those vows once and it was for life, no need to do it again.

Would the small ceremony [March] not be allowed to be conducted in the church? Would the priest not be able to do it for us?


Would it not be better to consult with your priest about this instead of asking on computer boards?

You can get married once. You must also meet the obligations set forth by the church prior to marriage. You don’t have much time here.

Canon Law forbids two ceremonies. Some countries do require in civil law a civil cerimony first to satisfy the law. For a Catholic technically this is not the Marriage. The Marriage takes place in the Church. I’m assuming you are suggesting you want to celebrate the Marriage in one location and then again a bit later celebrate the Marriage again in another location?

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