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Customs and Traditions

Catholic getting married outside of the church

Just wanted to know what everyone thought of a Catholic not getting married at a church, instead at a reception hall, or garden, etc. Even if it is with a priest, does that mean that it would not be recognized by the church?

Re: Catholic getting married outside of the church

  • I'm not catholic but I seem to remember someone telling me that if it is not in the church it won't be recognized - I would check with your church though to be sure
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  • You need to get special dispensation to have an active priest and for it to be recognized by the church.  Typically, they need a good reason to grant this, not just that you want to get married outside.  Some people find retired and former priests to perform their non-church ceremonies, but these are not recognized. 
  • Yeah, I tried this and it was a no go. I ended up having a nondenominational ceremony in a garden with an officiant.
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  • To be recognized by the Catholic Church, at least one of you two must be Catholic. I'm 97% sure that it does not have to be in the Church. I'll check my book and let you know.
  • Okay how many of you that are saying that it's not recognized by the church if not married in the church are actually Catholic?I have a book on Canon Law and a few other books that talks about what makes it recognized by the church ( I needed it for class) and what matters most of it to be recognized is that at least one of the must be Catholic and a priest must be officating or co-officiating. As far as I remember there is nothing that says it will not be recognized by the church if you are not married in the church. Of course, it could depend on where you live and what diocese you are with. For those of you that are Catholic, did you  even ask the Priest if he could officate at a different venue?Canon Laws have changed and there are some Priests that abide by the old "rules". SO it could depend on the Priest, on the Diocese, and what state you live in.
  • I'm catholic. I looked into having our ceremony outside of the actual church and performed by a priest that is an old family friend. Without special dispensation for a serious reason (e.g., illness, etc.), it won't be recognized. We're considering have the wedding day ceremony at the venue that we want and then "renewing" our vows in the church the next day to make it "official."
  • I had actually read the answer to this question on a diocese of brooklyn pre-cana website.  http://www.pre-cana.org/index-en.htmI don't know if it's the same in NJ but I'm guessing that the answer will probably be NO since any place outside of a church will not be sacred.
  • lmm9lmm9 member
    I am catholic and your marriage will not be recognized by the catholic church if it is held outside of the church.  Also no active catholic priest will marry you outside.  You can always have a small ceremony later in the church to have your marriage recognized within the church if it is something that is important to you. (I just had a friend who did this)
  • "Can. 1118 §1. A marriage between Catholics or between a Catholic party and a non-Catholic baptized party is to be celebrated in a parish church. It can be celebrated in another church or oratory with the permission of the local ordinary or pastor. §2. The local ordinary can permit a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place. §3. A marriage between a Catholic party and a non-baptized party can be celebrated in a church or in another suitable place." That is from Canon Law and it does not say that if you get married outside the church that it will not be recognized. But there are always Priests and Dioceses that "require" you to get married in the church. All Dioceses and Churchs are different. It depends on where you are. You will have to talk to your Priest about it. He may allow it, he may not. You will have to get permission though. However, for Catholic/Non-Catholic, it doesn't say permission is needed.. I don't know your situation though..if both of you are Catholic or not.
  • My sister got married outside and we are Catholic. The priest did the real wedding the night before and the next day they had the big ceremony. Needless to say my sister is actually married the day before the ceremony.
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