Best Man at a non-Catholic wedding

I’m sure this subject has been brought up many times on here. Let me explain my predicament:

A friend I have known for nearly 8 years is planning on getting married next summer. His fiance is non-denominational, and his own faith in the Catholic Church is nominal, if at all. He has said, in so many words, that it wouldn’t matter to him if the wedding was not held in the Church. He and I have been through nearly everything together, and we’re almost like brothers for one another. But… he is also cohabiting with the woman he intends to marry, and is infrequent about attending Mass. What is my response to be? I gladly want to stand by my friend on the day he changes his life, but I am not entirely sure of the Church’s standing on such a matter. Please help me out with this, as he is anxious to know what my decision will be.

He can go through Catholic premarital preparation and can ask for a dispensation from form to marry her in her non-Catholic church. If he doe so, the marriage will be perfectly fine to attnd and to stand up as best man. Encourage him to go this route.

If he chooses to attempt an invalid marriage by disregarding Church teaching and Church law, you should not stand in the wedding nor really even attend it.

Consult your priest for guidance. Many times witnessing to the truth is difficult. But is it also necessary.

Talk to your priest! A lot of people will say you can’t be in the wedding, and some will say you can’t even go. But I’m marrying an atheist who was baptized and raised Catholic in a secular wedding. Many members of his family talked to their priests about it, and out of the three priests that we’re spoken to each and every one advised his family to go. (Three priests because they all go to different parishes.)

And even one of his groomsmen, a devout catholic, was told by his priest that he can stand up for our wedding.

Go to your Priest not to the internet for guidance on such matters.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit