I'm getting legally married one week before we leave for our Destination Wedding. I'm Catholic and wanted my marriage to be recognized in the church, so my ceremony will be in my church by my priest. Our parents, siblings, grandparents, and a few aunts and uncles who won't be at the DW will be in attendance.
I'm struggling to figure out the balance between respecting the importance of this ceremony from a religious and spiritual standpoint, without making it feel too much like the "real" wedding. I want the entire thing to be as simple and straight forward as possible so we feel like we're really getting married at our DW, but I also don't want my priest to feel like we're not taking it seriously, or that we're not regarding it as us ACTUALLY getting married.
Have there been any other brides who have had a church ceremony before their DW (especially Catholic brides since there's a little more protocol to follow)? How did you handle this? What all did your ceremony include/not include?
I'm wondering what wedding traditions we should participate in and leave out - do we exchange our real rings? Does my dad walk me down the aisle? (That feels like a HUGE deal to me and I know it'll make me emotional, so I don't really want to do it twice). Do I wear a white dress?
I think all of this would have been a little easier if we had had the legal ceremony after our DW, but with my parents being very conservative I thought that everything should be official before we start "acting" married. I definitely see the appeal in just going to a courthouse and signing papers...I wish I could do that, but having my marriage recognized in the church is just too important!
Any thoughts would be appreciated