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Is anyone getting married/got married at Our Lady Guadalupe Church

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#1 SunWorshipper09

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    Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:17 PM

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Meghan, and I am so glad I found this website! As you all know, it is so hard to plan a wedding, just going by pictures. Right now I have a hotel wedding booked at the Riu Vallarta, but I have also been in contact with the rev from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Has anyone got married/getting married at this church? If so, how do you confirm that it is booked? He gave me a date that was available, but I have had a hard time trying to get ahold of him. Also, do you know if it is a half hour/full hour mass? Is it private and blocked off? Sorry their are so many questions! I am just really debating between sticking to the hotel wedding, or going to the church. Anyones feedback would be greatly appreciated!



    #2 Jess

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      Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:13 PM

      Hey Meghan - we've been PM'ing about this but just wanted to reply and say good luck! Let me know if you need any help.

      #3 LRO

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        Posted 07 August 2009 - 02:55 PM

        Hi Meghan!

        I suggest to ready this threat
        http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t25255 by amyh she got married there and you can have some information about this church. I also know that the church opens at 4:00pm (central Mexico time) I belive you have to pay something but I'm not really sure this is the number that I have (322) 222-1326

        Good luck!

        #4 sylvia

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          Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:57 AM

          Hi, I am getting married at the Virgen de Guadalupe Church this coming October. I have been talking to Padre Esteban who has been great. I basically asked for my date and confirmed it via telephone. I reconfirmed in January and actually had to change the date. They were great about accomodating me with the new date. They measured the aisle for a custom runner and put me in touch with the church organist for music. The mass is a regular full mass. (1 hour) and Padre Esteban goes over you readings with you once you have selected. So far my esperience with the church has been great! Let me know if you need anything else. Hope this helps.

          #5 simba1234

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            Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:56 PM

            My cousin got married in this church last year and it was really, really beautiful. The mass was a full hour. I don't know what you mean by private but there were people in the church who were not part of our family/friends.

            #6 marteeca

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              Posted 10 November 2009 - 01:25 AM

              We are getting married here on May 14, 2010. At first the church was "wishy-washy" about letting us pick our date...at first, they said we had to have our marriage prep paperwork completed before we could pick a date! Then, after 2nd call they said they'd make an exception for us, and we told them we'd call back with our selected date. When we called to choose our date (3rd call), we got a different person than the first 2 times, and they then said that the Agenda was "closed" until a certain date, and to call back on that date.

              In the end, on the 4th try we spoke to the person we spoke to on the 3rd call and we had no problems picking date and time. She even said we could make the donation when we arrive. Regardless, we plan to go down for a visit shortly and will donate then, just in case!

              our wedding is "private", and it's a full hour, in Spanish. They gave us the opportunity to choose the date, time, and language of the mass. Even though it's private, I've been to a wedding there before and I would guess that there will probably be some people coming in and out of the church to take a look!

              so...I think it depends on who you speak to. I also know it's very common in some parts of Mexico to "close" the schedule...

              #7 MissGleason

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                Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:50 PM

                I am getting married at the cathedral in 2 weeks, and yes-it CAN be a nightmare.

                Our family priest is actually a good friend of the bishop in Jalisco AND went to seminary under Fr. Esteban Salazar (the Priest at the cathedral in PV). Here is all I can say- I have heard 3 different priests who know him call him words that are not exactly typically spoken by priests. Catch my drift?

                There is a major power trip going on in that place- it gets very political and goes years back. I can explain by phone for or something if you are interested- PM me.

                Anyway what I am doing and what I suggest is to bring in your own priest. Our family priest is marrying us in the cathedral so that the mass and everything goes exactly the way that we want it.

                There is another girl someplace in here who was kind enough to post a video of her wedding at the cathedral and a review of what a nightmare it was. I watched it and had a mini-panic attack. Especially since she is a spanish speaker and still had so much trouble.

                I also had family members (my mom's side is from the area) physically go to the church to work stuff out and still, it was a mess. As everyone else in the church is saying- why make it hard for good catholics to do things "right". Ya know? I mean, do you WANT us to get married on the beach? Sheesh!

                Anyway- all is well now but it took a lot of hard work. Even if you get all the papers done through the cathedral and everything is confirmed, Fr. Esteban is NOT nice- have you talked to him over the phone? He's worse in person. And I talked to him on a "good" day. So anyway- even if everything is set up you still won't get a mass done how you want in terms of readings, and flow and especially AMBIANCE. You MUST watch videos of weddings there done by him!! So my advice would be to 1) check all paperwork well and 2) bring your own priest.

                There are other catholic churches in PV, but we had out hearts set on the cathedral. My parents got married there as well, and the same group of priests will be there and are family friends. So if you want the big cathedral wedding in PV, I would highly recommend fighting for it since its YOUR day- but be prepared for a battle and really think hard about bringing your priest. haha- the "rehearsal" time slot reservation was a battle too! - another story for another day!! Oh yeah- also helps to work with those who work in the church but arent part of the clergy- like the Sacristan.

                PM me if you need any help!! Sorry so choppy- on the subway at the moment.
                120 guests CONFIRMED!

                #8 MissGleason

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                  Posted 13 November 2009 - 06:48 PM

                  One more thing that may be the reason my experience is so different than Sylvia's is that we are doing a high-noon mass (for cultural reasons)- and they always have a mass at that time. So for example, it's not "private" just for my family. It's the time when the whole town comes to mass on Saturday and they ring the bells, etc.

