While each Catholic church varies, however below are some common Catholic Wedding Preparation Procedures you might expect before your wedding ceremony takes place.
INITIAL MEETING AND INTERVIEW
The Wedding Marriage Procedures begin with an initial meeting with the parish priest. Depending on the church, the meeting should take place should take place at least six months before the wedding date. Before the intial meeting, make sure you read your church local wedding preparation procedures to find out what documents that you will need to bring with you at the interview. At the interview, the priest will determine your readiness for marriage. He will use different tools for assessment such as diocesan forms, pre-marriage evaluation, consultation with parents/relatives and,if needed pre-marriage counseling and evaluation. You will also be advised if there needs be additional paperwork.
THE WEDDING DATE
In most cases, a mutual decision will be reached between yourself and the priest to proceed with the wedding. Once that is agreed upon, the tentative wedding date now becomes firm.
Once the date is finalized, the priest will prepare the program to be followed for the wedding. The program will usually include having additional meetings with the priest and deacon, participate in marriage preparation seminars or Pre-Cana, etc.
Approximately several weeks before your wedding date, you will be contacted by the church’s Director of Music to discuss music and readings for your liturgy.
Different churches tend to have different requirements on the subject. However, it is important that your florist and photographer meets with the church’s wedding coordinator to be familiar with the church’s rules. In most instances, they would already know.
THE WEDDING REHEARSAL
The wedding rehearsal serves a very important function as it helps the wedding party and family members become familiar with the roles they will assume during the ceremony. The church’s wedding coordinator will conduct the rehearsal.
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
Bear in mind that a wedding is a public religious event where two individuals swear themselves to each other and before God and the Church. Therefore in most cases, a wedding is required to be held in the Catholic Church and not in non-denominational chapels, parks, yards, private homes or other such places. If both brides and grooms are Catholic, the wedding ceremony usually takes place in the bride’s parish church. If the parties to the marriage are of different faiths, the wedding usually take place in the church of the person who is Catholic. If you want your wedding to be outside the Catholic church, I would encourage you to read the article on the subject.
Please read An Overview of the Wedding Program for an example of a full wedding mass program.