Should I attend a Catholic's civil wedding?

I have an unusual situation. My goddaughter, whose baptism I joyfully witnessed 5 years ago when she was a graduate student, has decided to marry a fellow Catholic who is only recently divorced from his wife. He is not seeking an annulment at the present time but is considering it for the future. My goddaughter and I are good friends, and I have indicated my love for her but my disapproval of the wedding without seeking an annulment. Her local Catholic priest supports the wedding because of the great love she and her fiance share. She won’t get married in the church until the annulment, but she is going to have a civil ceremony this summer, and she wants me to be there. Can I be there? I want to show her my love, but I don’t approve of this wedding. Her faith is tenuous, and I am afraid that my refusal to attend will end our relationship and possibly lead her away from the faith.


These links should be helpful for deciding if you want to go to your goddaughter’s civil wedding. I also included some information you might want to lovingly share with her should the opportunities arise. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

Recommended Reading:
What do I do when my daughter plans to re-marry before annulment?

Should I attend a civil marriage between two Catholics?
Can I attend the civil wedding of two baptized Catholics?
What are the rules for attending weddings?
Why doesn’t the Church forbid Catholic attendance at invalid marriages?

May a couple start pre-Cana before an annulment is granted?
Can I date a man who is waiting for an annulment?
Why can’t I be forgiven for marrying my first husband?

What are options when my non-Catholic fiance doesn’t want to seek annulment?
I married a divorced man. What about Communion?
Husband won’t get annulment from his first wife. Is there anything I can do?

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