Catholic Weddings

My fiance is Catholic and I'm not

Just wanted to say thanks ahead of time. These message boards have been really helpful! So my fiance is Catholic and I am not. I have always dreamed of having my wedding outdoors. I feel weddings can be anywhere. God created this wonderful Earth and it is beautiful and I can receive his blessing anywhere. I have faith but do not regularly attend a church. My fiance was raised Catholic but has not attended church regularly in the past 5 or so years. However he loves his religion and is a devout catholic. We spoke with his priest and he gave us our options for having it honored by the church without having it in the church. We have agreed to get married outside at Magnolia Mound Plantation and complete all of the catholic prep courses. He is such a wonderful man :-)  So I am confused on who is able to marry us??? Will a Catholic priest do the ceremony or do we need to find just a Christian pastor?  I have heard no and yes. ps I do plan on converting later. With the wedding plans and work, I just don't have the time right now. Thanks, Ashlee 

Re: My fiance is Catholic and I'm not

  • edited December 2011
    You will not be married by anyone in the Catholic church. If you plan on having an outdoor ceremony, you will have to be married by someone else.... And, having your marriage blessed by the Catholic church is a bit more difficult than just them saying it. You might want to check before you decide to do this....
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  • edited December 2011
    Wow, I have never heard of this being done before!  You really should ask your priest this; since he's allowing it, he would know how it should be done.
  • edited December 2011
    Ditto PPs' responses.  Check with the parish pastor and the Diocese of Baton Rouge (that's where Magnolia Mound is, right?) to verify the process.  Many parishes are very reluctant to convalidate a marriage when the sole reason for the convalidation is that one of the spouses wanted to get married outside.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie
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    edited December 2011
    Just to clarify. One cannot be a devout Catholic and not attend church regularly. A Catholic is obligated to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days of obligation. A Catholic is also bound by Catholic canon law in regards to form and matter for sacraments, or it isn't a valid sacrament.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977
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    edited December 2011
    Many parishes are very reluctant to convalidate a marriage when the sole reason for the convalidation is that one of the spouses wanted to get married outside. ditto.i suggest getting married in the church, then having your receptoin at the magnolia mound to incorporate that venue into your day.
  • edited December 2011
    Please ignore so much snarkiness that you're getting here. Devout or not, your FI's faith is important to him. If you don't want to marry inside the church, this is fine. Especially, if he is on board with this decision. In my Diocese in Dallas, Deacons will marry you outside of the church and the priest will often times bless the space. Of course, you won't have a mass, which I did not choose to have. Contact a deacon at a local parish, who will most likely take you through your pre-marital counseling, as well. Good luck with your planning.
  • edited December 2011
    "In my Diocese in Dallas, Deacons will marry you outside of the church and the priest will often times bless the space. Of course, you won't have a mass, which I did not choose to have." If you do this, your marriage won't be recognized by the church. This isn't important to everyone, but you should know that this is what you are doing. You would be "out of communion" with the church. To some people, particularly devout Catholics, this is a problem.
  • edited December 2011
    I guess some diocese are more liberal than others, because the my sister's wedding was recognized by the church. And it was outside.
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you emimayor. I plan on going to talk with someone at a local church in the next couple weeks. I want my fiance's religion to recognize our marriage. I know that it's important to him and he realizes my dream of outdoors is important to me and I'm happy with our compromise. If it comes down to where I have to get married in the church, then I will for him. But sounds like you were able to have both.
  • edited December 2011
    Talk to the priest about this before you get to far along as most parishes only offer convalidation for extreme cases. So be very clear with ethe priest and make sure you know for cwertain that 1. the marriage sacrament will be performed2. when the marriage will take place3. what the outdoor ceremoney really is 4. who will perform the marriage5 who will perform teh outside ceremoney
  • TruchanaTruchana
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    edited December 2011
    Yeah, I would agree with everyone else that you need to get this truly figured out before moving forward.  I agree with you that I think weddings should be anywhere as well...but the catholic church does not so if you truly want it outside and to be blessed, just make sure you look into it!
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie
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    edited December 2011
    I'm guessing the snarkiness comment was at my post--- let me explain.A vegetarian (the full out kind) does not eat meat. By very definition of what they are. Saying "I'm a vegetarian, but I eat meat. --- that is impossible and not true. (Again, I'm talking about the full out vegetarian, not the semi ones).Same with being a "Devout" catholic. By very definition of what devout means and what Catholic means, that means that the person attends mass every Sunday. It was just a statement of fact. It's not snarkiness. Perhaps this guy is a devout Christian and a good person, that is fine. But if he tells her that he's a devout Catholic, but doesn't attend mass, there is a breakdown in understanding of what the belief system is. This can cause problems. It's important to figure that out ahead of time.
  • edited December 2011
    My aunt and uncle were married outside (in the middle of the street in front of his house in fact--long story) by a priest with a Catholic ceremony (not mass)You might be able to get it to workHowever:1. This was the Archdiocese of Louisville--ditto pp that some dioceses are more liberal than others2. The priest was a family friend (navy chaplain) who was definitely on the liberal side and had a history of not really following all the "rules"--so I'm not sure if the outdoor wedding was officially supposed to happen or not, since the middle of the street may not have counted as a "suitable place"--see belowAnd to give you the official info (from usccb.org):5. Why does a Catholic wedding have to take place in a church? For Catholics, marriage is not just a social or family event, but a church event. For this reason, the Church prefers that marriages between Catholics, or between Catholics and other Christians, be celebrated in the parish church of one of the spouses. Only the local bishop can permit a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place. 6. If a Catholic wishes to marry in a place outside the Catholic church, how can he or she be sure that the marriage is recognized by the Catholic Church as valid? The local bishop can permit a wedding in another church, or in another suitable place, for a sufficient reason. For example, a Catholic seeks to marry a Baptist whose father is the pastor of the local Baptist church. The father wants to officiate at the wedding. In these circumstances, the bishop could permit the couple to marry in the Baptist church. The permission in these instances is called a "dispensation from canonical form."
