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Catholic Destination Brides--What To Tell People?


rachelia160
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I was going to post my remarks in response to someone else's post about their at home legal ceremony, but then I realized my dilemma seemed a little overly complicated for the topic!

 

My FI and I are getting married a week before we leave for our trip in my church. I'm Catholic, so to have my marriage recognized in the church it HAS to be in the church building by a priest.  I'm finding it stressful knowing what to tell people who ask how we're getting married.  The majority of people don't realize that we might be having a ceremony at home so they wouldn't think to ask, but my catholic friends know the "rules," so a few have already asked me how we're getting married, or if I'm not having my marriage recognized in the church.  So far I've just been telling the truth--I don't want to lie to a direct question, nor do I want them to think my marriage won't be recognized in the church.  BUT, I don't want too many people to know that we're getting married ahead of time--I'm afraid people will think they're wasting their time going all the way to Mexico for a "fake wedding" (even though I obviously don't see it that way).

 

Also, now I feel like my mom is over-inviting people to the legal ceremony.  We were just going to do parents, grandparents (they aren't able to travel), siblings (who are going to stand up for us as our witnesses,) and possibly four close aunts and uncles who can't travel to Mexico.  That's quite a few people as it is, but yesterday my mom asked if her friend could come because she's a "good Catholic girl" who can't come to Mexico and would really like to come, and thinks I should invite my confirmation sponsor, who is a close family friend who is also coming to Mexico....ugh.

 

So after that long-winded rant, how should I respond when people ask how I'm going to have my marriage recognized in the church?  Should I tell the truth, or say that we somehow found a way around it, or something else?  Even for those of you who aren't Catholic, are you up front about getting married ahead of time or after in the states?

 

 

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To be honest, I don't know anyone that had a big 'to-do' for the legal ceremony.  I am having a Catholic ceremony in Mexico.  Nobody is going to know about legal ceremony.  I feel that the church part is our wedding and for my aunts that can't make it, well that is their choice.  It's not like they're not going because of health or money issues.  They just don't like Mexico.  If they couldn't go because of health issues, I would invite them to the legal ceremony.  Or have a party for those who couldn't come after the destination wedding.  I wouldn't want my Catholic ceremonty to be cheapened in any way and to have someone think of that as my second wedding or fake wedding like you mentioned.  

 

But that is my view.  It's your big day and you should get to choose who you want at each place.  If you feel you want just a few people, then you really should tak with your mom.  People will know we are married ahead of time, but that is only because my fiance has a big mouth and already told people.  I don't think guests really think about it.  Each time I've been to a Catholic wedding, I assumed that was the big day. 

 

Good luck!

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Sometimes people can be downright rude with their intimate and intrusive questions - whether they realize it or not.

 

Clearly you have given this quite a bit of thought and it's really up to you how much detail you wish or decide to reveal regarding the specifics of each ceremony.  You could just tell people that you have carefully planned a way to satisfy all the religious and legal requirements and are excited that they can join you in the Mexican celebration of your marriage.

They really do not need to know more than that - unless you want them to.  It is purely your decision how you do it and how much everyone knows about the specifics.

 

As well, it should be your decision about who is invited to the religious ceremony.  

 

That being said, you may have to "pick your battles" and defer to allowing more there than you have selected if it is important to your mom (and not an insurmountable concession for you).  On the other hand, if you and your fiancé really feel strongly about something, stand up for yourselves.  

 

Weddings can be a very challenging situation to navigate - as you are discovering.  But part of the process of establishing your lives separate of your immediate family and each other's friends is deciding how you want to represent yourselves as a couple and the wedding ceremony is, for many, the first opportunity to do this.  This can cause some "disturbance in the force" but it is important that you stick to your beliefs and decisions (unless it makes sense to bend sometimes).  

 

It's your life and it's your wedding so have a good time with it and if you expend any energy on the responses of others, let it be humor in realizing how this kind of thoughtless inquiry can really be intrusive and inappropriate.  This is a lesson that you can learn from others so you don't repeat it someday.

 

Enjoy!

