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?