Choosing a Church

Seeing as we will be attending our Pre-Cana retreat this weekend, it might be time to talk about our ceremony—particularly where it’s going to take place.  Mr. Boa and I are both Roman Catholics, as are all our family members and 85% of the Puerto Rican population. Thankfully, living in a Latin American country means we have a gazillion Catholic churches to choose from.

In my wedding planning frenzy back in July, we drove around in circles in search of a church that was close to our already booked reception venue. We found a cute little chapel only 8 minutes away from the venue; its proximity to the reception space was incredibly convenient. We met with the priest, looked over some literature, and reserved a time slot for our wedding that same day. Flash forward to January, and I began to doubt my decision. I got wrapped up in all the wedding planning hype, treating the house of worship where we will exchange our vows as just another vendor. We put convenience and practicality over having our ceremony somewhere that was meaningful to us.

With these thoughts swirling in my brain, I revisited my dream ceremony location: my hometown chapel, Parroquia San Antonio de la Padua in Isabela. The place where my parents (married 24 yrs), grandparents (married 52 yrs) (and great grandparents and great great grand parent and aunts and uncles) got married in.

abuela
My maternal grandparents wedding pictures circa 1960

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The floor tiles are one of the surviving pieces of the 1824 construction
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My parents’ wedding pictures circa 1987
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It’s a historical church built in 1824, which my family has been attending ever since they arrived from Spain hundreds of years ago. (I’m kind of a family history nut.) It’s the church where I (and all 20ish of my cousins) was baptized and where I have attended Mass for most of my life. Even though it’s almost 30 minutes away from the reception venue, it holds special significance for me, threading my marriage to Mr. Boa into the intricate weave of my family’s history in a beautiful way.

Following my heart, I took the plunge and switched churches just three months out (Yet another perk of having a morning wedding… more chances of finding open slots last minute). Exchanging vows right on the spot where so many of the happy couples in my family have said theirs for decades  gives the emotional significance our day of little extra oomph. It also made my family very happy, to hear we would be continuing the family tradition of marrying in the hometown church (I think Abuela Boa might have even shed a tear or two when she heard).

I couldn’t find any pictures of the interior of the chapel, but here’s a video showing the inside as it now stands.

Did you choose a ceremony venue that holds special meaning to you?

* All pictures personal

BLOGGER

Mrs. Boa Constrictor

Location:
Isabela, Puerto Rico
Wedding Date:
May 2012
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comments

  1. Guest
    mysunshine, Guest @ 7:12 am

    we are getting married in the same church where FI had received all of his sacraments growing up… it’s very sweet!

    congrats!

  2. Member
    Mrs. Eagle 2166 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:28 am

    WOW! That is so, so special. Your ceremony is going to be beautiful. I love the history behind the church. And I LOVE your vintage family photos :)

  3. Member
    Mrs. Castle 1190 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:48 am

    That is so amazing that you are getting married in the same church as other family members. The Church my parents got married in was on an air force base and has since been turned into a space camp… My brother and I actually went to the space camp. It was funny attending lectures and classes in what used to be the church and knowing that’s where my parents said “I do”…

  4. Member
    alleycat 661 posts, Busy bee @ 7:57 am

    Awww, this post made me smile :)

  5. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 8:25 am

    I love the meaning behind your decision, plus your church is gorgeous!

  6. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:44 am

    OH, I love the sentimental aspect of the church

  7. Member
    KYbride86 307 posts, Helper bee @ 8:56 am

    I love that you’re getting married in the church that has so much family meaning for you!

    We’re getting married in the same church where I was baptized — my family moved across town when I was younger so I “grew up” in a different church, but I rejoined my baptism church a few years ago when I graduated from college. Pretty cool to have two major life events happen in the same place :)

  8. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:00 am

    Such an amazing story. And I don’t think 30 minutes is that far away to maintain a rich family tradition.

  9. Member
    Mrs. Eagle 2166 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:19 am

    Ps – can I just say how sharp your Dad looks in his tux?! So suave.

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