[quote="bonnie0187, post:1, topic:280351"]
My husband and I got married a year ago by a civil union out of state due to the fact that he was still int he military and it was hard for us to have a formal wedding as we were apart from one another due to myself finishing up school. We want to have a formal traditional ceremony/mass in the Catholic church now that he is home so we can celebrate our marriage with our family and friends the way that we wanted to truly have it. Is this still possible?
I know I have looked into it and have seen that the marriage has to be convalidated as it is not the proper way for a Catholic to get married. Does this mean that we cannot have a true ceremony? If this is the case what would we have to do to do so?
Would we have to have the marriage annulled or a divorce and then get re-married by the church? We are willing to go to all means and do whatever it takes to have our marriage approved by the Catholic church and to have the proper marriage and wedding cermony.
This is a very important subject to us and is something we would like to make sure is taken care of in the proper and appropriate manner.
The Catholic Church considers every legal marriage valid [Canon 1060], unless accepted as invalid, by the diocesan tribunal.
The Catholic Church does not accept your marriage as invalid, simply because you had a civil marriage.
The marriage is not invalid solely due to no priest or deacon witnessing it.
The Church recognizes your civil marriage.
The Church and Christ see you as husband and wife.
The vows themselves you expressed to each other are sacramental [Canon 1057], no priest or deacon is required to be present.
As a Catholic, you are not prohibited from any other Sacrament, including the Eucharist, because of your civil marriage.
To move to annul your civil marriage, by petitioning for a declaration of nullity, is not simple, and may fail.
Catholic nullity does not affect any current legal ligaments to the civil marriage.
And do you really want to annul it, certainly the Church does not, though it provides access?
Better to seek convalidation of your civil marriage where annulment is not necessarily required.
There will be many well meaning Catholics who will challenge me on the above points, and that is all well and good for them.
Hopefully you will talk directly to your priest or bishop to clarify the options for your intentions, given your particulars.
I hope all goes well, for both of you.