From a reader:
I attended a wedding recently. A Catholic woman married an unbaptized man in what was just the blessing- not the full Nuptial Mass. The priest allowed (!) the unbaptized groom to omit the “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” from the vows. The bride recited the vows with the Tridentine formula. At the time I was shocked that the priest would allow this, but I think that he didn’t want to “rock the boat.” Is their marriage valid under these conditions?
The essential part of the marriage ritual is the exchange of consent.
Provided the baptized woman had a dispensation to marry a non-baptized man, if the bride and groom answered “I do” to the questions proposed by the priest (“Do you take N to be your wife, Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love her and honor her all the days of your life?” and the same, mutatis mutandis, for the bride), or if they stated their vows, “I N take you N for my lawful wife, etc.”, then the marriage is deemed valid.
Furthermore, the exchange of rings is not essential to the validity of the marriage. There are three options for this ritual in the book. It is permissible to omit this rite. The invocation of the Blessed Trinity is one option for the exchange of rings, which has no bearing on the validity of the matrimonial consent. The essential part of the marriage ritual is not the exchange of rings, but the exchange of consent.
I note that this took place outside of Holy Mass. The marriage of a Catholic to a non-Catholic should not take place during Mass. It sounds as though the priest knew what he was doing and was “saying the black and doing the red” of the nuptial rite appropriate for this occasion.
Perhaps you should thank him rather than rock his boat?