                  I don't know how much this changed our experience with the cathedral. We wanted a public mass (cultural thing for us) but we also wanted it to be personal and friendly in feel and more modern- (we are Jesuit). So I think it was hard dealing with it there because they are wishy washy about stuff and very old school and strict about everything. The only way we got around it was bringing our own Priest who is younger and more progressive. The wishy washy thing is hard for me (lawyer here)- I need stuff in writing and confirmed or I start to flip out. lol. But I know culturally people are much more laid back and everything there about contracts and details. I feel like without our Priest and without precious Nicole at Las Caletas (my reception site) it would have been really stressful. They made all the difference thus far. So make sure you have a good team helping you out! :-) I have the phone number for the Sacristan as well if you need it.

                  I think because I "lurk" on this site and don't post enough it won't let me upload the info I have on the church, etc. There is a points thing here that I'm not familiar with! But I am happy to email it to you. A while ago Jess gave me a "cupcake" on here and I couldn't even give her one back!! Sending cupcakes to both of you in my heart! Ha!

                  Jess- we're almost there! YAY!!

                  Also Meghan- after the wedding I can give you a better review/advice as I will be all done and can share my experience afterwards. But this is what I have found thus far!

                  (the church was rude to Nicole at Caletas too!- and if you ever met her you'd know something was terribly wrong because she is a DOLL. Just an angel. Really).
                  120 guests CONFIRMED!

                  #9 Jess

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                    Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:14 PM

                    hey Carolyn aka date twin and Guadalupe twin :) - I'll see you after your wedding and right before mine!!

                    I'll let you girls now how Padre Esteban is - I have the pleasure of meeting with him - haha- he may or may not be the Priest at our Mass though....eek I'm worried now but oh well!

                    #10 lani76

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                    • 64 posts

                      Posted 24 November 2009 - 04:52 PM

                      Hi there! I just got married at Our Lady of Guadalupe on 11/6 and, overall, the planning was an ok experience. Not the best but we managed through it. This is going to be a long post!

                      When we initially wanted to book over the phone, we were never able to reach anyone so we ended up booking it in person during our scouting trip. They ask for $150 USD as a fee but were told we could just pay it when we came back to PV for the wedding. We were also told to book the rehearsal at that time as well but I don't know if that was because that's how they do it or if my spanish speaking husband who does not like to ask too many questions or translate just decided that's how it was to be done.

                      There is only one person that can speak English there, and that is Father Esteban. I found him to be a very pleasant person and very solemn but we chose to bring our own family priest with us, which made it a lot more personal and special. In our experience though, if you do not ask him or his staff questions about the ceremony or requirements, they will not give you ANY information so make sure you ask EVERYTHING even if it seems obvious. It helps to have a patient spanish speaker to relay anything you want to ask. Although Father Esteban speaks English, you have to be careful to speak somewhat slowly so he catches everything. I was very lucky to have our priest with us as he actually explained more about the ceremony than the church did, which put me a little more at ease. I may just be used to my church's administrative processes where once you book a ceremony, they dive right into everything you need to prepare for and bring so that you don't walk in blindly. Mexico is far more laid back in the US in every way so be prepared.

                      Just to help with some of the catholic ceremony planning, make sure you have the cord, ceremony veil, unity candle, coins, and of course the rings/ring pillow. I forgot to ask my priest how many coins you are supposed to have for the ceremony so my maid of honor put in some random number in the pouch (there were a lot of coins in that pouch!). Make sure you ask! As for the music, you have to either have live music or a singer appropriate for church or use their organist--you have no other options. The organist is quite brilliant, an incredibly happy and friendly man with chin length, gray straggly hair and only speaks spanish. If you have some songs in mind that you would like to play for your ceremony, he can play it for you without notes and can identify about 90% of the songs that you suggest, possibly more.

                      As for the rehearsal, you have the option of practicing in the actual cathedral as long as there isn't a mass scheduled or using their chapel adjacent to the office. We chose to use the chapel so we would have more time. Word of advice, do NOT let your fiance go fishing the morning of the rehearsal unless you want to worry about making sure his half of his family makes it to the rehearsal (long story that I'll probably share later this week). It's funny now that it's over :)

                      We only ordered 2 flower arrangements for the ceremony, which was plenty. The alter is so beautiful with all the gold detailing and lighting that you really don't need much, if any. Even the photos that our friends and family took looked beautiful...everything glowed. Plus they have their usual flowers around the alter so there's no shortage of flowers. We decided not to decorate the pews which still looked great.

                      You have an option of a spanish, bilingual, or english ceremony, depending on the time you choose. We chose to have a bilingual cermony and were able to choose what parts were to be in spanish and what were to be in english. I'm not sure if it was because we brought our own priest or if it was their usual practice to let us go by our preferences. The ceremony took 45 mins to 1 hour but it flew right by. We had it at 2pm on the hottest day of our stay so it might be worth it to schedule a little later in the afternoon--maybe 4pm--so that it's a little cooler. Still having it at 2pm allotted for a little more time between the ceremony and reception to take pictures.

                      When we were there for the first two weeks of this month, there was some repair work being done behind the gate for the main entry the entire time so we had to start our processional from one of the side doors. There was scaffolding and blue tarp on the top of the main gate. Unfortunate, since that main gate is so beautiful but it worked out. It may have been completed since then but just want all of you to be prepared if your wedding is coming up soon.

                      I hope this helps! If anyone has ANY questions about the church, ceremony, or anything at all, please let me know...I'm happy to help. I know how difficult this process can be. :)
                      ~ Marie-Laine

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