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rachelia160

Including Wedding Traditions In Your Pre-Dw Legal Ceremony?

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Hi Brides!

 

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 :)

 

 

 

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We have already married. Sign the legal docs over a year ago. Our children were there. We didn't exchange vowels or do anything at all. We didn't want it to take away from our wedding ceremony in Mexico, not have we told anyone. If I were a practicing Catholic I could definitely see the value of your priest marrying you, my only concern would be weighing out your decision carefully. Only you can do that. If you want it to be real in a Mexico I would take it easy at the legal ceremony. If there are essential traditions you can't forego and that's important to your and your church then you don't really have a choice right? I would era on the side of less. :)

And I would not exchange anything or duplicate anything you intend to do at your DW wedding.

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I'm just curious about one thing. Firstly I'm not catholic so I can't help you out there, and we were married in Jamaica. I was just wondering why you aren't doing your catholic ceremony in one of the beautiful chapels/churches in Mexico? I know some of their processes can be a somewhat of a nuisance but like I said, just wondering.

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We have already married. Sign the legal docs over a year ago. Our children were there. We didn't exchange vowels or do anything at all. We didn't want it to take away from our wedding ceremony in Mexico, not have we told anyone. If I were a practicing Catholic I could definitely see the value of your priest marrying you, my only concern would be weighing out your decision carefully. Only you can do that. If you want it to be real in a Mexico I would take it easy at the legal ceremony. If there are essential traditions you can't forego and that's important to your and your church then you don't really have a choice right? I would era on the side of less. :)

And I would not exchange anything or duplicate anything you intend to do at your DW wedding.

 

I definitely understand the appeal of just signing docs, but like you said, I think there are some traditions that are going to be essential (exchanging vows and rings and things).  I guess the most important thing is our mindset about the whole thing - these are just steps we have to go through to get legally married.  I want to stay kind of "detached" from the whole thing in a way.

 

As you mentioned too, we're telling as few people as possible about it.  Outside of our parents and siblings, our grandparents and the aunts and uncles that will be coming don't even know about it.  We're basically going to tell them the day before where and when to show up so there's less of a chance of other people finding out.  I won't lie if anyone directly asks me, but I'm just letting everyone else think that the wedding in Mexico is legally binding. I doubt most people know about all the hoops you have to jump through anyway, so it wouldn't occur to them to think it might not be "official."

 

 

I'm just curious about one thing. Firstly I'm not catholic so I can't help you out there, and we were married in Jamaica. I was just wondering why you aren't doing your catholic ceremony in one of the beautiful chapels/churches in Mexico? I know some of their processes can be a somewhat of a nuisance but like I said, just wondering.

 

For a variety of reasons. One is definitely all the ridiculous hoops you have to jump through to be legally married in Mexico, but most importantly because my FI is Baptist, not Catholic, and has a very strong faith background of his own, and is one of the leaders in his church, so we struggled a LOT with trying to figure out a way to kind of get married on "neutral ground" for both our own and our family's sake (some of his immediate family wouldn't and won't set foot in a Catholic church), and a wedding on the beach kind of allowed us to do that and make it exactly what we wanted outside of either of our churches so we would be on an even playing field. After much discussion, he was kind enough to let us have our legal ceremony in my church since my denomination has more "rules" and it kind of had to be in the church to be recognized. So that's the biggest reason, but also just because if I'm bringing everyone all the way to Mexico, I wanna get married on the beach and not in a building! :)

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I can see how you'd be concerned about this. My FI and I are legally getting married here (City Hall) and I don't even like the idea of it, but I don't want to go through all of the hassle of the civil ceremony in Mexico.

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i get wanting to do the legal in the church if you are religious. I had thought about this but then went the route of just signing papers because I didn't want to take away from my mexico ceremony

 

But for you since you will have your grandparents there etc, I would wear a nice white dress and have the priest bless you and say a prayer and have your family pray with you , do a reading, maybe light a candle, and maybe say some vows. I wouldn't do anything like have your dad walk you down the aisle or exchange rings..I think I would want to save some things - things that aren't necessarily part of a catholic marriage- for the mexico ceremony since you will def do them then and it will be more special that way...especially the ring thing. It would also be nice to have a lunch afterwards.

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@@rachelia160 I'm confused about your essential comment.

Are you saying your exchanging vowels and rings at your legal marriage? If so, what are you going to exchange at your DW wedding?

 

I think we'll do the most basic traditional vows at our church ceremony, and we're writing our own more personal ones for our DW. I'm not positive if we'll have to exchange rings at the church ceremony or not, but if we do we'll just give them back and not where them until after the DW.

 

 

i get wanting to do the legal in the church if you are religious. I had thought about this but then went the route of just signing papers because I didn't want to take away from my mexico ceremony

 

But for you since you will have your grandparents there etc, I would wear a nice white dress and have the priest bless you and say a prayer and have your family pray with you , do a reading, maybe light a candle, and maybe say some vows. I wouldn't do anything like have your dad walk you down the aisle or exchange rings..I think I would want to save some things - things that aren't necessarily part of a catholic marriage- for the mexico ceremony since you will def do them then and it will be more special that way...especially the ring thing. It would also be nice to have a lunch afterwards.

 

 

This sounds like a good way to go. Still special and nice, but nothing too elaborate.  I'm hoping we don't "have" to exchange rings but I'm kind of thinking that comes with the territory...we're meeting with my priest tonight so I'll start trying to find some of this out.  I just have to think of a tactful way to word it instead of "Hey, what's the least possible amount of wedding stuff we have to do because I don't want this to feel like a wedding?"  :blink:

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Not everyone wears a ring so I'd be curious to hear if it's territory or not. Let us know. That to me seems like something possibly optional.

 

I think it's fair to tell your priest you are having a wedding in Mexico and that you'd like to keep as much as possible for this ceremony and so you'd like to only have a ceremony back home with what's necessary to make it legal. Hopefully he will understand.

 

 

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I'm not sure about Catholic laws. I would ask your church. I know that Greek Orthodox (my family) have big traditional weddings with many blessings and Priest etc, but no exchange of vowels. So I'm not sure if Catholics exchange vowels either.

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