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Outdoor Weddings

Catholic Ceremony Outside??

Does anyone know someone who was able to have a Catholic wedding ceremony outside the church?? (And still have it "count" in the eyes of the catholic church) My fiance and I have both been married before and want a priest to marry us, but we would prefer to have the ceremony outside the church this time around.  We aren't looking to have a full mass or anything, just the wedding service. 

Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??

  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    Does anyone know someone who was able to have a Catholic wedding ceremony outside the church?? (And still have it "count" in the eyes of the catholic church) My fiance and I have both been married before and want a priest to marry us, but we would prefer to have the ceremony outside the church this time around.  We aren't looking to have a full mass or anything, just the wedding service. 
    Posted by 21tanya
    Doesn't work that way. The ceremony has to be on sacred ground (e.g. Inside the church) if you want your marriage recognized . Also, did you both get your marriages annulled?



  • I think you have two problems. 1. You both were married before. Unless they were both annulled, you can't marry in a Catholic mass. 2. Catholic weddings must be done on sacred ground ie. a church. No priest will marry you outside the church in a mass. You might be able to find a retired priest who will perform a service outside, but it won't be a mass or recognized by the Church.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    In Response to Catholic Ceremony Outside?? : Doesn't work that way. The ceremony has to be on sacred ground (e.g. Inside the church) if you want your marriage recognized . Also, did you both get your marriages annulled?
    Posted by Viczaesar
    We know that annullments are required.  My marriage annullment has already been approved through the diocese and my fiance's is in the process.  Thanks for the reminder though:) 
  • edited November 2012
    Trying to forego traditional Catholicism is one of those topics that here on the Knot goes over like a fart in Mass. But I can say in my family it's never been a big deal to have an old geezer retired priest or Deacon officiate your wedding and get yourself a dispensation from your parish. FWIW.

    ETA: I am toying with the idea right now of an interfaith minister, I found somebody who will do the Catholic stuff I want and my priest is cool with giving us the A-OK to be card-carrying Catholics afterward, so that may be an option for you too.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    Trying to forego traditional Catholicism is one of those topics that here on the Knot goes over like a fart in Mass. But I can say in my family it's never been a big deal to have an old geezer retired priest or Deacon officiate your wedding and get yourself a dispensation from your parish. FWIW. ETA: I am toying with the idea right now of an interfaith minister, I found somebody who will do the Catholic stuff I want and my priest is cool with giving us the A-OK to be card-carrying Catholics afterward, so that may be an option for you too.
    Posted by attymeg
    Many churches will not do this.  It's not always easy to have a convalidation.  And, honestly, if you don't want to follow the rules, what's the point of respecting the religion?
  • In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside?? : Many churches will not do this.  It's not always easy to have a convalidation.  And, honestly, if you don't want to follow the rules, what's the point of respecting the religion?
    Posted by Joy2611

    I have to agree with this.  I'm Agnostic, but I have a lot of respect for religious traditions.  If you are just looking for ways to get around your religion's stipulations, which are based on it's belief system, why do you belong to it?
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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  • ChloeaghChloeagh member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside?? : I have to agree with this.  I'm Agnostic, but I have a lot of respect for religious traditions.  If you are just looking for ways to get around your religion's stipulations, which are based on it's belief system, why do you belong to it?
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain
    Agree with all PP, especially this. Even if Catholics could marry outside, I would never consider getting married outside over in a church. But maybe that's because where I live, the weather is unpredictable and pretty windy and the churches are GORGEOUS.

    If you actually care about having a valid marriage (not just for show, but because you respect the church), but still want an outdoor wedding, why not have the ceremony inside and the reception outside? That is what FI and I are doing.
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  • My husband and I had a retired priest marry us in an outdoor ceremony.  It's not recognized by the Catholic church, but this was not important to us. We wanted the catholic (read:  little c catholic, not big C Catholic) traditions and prayers, as this is what matters to us as individuals.  These are the traditions that we grew up with and hold dear, even though neither of us are currently members of the Catholic (big C) church, nor do we ever intend to be members again.   It's hard to explain, but it's what worked for us.    


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  • I've had this question also, but as PP's said- If you want a Catholic ceremony that is recognized by the Catholic Church, it has to be in a church. :/ bummer.

