So I'm in a little bit of a dilemma....
Both my fiance and I were raised Catholic (me more than him) but we made the decision to get married at a farm just outside of where we live. The ceremony will be outdoors, and so we are unable to have a Catholic priest do it because it's not in a Church. This rocked the boat a bit in my family, but everyone is happy and on board with it now.
So now we're trying to find someone to marry us. My fiance feels VERY strongly about having a family friend do it, which I am also fine with, and would prefer that to hiring someone that doesn't know us or our relationship. The problem is in Pennsylvania, our officiant has to be either an ordained member of a church or congregation, or a city official like a judge or magistrate, neither of which our friend is.
We looked into the idea of a self-uniting marriage, so that we would technically be marrying ourselves, but we would still have our friend officiate for "looks" I guess, and none of our guest would really know the difference. I'm a little skeptical of this self-uniting marriage and have gotten the impression that it's not necessarily prohibited, but it is not really advised (In fact, I had a lovely little conversation with a county official who told me it was "unnatural" and "against God's will" and "God wouldn't let me into heaven." She was nice.)
Basically, I am looking for some advice on what the best approach to this would be. Has anyone done a self-uniting marriage and had problems with the legality of it/people not being on board with it? Should we do a self-uniting marriage with our friend officiating? Or should we do a "ceremony" on our actual wedding day that would not be legal, but then have a quiet ceremony in our Church the weekend before or after? Any help would be appreciated!! My family feels one way, my fiance feels another, and I just wanna keep the peace and get married!