Tag Archives: Catholic

Preparing for Marriage

Wow it has been slightly more than a year since I visited this space. I really wanted to have been able to share my wedding planning journey as it happened, but unfortunately it ended up taking way too much time and I wasn’t able to. Now, 4 months after being married, I finally feel settled down enough to continue sharing my experiences!

B & I, both being Catholics, were required to attend a marriage preparation course as part of our journey towards a Catholic marriage. We were given 2 options – Marriage Preparation Course (MPC), which consists of 6 half-day sessions over 6 consecutive weekends, and Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE), which is a 2D3N weekend stay-in camp. It was an easy choice for us going with CEE as we’re both very busy individuals, so CEE would be a quicker option for us. One think to note for couples thinking of taking the CEE, remember to book way ahead of your wedding date! From our experience, though there are CEE weekends on average 1-2 times a month, they are booked out really fast, like about 8 months in advance. We had to book right after our engagement to secure a Feb 2016 weekend.

On the Friday of our weekend, whilst on the way to the Marriage Encounter House in Punggol, I remember we were feeling extremely skeptical about how our weekend would go. We didn’t feel like we needed a marriage preparation course as we have never had problems discussing important/difficult issues. Also, we felt nervous at the thought of having to be split up into 2 diff rooms and having to share a room with a stranger of the same sex. It didn’t help that it was a gloomy pouring evening.

Whilst waiting for everyone to arrive, there were plenty of refreshments (a recurrent theme throughout the weekend hehe I swear they wanted us to get fat!!) and we also bumped into quite a few of our friends which made us feel more comfortable as we had expected not to know anyone. As we made our way into the packed LT, we were told that our weekend was the largest they had ever hosted, about 50+ couples? After some briefing we were then ushered into our twin sharing rooms (bunks actually), with girls & guys being split into diff floors. I was glad that my roomie turned out to be normal and not a weirdo haha. Anyway soon after, we were ushered back into the LT to commence the weekend proper.

In essence, the entire weekend was structured into different topics and hosted by 3 couples. The topics included conflict management, finances, intimacy and marriage life among other things. Each topic would start with the 3 hosting couples giving their input and sharing their real life experiences with us (as they were of different ages, we got different perspectives which made it more interesting). Sometimes, the hosting priest would share his experience if it was a relatable topic as well. We would then be given time to individually answer some questions in our book, and subsequently meet up with our partner to discuss whatever we wrote down in our book. This took place from about 7 in the morning till 11 at night, including daily mass. It was extremely taxing, but by the end it felt extremely fulfilling.

Despite our initial skepticism, we were both glad to have gone through the CEE as we felt it brought us even closer together. We understood more about each other as well because we went into greater depth regarding all the issues we thought we had already discussed before. I would definitely recommend this course to all Catholic couples out there preparing for marriage, or even thinking about getting engaged. Quite a few of the friends we met there were not engaged yet, but I think this was beneficial for them in deciding if they were taking the right step. Marriage is a huge step, so there is nothing embarrassing about attending a marriage preparation course without being engaged as it will really help you in seeing if your ideals in life match up. Better early than late! Also, to all all inter-faith couples (i.e. one Catholic & the other non-Catholic), please come for the course with an open mind. Do not be afraid that it will be too religion driven, as it is not. The main intent of the course is really to get to know your partner on a deeper level. There is even a module on inter-faith marriages and how to deal with the difficulties that come with it. I really hope whoever is going to attend CEE will feel less skepticism after reading this & that whoever has attended it had a positive experience like I did!

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God Bless,

Daryl

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Wedding Planning – Venues

We’re very excited to announce that we’ve finally settled our wedding venues!! Huge item off our list checked (: 

I know some of you saw that we posted on FB some time back about having a NYE2016 wedding. That was our initial plan & the date was special to us as it’s the day that we had our first date. However, those plans fell through & we had to come up with an alternate plan which we feel is way more “us”. Will elaborate more on how we came to the decision at the end of the post, but first let’s reveal our venues! 

