So, I’m a 2-wedding bride. We had our first ceremony July 25th of this year at Point Dume in Malibu. We’ve lived (or at least have been on leases) together for the past 2 years and always knew we’d get married, just not when. However, upon moving to Los Angeles and being unable to find a job with the same kind of benefits I had in Seattle, or even being accepted for private insurance, it became kind of necessary to get married. (Don’t ask me why a 26 year old female who has run a marathon, rarely drinks and doesn’t smoke can get rejected. Sorry that’s a bit off topic.)
Now, to answer some of the questions that came up after my previous post.
Being legally married before a Catholic ceremony is probably frowned upon in general, but I think there’s a good chance that a reasonable priest will be open to this, and from what I understand, all discretion is left to the priest. I kind of lucked out in this department, because our priest has been a friend of my family since well before I was born and is known to be more ‘inclusive’ than some priests. His thoughts on the matter are that it’s good to have people marry in the Church and being overly prohibitive isn’t going to really help anyone. He knows that the two of us aren’t as religious as we could be, but we were both raised in Catholic families and this felt right for us. Being raised Catholic, I had mostly been to Catholic weddings and they always felt like they had more ‘weight’ to them. Once we decided to get married, I knew Fr. Paul would be involved.
I also was researching this subject a bit beforehand and you’re allowed to live together as long as the priest feels it is for financial concerns and doesn’t think you’re ‘sinning’.
So, for instance, a couple who is living together may not be allowed to get married in the Church until they have spent sufficient time living apart. (There are exceptions””for instance, if the priest is convinced that the couple is not engaged in immoral behavior but is living together out of economic necessity.)
So, again, we’re kind of at the priest’s discretion. Another bit of evidence was something I noticed at our Catholic engaged couples retreat. One of the couples had been married for 6 years, but were at the retreat to prepare for a ceremony in the Church. In the end, it’s good to find a friendly priest and show that you’re committed to the religious marriage and are only doing the legal one early for practical concerns. If it doesn’t work, well… it can’t hurt to ask.
As far as which anniversary we’ll be celebrating, we’re still a bit undecided. I asked Mr. Moonbeam, and his clever response was, “whichever I remember.” I’m not sure how we’ll feel after the second ceremony, but it is the more important one to me. To be honest, we’ve never made a big deal out of anniversaries. We think we started dating on about 09/20/2004 and we think we decided to get married around 5/20 of this year, and now we’ll have a couple of dates to choose from for our anniversary. It’s always been a kind of a ‘oh yeah, we’ve been dating for around x years, let’s do something’ situation. Celebrate the one that matters to you. I think our decision will be based on what time of year we’ll feel like celebrating.
And for any of you out there wondering, I certainly don’t think that having a small legal ceremony is dampening anyone’s spirits for our big day in November. It doesn’t hurt to have 2 great days to remember, right?
Which anniversary would you celebrate if you made it legal earlier than your “celebratory” day?