Just Said Yes September 2020

Catholic ceremony and outside ceremony with officiant?

Alyson, on July 18, 2019 at 10:37 AM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 0 9
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Hi! So me and my FH want to have an outside wedding but still want to be involved with the Catholic church somehow. We were thinking about doing a small ceremony at the church before the wedding with just our parents then having the outside ceremony with an officiant. Has anyone done this before? When we talked to a priest he said we couldn't have 2 ceremonies because it would confuse the state. Not sure if there is a work around to have the outside ceremony not "official"?

Anyone else have this issue or any suggestions? Thanks!


  • Kelly
    Super October 2019
    Kelly ·
    I’m doing this. The Catholic ceremony will be a few days before the outdoor celebration (3 days before). The priest will sign the marriage certificate at the Catholic ceremony. The officiant of the outdoor ceremony will not sign the marriage license. It’s not common on the forms, but it’s common enough in my area - as the priest, DOC & officiant of the outside ceremony are able to easily accommodate this request.
  • Mandi
    Rockstar March 2020
    Mandi ·
    The priest is just being controlling. You can definitely do this. You get one marriage license, one official signs it, you guys sign it and you turn it into the state. The state really doesn't give a hoot if you have 73 ceremonies, they care about getting your money for your marriage license, it being properly signed and filed. Once.
  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
    You only fill out the lisence once. I'd have the preist just do it so you don't confuse him. Then you tell the officiant you just want a ceremony and don't need to fill out the paperwork.
    You may be able to inquire about asking for a Catholic Deacon to preform the outdoor ceremony and do a blessing as well, they would only do one ceremony and sign the paperwork. That is if deacons are allowed to in your area.
  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah Online ·
    If you’re getting married in the church and want the church to recognize the marriage, the priest signs your marriage license and then you can have as many ceremonies as you want but you wouldn’t have any additional licenses. Make sure whoever is doing your second, outdoor ceremony knows they aren’t performing the legal ceremony so they aren’t concerned about the license not being there.
  • Catherine
    Dedicated September 2019
    Catherine ·

    Just have the priest sign the marriage certificate. And the outdoor ceremony can be preformed by anyone since it doesn't need to be official. You can have a friend or family member marry you without them have to file the license for you, and save money on an officiant.

  • Chandra
    Master May 2019
    Chandra ·
    This happens a lot in the Mormon church.
    The couples will get married and be sealed in the temple with all their temple worthy guests. then they'll often have a ring ceremony & vows after "for show" so ALL guests can be there for it and then have the reception.

  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    Well the issue is you can’t get LEGALLY married twice. Either the priest or the outside officiant will sign the license, but it can’t be both— probably more or less what he meant, but I would also expect the church to want to preside over the official marriage. An outside ceremony is fine but strictly speaking it would be a vow renewal— which simply means your officiant won’t be signing the certificate or legally marrying you, but you’re restating your vows. They may in this case want to change some language around in their script to indicate that theirs is the “symbolic ceremony”
  • T
    Dedicated September 2019
    Teresa ·

    I believe it depends on the church you are part of but, I believe they now do recognize outdoor ceremonies. The only difference is that it's not a full mass, so there's no communion.

    I think your priest was thinking you'd have two wedding certificates for one couple. You'd have to explain to the officiant that there's no need for the wedding to be recognized because you've already had one.

    To me, it seems kind of complicated.

  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
    In my culture we have something called the tea ceremony and that can be done at one house or both the bride and the groom's house (making two tea ceremonies) often times if you're Christian too you'll also have the regular church ceremony. So there's been weddings I've seen that have a tea ceremony and then a church ceremony.

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