We have a family wedding in Dec, and have found out that the couple is not going to have the wedding in the Catholic Church, but have asked a family member ( a catholic) to preside over the ceremony and have been informed that this person has been ordained to accomplish this feat. Does this sound off balance?
You are correct that something is amiss. Permission can be received to have a marriage outside the Catholic Church. Permission for such situations is usually when one of the spouses is not Catholic and wishes to be married in their faith community. Catholic laity are not granted permission to receive vows outside of extraordinary circumstances (e.g. lack of clergy in an area). I would highly doubt that this is a wedding that has the appropriate permissions and dispensations.
It sounds to me that someone got “ordained” through the internet and is going to civilly perform the wedding.