Wedding away from home parish



My fiancée and I are from separate hometowns, but now live in the same city. She is from a small village in Newfoundland, where none of her family live anymore. Most of her family is either working out West, or scattered across the province.

We had wanted to have our wedding in her home province, in the largest city on the island. We decided this as travel is quite a consideration for family and friends on both sides of the aisle. The city we chose is a happy medium for all involved.

We have since had trouble finding a priest to marry us. We are both Catholic, and our priest here had told us it usually isn’t a big deal getting married outside your parish. We are finding that the opposite is true. The churches we have contacted have told us they can allow us the building, but cannot guarantee us a priest. They also let us know they cannot help us find a priest.

Is this a common parochial rule?


You must have permission from your priest to marry outside your parish/diocese. It sounds like you are in Canada - not sure how things would work for you there. I would suggest speaking with your own parish priest and see if he will marry you in the other location - he may be willing to do this if he is able.



We have received permission from our parish priest to marry outside the area. We will conduct our marriage preparation with him, although the wedding itself will be in Newfoundland.

I am unsure whether our parish priest could officiate. It is a two day drive to Newfoundland from where we are, or a 3 hour, two-stop flight. I am also unsure whether we would be expected to pay for his flight and lodging for our wedding.


Patrick, I’m in NL. You want to get married in St. John’s I take it. What parish did you have in mind? It may well be that they have so many marriages booked that their priests cannot accommodate more at the time you wish to marry. Did you try all the parishes?
Corpus Christi
Mary, Queen of Peace
St. John Bosco
St John the Baptist (Basilica)
St Kevin
St Patrick
St Paul
St Pius X
St Theresa
St Joseph
Mary, Queen of the World – Mount Pearl
St Peter – Mount Pearl

It definitely is your responsibility to find a priest to marry you when you want to get married in a parish not your own.


If you cannot find a priest in the local city who will confirm that he is available to perform the marriage, then yes you would need to bring your own (and that priest will need a letter from the diocese stating he is in good standing) and yes, you would need to offer to pay for all of his expenses.


In the U.S. if a priest is from out of state he must have authorization from the state, as well as the diocese, to perform the marriage. This is routine in most states, however Nevada does not grant the right to clergy from out of state.

We have a 12x24 inch document signed by the Governor, Secretary of State and two commissioners of Massachusetts authorizing my wife’s uncle, from New York, to marry us.


The same is true in Canada. If the OP wants his priest from another province to marry them, the Archbishop of St. John’s would have to apply to the province for the priest to be licensed to perform marriages.

I’ve already run into this kind of mess when a former pastor went home to Ontario on holidays and celebrated his niece’s wedding – a few months later the phone calls started flying back and forth between Vital statistics in Ont. and the pastor. He’d assumed that since he’d been licensed in that province before moving here he was still licensed there. Ooops, not so. Don’t know how that one turned out but I don’t think celebrant/bride/groom were very happy campers for a while.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit