When at least one of individuals in an engaged couple is Catholic, wedding planning can include making arrangements to be married in a Catholic church. This is a significant decision and may require six to nine months of preparation. It means more than just choosing an appropriate and picturesque setting for the ceremony and the photos! You’re trying to make your wedding a meaningful and memorable experience and, most of all, to express in a clear and beautiful way the hopes you have for your married life.
Thoughtful, prayerful planning and participation in your Catholic wedding ceremony is a decision that will bring many blessings to your married life long after you’ve forgotten all the other decisions you made about flowers, photos, and favors on the tables!
The Catholic Church provides three different forms of celebrating the Rite of Marriage. When two Catholics are marrying, the celebration will normally take place within a Mass. The second form, which does not include a Mass, is used when a Catholic marries another baptized Christian. There is a third form, which also does not include a Mass, for a Catholic marrying someone who is a non-Christian. You should choose one of these forms in conversation with the priest or deacon who will witness your marriage vows. Watch the video to learn more about the Rite of Marriage.
Marriage preparation begins by contacting the parish in which you want to have your wedding. It’s important to talk with the parish priest, deacon or pastoral minister about the parish requirements for your current situation. Beginning early makes practical good sense and helps you to develop a relationship with a community that shares your faith and wants to support you in the sacrament you are about receive and live.
You may make a non-refundable deposit to reserve your date on the parish calendar but the pastor may delay or postpone the wedding if the marriage preparation is not complete.
Keep in mind, as you check numerous items off your pre-wedding “to-do” list, the well-known adage, “Your wedding lasts a day, but your marriage lasts a lifetime.”