Church Wedding

My name is Miss Beanstalk and I’m Catholic. I know it’s not polite to talk about these things, but because I am planning a wedding, I feel that it is only necessary (especially since I am about to dive deeper into the topic). Growing up, I would say religion was always a part of my life, even though I classify myself as more of a spiritual, private practitioner. I have been baptized, confirmed and attended Catholic school from middle school on. The University I went to for undergrad was even a Catholic institution. However, I didn’t choose the school based on it’s religious affiliation (that was an added bonus in my eyes), I went there because it was a good local private school near home, which meant I could commute! Oh, and sister Beanstalk was going there!

My parents are an interfaith couple—my mom is Catholic and my dad is Protestant. They were married in the Catholic church and I grew up thinking that I wanted that, too. Mr. Beanstalk was raised Christian, but doesn’t really believe in any higher power. This has never affected our relationship though, we are who we are and love each other regardless. I know if I wanted to, he would marry me in a beautiful church with a full Catholic mass because he would do anything for me. But as soon as we got engaged, I realized I wanted something different. I wanted to be married outside. An outdoor ceremony just seemed more us, and I wanted the wedding to reflect who we are as a couple.

Even after we booked our venue, I struggled with our choice. I loved our ceremony site, but I wondered if I was doing something wrong by not marrying in the Catholic church. My parents didn’t mind where the ceremony was, so this was more of a personal dilemma I was dealing with.

I spoke with my mom and she encouraged me to seek out churches near our venue and see what was required to wed in them. I did this and found quite a few churches. However, the process to wed in any one of them was quite extensive, especially since we live out of state and don’t have a church where we attend mass regularly. Oh, and then there was the small factor about Mr. Beanstalk not being Catholic. It just seemed way more complicated than either of us had planned (and not something we wanted to try and tackle from thousands of miles away). So ultimately we decided against a church wedding. However, I am glad that I went on my quest for answers because in doing so, I became even more convinced that a garden ceremony felt more natural for us.

Looking back, I think what made me hold on to the idea of marrying in a house of worship was my childhood preconceived notion that couples married in churches. Period. And in order for it to be real, it had to be done there (no ifs, ands, or buts about it). I soon realized these were silly thoughts. No matter where we got married it would be real, and at the end of the day we would be husband and wife, and that is what truly is important! So I erased any regret or thoughts I had about a church wedding from my mind and decided to focus my energy on what the wedding really is all about: us!

Did anyone else struggle with religion and where to wed?


Mrs. Beanstalk

Boston/Delray Beach
Wedding Date:
October 2012
Hot. Now.
Love Under the Moon: Say Cheese!
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  1. Member
    RapunzelRapunzel 812 posts, Busy bee @ 7:52 am

    Firstly, I definitely think there should be lots of posts about religion on wedding websites! It’s an important–and complicated–part of the wedding day for many couples, whether they’re religious or not, and am glad you wrote about this!!

    Secondly, bravo for having a wedding that felt right for you. As for us, we’re actually in the opposite of your situation! I’m very religious (studying to be a pastor) and my fiance is not (believes in God but doesn’t attend church or identify as religious) and we originally planned to have an outdoor wedding, but, mainly because of money and our big guest list, are now ending up getting married at my home church! See, since I had grown up in the church, I also thought all weddings happened in the church: and I thought if I had a church wedding I wouldn’t be “special”. But even though I never imagined getting married there, I now realize it really was where we were meant to get married all along.

  2. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:12 am

    Surprisingly I went through this some years ago, I struggled trying to concile my personal belief with the religion I was raised in.
    One of the things I regreted was not bein able to have the kind of wedding everyone I know has, but when my time came and I was faces with the option of having a religious ceremony regardless of my (our) personal beliefs, we decided against it, cause it wouldn’t feel true to us, and it bein imoortant ro us is the key of it all.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Christina, Guest @ 12:11 pm

    My DH and I are both Catholic and it was important to us to be married in the church, so that’s what we did. I respect and appreciate your choice to really think it through and decide what is best for you and your fiance. I feel like too many people have the Catholic mass only to keep parents/grandparents happy, and that takes something away from it. If a Catholic marriage (according to the traditions of the church) isn’t what you believe in or what holds meaning for you, then why go through the motions?

  4. castle Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:45 pm

    I went through the same exact thing. I felt guilty, thought about changing my mind, talked to a Priest but ultimately decided that our original plan was the right one. We got married outside by a former priest who is pro marraige equality. It was perfect for us. Thanks for sharing this because there are a lot of people who have been through the same thing!

  5. Member
    lealorali 4827 posts, Honey bee @ 7:21 pm

    Hmmm… Catholic and Protestant are both Christian sects. Never heard of a Catholic and a Protestant being called “interfaith”.

  6. Member
    miss.sarah 49 posts, Newbee @ 6:52 pm

    I’m glad to hear so many others have struggled with religion and the ceremony location…I don’t feel so alone now! I guess everyone’s situation is different – we actually wanted our ceremony in a church, but aren’t church-goers (private-spiritual sums us up perfectly). Most major events in our lives have been in church, and we felt our wedding should be the same.

    Our minister has been amazing – we had to do some extra work at the start with him, but it has been well worth it. Having the ceremony in the church has become more of a journey than just planning the ceremony, which has been so wonderful.

  7. coyote Member
    coyote 2032 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:43 pm

    I can 100% relate Beanstalk… In fact I wrote a post about the same topic! I was raised Catholic and always assumed that I would get married in the Church. Mr. Coyote, however, is atheist. Because he is an amazing man he said he would do what he needed to do to marry me in a Church if that is what I desired, but I knew it made him uncomfortable so we chose to have our ceremony at our venue. I definitely struggled with our choice, but now that it’s over I don’t regret it one bit!

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