    BUT, you save on seating rentals! Ceremony space rental! and usually, Catholic churches are ornate (at least in New England), so you'll need less ceremony decor! :)
     Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • There are tons of reasons why you wouldn't or couldn't get married in the Church, I have experienced some.  Consider the reasons the church will give you a dispensation- anything from "family harmony" to "scarcity of Catholics" to "spiritual good".

    The reason I wanted to post is because the knee-jerk answer is "no" and/or "why the hell would you want to do that for?" Obviously parishes vary on this and many other things, but by and large I believe that the church wants you to remain a part of the church, be a valued member of the parish, give them dough, raise your kids in the church, etc. and it doesn't have to be a big difficult deal for them to help you do that.

    Probably helps if you have a priest who knows you really well or if you are part of a more progressive parish, but I don't think it's fatal if you're not.

    Convalidation for me requires going down there and signing the paperwork promising to raise our kids Catholic. We don't need (neccessarily) to question the OP's motives or reasons, just give our opinion on can it be done, which is what we've by and large done. I say good luck to you OP!
  • In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    There are tons of reasons why you wouldn't or couldn't get married in the Church, I have experienced some.  Consider the reasons the church will give you a dispensation- anything from "family harmony" to "scarcity of Catholics" to "spiritual good". The reason I wanted to post is because the knee-jerk answer is "no" and/or "why the hell would you want to do that for?" Obviously parishes vary on this and many other things, but by and large I believe that the church wants you to remain a part of the church, be a valued member of the parish, give them dough, raise your kids in the church, etc. and it doesn't have to be a big difficult deal for them to help you do that. Probably helps if you have a priest who knows you really well or if you are part of a more progressive parish, but I don't think it's fatal if you're not. Convalidation for me requires going down there and signing the paperwork promising to raise our kids Catholic. We don't need (neccessarily) to question the OP's motives or reasons, just give our opinion on can it be done, which is what we've by and large done. I say good luck to you OP!
    Posted by attymeg
    People ask to get a better idea of her reasoning.

    If she wants to get married outside because she saw it in a magazine- that's a very shallow reason and is disrespectful to that religion.

    If she wants to get married on the lawn of FI's great-grandparent's estate because that is where all of his family members were married and it hold a special meaning to the couple- that is a more valid reason that I think people would be willing to support.

    The current trend is to get married outside, but if people do it to follow the trend and want their religion to bow to their whims (notice, I said whims, not meaningful, thoughtful and heartfelt desires), they are being disrespectful to the institution they are trying to toe around.
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  • I am having a Catholic ceremony outside.  Priests and churches often say it's against Canon Law 1118 to marry outside of a church and that is false  (READ IT VERY CAREFULLY IF YOU LOOK IT UP, THEY TRY TO TRICK YOU!)  From what I understood and this is unfortunate, they just want your money and that is why I have a hard time being a practicing Catholic.  I did a lot of research on this because I don't want to go through a 2 hour ceremony (and I don't want my guests sitting  through it either) but still wanted to represent the Catholic faith since I was born and raised that way.  We are using the Franciscans of South FLorida Catholic Ministry, Franciscans Friars, Priests and Pastrs of the Old Catholic Church. The first thing I asked when I spoke to them was if my marriage would be recognized by the Catholic Church and the asnwer was YES! I'm not sure where you are getting married, but definitely do your research and you can ask your priest if they will do it eleswhere besides a church.

    Good Luck!
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    I am having a Catholic ceremony outside.  Priests and churches often say it's against Canon Law 1118 to marry outside of a church and that is false  (READ IT VERY CAREFULLY IF YOU LOOK IT UP, THEY TRY TO TRICK YOU!)  From what I understood and this is unfortunate, they just want your money and that is why I have a hard time being a practicing Catholic.  I did a lot of research on this because I don't want to go through a 2 hour ceremony (and I don't want my guests sitting  through it either) but still wanted to represent the Catholic faith since I was born and raised that way.  We are using the Franciscans of South FLorida Catholic Ministry, Franciscans Friars, Priests and Pastrs of the Old Catholic Church. The first thing I asked when I spoke to them was if my marriage would be recognized by the Catholic Church and the asnwer was YES! I'm not sure where you are getting married, but definitely do your research and you can ask your priest if they will do it eleswhere besides a church. Good Luck!
    Posted by enewton89

    Whoa......disrespectful, and wrong.  You can stop "representing" for "them".  Word.

