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njseeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
121
Hi all, I was wondering if anyone could help me and my f out with our wedding plans. We have started a guest list and we will have about 130 people invited.

We are looking for a catholic church. Does anyone have any idea how to do this? Are we limited to churches that we have connections to such as the church we currently attend or the church that our parent''s attend? Can we just walk into a church we like and ask them if they have availability?

We are planning to have the ceremony in northern New Jersey or Rockland County in New York if anyone has any specific advice about these areas. Thank you.
 

cbs102

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
821
i grew up in Bergen County and worked in Rockland. I am from Ramsey and the big catholic church there is

St. Paul''s Parish
200 Wyckoff Ave
Ramsey New Jersey, 07446 Phone: (201) 327-0976

I was in a wedding at St. Gabriels in Saddle River and it is really beautiful inside
St Gabriel The Archangel Parish
3 W Church St
Saddle River New Jersey, 07458 Phone: (201) 327-5663

Our Lady of St. Carmel
Passaic St
Ridgewood New Jersey, 07451 Phone: (201) 444-2000

I think of all these st. carmels is the most beautiful..

Let me know if i can help you any further.
Are you from Bergen County?
 

njseeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
121
wow, that was great! thank you so much.

I am actually in Hudson County but a lot of my family and friends are in Bergen and Rockland County.
 

cbs102

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
821
Ok, i guess i didn''t read this completely. i would call the church office and see what they say. I am pretty sure that you are going to have to take classes. and some churches require you to be a member for a year.
sorry for the confusion!
 

cbs102

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
821
do you know where you are having your reception? do you care if the church is near the venue?
 

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
1,793
Ditto to what CBS102 said. Our church required a membership of a year before you could get married if you weren''t within their geographic boundaries. Some Catholic churches have strict requirements and others do not. You would have to call. And with almost every Catholic church, I have heard that people wishing to marry have to take classes. This will probably be the best determinate of your wedding date since some classes are only offered certain dates/times of the year!

Good luck!
 

njseeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
121
Nice, good information to know. I will call those churches and see what their requirements are...

We thought it would be harder to find a church then a reception hall so we are starting with the church part. Hopefully, we can find a couple of churches and then pick a nearby reception hall...
 

cbs102

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
821
NJ-
I was in a wedding at St. Gabriels and then the reception was at the stony brook inn
http://www.stonyhillinn.com/ it was awesome

I grew up in Ramsey and there is a beautiful country club there..
http://www.ramseycountryclub.com/

Ridgewood is so beautiful
http://www.ridgewoodwomansclub.com/

i don''t know what size venue you are looking for.just wanted to point out there is such a wide variety of venues in the area.. I LOVE NJ
and miss it desperately!

i look forward to reading about your planning!!!
 

emeraldlover1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
2,913
Honestly, that sounds a little backwards. If you are not connected to any of these churches personally then I would decide on a reception site first and then ask about local churches. You will be spending an hour in the Church and upwards of 4 hours at the reception site. The only time I've seen it done the other way around is when people are using their local church. Anyway, good luck!
 

Munchkin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2004
Messages
540
Every Catholic church is different. Many require membership. "Membership" generally stems from the envelope system. IE, you register as a member and then send in or place an envelope weekly with collection funds so they can verify your attendance and community contribution. I am guessing that contributions of time would also count. Unfortunately, many churches require you to be a member for a set amount of time before they will let you book the church. Thus, if you fall in love with a particular church you may need to be a member for 6/12 months before you can choose a date.

You will need to take pre cana and my church also had a pre marriage test that FI and I took separately and then went over the results with our priest. Pre cana is typically either an intensive weekend (you can''t share a room, BTW) or a class weekly for 6-8 weeks. There are a variety of pre cana organizations and it doesn''t necessarily have to be through your diocese or even your state. We went to another state because it was the only weekend that worked. It was kind of weird rooming with a perfect stranger!

We had a smidge more difficulty with arrangements because we were married in my family church but by our friend who is a priest from another state. If either you or FI are not catholic there is an additional portion to the test. If either of you have been married before you will need an annulment. If either of you have been married before or have children there is also a different pre cana offered to address specific concerns.

Most Catholic churches have limitations on what time of day you can marry. Typically churches have a vigil at 4/5pm on Saturday and weddings are not allowed to interfere with that mass. We could choose between 10am and 1pm. The rule was the parking lot had to be clear an hour before the vigil.

Each church can have additional stipulations. My church requires that you use their musicians. A cathedral nearby requires a bride''s shoulders be covered. Sleeveless and spaghetti strap dresses are prohibited without a jacket or wrap. Many prohibit flash photography or video/photographers too close to the altar. Make sure you ask very specific questions.

To be honest, you may run into trouble with some priests. Our friend, for example, often declines to officiate marriages if he feels a couple is using a catholic church as a "backdrop" for their ceremony. Despite being young, he is old school! Actually, he even told us he prefers not to officiate if the couple is cohabitating. (We moved in together after marriage.) You may have your best luck at a church where there is some kind of family tie.

Good luck!
 

emeraldlover1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
2,913
Date: 2/6/2009 12:14:12 AM
Author: Munchkin
Every Catholic church is different. Many require membership. ''Membership'' generally stems from the envelope system. IE, you register as a member and then send in or place an envelope weekly with collection funds so they can verify your attendance and community contribution. I am guessing that contributions of time would also count. Unfortunately, many churches require you to be a member for a set amount of time before they will let you book the church. Thus, if you fall in love with a particular church you may need to be a member for 6/12 months before you can choose a date.

