What is the problem with a Catholic outdoor wedding? Believe it or not, the Catholic Church actually has some beautiful reasons as to why getting married outside the Church building is discouraged. The Church is not trying to ruin the plans for the day you have dreamed of for years just because they feel like it.
We can’t understand why the Church prohibits outdoor weddings until we take the time to reflect on the Sacrament of Marriage and what it means to be called by God to the vocation of marriage. Because of what media has instilled in us, we might be tempted to think that marriage is more about the celebration on the wedding day than a lifelong commitment to God and your future spouse.
Fr. Mike Schmitz provides excellent insight in the video that is featured today that will help you further understand the importance of getting married in the Church. Listen for the truth bomb he drops at 4:54, “…but this vocation is not about you.“
Where Can Catholics Get Married? 3 Requirements
Fr. Joe Krupp gave this advice about determining where a wedding should take place in an article for the Cleveland diocese.
“As Catholics, we believe that marriage is a sacrament: a sacred moment given to us by Jesus. When you celebrate this wonderful Sacrament, we hold it in a space that is dedicated, sacred and consecrated. We have these three requirements because marriage is so important to us, so let’s take a look at each of them.
A dedicated space: We consider weddings so special that we recognize they should be done in a place that is set aside for them. Obviously, weddings do not need to be the only thing toward which the space is dedicated. You may point out that Las Vegas wedding chapels fill this requirement.
A sacred place: When we describe something as sacred, we are recognizing it as blessed by God or touched by God. Many places that are not churches also fall into this category.
A consecrated place: The Church teaches us that, sometimes, we take a place (or even a person!) and set them aside from “common” use for sacred use. This is a movement of the Holy Spirit from the people of God through our clergy, which culminates in a ritual where we say, ‘This place is special.’”
To be fair, there are circumstances in which the Bishop of a diocese may grant special permission for a couple to wed in another location, but that would only be for serious reasons. Most likely, your reason for desiring to be in the midst of God’s creation will not be a strong enough argument to sway your Bishop.
Pope Francis recently advised engaged couples to take time to prepare spiritually for their lives together.