Questions about marriage


I’m a recently confirmed Catholic (through RCIA). I have a few questions about the sacrament of marriage :rolleyes:

Can a baptized couple who has gotten pregnant before getting married be married into the Catholic Church? (I think I know the answer to this, but I am curious about the details).

What does the church say about a baptized couple that has eloped and then wants to marry in the church later?? (Definitely not saying i would want this, but I realized I didn’t know any catholics who have ever eloped).

Thanks in advance!


In answer to the first part of your question, Yes they can get married providing there are no previous marriages etc. If a couple were married civilly and there are no other impediments there is a one year waiting period. In some cases they may still be required to attend classes also,


Yes, most definitely…and it probably happens more often than we realize. Seriously, if the couple meets all the requirements, i.e. both free to marry, have received adequate marriage preparation, not being pressured to marry just because of the pregnancy, etc., then they can be married as simply and quietly or as publicly and elaborately as they wish. I know some diocese however will require specific counselling and even a waiting period depending on the individual circumstances in the case of the pregnancy, especially if the couple is quite young.

The Church say " you guys really should not have done it that way but what’s done is done. Now let’s proceed with getting your invalid marriage (con)validated."


The reason for the wait is that the Church wants to make as sure as possible that the couple is marrying for the right reasons. Marriage is a life-long commitment. Pregnancies can happen to a couple who does intend a permanent, life long relations ship.

However, it is reality that all too often, people who have engaged in intercourse prior to marriage are in a situation in which one party may be far more committed to the other person, than that other person is. That is, one of them (or both) may be far more interested in the sexual aspect of the relationship than any other aspect of it. And all too often it is the male who is simply drifting along, enjoying the sex but making no commitment of any significance.

And then, “Oops” happens, and now we have a mother who wants to keep her child, but a father who is not interested in or committed to being a father and a husband. And if they decide to get married, there is a very real possibility tht one, or both of them might be seeing marriage as a way to legitimize the child, but not a lot more. And again, too often, these marriages end up in divorce.

It is not that the couple - or either of them - is trying to make a mockery of marriage; but rather that the circumstances too often are indicative of a serious lack of commitment to what marriage is supposed to be. And lacking that commitment is a fairly good indicator that the marriage may not be built on a firm foundation, and therefore at higher risk of divorce.

So, yes, they can get married, but the Church needs to guide them and to help them discern why they want to marry, and that takes time.


To your first question, yes.
to your second question , yes. other poster have indicated a waiting period, but there is really not any. Most priest and deacons will require wedding prep before doing a validation and that can take several months, it will all depend on your individual circumstances.

My peace and Blessings
Deacon Frank


Just to reaffirm, it’s never to say that the Church is bullying people by not letting them get married since they are pregnant. The Church isn’t wagging her finger and saying “go away, you!” She simply identifies that pregnancy can be an impediment to a valid marriage-- people can feel pressured into marriage by the pregnancy, and that can invalidate it. She wants the marriage to be holy and sacramental, not vain and coerced.


My own parents eloped. Mom wasn’t pregnant but they, as adults, married without their parent’s permission.

They were later married in the Church. By that time my mom *was *pregnant with my sister.


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