(Closed) does anyone know a catholic priest who can marry us outside of a church ?

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
1580 posts
Bumble bee

I think you’d need permission from your Bishop to get married outside of the church buidling. When you say you are not practicing, does that mean you are not registered and don’t regularly attend church or donate? Most priests will not marry non-Catholics, so you should join a church if you want to go that route.

You could call around, maybe to some priests from different college campuses in the area in case you can find one who is willing to bend the rules. I hate to be a downer, but i doubt you’ll find one.

Post # 4
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Yeah, I don’t think you will have any luck. One of the rules of the Catholic church is that you must get married in “the presence of God.” Which means, a church. We had a pretty liberal priest for ours (hubby muslim, me catholic) but getting married outside was a big no no. 

You may be able to contact the Bishop, and get permission. Or, you could possibly have a smaller wedding ceremony in a church and then do one outside…

Post # 5
6010 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think there’a couple different ways you can approach this: 

1)  You can contact your bishop/diocese to find out about getting permission to get married outside.  I think it’s kinda rare, but it does happen, so this might be your first plan of attack.  You’ll probably need a few good reasons to hold your ceremony outside instead of in a church in order to convince the bishop, so have those reasons prepared. 

2)  You could get married inside the church with immediate family before having your outside ceremony.  This is a good option if you really want a church-recognized marriage.  Sometimes people do these ceremonies days or even weeks apart to better fit their schedule.

3)  You could get married outside, at the Victorian house, and then have a convalidation ceremony later.  This is a good option if you are not a practicing Catholic because some parishes are really strict about only marrying practicing Catholics.  Basically, your marriage isn’t recongized by the church until you finish this step, which can be months or even years after your wedding, whenever is convenient for you.

4)  Sometimes, you can find a Catholic priest who will “bless” your marriage during an outside ceremony.  A blessing isn’t the same as a Catholic wedding, so the church won’t regonize your marriage, but I think this is a good option for some people.  Good luck!

Post # 6
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

my friend had this problem. her priest wouldn’t marry her outside of the church, and wanted her to get married at the church either before the actual ceremony. she didn’t want to do this because 1) she didn’t want to get married before her wedding without all of her friends and family there to witness and 2) she thought it was stupid that her marraige wouldn’t be recognized just because she wasn’t getting married in a church (no offense to people who do believe this). she ended up not using a priest. good luck!

Post # 7
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Unless it is Sacred Ground, a Catholic priest will not perform a Catholic Sacrament outside of the church. Anyone who will is likely splintered from the church. You could hire an independent officiant to perform a Catholic-structured service.

Or, if you want to get married outside, I would check with your diocese for any outdoor, holy ground locations. There are a few grottos and courtyards in our diocese that are the remains of past churches and are therefore considered holy ground. I don’t know what other requirements there are for that though.

If you are married in a civic ceremony or outside the church, often you can have a vow renewal to be recognized by the church at a later date.

Post # 8
46 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

I tried doing the same. I’m getting married in July, outside of the church and a priest will not marry anyone outside of the church – it’s against catholic religion…don’t even get my started on that topic lol! Sooo what we’re doing is getting married by the church a few weeks before, the priest is willing to sign the catholic papers for us. Just me, my fiancée, the priest and 2 witnesses, nobody else. We are doing it outside of mass and not doing a ceremony, simply signing papers..that’s it! The day of my wedding, we’re going to do the ceremony outside with a minister and it will look the same, as if we are getting married for the 1st time in front of our family and friends, nobody will tell… the only difference is that we will not have to sign a marriage license, only sign the ministers register. Simple! The minster tells us that paper do this sort of thing all the time.

Post # 9
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

My fiance and I are getting married outside of the Catholic church on a covered bridge.  The only way the priest would allow it was because we agreed to come in after our honeymoon to get it recognized by church.  I am Protestant, so I didn’t care where we had our ceremony, but it does matter a lot in the Catholic church.

Post # 10
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Mrs. Springs post is spot on.  I do want to caution you that there are some “rent a priest” kind of websites out there who “will” marry you outside. Some make it obvious, some don’t, but none of them are “valid” in the eyes of the church. 


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