When your fiancé isn’t Catholic

Your Life
Cynthia Kaan
April, 2017

Wedding bells are ringing. Birds are singing. It’s time to plan the details surrounding the day you say YES to the love of your life. But what do you do when one side of the family is not particularly fond of the Catholic Church? Here are a few suggestions that might make it a little easier on everyone.

  • Decide with your future spouse which details are negotiable and which are not. Being married in a Catholic church is a non-negotiable, but there are some details that can be flexible and could include input from family members.
  • Ask your future in-laws what specific concerns they have regarding the wedding. Listen respectfully. This may be an opportunity to dispel some inaccurate assumptions they have regarding Catholics. Practice grace and understanding.
  • Speak with the priest who will be blessing your wedding. Let him know the guests will be from mixed religious backgrounds and find out if he is open to making his message one that will be ecumenical as well as Catholic in nature.
  • Consider forgoing the Mass. Especially if your spouse-to-be is not Catholic, having a Catholic wedding ceremony, rather than a full Mass, may be a better option. You will avoid making your non-Catholic guests feel left out, and you will receive Christ in the Eucharist when you attend Mass as a married couple later that same weekend.

Remember: Your wedding day is the beautifully adorned doorway that blesses the long road of marriage ahead. Prayerfully prepare your relationship for marriage throughout the planning process, and God will bless the details and the attitudes around them.