EWTN Catholic Q&A
Daughter's wedding
Question from Anonymous on 02-27-2013:

I have a question about my 27-year-old daughter's upcoming wedding. What are we as parents and practicing Catholics to do about a daughter who refuses to marry in the Church, doesn't want a traditional marriage at all, and is in fact marrying at a beach with a civil ceremony? Both my daughter and her fiance were brought up in the Church, received their sacraments, but during high school and college gave up their faith. I don't want to alienate them but I find myself on the brink of doing something I don't really want to do or say.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 02-27-2013:


If your daughter and her fiance are lapsed Catholics who refuse to follow Catholic marital law, then their marriage will be presumptively invalid. I can only recommend to you and your husband that you refuse to have anything to do with the wedding, including attending or paying for it. If your daughter is upset, explain to her that her choices have consequences and that, if it is important to her for you to be at her wedding, she should have agreed to a ceremony in which you could participate in good conscience.

It sounds to me like it is your daughter who is deliberately alienating herself from you and your family. Do not allow her to shift onto you the burden of responsibility for her decision to thumb her nose at the Church.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers