My niece is getting married outside the church. She was baptized catholic, but my sister never raised both of my nieces in the faith.
It also saddens me that the individual that is going to officiate at this ceremony will be a woman.
I plan on going to the reception and not the ceremony, but I’m only doing this in order to tell my niece that she should consider finding a local church and talk to the priest about returning to the faith. I want to plant some seeds and pray that what I say to her will be a start in the right direction. I don’t want to dump to much information on her and confuse her either.
I am in the exact situation as you. My niece was baptized but my sister also did not raise her in the faith. My niece is getting married next year on a beach outside the United States.
I sought advice from two different priests on the internet then spoke with my parish priest face to face about the situation. All three priests gave me the same advice.
If by telling your niece (and her family) that having her wedding outside the Church will cause all “bridges to be burned” in your relationship where there will be no more communication between you, you should attend the wedding. By attending the wedding, you are not condoning their actions but you are showing your love for them. You are keeping the lines of communication open so you can still talk to them about returning to the Church and their faith. The ultimate goal is to get them to return to God, to see that they need the Church, her sacraments, and God’s mercy…their salvation.
In the meantime, all you can do is pray for them as much as you can. Prayers to God, Mary and St. Monica.
In my humble opinion, the reception is not a time and place to do this. I would wait until after the ceremony to discuss this with them. I am sure you will be kind, patient and understanding.
As I have said, I am in the exact same situation. All I can do is pray, invite them to Mass and glorify God by my life. Don’t give up hope and I pray everything works out.