So, this is definitely a weird post for the Wedding Series, but it’s something that I’d really like to share with you! Hope it’s helpful for couples who are thinking of getting married in a Catholic church, or those who aren’t and are just curious about the process. Feel free to ask me questions in the comments!
A girl can dream. Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen, Denmark.
(Photo found on Pinterest)
First, a little background: Growing up, I never really dreamed of having a princess-like wedding (I know, it sounds surprising), but I did always dream about having it in a beautiful Catholic church. You see, I have a (really weird) thing for old catholic churches. We lived beside one in the Philippines and I was always so fascinated by them. Churches are a big part of the Filipino culture. I also really like the traditional Filipino ceremony (with the veil, the rope and the candle lighting) and a bunch of “Ninong/Ninangs” (aka “godparents”), etc. (I do have a post coming in the new year about the details of a Filipino Catholic wedding, so stay tuned if you’re curious!)
One of the requirements to being married in the Catholic church is for the couple to attend and complete the Marriage Prep classes. You don’t have to do it in the church you’re going to be married at, but we did – simply because it works with our schedule. Our church has the classes for 2 hours every week (on a Wed) for 5 weeks. Another church nearby has them for the weekends (Friday night, Saturday and Sunday all day). (The thought of being in church for the whole weekend made me a little nauseous lol) The fee is also different for every church. Ours was only $100 per couple, but I’ve heard it go up to $400 per couple.
We weren’t exactly clueless when we went into the class. We have many friends and family members who have done it before, so they told us all about it. Honestly? I was really excited! Because Kris and I aren’t very “lovey dovey” in public, but we are when it’s just us (haaaa I know. Shhh!) and I was excited to let all of the love out!
An actual photo of the sign to lead us into the room.
Walking in our first “class”, we joked that it felt like an AA meeting. (I know that sounds bad, but hear me out.) It was in one of the rooms of the church (yeah, churches totally have party rooms if you didn’t know). The room was white and except for the the tables/chairs – set up like we were in school (a semi-circle), the room was empty. There was coffee and styrofoam cups set up with some butter cookies in the corner. (See, reminds you of a scene of Breaking Bad, right?)
Anyway, we were one of the last couples to arrive, so most seats were taken already. We sat near the instructors.
We went over the schedule and I was so happy to see the agenda for the course. Truthfully, I was dreading any part that was too religious. (Ha.) Some topics to be tackled were: Communicating, Finances, and Family Planning. Each week would cover a different topic. Everything on the list seemed like practical things that every couple should be informed about and discuss together. So far so good.
Admittedly, we felt like we knew most of what we would be talking about already – at least on the first day (Communication). We were the veteran couple of the group – having been together for 12 years. The “youngest” couple have been together for a little over a year. Everyone seemed nice enough, a little shy and we all seemed on par with our excitement levels (except I was really excited on the inside lol).
The night’s topic was Communication. The presenter was a couple who have been married for 40 years (or something like that). They told us about how they met and communication problems they’ve experienced with one another. They were an old West Indian couple and they were hilarious! I love listening to old couples talk about their story, so I was soaking it all in.
(These are the images that show up when you google “communication couples” lol I love them)
But like I said, when you’ve been together for 12 years and have been though everything that we have, we have communication down. It made me feel really happy to think about that because we went through communication problems, just like every couple, and we worked it out. (Don’t think I mean that it was easy for us. If anything it was much harder because we were very young and a̶ ̶l̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ immature. It would have been useful to have this class back then, eh?)
My favourite part of the night? Listening to the other couples share stories. (Super cute! I could not stop smiling because everyone there was in love. And I’m a big fan of love. People’s eyes would light up when they talked about their partners. Eeee!! I get excited just thinking about it.)
Last night, we had the second class – all about Finances. It was incredibly engaging and so useful!! Lots of “good to know” information.
So… to finish up this extremely long blog post, I was pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoy the marriage prep classes. We’ve been to two classes and both times, I felt like we were getting great (practical) information. Highly recommended to any couple, actually – not just Catholic. Granted, we did already know most of what was talked about, but I think we’re the exception here. We still find it useful even though we’ve experienced most of what’s discussed. And so far… nothing too crazy religious… yet.
Have you been to a Catholic marriage prep course? What did you think? If you’re planning on doing it, feel free to ask specific questions in the comments!