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How To Prepare For A Catholic Wedding

Less Than 4 Months Before The Wedding

How Single Catholics Can Prepare for the Vocation of Marriage

Here are the things you must prepare:

  • Guestlist according to your budget and the heads you have ordered for your food
  • Invitation the names of the principal and secondary sponsors, entourage, include church readers and offerers
  • Already have down or full payment with suppliers
  • Shop for accessories, heels, shoes, etc.
  • You have already started processing for your marriage license and church requirements

Available Catholic Marriage Preparation Programs:

Note: The marriage preparation you are attending must be approved by your parish priest.

The Joy-Filled Marriage Program is the archdiocesan-sponsored marriage prep program offered at the Chancery. Part I: Living a Joy-Filled Marriage A Virtue-based Life-Skills Program. Part II: Gods Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage A Catechesis and Sacramental-based Program. The Joy-Filled Marriage program is offered in two parts taken on two separate Saturdays: Living a Joy-Filled Marriage, that approaches life-skills through an emphasis on virtue and Gods Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage that presents the sacramentality of marriage. Attendance at both programs completes marriage preparation. Couples will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the second Saturday workshop.

Witness to Love Marriage Prep Renewal Ministry is a marriage prep program in the Marriage Catechumenate model.

For more information and registration please click here.

Catholic Marriage Prep Online is the only one-on-one, interactive, mentor-led, on-demand, online pre-cana program. Anchored in John Paul IIs Theology of the Body and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is a great resource to enhance your marriage preparation or improve your marriage.

For more information please visit:

Nuptial Blessing And Dismissal Of Congregation

The guests will stand as the priest recites a final prayer, or concluding rite, and blesses the new union as well as the entire congregation. At this moment, the marriage license may be signed, but that may vary depending on the couple’s preferences. The priest will then dismiss the assembly.

From this point, the recessional, or exit from the ceremony, takes place in the reverse order of the processional beginning with the newlyweds and bridal party. The recessional may sometimes include the ministers too, and it is usually conducted to a song of the couple’s choosing. A wedding reception, or cocktail hour, will usually commence shortly afterward.

Also Check: Where To Put Attire On Wedding Invitation

The Perceived Effectiveness Of The Marriage Preparation

According to the Journal of Family Psychology, nearly 30% of couples experienced higher levels of satisfaction after taking part in premarital education. And, almost 30% decrease in the probability of divorce has been witnessed over five years.

Nearly, 25% of couples have cited that lack of adequate premarital counseling or marriage preparation before their marriage is one of the reasons for divorce.

One of the potential benefits of Catholic marriage preparation is that such premarital counseling helps couples to reconsider their plans before starting their marriage.

But, respondents of the same study commented that, Premarital counseling teaches you how you get along, and that you should communicate, but it doesnt really talk about the phases of a marriage over time.

One of the reasons being couples usually participate in these premarital counseling or marriage preparation programs close to their wedding dates. Now, this is a time when ending the same relationship may be especially difficult.

Despite the figures, Catholic marriage preparation has its own set of benefits.

But this again has a restricted shelf-life, and the value of marriage preparation declines significantly over time. In the first year of marriage, 93.8% of respondents agreed such an experience added value to their marriage.

But, in the second year of marriage, the percentage declined to a mere figure of just 78.4%.

You can refer to any Catholic marriage preparation books.

Creating A Catholic Wedding Program

Religious Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony in Tuscany

Wedding programs can be a great help to your guestsespecially those who are not familiar with the Catholic liturgy, which encourages the active participation of everyone. Providing your guests with wedding programs that contain the service music and the assembly’s responses can help them celebrate your wedding more fully.


  • Books:Books with sample Catholic wedding programs

Recommended Reading: What Is Needed To Officiate A Wedding

Catholic Wedding Ceremony Music Is Liturgical

The music we use in church is different than what you hear on the radio because it is specifically written for Catholic liturgy, that is, its liturgical music. Not only does liturgical music have lyrics that fit the theme of the liturgy, but more importantly, liturgical music needs to fulfill the specified function of each part of the liturgy. Every liturgy has assigned words and actions that happen in a specific order. The music used during the liturgy must serve the liturgy so that the music fits the purpose, length, and assigned texts, if any, for each particular moment.

Your church staff can give you a full list of all the parts of your wedding liturgy, but here are some of the most important parts that call for music:


Opening Procession: Catholic Wedding Processional Songs

The opening procession sets the mood and begins the ceremony, but, liturgically, its also meant to unite us and remind us that God draws us together through the love of Christ and the love of the wedding couple. At Sunday Mass, everyone sings a song for the opening procession. Thats also the norm for the opening procession of a wedding.

Communion Procession: Catholic Wedding Communion Songs

The Communion procession is similar in that its purpose is to express the unity of the assembly who come to the altar to share in Communion. The song during this procession should express our union in Christ who feeds us and nourishes us with his Body and Blood.

Responsorial Psalm

Knowing What You Need To Prepare

img source: warmkaroo.com

Its said that getting married isnt a stroll in the park, no matter how exciting the journey may be. It involves extensive planning, preparation, and effort on both sides to make it work. Catholic weddings, in particular, do have specific requirements that you need to know about to ensure that everything goes well as planned.

Here are some things you need to know and prepare as you plan for your Catholic wedding:

If you havent yet, make time for praying together every day. Now more than ever, you need guidance and direction from God as you embark on this new and wonderful journey as a soon-to-wed catholic couple.

Read Also: How Much Should I Spend On A Wedding Ring

Wedding Planner Or Coordinator

  • Talk about the packages, cost, and flow of the wedding
  • Ask if they can provide decoration for the motif or theme you want check sample pictures or show them a picture of what you want and if they can do it
  • You can also ask for suggestions if they know suppliers like caterings, venues, or hotels
  • Check also how many are the staff included since you need to add this in the catering
  • Dont settle for the first coordinator you can also go to another one or two and choose who you feel would give you the best wedding

What If My Spouse And I Got Married Outside The Catholic Church But We Want To Get It Recognized Now

PRAYER FOR WEDDING PREPARATION – Prayer Points for Marriage Preparation

Here, the process is fairly simple. Contact your local pastor, and he will likely take you through some questions, get copies of your baptismal certificates, and all that jazz. Second, you will likely go through some kind of marriage preparation, just like any other couple who is getting ready for the Sacramental celebration of marriage. Finally, you will have some kind of public ceremony where you will exchange consent before one another, the Churchs minister, and at least two witnesses. Youre done!

Also Check: Where Can I Get My Wedding Dress Cleaned And Boxed

Natural Family Planning Overview Session

In Natural Family Planning , the couple understands, accepts and uses their God-given phases of fertility and infertility for the purpose of achieving or avoiding pregnancy. In this way, the unitive and procreative, the love-giving and life-giving meanings of sexual intercourse are maintained together in a responsible way. The NFP component for marriage preparation is to be a minimum of one full hour of information and discussion provided by an individual or couple with specific training and expertise in NFP. A certificate of attendance will be given to the couple and must be submitted to the pastor or his delegate.A current list of NFP instructors in the Sacramento area is available at www.scddec.org/natural-family-planning. If an instructor is not available from this list, the couple may receive this introductory class from a certified instructor outside of the Diocese in either a live class setting or on-line.

Diocesan approved online NFP courses can be done either through the

Creighton Model Intro Session. This is a one-hour Introductory Session offered via Zoom with a Certified FertilityCare Practitioner. Virtual meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month. Even months are in English and odd months are in Spanish. Click link to see dates offered and to register. Certificate of completion is emailed after the course.

For questions, contact the Diocesan NFP Coordinator at 916-733-0156.

Year Prior To The Wedding

Twelve months prior to your wedding start envisioning the kind of ceremony you want. For a simple Catholic wedding, you can skip a full traditional ceremony. You can choose to incorporate only necessary elements, such as a blessing that would be needed for an interfaith marriage. Select a date for the wedding. The time of year and the parish’s own requirements may dictate the timing of the ceremony. If you want a smaller or shorter wedding, a mass before the ceremony is optional. Typically, a mass can last up to an hour and a ceremony without one may last only around 20 minutes.

