Can I make my convalidation formal?

My priest keeps referring to our marriage blessing and/or convalidation as our “wedding.” During our first meeting I figured if the Church sees this as our actual “wedding” (we got married in a civil ceremony without family or friends) then why not make it a wedding?

My question is can it be formal? Can I wear a dress and my husband wear a tux? I know that he cannot receive Communion until after the ceremony and I cannot until I am baptized, so we can’t have a traditional Nuptial Mass, but can we make it a “wedding”?

There would only be close family there for the ceremony. Also can we light a unity candle? Can we have music? Does anyone know? My priest is off on vacation until Friday and I’m eager for so knowledge.

Presumably, the reason your priest refers to your convalidation as a “wedding” is because your legal marriage is not yet presumed to be valid or sacramental by the Church. The marriage blessing by the Church will mean that the Church will presume it to be valid; after your baptism, the Church will presume it to be sacramental. (A sacramental marriage can only be confected between two baptized Christians.)

You will have to consult with your priest for information on the parish’s usual policies on the celebration of marriage blessings, but there is no reason in principle that you cannot make it as formal as you like. In fact, a basic Judeo-Christian principle is that adding beauty and formality to the occasion adds to the solemnity and joy of the occasion. This is one of the reasons that the Eucharist is not confected on a paper plate and in a beer stein. Or why a baby is baptized wearing a silk-and-lace christening gown. In principle, the sacraments do not *require *loveliness; but the addition of it is fitting to their celebration.

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