Catholic Weddings

Outdoor Catholic Wedding Dream

I've always pictured my ideal wedding as being outside, but now that I've just gotten engaged and started to think about planning in reality, I realized that might not be possible within the Catholic church. I know strictly speaking it's not allowed, are there any exceptions that anyone knows of though? Do outdoor Catholic chapels exist? Before I settle for something other than what I've always pictured, just seeing if there's a way to have my cake and eat it too. :)

Re: Outdoor Catholic Wedding Dream

  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011

    The church where we got married had an outdoor sanctuary, so outdoor weddings could be performed (they offered it to me), but I preferred getting married indoors because of seating issues (I really think the church's outdoor sanctuary would be appropriate for a wedding of 20 people or so based on seating and acoustics) and a desire for organ music during the processional/recessional. 

    My church also had mostly plain glass rather than stained glass, so even in the church we felt surrounded by trees and flowers, so I felt that it was outdoorsy enough.

    So, I'll advise you to check out the local churches to see if something works for you.  It's very rare to have an outdoor ceremony off church grounds that is approved by the church.  Usually the bride is asked if she'll settle for an outdoor reception.

  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    its extremely rare.

    some may suggest finding a retired priest or a "rent a priest" but these options will nto be valid, recognized marriages in teh eyes of the church.  so proceed with caution.
  • edited December 2011
    Ditto pp's.

    Catholic churches are so beautiful. If you really want to get married in the Church, you will have to get married inside. But you could always have an outdoor reception.
  • edited December 2011
    I have the same issue right now! However, my fiance talked to the priest he wants to marry us and the priest said that he would be able to do the 'liturgical event' in the church and the 'profession of love' outdoors, but only if the liturgical event was performed first.  If it all checks out okay we will be having a short ceremony in the church earlier in the day with only immediate family and MOH/BM and the ceremony (profession of love) that everyone else will see and be part of will be at our other location.  We were already planning on having the ceremony late, at 5pm, so we can work that out pretty well with having the church ceremony earlier in the day.  It actually may work out better in fact because we will already have seen each other and can take our pics and pics with our bridal party between the two ceremonies.  

  • edited December 2011
    There is an outdoor Catholic church in Isle LaMotte, VT, but that's the only one I've ever seen. It's gorgeous there I wish I lived near home again just so I could have my wedding there. It's called St. Anne's Shrine.
    They are very few and far in between. You'll probably have to ask around or do a lot of research, and most likely travel if you want one. Sorry! I wanted my wedding outdoors too. :(
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  • kimDZPkimDZP member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for your ideas/suggestions/experiences! I'll keep you posted on how it all works out as I start meeting with the church and looking around. :) Thanks!
  • cassandrae913cassandrae913 member
    edited December 2011
    My cousin had an outdoor Catholic wedding. They will perform them with a dispensation. In my cousin's case it was due to the size of the local church and the lack of wheelchair accessibility. The church (which is in a tiny town in the Napa Valley) literally can hold 30 people and has no ramps. She had 200+ for her wedding and her grandmother was in a WC. I am not sure of the process or paperwork, but it is possible.
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  • I just hate how negative everyone get's about this question... I've been engaged now for a little over a year and I have been going back and forth with this topic with my mom... it's been nothing but one fight after another... My grandparents on my fathers side passed when I was younger and they were cremated and their ashes were sprinkled in the ocean.... The ocean has always been very special to me because of this. It is very important to me that my grandparents are a part of the wedding and that we are married outside visible to the ocean.... My mother being a strict Catholic is very against this and started throwing the fact that it could not be a catholic wedding in my face due to it being outside and not in a church... I never once said I wanted a catholic wedding... because of that statement in her eyes she thinks I am the anti criest and has made my engagement nothing but hell... We have finally come to a some what of a resolution. I told her I would do whatever I can to make this a catholic wedding as long as our wishes are upheld with being by the ocean... I have been researching ways of doing it... one place says yes you can as long as it's a catholic altar, another says you can't, it's back and forth back and forth and every forum I read is nothing but people bickering about it! This whole thing makes me just want to run to vegas and elope... I am seriously so over it... There has to be SOME way of making it work... I just wish people wernt so quick to say "No" without at least exploring the idea a bit more.... were in the 20th century.... With as many couples inquiring about wanting to have an Outdoor Catholic wedding, there has to be some kind of hope, or some kind of compromise that can be made to make EVERYONE happy... Embarassed
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