[quote="agapewolf, post:11, topic:274648"]
This is presumptuous to expect that the church will just take care of it after the fact.
This act is a very serious sin to marry outside the church. THey would not actually be married, and then in a public state of fornication. They couldn't receive any of the sacraments.
Look at it this way, they are choosing a cousin to "marry them" (although it would be a lie because its not a real marriage) over Jesus. NOT a good choice.
2 catholics marry in a mass... the mass is offered for the good of their marriage. The infinite graces from the Eucharist given to them, and then the sacramental graces from the marriage.
The cousin can be involved by doing a reading, reading the intercessions, just like any other lay person.
[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:12, topic:274648"]
What they might be able to do, is get married in a Catholic Church, by a Catholic priest, but have the relative do the readings. They will need to discuss all this with their priest as they begin marriage preparation. It is must easier to do things correctly from the start, rather than go back and try to fix things afterward. They, as Catholics, need to marry in the Church by a priest. Everything else, can be discussed.
[quote="ValPal, post:13, topic:274648"]
The Church will recognize the fact that a civil marriage is in place. The couple will not be married in the eyes of the Church. Since the Church does not consider the couple married, there is no marriage to recognize.
If the couple wishes to get married in the Catholic Church, they will be treated as if they are not married. They will have to prove they are free to marry (no prior marriages without annulments, etc.), attend pre-Cana, etc. There are additional issues with Catholic couples that are only civilly married, which includes abstaining from marital relations until a Church wedding takes place, and attending Confession prior to the wedding.
They are probably hard for you to read because you want your cousin to conduct the ceremony and it cannot be done, OP, but the above posts are accurate and spot on.