Catholic Weddings Outdoors

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Celebrate your Wedding wherever you want!

Many people believe that they cannot celebrate a valid Catholic wedding outside of a Roman Catholic Church.  This is NOT true.

What is true is that Roman Catholic priests are not permitted, without the express permission of their bishop, to officiate an outdoor wedding.  With the shortage of priests and the demand for weddings, they would be out all weekend and never have time to minister to their people, so that permission is rarely given.

However, what is also true is that there are many Independent Catholic Priests, validly ordained and available to minister and officiate throughout the world.

Welcome to the network of Independent Catholic Churches!

The Independent Catholic Churches, while not in communion with Rome largely over the dogma of Papal Infallibility, are recognized as having validly ordained priests. 

This particular site is maintained by Father Kevin Yell, a priest of the American Catholic Church ( serving at the Ainsworth House & Gardens near Portland, Oregon.  (


So will my marriage be recognized by the Catholic Church?

If you are able to be married in the Roman Catholic Church but choose not to, then your outdoor (or other venue) ceremony officiated by an independent Catholic priest can be "convalidated" afterwards in a Roman Catholic parish. 

You may have to go through the diocesan pre-marriage classes, but these are generally good to do anyway and we recommend them, although do not hold them as essential.

What if it's not that simple....

Many couples these days are marrying across religious, ethnic and "status" lines, such as being divorced.  Plus more same-sex couples want to enter into marriage covenants, even though they have little or no legal status as yet.

Priests of the American Catholic Church, and of most other Independent Catholic Churches, will not hold these issues as barriers to celebrating your marriage. 

Fr. Kevin has personally worked frequently with couples combining the world's major religous traditions and in varying stages of life and transition, including with hospice patients, same-sex couples, and blended families.

Catholic Theology of Marriage ~ Under God's Own Sky

In traditional Catholic Theology the priest does not marry the couple, they marry each other.  The couple are the ministers of the sacrament to each other, the priest is the witness and the one who, in the name of the Community, holds the couple accountable before their families, friends and God.

The American Catholic Church, along with many other Catholic communities, affirms this long-standing theology of union and applies it without unnecessary restraints, such as church buildings.  We are able to make ourselves available to help you prepare, celebrate the day, and walk with you, as you need it, through the years ahead.

To enquire about a Catholic wedding at the Ainsworth House & Gardens, 25 minutes from Portland's International Airport, contact Fr. Kevin at the link below.  For contacts around the country, see our "Links" page.