Marriage, the wonderful sacrament of a shared decision to love, is not just the wedding celebration, but a lifelong commitment and mission, that needs very serious discernment and quality preparation. To have a valid marriage, Catholics are normally required to celebrate the Catholic wedding rite, even if one party is not a Catholic. The policy of the Archdiocese attempts to be consistent throughout all the parishes. It requires :
That there be at least a six-month preparation by those intending to marry in the Church.
Various documents must certify Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation and freedom to marry.
Couples must meet with a priest and must attend formal marriage instruction, either an Engaged Encounter weekend or Pre-Cana Sessions, as part of the preparation.
No wedding date can be set until a couple has talked to a priest about their intention to marry; then, they receive a detailed booklet to assist them with their preparations.
For answers to questions about Catholic weddings, visit our Q&A page here.