A Catholic wedding is a beautiful and meaningful celebration of the sacrament of marriage. In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps that go into planning a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony. We’ll start with choosing a church and priest, then move on to choosing readings from scripture, deciding if you’d like a mass and what kind (or if any), finding appropriate music for your ceremony…and so much more!
Check out this suggested timeline for marriage preparation by our home Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston!
You don’t need to pick a Catholic church that’s convenient for your guests, but it’s a good idea. If you’re having your wedding in the same town where you live and work, consider the Catholic churches closest to where your guests will be staying. Many couples choose a church that they have been a parishioner at or spiritually connect to!
The priest that officiates your wedding can either be a priest from the church you choose or you can specifically ask any priest you prefer! If you would like to hear a homily full of personal anecdotes about you and/or your future spouse, we suggest asking a priest one (or both) of you have known for a long time!
You can sign up for marriage prep classes at your parish or through your diocese. Each class lasts six to eight weeks, and the format may vary from one parish to another. The main goal is to help you get to know each other better and talk about what it means to be married. You’ll also learn about the Catholic Church’s view on marriage, family life, relationships, and more.
In these classes, you’ll be asked questions like: “What are your hopes for marriage?” “What do you think makes a successful relationship?” “Do either of us expect our spouse will change after we’re married?” “What kinds of things would bother us if they happened?”
Marriage preparation retreats have also become a popular option in recent years, and you can find more information about these on your diocesan website.
If you are having a Catholic wedding and are considering having the ceremony at a church, you can choose to have a full Catholic mass. This is the most traditional way to get married in the Catholic Church, but it is not required. The priest will give a homily (or sermon) on marriage and its purpose before he performs the ceremony. After that, there’s music as everyone sings hymns before praying together in front of God as part of Holy Communion.
After deciding whether or not you want full mass at your wedding, decide if you want any other ceremonies during your wedding day celebrations…
One of the most important parts of a Catholic wedding is the readings. The readings come from the Old Testament and the New Testament and are chosen by the couple to reflect their relationship and faith. The readings must be appropriate for your ceremony, so you will want to choose them carefully and make sure they match who you are as a couple.
Choosing the right songs for your Catholic wedding ceremony is an important part of creating a meaningful and memorable experience for guests. While you can use any music you want, it’s best to choose songs that are personal to you and your spouse-to-be. Choose hymns, choral pieces, or instrumental music that celebrate love, faith, and marriage. You might want to consider using traditional favorites like “Ave Maria.”
When you’re ready to get married, be sure to talk with your priest about the details and how you can have a beautiful Catholic wedding! There are many resources available to you by parish, diocese, and even us. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help planning or just want to grab a coffee and de-stress!