You will need to take pre cana and my church also had a pre marriage test that FI and I took separately and then went over the results with our priest. Pre cana is typically either an intensive weekend (you can''t share a room, BTW) or a class weekly for 6-8 weeks. There are a variety of pre cana organizations and it doesn''t necessarily have to be through your diocese or even your state. We went to another state because it was the only weekend that worked. It was kind of weird rooming with a perfect stranger!

We had a smidge more difficulty with arrangements because we were married in my family church but by our friend who is a priest from another state. If either you or FI are not catholic there is an additional portion to the test. If either of you have been married before you will need an annulment. If either of you have been married before or have children there is also a different pre cana offered to address specific concerns.

Most Catholic churches have limitations on what time of day you can marry. Typically churches have a vigil at 4/5pm on Saturday and weddings are not allowed to interfere with that mass. We could choose between 10am and 1pm. The rule was the parking lot had to be clear an hour before the vigil.

Each church can have additional stipulations. My church requires that you use their musicians. A cathedral nearby requires a bride''s shoulders be covered. Sleeveless and spaghetti strap dresses are prohibited without a jacket or wrap. Many prohibit flash photography or video/photographers too close to the altar. Make sure you ask very specific questions.

To be honest, you may run into trouble with some priests. Our friend, for example, often declines to officiate marriages if he feels a couple is using a catholic church as a ''backdrop'' for their ceremony. Despite being young, he is old school! Actually, he even told us he prefers not to officiate if the couple is cohabitating. (We moved in together after marriage.) You may have your best luck at a church where there is some kind of family tie.

Good luck!
That is really good advice from Muchkin regarding the Catholic process and classes. I have to say that in every area we looked at reception sites we also looked at catholic churches. Not one of them turned us away. In fact many of them were happy to have us had we wanted to get married there. Who know''s why that is. Attendance to weekly mass and donations are down in most areas and we percieved that to help our case for not getting married at our own parrish. I think it is really going to depend on the church.
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,511
My girlfriend had a HUGE trouble with getting the church she wanted. The church you want has to get "permission" from the church YOU or YOUR PARENTS attend and (give your $$$ to.) She basically had to give a substatantial donation (buy her way out of her parents church, because she doesnt attend regularly) so that she could go somewhere else. It was like paying for two church fees. It was incredibly upsetting and stressful for her personally.

So I would start by calling your church, or your parents church if you aren''t a member, and see waht your options are. Best wishes! This is an exciting time!!! ((HUGS))
 

emeraldlover1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
2,913
Really? That is so strange. We had to get a letter from our church saying that we are members, sent to the church we are getting married at. THey also wanted our baptisim and communion certificates. Other that that we have to finish our Pre Cana classes and meet with our priest. It took a little while to get the letter from our current priest but it really wasn't that big of a deal. They didn't ask for money either. Maybe we were just lucky?
 

njseeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
121
Thanks everyone. I always get such great advice and support here. My f called one of the churches mentioned above and already received an attitude from the person answering the phone. The woman told her that their church only reserves dates for members who have been members for at least a year and then gave her some snide remarks about wanting to get married at a church that she was not a member of already... I didn''t think that last part was really necessary. If a church has rules I understand but everyone has their own reasons for where they want the ceremony to occur.

We are both Catholic but our home church moved locations and the new location is not as close as we would like to be to all of our family and friends. Not to mention that we haven''t been attending regularly for quite a while. Anyway, our home church is still an option and we are going to start calling around to see what the requirements are for different churches in that particular area.

I''m definitely going to have to copy and paste this string into my "church research" folder. Thanks all.
 

cbs102

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
821
Date: 2/6/2009 10:00:16 AM
Author: njseeker
Thanks everyone. I always get such great advice and support here. My f called one of the churches mentioned above and already received an attitude from the person answering the phone. The woman told her that their church only reserves dates for members who have been members for at least a year and then gave her some snide remarks about wanting to get married at a church that she was not a member of already... I didn''t think that last part was really necessary. If a church has rules I understand but everyone has their own reasons for where they want the ceremony to occur.

We are both Catholic but our home church moved locations and the new location is not as close as we would like to be to all of our family and friends. Not to mention that we haven''t been attending regularly for quite a while. Anyway, our home church is still an option and we are going to start calling around to see what the requirements are for different churches in that particular area.

I''m definitely going to have to copy and paste this string into my ''church research'' folder. Thanks all.
OMG NJ, i am so sorry!!!! I am not a member at any of the aforementioned churches but i feel simply awful that i recommended a church that was mean to your FI!
 

njseeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
121
of please cbs don''t feel bad... no worries, none at all. I''m sure that lady was just having a bad day or something... but i do anticipate getting some push back from churches. I''ve heard similar stories from some of my friends. It was very gracious of you in the first place to not only give me the name of the church but to give me the phone number and address! You are too kind. =)
 

cbs102

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
821
Date: 2/6/2009 1:22:00 PM
Author: njseeker
of please cbs don''t feel bad... no worries, none at all. I''m sure that lady was just having a bad day or something... but i do anticipate getting some push back from churches. I''ve heard similar stories from some of my friends. It was very gracious of you in the first place to not only give me the name of the church but to give me the phone number and address! You are too kind. =)
She is from NJ... i am sure its just her attitude!
 

Definitely. Maybe

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
582
You may be able to find more catholic churches at http://www.masstimes.org/dotnet/Default.aspx. Once you put in your zip code you will get a list of all the ones around and some information about it. That may help so you can map them in comparison to your reception site, etc. It also gives you the numbers so you can call the ones that you are interested in and see what their requirements are.
 

njseeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
121
yes, nj... i should not be so surprised and actually i wasn''t really. heh.

cool site. thanks again everyone. we actually found a reception place that we both like. we are going to see it next week. hopefully the church thing won''t be a problem for us.
 
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