Can I Have a Catholic Destination Wedding?

By Alice Nichols

In the age of social media, destination weddings have become increasingly popular among newlyweds-to-be. A destination wedding lets couples celebrate their love in a beautiful and exotic location, surrounded by their closest family and friends. But can these weddings also be Catholic?

The answer is a resounding yes! While there are some restrictions, Catholic couples can have a destination wedding as long as they meet the requirements of the Church.

First and foremost, couples should receive permission from their local diocese. This permission will depend on whether the diocese has an established presence in the destination country or not. If there is no presence, then your bishop must grant you permission to be married outside of your home parish.

Once approved, you will need to find a priest or deacon who is willing to officiate your marriage. The priest or deacon must be approved by your local diocese and must hold valid credentials for performing marriages in the destination country.

In addition to finding an officiant, couples must also secure a marriage license from their home state or jurisdiction prior to leaving for their destination wedding. It is important to note that most countries require couples to reside in that country for several days before they can obtain a marriage license from that jurisdiction. Therefore, couples should plan accordingly when choosing their wedding date and venue.

The last requirement for having a Catholic destination wedding is that you must use appropriate liturgies during your ceremony that comply with Church teachings and traditions. This includes readings from scripture during Mass if desired, as well as traditional vows and music selections for the ceremony itself. Couples should consult with their officiant to ensure all liturgical elements are properly chosen and executed.

Destination weddings can make for some of the most beautiful celebrations of love imaginable; however, it’s important that all couples planning such events understand the requirements associated with having a Catholic destination wedding first. With proper planning and preparation, coupled with proper adherence to Church doctrine, these weddings can be both meaningful and memorable experiences for everyone involved.


Can I have a Catholic Destination Wedding? Absolutely! With careful planning and adherence to Church doctrine it’s possible to have an amazing religious ceremony while surrounded by loved ones in an exotic location.