Can we have a convalidation reception?

We were married in April 2013 in a small ceremony out of state. I am going through the RCIA program and want to have our marriage convalidated around our first anniversary, with a reception after. I am getting mixed reviews about how to word an invite or if I should even have a reception. Help.

Whether or not you have a party to celebrate your marriage convalidation is up to you. The reason you may be getting “mixed reviews” though is because people may not understand what a convalidation is. They may also be wondering about the status of your non-Catholic marriage. That is probably one reason why it is not customary to have a reception for a convalidation; a convalidation is a remedy for an invalid marriage, and it has not been common for people to make public that their marriages had not been valid up to that point.

If you go ahead with the reception, it might be prudent to limit the guest list to people who are already well aware of your situation and want to wish you well now that they know your marital status is being regularized. Since that will probably be a relatively small group of people, you could forgo formal invitations and write letters to your guests, inviting them to attend.

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