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  • edited December 2011
    why would you plan on converting?  if the religion meant that much to do, wouldn't you make time to do it before the sacrament?  i have never heard of a catholic priest marrying outside a church, period, so you are very lucky if you found someone to bend the rules. 
  • edited December 2011
    Oh my gosh, Ashlee. I am in a VERY similar situation as you. My fiance has grown up in the catholic church and I was raised protestant  but don't identify with any particular denomination. When we met with a priest he gave us several options. Since I'm not catholic, the wedding doesn't have to follow all of the "rules" of the standard catholic wedding. My fiance will have to get a dispensation for marrying a non catholic and could get another one if he wanted to have it outside the church. My dad is involved in a Christian ministry called young life and I always imagined he would be the one performing the ceremony. I also always wanted an outdoor wedding, but the compromise we decided on was having the ceremony in a church with my dad giving the homily. The priest did also give us options of having it somewhere else. Don't let anyone discourage you! If the priest says its ok then it probably is. They'll help you fill out the paperwork and jump through all the hoops necessary to have your wedding blessed. By the way, in catholic doctrine, the most important thing that constitutes a marriage is 2 people agreeing to be committed to each other in the presence of God. The people getting married are performing the sacrament, not the priest. Good luck with everything and I hope God gives you peace throughout all the wedding prep.
  • bel138bel138
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    edited December 2011
    By the way, in catholic doctrine, the most important thing that constitutes a marriage is 2 people agreeing to be committed to each other in the presence of God. The people getting married are performing the sacrament, not the priest.This is only true in Roman Catholic doctrine. The Eastern churches are actually married by the priest. Just representing for the Eastern Catholics. ;)
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  • Calypso1977Calypso1977
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    edited December 2011
    If the priest says its ok then it probably is. sadly, this is NOT always true.  there are a lot of priests out there giving bad advice, usually in the more "liberal" parishes.you have to know your faith, the doctrines and the canon laws.  a priest can tell you something that goes against canon law - doesnt make it valid or right.
  • edited December 2011
    If the priest says its ok then it probably is. Sadly, as Calypso said, this isn't always true.  Dispensations are given by bishops, not priests.  So a particular priest may say "sure, it's no problem to get a dispensation for a wedding outside [for example]," because if it were up to him, he'd approve it.  But he's not the one who decides whether a dispensation should be granted... The priest submits a request for a dispensation, and then it's up to the bishop to approve it, or not approve it.That's why in my original response I suggested that the OP get information from the Diocese of Baton Rouge directly.  There's a lot of info in this post about "well, in my parish/diocese, they did X."  Since many things vary from diocese to diocese, that's not very helpful to the OP because it might not be that way in Baton Rouge at all.  So, OP, I still recommend verifying with the pastor what will occur (is the outside ceremony going to be recognized? will you be able to have it convalidated later? is that guaranteed?  what would the process be? etc.), and getting information from the diocese if at all possible.
  • edited December 2011
    I didn't read all the posts - you created quite the comments. I just wanted to tell you - I have the same situation. I compromised a lot and I am happy with it. A deacon is marrying us. The church was gracious and let me include my own pastor in the ceremony as well. So all will be wonderful. Just talk to your wedding coordinator at the church - they'll help you navigate. It's not that big of deal, but there are somethings you will have to make concessions on, but really is your dream to be married or is it to be married to the love of your life? Just make it happen girl! Good luck!
  • ootmother2ootmother2
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    edited December 2011
    Sadly, there is not a poster here who knows all the diocese, the individual churches and individual priests to the extent they could make a decision.  Most know general church rules and policies.Please don't take a wedding website as cannon law.  Find somone fully infomed, such as your priest, and go by their opinion.and not just someone stating a personal opinion.I just adore the people on here telling you what a priest advised is incorrect by their limited knowledge.
  • edited December 2011
    "someone fully informed, such as your priest."Except the bishop, not the individual priest, is the one to officially issue dispensations from form...
  • edited December 2011
    WOWps I do plan on converting later. With the wedding plans and work, I just don't have the time right now. RCIA is one evening a week for about 7 months.  Usually Sept to Easter vigil.  If you cannot work this into your schedule now how will you later?  My fiance was raised Catholic but has not attended church regularly in the past 5 or so years. However he loves his religion and is a devout catholic. This statement is not a vaild one.  Cannot be devout and not attend mass.
  • edited December 2011
    I understand your sentiments about wanting to be married outside. I wanted to be married outside too, but I learned more about Catholic marriages and found out that since its considered a sacrament, its a very solemn occasion and there are many rules to follow. Because of this, me and my fiance are getting married at our church that we attend every Sunday. We want our marriage to be completely valid and blessed in the eyes of the Catholic church. You are risking not having it sanctioned if you end up getting married somewhere outside of the church. Hope that helps you make a decision. Good luck.
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