"You can't do too much in preparing for a lifetime together" - Our wonderful Minister. Although I'm sure this view has been expressed by every clergy member of every religion over time there are no better words for it. Sure the "wedding" itself will be a beautiful, whimsical, vintage-y party- but we are there to celebrate the start of our marriage... not just me wearing an ivory gown and him wearing a suit and relatives acting silly and dancing to ridiculous songs played by our over priced DJ (more on the DJ debacle to come).
Both my fiance and I are very excited to start premarital counseling. Being the 1% of the population who loves to discuss, plan, and make 5-20 year plans we have had several discussions what the material of such counseling would be, and have found that we agree on about 99% of our "life decisions". Still, you can't do too much to prepare for a lifetime together... so counseling we have agreed will be fun.
We were all on board the pre-marital counseling train until suddenly I hit a road block. I am a good Lenten Wednesday/Easter Sunday/Christmas and a few other Sundays Catholic. So I felt obliged to give both the Lutheran Pastor recommended by our Minister as well as MY Parish Church a try....
I was already afraid of what this would mean... I would be asking for dispensation to marry a Lutheran, dispensation for a Lutheran Minister, dispensation for non-canonical form... and most heinous of all dispensation for Not Marrying in a Church. No, the Chapel unfortunately does not count as Church to Catholics. Let me explain to any non-Catholics reading this that dispensation is a nice way of saying the church will still bless you and recognize a marriage that they, without the correct paperwork and some prayers, would not acknowledge.
The meeting with self-proclaimed "Church Lady" in charge of the Sacrament of marriage was not as scary as I thought it would be. But we were definitely lectured about being interfaith and raising our kids Catholic, as well as about the dangers of living together. Although she never said "How Conveeeenient" the message was certainly received.
I have applied for a new baptismal record from the church where I was baptized but now the debate begins... will we be doing our marriage prep through the Catholic Church or the Lutheran Church or do we want to pursue both? Stay tuned for decisions as they unfold.