Marriage Preparation

Catholic Marriage Preparation

Marriage Preparation

Catholic marriage preparation is a focused period of time in which the parish community assists the engaged couple to examine their readiness for lifelong marriage. The marriage preparation program will provide instruction and the opportunity for couple interaction and reflection. It is meant to assist the couple in affirming their desire and decision for marriage, increase awareness of their expectations for lifelong marriage and family life together, and embracing the positive demands of Catholic sacramental marriage.

Following is an outline of the steps necessary to seeking marriage in the Catholic Church.

1. Contact Your Parish
Contact and meet with your parish priest, deacon or pastoral minister as soon as you become engaged. At this meeting you will:
  • Set and/or confirm the wedding date
  • Complete the church pre-nuptial forms (A-form)
  • Acquire baptismal certificates
  • Make arrangements to complete the marriage preparation program required by the parish.
2. Complete the Marriage Preparation Program outlined by your parish
The church requires you to begin your marriage preparation at least six months before your wedding date. During this time of preparation you and your fiancé will be given the opportunity to focus on your relationship readiness, skills and expectations for lifelong marriage, and understanding Catholic marriage as a sacrament.

Your marriage preparation will cover a number of topics including: 

  • Marriage as a Sacrament
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Parenting
  • Careers and Family Life
  • Finances
  • Commitment and Church
  • Family of Origin
  • Catholic Understanding of Intimacy, Sex and Procreation
  • Natural Family Planning

Depending on the design of the program your parish may utilize a pre-marriage inventory and/or a seminar style workshop as part of the marriage preparation process.

There is a number of Marriage Preparation seminar style programs offered throughout the Archdiocese.


3. Plan the Wedding Liturgy

The Catholic Church recognizes marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics when:

  • One is Catholic and the other is baptized Christian, but not Catholic
  • One is Catholic and the other is a member of a different religion

Meet with your parish priest, deacon or pastoral minister to plan the liturgy for you wedding ceremony.

Complete the Marriage Preparation Program outlined by your parish
Obtain marriage license
Schedule rehearsal for ceremony