We’ll be having a cosy destination wedding in BALI on 15th October 2016 for family & close friends. The venue we chose – ULUWATU SURF VILLAS, is stunning. It’s a private villa on a cliff top, with a huge lawn to host an after party! 

   
We didn’t have time to make a trip to Bali to go venue hunting, but the pictures we’ve seen so far of USV won us over completely. The reasonable prices (compared to other villas in the area) as well as their very efficient resident wedding planner, also helped us seal the deal with them. It’s still 11 months away, but we’re so excited to see the venue in person next year! I’m sure it’ll be breathtaking, walking down the aisle with such an amazing view & the sound of the ocean lapping against the shore~

Since B & I are both Catholic, we have to be legally married in a Catholic Church. So our Bali wedding will be purely symbolic – more like a celebration of our love & commitment. Just a trip to have fun with the ones close to our heart, give us a chance to write our own vows (which we would not get to do in a Catholic Ceremony), & have our dream Pinterest-worthy wedding. Our Church wedding will be the real deal (where we will sign the ROM cert) & be pronounced husband & wife in front of God. And also the date which we will be celebrating our Wedding Anniversaries in future (: 

We have chosen the CHURCH OF ST IGNATIUS to celebrate our Holy Matrimony! 

   

 
It’s a modern church (with aircon) that’s not too big, and has a pretty large hall which we can use for our reception. I especially love how this couple styled their wedding & reception there. I hope they don’t think it’s creepy that I saved their photos from The Wedding Scoop & reposted them here, but rather see it as a compliment that I loved their decor! 

I know it’s really superficial, but we didn’t choose our respective parishes (Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour – My Parish & Church of The Holy Spirit, B’s Parish, both pictured below) as we felt they wouldn’t gel well with our overall theme.  

   

Our first choice was actually Church of St Mary of the Angels, followed by Church of St. Teresa.

 
  
 
However, Church of St Mary of the Angels does not allow non-parishioners to wed there, & Church of St Teresa, being the most popular Catholic Church in Singapore for weddings, was alr booked for our Oct dates. (Those who want to get married there please book > a year in advance!! No kidding)

Anyway, in summary, here’s what happened which led us to our current plan. We always knew we wanted a Western style reception (no hotel banquets for us), so we were pretty fixed on having it at the beautiful Marquee at Alkaff Mansion. 

 

But alas, we received the news that the whole marquee is going to be torn down by Mar 2016 & no events are allowed to be held on that space anymore!! We were so depressed, like how unlucky could we be? We considered renting our own marquee & holding it at somewhere like the huge lawn outside The White Rabbit, or even Hort Park. But the quoted rate for an air conditioned marquee for about 400 guests was $36k!! Omg we got a shock. Never knew it would cost so much. So it was back to square 1. 

We had to reconsider having a hotel banquet since other western restaurants would not be able to fit our then guestlist of about 300-400 people. We researched & realised Hotel Fort Canning has a marquee too! 

  

We took a trip down to have a look & eventually liked it enough & paid a deposit to book NYE 2016. However, due to some miscommunications, they could not follow through with certain details, so we decided to terminate the contract. Thankfully, after 3 months of back & forth with them, we were able to get our refund back! It was a huge relief, but the 3 months really put us in a very tight spot as we could not proceed with our wedding planning. 

After those tough 3 months, we realised that what we really want is something more casual & personal, hence we decided on a destination wedding! Kinda sad that we were not able to keep our NYE2016 date, as Bali would be in their monsoon season, so we settled for Oct 2016. It’s still not too rushed to plan, and most of my siblings would have finished their exams, except poor Sarah with A Levels 😦 Oh well, we can’t please everyone, it’s our wedding after all!

So glad that a big chunk of our planning is out of the way & we can focus more on the more fun stuff like the theme & our outfits etc. hehe. Will update this space whenever we make a major decision (:

XOXO,

Daryl