Wedding ceremonies are sacred, but traditions differ across religions and cultures. Catholic couples after getting engaged to celebrate this special occasion offer prayer with their families led by a pastor or your parents.
How to start planning for your wedding?
Contact the Parish
If you plan to get married at the St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church or any nearby parish give them a call them. Check the parish-specific policies needed to celebrate marriage sacrament on their website. It allows you to get an idea of what to expect.
As a couple, there will be an in-person interview with the pastor. It gives a chance to know one another. Questions like – ‘Is there any past issues that need to be resolved’ or ‘Are there any obstacles in your marriage in the church.’ Special circumstances like pregnancy, financial support issues, or mental illness will also get discussed.
The church encourages engaged couples to spend their engagement period to prepare themselves for the responsibilities and challenges, which accompany a marriage. It is not an unnecessary burden but a valuable experience that helps to strengthen your marriage. There are many marriage preparation programs designed, but they differ from parish to another. The programs include –
- Together in God’s love
- Catholic Engaged Encounter
- Catholic Marriage preparation online
- Natural family planning
Setting a wedding date
Many parishes need the wedding to occur 6 to 8 months after their initial interview with the pastor. It offers the couples sufficient time to participate in the marriage preparation programs. Make sure to avoid dates, when the whole church observes a special penance period like Lent or Advent or Good Friday or Holy Saturday. Avoid weekends, when the church staff is busy preparing for parish festivals or first communions. Therefore, ask the parish dates that work for the best.
Other things to consider are the wedding form [with or without mass], scripture reading, music, vows, the role of family & friends, and handling details like dress, decorations, flowers, videographers, menu, cake, and the honeymoon. In theory, all this seems straightforward, but practically is challenging!