Catholic Marriage Preparation Guidelines
God’s blessings upon your engagement! Just as you have a checklist of items needed to plan for your wedding and reception, you will also need a checklist for the Sacrament of Marriage within the Catholic Church. Take the time to complete each of these steps in the order suggested. Doing so will ensure complete and meaningful formation.
- Give gratitude to God for the love that He has given to you as a couple. Pray together for His mercy and grace throughout your engagement.
- Make an appointment with your parish priest or deacon as soon as you are engaged but not less than 6 months in advance of your tentative wedding date. At the initial meeting:
_____ Begin the pre-nuptial form and other necessary paperwork.
_____ Set rehearsal date & time. Inform your wedding party to follow your parish’s guidelines.
_____ If available, preview the marriage policy for the parish and diocese.
For optimal preparation, please use the below “complete by” guidelines:
_____6 months before the wedding – Complete Natural Family Planning education course.
(Required for all couples of childbearing years. Allow 6-8 weeks from start to finish.)
_____ 5 months before the wedding – Complete online FOCCUS inventory or other pre-marriage inventory & meet with Facilitator (couple) for 2-3 follow-up sessions.
_____ 4 months before the wedding – Attend Married Love: Two Becoming One retreat.
_____ 3 months before the wedding –Plan your liturgy under the guidance of your pastor.
_____ 3 months before the wedding – Contact parish musician to approve music.
_____ 3 months before the wedding – Obtain copies of baptismal certificates.
_____ 2 months before the wedding – Make a final visit with the pastor to
finalize plans for rehearsal and wedding ceremony
_____ Ask about and make needed payments to the parish.
_____ Schedule the Sacrament of Reconciliation
(Confession) within one month of your wedding.
What Exactly is Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
Why Should We Get Married In a Church?
Counting the Days Until Marriage, Not the Wedding
The countdown is not just for that day – it’s for a lifetime together. No wedding planner or Pinterest board can prepare us for that.