Post # 1
My fiance and I were both raised Catholic, as in, baptized, went to Catholic schools, got communion, confirmation, etc. But we are not regular church-goers. Our venue’s package includes arranging everything for the ceremony, and it’s 3 hours away. So, apparently Catholic priests won’t marry you unless it’s physically in a Catholic church. The hotel we have booked says they can get an Anglican priest to do the ceremony. Is the Catholic church going to not consider us married if an Anglican priest does it? Should we just have a JP do the ceremony in front of the guests and then get a priest to just marry us later in church when we get back? My fiance’s parents (mom esp.) is religious and I don’t think she’ll like the idea of the Anglican priest. My side doesn’t have a problem with it.
*note: I guess I will have to ask a priest, but I just read the email from the hotel and I can’t really ask a priest right now cuz it’s night….just wondering if the bees could help for now….thanks!
Post # 3
Hi Charteuse, I hope the following helps. It’s from an older post I once wrote.
If you are Catholic and are not going to be married in a Catholic church, you need a letter of dispensation from your local Bishop. A letter of dispensation gives you permission to marry outside of the church and your marriage will still considered valid by the church. It can be given, for example, if you are getting married in another Christian church. (They usually aren’t granted if you want to marry in a garden,a park,a backyard,a boat, etc.)
Basically, if you get married at the beach the church will not see that as valid. It would be best to go with your second option. Only I would reverse the order. Get married by a priest then have your beach side ceremony.
I can answer more questions, if you have them. Good luck.
Post # 4
A Catholic priest can bless a marriage performed by another religion or by a justice of the peace, which basically means the marriage is recognized by the church, but they usually prefer to do it the other way around.
Is there any way to perform the Catholic ceremony first, say a couple of days before? Then just have a friend “pretend” marry you at the big ceremony and reception? I know a few people who have done this because of destination weddings.
Post # 5
I could be wrong, but I think that if you want the Catholic church to consider the marriage a sacrament AND you have both been baptized catholic (not sure if the rules are different if one or both hasn’t been), then it needs to be a Catholic wedding (not necessarily a mass, though). Anglican ceremonies can be really similar, but they aren’t the same thing, especially to the church. If you were married by an anglican or JP, you could have the wedding convalidated later by a catholic priest (call your local diocese- you may have to join a parish for this, but I’m not sure).
If you want a Catholic wedding at a non-church venue, you need to request permission from it. Check with your priest, but I’m pretty sure you’d need permission from the bishop in order to do this- the priest doesn’t have the authority to simply decide on his own.
Post # 6
For any marraige to be seen as valid by the Catholic Church, that is not performed in the Catholic Church, your local Bishop would have to grant a letter of dispensation. Most of the time this is for those occassions when one of the parties is Catholic, and is marrying at a Protestant Church.
It is worth a shot, to ask for the dispensation for the beach wedding. But to be honest with you, I don’t see it being granted for a beach wedding. I would highly recommend that you have a Catholic Church wedding… as the Sacrament is THE MOST important part of the process… and the rest is simply for show/fun.
Post # 7
@ Charm Bracelet: very informative post, thanx
Post # 8
Technically by Canon Law, Catholics are required to get married in the parish of which they are members. To do anything outside of that requires different levels of permission. Some permissions can be granted by your priest, but some he has to seek permission to do from the bishop.
And it is true, that if you want to have your marriage recognized in the Church, you have to go through them. And overall, I’d say its a very big mistake to book any venues before you have anything straightened out and set with the Catholic Church. You could run into some serious problems with the availability of the date you want.
Post # 9
I just read a blog where a priest explained his opposition to garden/beach weddings.
“When people ask me why they have to be married in a church I always tell them because there is an altar in a church. An altar is where you make sacrifices, and believe me, marriage and family are sacrifices. The world will tell you that the purpose of life is happiness of which true love is a component. Jesus will tell you that Love, defined as sacrifice, is the purpose of life, and happiness is only its by-product. We believe that the first purpose of marriage is the sanctification of the partners and of their children, that means your job is to get yourself, your spouse and any children to heaven. If doing that makes you happy, fine, but happiness in this world is not the first goal. If it was, Jesus would not have let Himself be crucified.”
Post # 10
My cousin is a catholic priest and even if my anulment was granted in time there is no way he will marry us on the beach. If we agree to get married in the chuch earlier that day or the night before he would perform a “fake” ceremony on the beach for celebration purposes. He did this for my cousin who had a wedding outside. If my some mirical my anulment come though I will do that. If not going ahead with the beach ceremony and go to chuch on our first anniversary to recive the sacrament.