I’m a senior in college and my catholic faith is very important to me. However, I live in an area of the country that does not have large populations of catholics. I’ve been in a serious relationship, though I’m not in one now, with a non-catholic where the topic of what marriage and a wedding would involve for me, being catholic. Ideally, I want the full Catholic treatment, and would love to marry a practicing catholic, but that may not be how things happen for me. When I do marry, I want it to be a sacrament and it be official, but I don’t necessarily want to only date catholic girls or girls that from the beginning don’t have a problem converting, as those seem hard to come by around here. I’ve been recently dating a girl that asked this kind of question of me. She’s great; she and I are very compatible, we have the same values, she would not be opposed to her children being raised in the Church, but she’s Methodist, and said she wouldn’t want a catholic wedding. She joked that we won’t get married then, but it got me thinking that I don’t know what weddings or marriages involve for me, and while she was joking, and I’m not considering marriage right now with anyone, I would want to be able to have this conversation seriously with a woman, when I begin to think about it and I want to have answers to these questions. I obviously do not know as much as I want to, and I’ve read alot but am still unclear about certain things.
Do I have to have a Catholic wedding with a mass and official ceremony for it to be recognized?
What would I, and my fiancee, have to do if I were going to marry a non-catholic?
What exactly is minimally required for it to be recognized?
I just want to have good information on the topic of weddings and marriage between catholics and non-catholics so when it comes up I don’t sabotage a great relationship with potential, which unfortunately has happened before. I know this is long, but thank you