Read Also: How To Reserve Room Blocks For A Wedding

Make God The First Guest On Your Guest List

There are beautiful graces that come with a Catholic Nuptial Mass. During your wedding planning, dont forget to contact your local parish and look into the process of organizing the Mass. Pledging your lives together for better and for worse is a big deal make sure that God is the first guest on your guest list.

Create A Marian Marriage

Marriage preparation essential before wedding

You can include the Mother of God into your relationship and the wedding itself. In the month leading up to your wedding, consecrate yourself to Mary. During the wedding ceremony, you can take time after receiving the Eucharist to place a bouquet of roses at the feet of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Recommended Reading: Where Can I Get A Nice Dress For A Wedding

What Is Needed For A Catholic Wedding

Simply so, what are Catholic wedding traditions?

The ceremony consists, at least, of three biblical readings, the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings, the Prayer of the Faithful, the nuptial blessing, prayers and appropriate music. The Roman Catholic wedding is rich in tradition and liturgy.

Subsequently, question is, do you have to take classes to get married in the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church requires couples go through preparation classes to confirm their commitment to each other and the church. Programs vary from parish to parish and different dioceses, but many include group interaction with other engaged couples.

Beside above, how long does it take to prepare for a Catholic wedding?

The length of time to complete the program varies from couple to couple. Some couples choose to work through it in a weekend, some take a month to finish. The total amount of time is about 8 hours.

Can you read your own vows in a Catholic wedding?

You can memorize and recite the vows to one another, read the vows from the book, or have the priest read them and respond with I do. Some priests might allow you to write your own vows or add a couple lines to the traditional ones.

Free Catholic Wedding Program Template

In need of a Catholic Wedding Program for your church ceremony? Check out this free template that you can customize yourself using Canva!

If youre having a full Catholic mass for your wedding, your non-Catholic guests might be a little confused about what to do and when to do it. If youve ever been to a Catholic mass , there is a lot of sitting, standing, kneeling, responding, etc. You dont want people to feel lost or confused during your ceremony, so providing them with a clear outline of the events is important.

While your church may provide a program for you, you may find that it lacks the style that youd like, so weve put together a basic Catholic Ceremony Wedding Program Template for you to use and customize yourself using our favorite FREE design resource: Canva!

Read Also: How To Decorate A Wedding Table

What Do Couples Say About The Day

  • You dont know you need it until you have attended!
  • Incredibly useful. I will take a lot from this day into our future life together.
  • Everybody participated but there was never any pressure.
  • It was relaxed, informal and fun.
  • Made me think more deeply about our relationship, the commitment we are making, how we can cope with issues that might test our relationship and how getting married in a Catholic church will make our special day even more special.
  • I am more aware now of what marriage actually is and how important good communication is. Also helped me see where God is placed in my relationship.
  • It gave me an insight into how I deal with conflict and I learned that I can change how I react.
  • Every couple should attend one of these courses it was surprisingly helpful.

What Do I Do If Im Not Marrying A Catholic

Catholic Marriage Preparation Retreat | Weekend at Cedarbrake

For this question, we have to approach the answer from two different perspectives: 1. The perspective that concerns the religious affiliation of the couple 2. The perspective of what the ceremony could look like.

1.) The Couple

The Catholic Church sees non-Catholics in two groups: baptized non-Catholics and non-baptized non-Catholics . Lets look at both groups.

A.) Marrying another Christian: Mixed Marriages

If your spouse-to-be is a baptized non-Catholic , then you will need to seek permission through the diocese to enter what is called a Mixed Marriage. Your pastor can direct you to the appropriate person at the Diocesan office to get that permission. Before the diocese gives permission, three conditions must be met:

  • The Catholic party will promise to make a home that is hospitable to Catholicism and to do what is in their power to baptize and raise any children Catholic.
  • The non-Catholic party is informed of the Catholic partys responsibilities from #1. Just to be clear, the non-Catholic party does NOT have to promise anything. He or she just has to be informed of the promise being made by the Catholic partner.
  • The couple receives instruction about the theology and nature of marriage.
  • B.) Marrying a non-Christian: Disparity of Worship

    2.) The Ceremony

    Read Also: How Much Is A Platinum Wedding Band

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