Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Convalidating Our Marriage

Thom and I were married on September 10, 2011 in a beautiful ocean side ceremony surrounded by our best friends and family. It was a perfect day, and something that we will celebrate every year. Thom and I are also Catholic. We are what many refer to as "Cradle Catholics," we were baptized as infants and celebrated the sacraments growing up. During our 20's, for various personal reasons, we both strayed from the church. We decided to go back in the spring of 2011. At the time, we were in the final stages of planning our wedding, and, as far as the church was concerned, I was still married to my ex-husband. We worked with a priest, and made the decision to celebrate our wedding as planned in September and I would seek an annulment for my first marriage. My annulment finalized just before this past Easter. Thom and I are now registered members of our local parish, and we decided that it was time to have our marriage blessed by the Catholic church in the form of a convalidation. 

In order for a marriage to be considered valid in the eyes of the church, it is required to follow a specific ritual that follows church doctrine and tradition. Our marriage in 2011 did not follow this form, so now it needs to be convalidated. Thom and I were expecting the convalidation to be a quick ceremony with a witness or two after mass some Sunday. To our surprise, in order to follow church form, we need to have a full nuptial mass. We decided that since we have to celebrate the entire mass, we might as well invite our friends and family and since everyone will be together we should host some sort of reception after the fact. What started out as a simple ceremony quickly blossomed into an event.

That being said, we are keeping everything low key. Our nuptial mass is going to appear just like a wedding ceremony, because, in the eyes of the church, it is. Our reception is going to be more of dinner party. We are renting a private dining room at a local Italian restaurant and serving a four course dinner. The only music this time will be background music, no photographer, no dj, no fancy cake, we already did that. Although, I am going to wear my dress again, why not get a second use out of it?  Our date is set for Friday, November 22nd, so we decided on a fall theme. The tables will be decorated with leaves and lanterns, the place cards will be fixed to mini-pumpkins, the table numbers will be jars of apple butter, and the favors will be caramel apples. The restaurant is going to serve hot apple cider along with coffee and tea for cozy beverages, and dessert will be bread pudding and apple crisp. I am looking forward to welcoming our faith into our marriage, along with the excitement of what is looking to be a wonderful dinner party with our family and friends.

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