Need Help about wedding


My name is Alex and I am recent convert to the Church. I am 22 years old and my journey home was long and hective, especially in light of the fact that I was not raised Catholic, and the majority of my family is not Catholic. I am going to school right now at a community college and am graduating after Spring Semester. I plan to be a CHP officer after I recieve my B.A. I am also married (civilly) to a non-catholic woman. Now, I have been trying to grow in my faith, learn about it, and make it a part of my family. Here though, is my problem.

My wife, who is the daughter of Indian Sikh Immigrants, was thouroughly non-religious when we met. After time passed, she slowly started to accept my Catholic faith. Now we have been planning this Catholic wedding for three months with the assistance of her parents (my father has helped us enough already and my mother does not speak to her because my mother’s hatred toward catholics and indians), but they really do not care for it, for the real marriage they are concentrating for is the Sikh Punjabi wedding. Now, I am only doing that wedding because the parents wish it (I am not converting), but my wife not only has little faith to this day, but the Catholic wedding she is doing only to show off for her friends and have that “dream” wedding. Myself on the other hand, I view this wedding as a committment and sacrament instituted by Christ and protected by his Church. I see this wedding not as a “glamour” festival, but as one were two join together under god. My wife personally does not care for this (she has stated that the civil wedding was enough for her) and we argue over the meaning of the wedding and the importance that it has for me and herself. Personally, I feel that the wedding is absolutely important, but she does not herself. What can I do? Am I asking to much here? My goal has been to spread the Catholic faith to my nuclear family, and then to my kids. My wife has already stated that the kids can be catholic, but I wonder, if she has little regard for our catholic wedding, can she hold her promise in the future? She is not a bad person, but my future goals concerning the Church and her’s seem to be in conflict? Am i making to much of this?




since your wife has little religious conviction, and you have developed a strong one, she should defer to your convictions, at least with regard to yourself. Since you may not participate in the sacramental life of the Church until your civil marriage is convalidated–that is, vows exchanged in the presence of a priest or bishop–she should do this for your sake, so you can practice your religion. There is no need for a huge church wedding, it can be as simple as you, 2 witnesses and a priest Saturday afternoon, or after a regular Sunday Mass. So you can deep six that right from the get go. If she wants to use that as an occasion for a big party, fine. But you cannot have 2 weddings, so you can’t have the other ceremony.

You both will need to attend marriage prep classes for your Catholic wedding and as part of that will complete an interview similar to Focus, in which your feelings about important areas such as children, finances, family, vocation, faith etc. are brought out and discussed. You have a huge issue to deal with now on how the children will be raised, and if you don’t settle it now you will have fireworks later. The Catholic party must promise to raise the children of the marriage Catholic, and the other party must be informed of your obligation.

realistically, if you two do not even agree on the meaning and commitment of marriage, how can you possibly think you will find agreement on these other important issues as they arise? you are not even on the same page with your vision of marriage and family. there needs to be some counselling going on before this situation implodes.


You only get married once. The vows you took in the civil wedding are to all intents and purposes the same as the ones you would make as a Catholic. There’s just a bit of technicality to get through to make sure that they are actually binding, which in your case almost certainly they are.
Any celebration at convalidation should be very low key, and any Sikh Punjabi wedding must be cleared by the bishop - I am not sure what the rules are on this, but I suspect it is not allowed.


Don’t we have to know whether he was married BEFORE he converted? If he was, isn’t his marriage valid? Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to be baptized (or be Confirmed & receive Communion if he was being brought into full communion).



If you and your wife were married civilly before you were Catholic, your marriage is valid. There is no need for convalidation. Have you talked to your priest about this? I encourage you to talk to your priest and because if your marriage is already valid you cannot have another wedding in the Church.

Also, as has been stated, you cannot have another wedding in her faith.


As others said, go to the Church authorities. We can give advice and pointy-headed guesses, but it is ultimately not our call.




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