@MissFlipFlops: Catholics don’t believe that “you have to be married in a church for it to be considered ‘legit’ by God.” For instance, if two evangelical Christians decide to get married outside, the Catholic Church would believe that it is a legitimate marriage and that God is present in it.
The difference is that Catholics believe that marriage is a sacrament, where as most Protestant religions do not. That sacrament must be performed in a Church, the House of God. Also, it should be performed by people who also believe it to be a sacrament – ie, a Priest or Deacon.
@Misslizzy: For one, God will never turn his back on you!
Also, I don’t there is a Bible verse that specifically points to this. “Churches” as we think of them today weren’t around when the New Testament was written, and they didn’t spend a lot of time writing about weddings either. This is more in the Tradition side of Catholic teaching.
I had a Catholic wedding in a Church and it was wonderful. I really couldn’t imagine it any other way. I think some questions to ask yourself would be:
Why don’t I want to get married in a church?
What is appealing about the other locations I am thinking about?
Am I hurting one side of the family by refusing a Catholic wedding (or vice versa)?
Do I want to receive the sacrament of marriage?
Here is a good explanation of the “why”: http://masscatholicmarriage.org/assets/homileticsbulletininserts/more_than_a_wedding.pdf
Also, here is what the Catechism says about the Sacrament of Marriage: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt3art7.shtml
I don’t know much about your situation, but there are circumstances where you can receive dispensations from the normal rite of marriage.