| Originally Posted by dallas_texas09 |
I just had a Catholic wedding in Playa del Carmen and from my understanding, the Church is VERY strict about the ceremony program. There are some Canon laws that the Church has and every marriage ceremony done at the Church must follow these rules (for instance, you cannot write your own vows, pick some random reading, etc.)
The first thing when planning a Catholic wedding is to meet with the priest who is ordaining your wedding. Since your wedding will be in Mexico, obviously this is not possible. However, this does not mean you are exempted from going through all the pre-wedding process that the Catholic church requires. So, what you do is contact your local parish. Tell them your situation, that you are having a Catholic wedding in Mexico. They should work with you in preparing your pre-wedding documents. This includes:
1) Meeting with the Priest/Pastoral Associate: they meet with you to discuss the committment of marriage, to make sure you are both going into it for the right reasons, etc. This meeting is pretty much for them to give approval for you to get married at a Catholic church. They will also give you other documents that needs to be coompleted (a questionnaire you and your FI have to take, forms to be signed, etc).
2) You must have a CURRENT and original copy of your Baptism certificate. By current, I mean, it can not be the copy that your mom has from the day you were baptized. The document must have a current "date of issue" date. Also, on the back of your Baptism certificate there should be a notary of all your other Catholic sacraments (Holy Communion, Confirmation, etc.). You can contact the Church where you were baptized to request a current original copy of your Baptism certificate. This process should be easy....I did not have a problem getting mine and I was baptized in the Philippines!
3) Take the pre-Cana classes required by the Church. Depending on what your local parish has to offer, this could be a once a week/6 weeks class or it can be a weekend retreat. We did the weekend retreat. At the end of the pre-Cana classes, you get a certificate stating you have completed the class.
Once your local Priest/Pastoral Associate has all of the required documents (pre-Cana certificate, Baptism certificate, all the forms you need to have signed, etc...), they will then write a letter to the parish in Mexico stating that you have completed all of the pre-wedding preparations and have approved your marriage. They will also send all of the original documents to the parish in Mexico.
Our local parish in Dallas prepared all of the stuff for us then put it in a sealed envelope. We then mailed it to the parish in Mexico via Fed-Ex. I HIGHLY recommend mailing it Fed-Ex! It is a bit expensive (I think we paid $60for ours) but it is worth it when you're sending important and original information (trust me, you do not want to go through the whole process all over again!).
Our local parish also gave us a photocopy of everything they put in the sealed envelope, just for our records.
As for the reading selection, after completing all of your pre-wedding preparations, your local church should give you a book (I can't remember the title of it) that has all of the readings approved by the Catholic church. It's divided into different sections: First Reading, Second Reading, Responsorial Psalm, etc. You get to pick one reading from each section.
Before printing all of our programs, I had our wedding coordinator (Maartje Oremus from Ajua Weddings) go through the draft with the priest in Playa del Carmen. After we received his approval that everything looked A-okay, we went ahead and printed the rest of the programs.
Anywho, your wedding coordinator should have told you all of this. If they are experienced in planning Catholic weddings then they should be educated enough to tell you all of the process and required documents, etc.
If you are looking for a wedding coordinator experienced in planning Catholic weddings, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend using Ajua Weddings. When I first started planning our wedding, I had NO idea what the first step was in planning a Catholic ceremony in Mexico. Maartje at Ajua Weddings walked me through everything and told me exactly what I needed to do. She told me who I needed to meet here in Dallas, what documents I needed to have available, who to send it to in Mexico, how to send it to Mexico, etc., etc. They are VERY knowledgeable in the whole process and because of this, planning our Catholic ceremony went without a hitch. It was definitely smooth sailing the ENTIRE way -- we had no problems with our local parish here in Dallas nor with the one in Playa del Carmen. We had no glitches, no problems, nothing. She even arranged for us to meet the priest ordaining our wedding (Father Quinn) before the wedding day.
PM me if you have any questions.