The ideal place for the celebration of marriage is in a church as it is appropriate to the solemnity of the occasion and recognises marriage as a Sacrament and a union before God. For Catholics, marriage is not just a social or family event, but an event of significance for the Christian community which witnesses and welcomes this new ‘domestic church’, the family. For this reason, the Church prefers that marriages between the baptised be celebrated in a parish church.

Marriage in gardens, on beaches etc. is discouraged by the Church because such celebrations can detract from the sacredness of the occasion. For special reasons, the bishop may permit the wedding to take place in a building or outdoor location which respects the dignity of the occasion, for example, a marriage between a Catholic and Muslim or one with no religious background. However, permission will not normally be given for a Catholic marriage to be conducted in ‘novelty’ locations.

Acknowledgements
Wedding photo on Unsplash

Reviewed
17 October 2019

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