Catholic Wedding Ceremonies are a beautiful and sacred event! Although I am not Catholic, I have had the privilege of planning and coordinating many Catholic ceremonies and weddings. We are excited to share a few tips! Many requirements, preparations, and important traditions must occur before you can marry in a Catholic church. We are here to share some helpful tips, so you can know what to expect as you prepare for this day.
Booking and Setting the date-
The wedding must be held at a parish belonging to either one of the wedding couple, or the Priest or Bishop can approve for the wedding to occur at another parish.
Before you can get married in the Catholic church, the Priest must approve the wedding.
Book your ceremony early in the booking process, so you don't lose your date.
Talk to your wedding planner before booking your ceremony time. It is important to consider hair and makeup, pre-ceremony photos, travel time, travel for guests from the church to the venue, and many other factors, before choosing your ceremony start time.
Be sure to review your requirements before booking, so there are no surprises!
The church will do a Pre-nuptial Investigation to ensure you meet the church requirements.
You will also be required to complete Pre Cana. Pre Cana is a 6-month-long marriage preparatory program and leads you and your partner in meaningful pre-marital discussions regarding money, children, intimacy, etc.
It is not always required that both partners be baptized through the Catholic church, but the non- Catholic partner can join the Catholic church during the marriage prep process.
Some churches require (in writing) a promise from both parties (Catholic or non-Catholic) that they will raise their children in the Catholic church.
Ceremony Requirements and Restrictions-
All parties are required to follow a dress code during the ceremony.
Some Priests may ask that you wear a veil.
There are usually restrictions on the type of music that can be played. Some churches list the song options you can choose from, while others will allow you to present your songs for approval. Some churches include musicians and singers and will require approval for any other musicians to come in.
There are strict requirements for photographers and videographers, including where they can stand and the use of flash.
The church usually includes a ceremony coordinator. This person would lead the rehearsal- going through the order of events and explaining the readings and prayers. They would also lead the processional with the help of your wedding planner.
Notes About the Ceremony-
A Catholic ceremony with a full mass is about an hour long.
You will do a lot of standing, sitting, kneeling, etc., throughout the ceremony.
The Wedding Party is typically seated during the ceremonies but will allow them to stand back up for the recessional.
In Latin Catholic ceremonies, you'll need Madrinas and Padrinos for the lasso, the arras, and your family bible. They will be responsible for purchasing these items and will present them to you during the ceremony.
You will present flowers to Mother Mary during your ceremony. It is important to remember these flowers for your ceremony and to let your photographers know about this event if you want it photographed.