[quote=Ghosty]I want to preface everything I say with the disclaimer that I’m a layman and not a Canon Lawyer or theologian, and everything here represents my faulty understanding.
I’m not a Canon Lawyer or theologian either, but I don’t think a valid marraige can exist without a Priest or Deacon. I followed your link to the Catechism:
***- Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church; ***
- Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children;
- Since marriage is a state of life in the Church, certainty about it is necessary (hence the obligation to have witnesses); - The public character of the consent protects the “I do” once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it.
The bold, italicised sentences make me think you may be in error.
I may be wrong, but marraige is a sacrement and can only be performed by a Priest or Deacon, marraige is a sacrement. I liken your thoughts about them being married in the eyes of God to those who prescribe to the fact that if you are really sorry for your sins, and pray for forgiveness, your sins are forgiven and you don’t need to go to a Priest, well, they aren’t forgiven until you go to confession.
Give me your thoughts on your interpretation of the Catechisim here, maybe I’m missing something!