  • In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    I am having a Catholic ceremony outside.  Priests and churches often say it's against Canon Law 1118 to marry outside of a church and that is false  (READ IT VERY CAREFULLY IF YOU LOOK IT UP, THEY TRY TO TRICK YOU!)  From what I understood and this is unfortunate, they just want your money and that is why I have a hard time being a practicing Catholic.  I did a lot of research on this because I don't want to go through a 2 hour ceremony (and I don't want my guests sitting  through it either) but still wanted to represent the Catholic faith since I was born and raised that way.  We are using the Franciscans of South FLorida Catholic Ministry, Franciscans Friars, Priests and Pastrs of the Old Catholic Church. The first thing I asked when I spoke to them was if my marriage would be recognized by the Catholic Church and the asnwer was YES! I'm not sure where you are getting married, but definitely do your research and you can ask your priest if they will do it eleswhere besides a church. Good Luck!
    Posted by enewton89
    The church is after your money? WRONG. your "priest" wants your money, this is why he gave you incorrect information. You don't have to address this with a priest, go directly to your . Dioceses and ask them if your marriage would be valid if performed by one of these ministers. the answer will be NO.

    OP, you can have a priest officiate your wedding but this will not be valid in the church, if you don't plan on practicing, it's fine, but if you plan on returning to the Catholic faith, and participate in our Rites, you will have to have your marriage convalidated, and it's a long process consisiting of marriage retreats, meetings with the priest, and completion of RCIA if needed. It's not just signing paper and giving money like OP mentioned.
  • I'm not familiar with the catholic faith so please dont' ripe me apart is I'm wrong with asking this.

    But I've been to a few catholic churches over the years for different reasons like baptisms & wedding and some Catholic Churches have beautiful grounds & something gardens. Is getting married outside on the churches grounds an option? Plus side to that is that if the weather turns bad you can easily move it inside without having to change locations.

    Like I said, I don't know if this is allowed but thought I would put it out there as a possible solution.
  • The only time the Catholic church will perform any type of sacrament outside of the church is if the person receiving the sacrament is physically not able to actually get to the church (Such as preemie babies being baptized in hospitals). So unless you or your FI is in the hospital with a terminal illness (Or some similarly extreme circumstance), you're not going to get permission to receive the sacrament of marriage outside of a Catholic church.

    You can try to request an outside ceremony through the diocese, but just not wanting to deal with the fuss of a full Catholic ceremony really isn't going to be a good enough "reason" for them to grant you dispensation.

    *I felt sorry for my husband before I met him. Take a number.*
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  • AdeleDazeemAdeleDazeem member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    I'm not familiar with the catholic faith so please dont' ripe me apart is I'm wrong with asking this. But I've been to a few catholic churches over the years for different reasons like baptisms & wedding and some Catholic Churches have beautiful grounds & something gardens. Is getting married outside on the churches grounds an option? Plus side to that is that if the weather turns bad you can easily move it inside without having to change locations. Like I said, I don't know if this is allowed but thought I would put it out there as a possible solution.
    Posted by Erikan73
    I asked my Catholic husband about this last night.  I was like "shouldn't all the ground be sacred, not just the building?""  And he said no.  He said there was something about the altar and bones of a saint underneath it that made that area sacred.  He was fuzzy on the details, unfortunately.

    There is a Catholic brides board - they would know better, I think.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside??:
    In Response to Re: Catholic Ceremony Outside?? : I asked my Catholic husband about this last night.  I was like "shouldn't all the ground be sacred, not just the building?""  And he said no.  He said there was something about the altar and bones of a saint underneath it that made that area sacred.  He was fuzzy on the details, unfortunately. There is a Catholic brides board - they would know better, I think.
    Posted by Joy2611

    I'm not Catholic either but I'm pretty sure saint bones are only kept in basilicas or cathedrals and not any garden variety Catholic church.  I've read that they require the wedding to be in a church because the church family is supposed to support the marriage so it needs to be where the church family congregates.
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