A Catholic Bride

Six Beautiful Brides On Why A Catholic Marriage is Different


SISTERS SUSAN AND ELIZABETH TOFFLER prepare for their double wedding in Portland, Oregon. “We believe Catholic marriage is a way to unite the human with the Divine; we are cooperating with God’s Will for our lives.”

A CATHOLIC MARRIAGE IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT IS A SACRAMENT. It is an ‘outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give Grace’ as long as we are willing and able to receive and cooperate with that Grace. We like how Scott Hahn points out that, unlike a contract, a covenant is not an exchange of goods, but rather an exchange of persons–body and soul.”  — Susan Willis

WE REALLY WANTED OUR FAITH TO BE EVIDENT. We made a conscious effort to incorporate symbols of our Faith and practices into our wedding ceremony and preparations, not just for the Mass portion. During the Mass, we each carried special rosaries with our flower bouquets, and Elizabeth carried a small crucifix that belonged to our mom.”

BEFORE THE MASS, THE BRIDESMAIDS, GROOMSMEN AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS GATHERED WITH US to pray for and with us in our upcoming Sacrament–to give us the courage to live it out, and in thanksgiving for all our blessings.” Elizabeth Tarries

ARRIVING FOR THEIR NUPTIALS: The evening before, both brides spent time after the rehearsal dinner with family and friends in an hour of praise and worship before the Blessed Sacrament at one of their Parish churches.

WITH 100-YEAR OLD DOMINICAN FATHER DUFFNER: “Some good friends of ours had prayer cards made to put at each place setting at the reception as favors for our guests–we hope it is not only a pretty card (has a beautiful image of the Betrothal of Mary and Joseph on the front), but is also a reminder to our friends and family to keep us (Susan & Aidan and Elizabeth & Dave) and our marriages in their prayers.” (All photos Christa Taylor)

“I AM FROM NAIROBI, KENYA AND MY HUSBAND IS FROM ST. LOUIS PARK, MINNESOTA. I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT I WAITED FOR HIM and hope that this is the beginning of great things for both of us, spiritually, physically and emotionally. I am so happy to be married to my best friend and every day is a learning process. “—Catherine Daoust  Robb Manary Photography

THE DIFFERENCE ABOUT HOW I VIEW  MARRIAGE AS OPPOSED TO HOW MANY PEOPLE IN MY GENERATION DO IS THAT I CONSIDER IT ETERNAL. Other people — I have friends who are almost turning to divorce — consider it temporal and think it only works if they are happy, otherwise they can just walk out and move on.” Catherine Daoust

A CATHOLIC MARRIAGE is a path through which I and my husband will grow into full maturity on both a human and spiritual level. It is also a way of holiness and it gives grace. It is an indissoluble covenant between two baptized people and God. It is meant to last forever. “ Catherine & Andrew Daoust

“A CATHOLIC MARRIAGE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A CONTRACT. It’s a means for grace and a path to holiness. When we take our vows in September, we’re not only vowing ‘to have and to hold’ etc, etc, until ‘death do us part,’ we’re vowing to do what it takes to keep the other person on a path toward  heaven.” – Lucy Mc Vicker

HOW IS OUR IDEA OF MARRIAGE DIFFERENT FROM OUR PEERS? For starters… we want kids. And by kids, I mean get out the old bench seat in the back of the station wagon kind of marriage. So we both have an openness to babies – either biological or adopted. I know so many newlywed couples who want to wait and wait and wait and wait to have kids.“

“MANY WAIT AND ARE ON HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES FOR SO LONG THAT IT MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO CONCEIVE ONCE THEY’RE ‘READY.’ That’s not to say that the only purpose of marriage is to beget children but there’s a very real perversion with how marriage is viewed.”

“MY PARENTS TAUGHT US TO NOT SETTLE FOR WHICHEVER ‘MR. WHO WE THINK MAY BE RIGHT’ and to keep praying for who it is we were supposed to marry, should that be our vocation. My dad once told me, ‘You’re my princess. A man needs to treat you like it or he’s not worth it.’ He wasn’t referring to treating me like I was the Queen of Sheba, to be waited on and worshipped but to be held in the dignity that I deserved as a child of God. It resonated and it’s been a beautiful witness to see my dad treat my mom as such.” – Lucy Mc Vicker

OUR HIGH NUPTIAL MASS was celebrated at St. Jude Thaddeus Church in Pharr, Texas, in deep South Texas, only ten miles from the Mexican border. Our parish nun, Sister Estela, was very excited and during marriage preparation classes told couples about the beauty and reverence of the Latin Mass. “ Dorothy Mc Fall

“WE DID HAVE SOME GUESTS WHO REFUSED TO WEAR THEIR VEILS and simply did not place it on their heads, nor those of their daughters. In addition, I was asked ‘why only women’ and ‘what do the men wear’ or ‘why don’t men cover their heads.’”

“I WANTED VEILS FOR ALL FEMALE GUESTS but since we couldn’t afford to purchase 200 veils, I made them myself. The majority of our guests were very respectful, possibly because it was prefaced by several months of explaining to the female guests, or their spouses, that the tradition of modesty and head covering was important to us.”

“Most often we heard ‘it was such a beautiful Mass’ while others simply said they ‘had never seen anything like it.’

“OUR MASS SPARKED A LARGE INTEREST IN THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM; my Catholic colleagues had never been to a Latin Mass and asked questions about the veiling, music, language and had interest in the Mass times.  We donated the extra veils to the parish, so visitors on Sundays can wear veils. I still see many of our guests wearing their veils at Mass!” – Theodore & Dorothy Mc Fall

“WITH THE SACRAMENT, WE HAVE THE SAME GOAL OF HEAVEN and helping each other reach it. We understand that we are witnesses of Catholicism and Christ’s love. That is the center of our marriage.” – Samantha Brenneman

“AS CATHOLICS WE APPROACH MARRIAGE AS AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS MATTER – death do us part, then the responsibility that comes from every action we do to and for each other. Our choice to practice the Faith as a base and Natural Family Planning to support it is countercultural to everything society is today.” – Samantha Brenneman

“I WAS TAUGHT TO DATE FOR MARRIAGE – always considering if I could see myself marrying the person. That made dating quite easy. My parents decided to surround themselves with people who would lead us to heaven, and that’s exactly what my husband and I have decided to do.” Travis & Samantha Brenneman

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