I believe that many couples who are disturbed by this teaching haven’t yet experienced the Church as a meaningful community. I understand that, but they will certainly not if they stay away from church on that very important day.
The short answer to this question comes back to the degree to which a couple considers themselves to be Catholic. If I am Catholic, then it simply makes sense that I would desire to get married in a Catholic wedding. Catholic weddings happen in Catholic churches. Circular reasoning? Possibly.
Last thing. There are some exceptions to this. A bishop of a diocese may grant permission for a couple to marry outside a Catholic church building. Hopefully, he would only do this for serious reasons (really liking the outdoors is not a serious reason). God’s creation is His gift. You know that already. Why not have your reception outside and keep the church part in a church?
Father Mike Schmitz is the chaplain for Newman Catholic Campus Ministries at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He also serves as the Director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth. This column is a feature of bulldogcatholic.org and is published here with permission. You can submit questions to Fr. Mike at email@example.com. You can also listen to Fr. Mike’s homilies here and at iTunes .