Can I postpone my Catholic wedding until after the baby is born?

My fiance and I got engaged in December 2008. We had been engaged for seven months when I found out I was pregnant. We had been struggling with waiting to have sex and obviously did not succeed. My family has been very supportive, and after the shock of the news, we are also very excited about this blessing. We are still planning our wedding for summer of 2010, after the baby. We were considering getting married in a courthouse or small setting ourselves, then having our celebratory planned wedding in 2010, as planned.

Should we make sure to be married before the baby is born? Is it still acceptable to go through with our big wedding plans afterwards?

I would feel most comfortable if we were married when the baby is born, and since we were on that path anyways, I don’t feel as if we are rushing anything for the wrong reasons. I want to be able to hold my new baby with my husband the day he or she is born, not my “boyfriend/fiance.” Is it okay to still want to have my big family wedding afterwards?

This has been such a hard and confusing time, I would appreciate any advice or comments. Thank you.

Getting married in a courthouse is not a solution. It will only compound the problem by creating an illicit marriage. Since you have already been engaged seven months, ask your priest or deacon if you and your fiance can marry immediately in private, with two witnesses and perhaps your immediate families. If at some point you still want a big family celebration of your marriage, you or your parents can host a fancy reception in honor of your first anniversary.

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