EWTN Catholic Q&A
Small Catholic wedding before
Question from Joseph on 01-23-2013:

An answer for those brides wishing a "beach" wedding is to get married in a small Catholic wedding to please the family and then have a beach or "wedding space" wedding with a priest or other official. Many people do this backward, and that is why they have to have invalid marriages validated, but the Church would approve the first course better.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 01-23-2013:


No, I'm sorry, but that is absolutely not a solution. A couple can only get married once. Weddings are not supposed to be theater productions with shows in different venues for different audiences. When a couple who is civilly married gets their marriage convalidated in the Catholic Church, they are not "remarrying" with different props and a clergyman instead of a civil official filling the role of Wedding Presider. What they are doing is marrying for the first time. An invalid attempt at marriage, recognized by the state as legal but not recognized by the Church as valid, is made into a valid marriage.

The best solution would be for couples to stop placing more importance on the Romance of Their Day than they do on the importance of marrying according to the laws and customs of their professed religion. Failing that, a Catholic couple who wants to celebrate their marriage on the beach should get married in a Catholic church and then host either their wedding reception or an anniversary celebration at a beachfront venue.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers