Does the Catholic Church allow Catholic weddings (i.e. weddings canonically recognized by the Catholic Church) to take place outdoors, even if one of the couple is not Catholic? If so, is there any specific permission that must be granted to ensure the wedding is recognized, and must this permission be granted by Church officials where the couple lives, or where the wedding will take place?


Can. 1118 §1. A marriage between Catholics or between a Catholic party and a non-Catholic baptized party is to be celebrated in a parish church. It can be celebrated in another church or oratory with the permission of the local ordinary or pastor.

§2. The local ordinary can permit a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place.

Thus, according to §2, you would need permission from the "local ordinary" (bishop) to have a wedding somewhere other than in a Catholic church.

  • However (even though the questioner doesn't specifically ask this) it's also clear that only one party is Catholic; there's also the impediment of disparity of cult or at least mixed marriage. Since the question is "What do they need to do to have this marriage recognized by the Church?", should this be mentioned? Nov 29 '16 at 18:50
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    @MattGutting It seems §1 covers that (at least implicitly).
    – Geremia
    Nov 29 '16 at 19:39
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    @MattGutting There is only disparity of cult (and a need for dispensation) if the non-Catholic party is non-baptized. (You do need a permission to marry a non-Catholic Christian, but not obtaining one does not affect validity.) Nov 30 '16 at 7:09
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    @AthanasiusOfAlex understood, which is why I said there may be either that or a mixed marriage (though I have probably forgotten the term; I had meant a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized Christian non-Catholic). Either way there's another step to be gone through. Nov 30 '16 at 11:22
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    You can also get a dispensation of form to get married according to non-Catholic rite (which could include outdoor ceremonies if the religion of the non-Catholic spouse permits it routinely)
    – eques
    Nov 30 '16 at 17:39

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