What about an outdoor wedding?


Hello to All

My Name Is Vincent I come from a Large Catholic family. I have a close Uncle who is a Monsignor in the state of New York, he has always been there for us for every occasion, Weddings, Funerals, baptisms, communions & Conformations. My Brother who is my Uncle’s God Son, just got engaged and plans to marry in Aug 2007. His Fiancee is Protestant and does not wish to convert to Catholicism at this time. She has always dreamed of an outdoor wedding and for as long as I known her, that’s all she talked about. Little did we know that a Catholic Church does not perform out door weddings, None of us realized my uncle would not be able to perform the ceremony. My Uncle has tried everything he could to change my Brothers and Fence’s mind but was unsuccessful. This Hurts my Uncle very much. In your own opinion, what would be the best way for my Uncle who is a Catholic Priest to handle this situation? Although he is being excluded to perform a Catholic wedding, keep in mind that he is a close Uncle & God Father of my Brother and we Love & Respect him very Much. We as a Family Must Respect My Brother and His Fiancee Decision as well . Would it be better for my Uncle to just attend the reception Only? Or Should he not attend the whole entire wedding? What does the Catholic Church expect My Uncle to do in this unfortunate situation?
Your opinion on this subject is greatly appreciated.


Hi Vincent,

(Good Name!) So far your uncle has tried for a Catholic wedding. It may be possible to have a Protestant wedding in deference to the Protestant bride. With the permission of the Catholic Church this could happen and the Church would recognize the marriage as valid. You uncle would then be allowed to assist the minister. Since there are no restrictions about outdoor weddings for Protestants, the wedding could be outside. But and this is a big but, they have to get permission from the diocese. Your brother needs to see his parish priest about this right away. I hope this works, because if it doesn’t, you can’t support your brother if he chooses to enter into an invalid marriage. Your family does not owe him respect if he chooses to sin! So pray that he can get the dispensation! I will pray also.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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