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Ah it's definitely a hard one! I'm not Catholic but my FI is, and it was important to his mom that he marry in a Catholic church.  So our legal ceremony is actually this Friday, 2 days before we leave for Mexico and 1 week before our wedding in Cancun.  We haven't advertised it but we haven't hidden the fact either... I think most of our guests know that the wedding in Mexico is symbolic but to me it's still our "wedding." So we're being honest about it - saying we're having a small family legal church ceremony right before we go.  We haven't invited any friends besides our wedding parties, but there will be a dinner hosted at my FI's parent's house afterwards

 

That being said, what was supposed to be a small family-only legal ceremony has turned quite large :(.  Both his parents and mine have started inviting some of their friends too...  I think there will be somewhere around 50-60 people now.  That is NOT what I wanted at all either, but unfortunately it's too late now and I'm choosing my battles.  I think this legal ceremony has become my FMIL's show if you will, hence why I really don't regard this to be my wedding even though it's the legal one.  She even tried to make the time earlier last minute and I said that my family wouldn't be able to come if that were the case because they'd need to get extra time off from work, and she was like "that's okay, they can come to the dinner after" :o .  I had to pretty forcibly say no that wouldn't be okay - this is still my legal ceremony after all.  I'm going to be wearing my TTD and my mom got me a pretty awesome fascinator/birdcage veil thing and my friend who is starting his photography business is going to take some pics for us.  I'm trying not to let his mom get to me, and I am still looking forward to celebrating with my grandparents and some family who won't be going to Mexico with us. But I'm not planning/helping with this one at all haha - too much on the plate already

 

Anyway, good luck!  Try to remain strong and do what you want... if you wedding is in Mexico, then just tell people it's a small legal ceremony but the wedding will be there. 

Edited by tygrrlily
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Ah it's definitely a hard one! I'm not Catholic but my FI is, and it was important to his mom that he marry in a Catholic church. So our legal ceremony is actually this Friday, 2 days before we leave for Mexico and 1 week before our wedding in Cancun. We haven't advertised it but we haven't hidden the fact either... I think most of our guests know that the wedding in Mexico is symbolic but to me it's still our "wedding." So we're being honest about it - saying we're having a small family legal church ceremony right before we go. We haven't invited any friends besides our wedding parties, but there will be a dinner hosted at my FI's parent's house afterwards

 

That being said, what was supposed to be a small family-only legal ceremony has turned quite large :(. Both his parents and mine have started inviting some of their friends too... I think there will be somewhere around 50-60 people now. That is NOT what I wanted at all either, but unfortunately it's too late now and I'm choosing my battles. I think this legal ceremony has become my FMIL's show if you will, hence why I really don't regard this to be my wedding even though it's the legal one. She even tried to make the time earlier last minute and I said that my family wouldn't be able to come if that were the case because they'd need to get extra time off from work, and she was like "that's okay, they can come to the dinner after" :o . I had to pretty forcibly say no that wouldn't be okay - this is still my legal ceremony after all. I'm going to be wearing my TTD and my mom got me a pretty awesome fascinator/birdcage veil thing and my friend who is starting his photography business is going to take some pics for us. I'm trying not to let his mom get to me, and I am still looking forward to celebrating with my grandparents and some family who won't be going to Mexico with us. But I'm not planning/helping with this one at all haha - too much on the plate already

 

Anyway, good luck! Try to remain strong and do what you want... if you wedding is in Mexico, then just tell people it's a small legal ceremony but the wedding will be there.

Good for you for standing up for yourself. I can't believe she thinks it'd be ok for your family not to be there - oh my :/

 

 

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@@rachelia160

 

I understand you're dilemma!!! I am Catholic too, but I have opted to do the civil wedding in Jamaica, and the Catholic wedding mass when I get home. I wanted to have the Catholic ceremony in my local Church, with my parish preist.

Everyone has been asking me, why I am having two weddings, and are so shocked to hear that we've chosen to do have 2 ceremonies. It was realy starting to get to me too... but then, at the end of the day, we're doing what we want to do. If people want to qauestion, and judge.... that's their agenda!! Try not too stress about other people's questions, it can be a real kill joy!!!

Good luck with all your planning, and wishing you and your H2b a wonderful life together. :)

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@@tygrrlily Okay, acting like it would be okay to not have your family there is so NOT okay!  I'm glad you stood your ground on that one!

 

Since you said most of your guests are aware that you'll be married ahead of time, do you think that changed their attitudes about the whole thing, or did they understand why you did it?  I just don't want anyone to feel "jipped."

 

And wow, that is a pretty huge legal ceremony!  But good for you for just rolling with it and having a good attitude about it.  I guess the most important thing is what you  and your FI view as your official wedding, not everyone else (that's the advice I need to take myself!) And at least you don't have to plan it :)

 

Thanks for sharing your advice, I appreciate it! :)

@@TAkathy I love this: "You could just tell people that you have carefully planned a way to satisfy all the religious and legal requirements and are excited that they can join you in the Mexican celebration of your marriage."

 

It's the truth but still vague enough that I don't have to "admit" about having another ceremony.  Hopefully the person asking won't push any further for specifics if that's my answer off the bat.

 

To be honest, I don't really mind having a few close family friends at the ceremony, as long as it still doesn't feel like THE wedding, you know? Obviously it's still important and meaningful--I just don't want it to take away from the Mexico wedding we're working so hard on.  The fact that I'm married in my church (where I was baptized, first communion, confirmed, the whole 9 yards) is really important to my mom too, so I would like to make her happy and let her invite a VERY small number of VERY close friends if it's important to her, as long as they maintain the right attitude that this is the ceremony but not the wedding, if that even makes sense.

 

Thanks so much for sharing with me!

@@rachelia160

 

I understand you're dilemma!!! I am Catholic too, but I have opted to do the civil wedding in Jamaica, and the Catholic wedding mass when I get home. I wanted to have the Catholic ceremony in my local Church, with my parish preist.

Everyone has been asking me, why I am having two weddings, and are so shocked to hear that we've chosen to do have 2 ceremonies. It was realy starting to get to me too... but then, at the end of the day, we're doing what we want to do. If people want to qauestion, and judge.... that's their agenda!! Try not too stress about other people's questions, it can be a real kill joy!!!

Good luck with all your planning, and wishing you and your H2b a wonderful life together. :)

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem!  It was important for me to be married in my home church by my priest, too.  Even just getting that far was sort of an uphill battle--my FI is Baptist, and his family is really conservative and, frankly, prejudiced towards Catholics.   Over the past five years I've been trying really hard to educate them that our denominations are much more the same than different (they even asked if I was a Christian! I'm shocked that they didn't even know that Catholics are Christians!)  FI has always been great about being open to how I practice my faith, but was hesitant about having a Catholic ceremony because he didn't think his family would go.  It was really stressful thinking that I might not be able to have my marriage recognized in the church, but I think we have all of that worked out.

 

I'm afraid people will be shocked at me having two weddings as well, but in my mind I'm looking at the one as the legal ceremony, and the other as my WEDDING.  But you're right--at the end of the day, it should be about what we want and what's best for us, and people can either get on board or leave! :)  Thanks for sharing with me!

Edited by rachelia160
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I kind of wanted to have a cute little ceremony thing with family but my FI is insistent we just go in jeans ourselves to fill out the paperwork as he doesn't want it to detract from our wedding. Since I'm not having a Church ceremony if people ask I say I'm just going to file the legal paperwork in the US and they usually stop asking. Or they ask if my friend who is officiating is ordained ( she is, so I tell them that) If it gets further I explain how there is a lot of fees, time, hassle, blood work to legally marry in Mexico and most people with destination weddings marry legally beforehand and everyone has understood

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I kind of wanted to have a cute little ceremony thing with family but my FI is insistent we just go in jeans ourselves to fill out the paperwork as he doesn't want it to detract from our wedding. Since I'm not having a Church ceremony if people ask I say I'm just going to file the legal paperwork in the US and they usually stop asking. Or they ask if my friend who is officiating is ordained ( she is, so I tell them that) If it gets further I explain how there is a lot of fees, time, hassle, blood work to legally marry in Mexico and most people with destination weddings marry legally beforehand and everyone has understood

 

I'm thinking that's the best way to handle it--making it sound sort of "dry" with words like "legal paperwork" instead of "ceremony" and "wedding."  Thanks!

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