One of the best planning decisions we made was not actually by choice.
We knew we wanted to get married in a Catholic Church because it is important to us, both spiritully and emotionally. We also knew it would make my mom happy since I'm "her only hope" of having a child to have a catholic wedding. We kind of joke that we're doing it for her, but in reality, we both want to raise our children in the Catholic faith and hopefully they'll share in our values and beliefs. We want to start our catholic traditions and family values right from the start. And I say right from the start, although we already have these values, because I want it to be an important part of our lives as a family-which truly begins on our wedding day.
Having a Catholic wedding wasn't easy for us, at first. We aren't actively participating members of a church. When we called churches in Rhode Island, we were told by all of them that our priest would have to sign off. Not easily done when you don't have a priest.
At first, I complained and thought it would be impossible, but then we decided to take action. We were honest with my childhood church of our intentions. We let him know we wanted to join the church as members so that we could get married in a catholic church and our hopes for becoming more involved in the future. He was very understanding and we became members that day. He signed off on our marriage and wrote a letter to our church in Rhode Island. It seemed like a scray experience, because I felt like they would say no, but it ended up being a great experience. We now have a church that we belong to and are able to get married in a catholic church in RI.
Step 1 was over. The next requirement from our RI church was to attend pre-cana. I was absolutely dreading this. We live together, we have for over 4 years. I've heard rumors of people being condemmed for "living in sin" and didn't think I could handle it. Our church in MA also doesn't offer pre-cana, so we had to look elsewhere, so I felt like we'd be outsiders.
Our priest in MA gave us advice on where to look. We found a church that allowed us to join their pre-cana classes. The classes were on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during the same week. It was a long drive away, which gave me time to stress beforehand.
When we arrived to the class, we were greeted by one of the couples and led to our table. Each table had a few engaged couples and the team leaders- who were a married couple. As soon as we sat down, our husband team leader introduced himself and asked how we were feeling. Mr. Newport explained I was nervous, and he told me he was too when he had attended 2 years ago. He said he was sick for three days, but to trust him. It's not what we expect.
After a few minutes in, we knew he was right. It wasn't the typical condemnation you hear about, and it wasn't even about the catholic faith, it was about communicating, and working on strengthening your relationship. Something that can fall behind in the wedding planning.
I was so nervous about pre-cana, but it has honestly been the best part of planning so far. I wouldn't have done it if it weren't required, but I'm so glad we went through it.
Did you have to go through pre-marriage preperation or counseling? Were you nervous?