Happy Wednesday, everyone, I hope all are doing well! I’m not going to lie – I’m still basking in the official engagement phase and loving it. I never thought I was a jewelry kind of person since at most I wear earrings occasionally, but I’m now finding out – yes, yes I am! I totally have “pretty shiny object” syndrome these days.
So I think I might have mentioned this before, but B and I were raised Catholics and want to get married in a Catholic church. There’s been a lot of stuff I’m learning on how a Catholic wedding works, and I wanted to share some of my findings based on the past couple of months:
1) BYOP?! – B and I go to this one church in our neighborhood but we’re not registered parishioners. I emailed them and asked if our tentative date was free, to which they replied yes, but we’d have to bring our own priest. This initially caught me off-guard, though I’ve learned some friends had to do the same thing. Thankfully, this wasn’t too challenging to figure out, since a family member is a priest and he graciously accepted to officiate.
2) Pre-Cana classes and weekend retreat – I was aware that B and I had to take a weekend class where Catholic couples go to discuss about preparing for a marriage. Based on feedback from my friends, it seems like a positive experience since it helps get the conversations going about raising kids, finances, addictions (if any), and other things that probably should be discussed before marrying, but might not be. However, I have since learned that we have to take two different classes – a Pre-Cana class which is an all day Saturday meeting, and a weekend retreat (Friday night – Sunday). B’s concern was that the timing of these retreats is during football season, but one pursed-lips glance from me and he’s quick to say “just kidding.” lol
3) Sacraments records – we need updated baptismal, communion, and confirmation records, as the updated baptismal record in particular verifies that we haven’t been married in the church yet (if we have, then it needs to be officially annulled, which can take some time). It’s easier for B since he grew up in the same area since he was -9 months old and all of his sacraments took place from one church, but it is a bit more challenging for me since I lived everywhere. This has been a little costlier than anticipated due to the calls and shipping charges, though I’m thoroughly impressed with how organized this process is.
4) Organist – the church has an organist and, though it’s not like I’m homies with any organists to ask, anyway, this was a bit costlier than anticipated. I have seen him perform at Mass, though, and think he’s wonderful.
Budget-wise, I put an uneducated budget of less than a thousand for the ceremony, since I knew how much it was to reserve the church and added pew decorations, handouts, the weekend retreat, etc. However, the actual costs are now 1.5 times that amount without pew decorations and handouts, which makes me slightly concerned about what else I under-budgeted for the wedding. I’ll have to figure out how to make the decorations and handouts more economical (I’m actually thinking they’re not all that necessary since I planned to put the schedule on our wedding website, but I’m getting some feedback that there should be something tangible, especially for guests that might not have internet access beforehand).
I’ll do a budget breakdown at the end, and I admit our overall wedding budget makes me slightly anxious when I see the numbers creep up. However, B and I are on the same page at least about what’s important and what’s not, and thankfully our families are playing a hands-on role which I am all too grateful for, which I’ll delve into in future posts.