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Outdoor Catholic Wedding

Outdoor Catholic Wedding

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A significant part of your Catholic faith is showing commitment to the church, including getting married in the church. For years, the rule was that a Catholic wedding happens inside the Catholic church, presided by a Catholic priest. There was no room for an outdoor Catholic wedding.

Quoting the Code of Canon Law, "Marriages are to be celebrated in a parish where either of the contracting parties has a domicile… With the permission of the proper ordinary or proper pastor, marriages can be celebrated elsewhere." (Canon 1115)

Although the Canon Law may allow an outdoor Catholic wedding to take place, priests are reluctant to give such authorization. The priests are more concerned about the wedding being sacred because a church wedding happens to be a wedding mass. It is holy and sacramental.

One may be granted permission to hold an outdoor Catholic wedding, but they must have good reasons. The reasons may be political or cultural. Even security reasons may warrant the approval of an outdoor Catholic wedding. 

When either the bride or groom is sick, it may warrant the wedding to take place in a hospital or home. If the wedding is to occur in a country where there is no church in the vicinity, the wedding can take place in a home or any other suitable place. 

Generally, Catholics can get married in a dedicated space, a sacred space, and a consecrated space.

  • Dedicated space – weddings are special, and the space must be set aside for them.
  • Sacred space – it does not necessarily have to be a church. A sacred place is a place touched or blessed by God, and many places that are not churches can be said to be sacred places. 
  • Consecrated place – usually a place of worship. 

The best thing to do when you want to have an outdoor Catholic wedding is to seek permission from your local parish.