Convalidation Ceremony What is appropriate for a Convalidation Ceremony?
My husband and I eloped three years ago, which was absolutely amazing and very romantic. My husband grew up Catholic and while my family is catholic, I was never baptized. I’ve decided that I will start classes this year to finally be baptized. Part of the transition for me and my family is to also have our marriage recognized by the church. We want to share this wonderful moment with our closest family and friends, but I want to make sure it looks like a blessing of our marriage and not a wedding ceremony. We’ve combined some research from online, suggestions from others, and our own ‘touch’ and this is what we’ve come up with.
We will have the ceremony close to our wedding anniversary (most likely late Saturday afternoon), we will invite only our immediate family and friends. My husband will wear a suit, I will wear an ivory floor length lace dress and will carry a small bouquet of roses. We will walk together to the alter following our two girls who will be wearing matching or similar dresses and also holding small bouquets of roses. If the church allows music, we plan to have music playing when we walk in.
After the ceremony, we will host a small gathering at a nice local restaurant/lounge in their private room; we will serve Heavy Hors D ‘Oeuvres, cake and have an open bar. I will probably put together small centerpieces for the tables with candles and flowers, but nothing extravagant. We will not be asking for gifts or registering anywhere, but I did have one person mention that we should give the option to donate to our church in lieu of gifts for those that would like to buy a gift; however, I’m not sure how to get the word out and I don’t feel it’s appropriate to place on our invitations. Any suggestions or do you feel it’s not even necessary to try and get the word out?
Since both sides of our family are Catholic, our invitations will read:
Mr. and Mrs.
Request your presence
As they unite in receiving the blessing of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
Please join us to celebrate immediately following the ceremony
All of this will have to be approved by our church, but before we present our ideas, we wanted to make sure we weren’t out of line on anything.
Thanks for your time!
Kay and Dennis Flowers
Wow! You are to be commended on your thorough job of research! Sounds like you are sending the right message in having a small ceremony and simple celebration dinner. Since convalidation ceremony policies vary from diocese to diocese, we suggest you make a appointment with your priest as to accepted protocol in your parish. In convalidation ceremonies, you may have a best man and MOH stand with you as witnesses. Whether you can have your girls come up the aisle with you will depend on your diocese’s policy.
We’ll let the etiquette experts on this forum handle the invitation wording, since that’s out of our league. Again, congratulations on doing a super job of researching and organizing your convalidation ceremony!
May God bless you and your family.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
Since your guest list will only include those who know this is not a wedding, the invitation should be fine. However, for those who are planning similar events, your invitation seems much too much like a wedding invitation.
Your gown appears too much like a wedding gown. It sounds like brides could wear it. Plus, walking down the aisle does too. The only positive is that you are walking with your husband and children. But, having them precede you is not. They appear to be flower girls. But again, keeping your guest list small and private might help with these issues as well. We only need to worry when we invite guests.