Understanding The Ceremony of Marriage In The Church

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The wedding sessions in the church can be organized by an experienced priest or couple chosen by the parish. They will invite you to dialogue and reflection and will focus on subjects such as prayer, the meaning of marriage, and special programs that will be devoted to situations of a second marriage, incorporation of children into the marriage, and interfaith marriages. This preparation generally takes place in the parish of residence which can, therefore, be different from the church where the ceremony will take place.

You will have to complete and return the marriage file between three and six months before D-Day. This is an essential step for the marriage to be recognized before the Civil Registry and before the Church. The file includes several documents and it is important to know how to obtain them, because be careful, if you and your future husband are from different dioceses, you will have to fill out the marriage file separately from your respective parishes.

Ceremony of Marriage In The Church

Prepare The Necessary Documents

When preparing the marriage dossier, the priest in charge of processing your files will ask you for a series of documents essential for the validation of your marriage. For common documents relating to civil marriage, you need your identity card and a full copy of your birth certificate. In addition, to attest to the possibility of marrying according to canon law, documents following the death of the spouse, only civil first marriage, etc. will be communicated.

Regarding Documents Requested By The Church:

You will need the baptism certificate of both spouses. It is important to emphasize that it is not necessary to have made your first communion. It only prevents the fact of communing during the wedding mass. The civil marriage certificates and residency are also required.

As for “exceptional cases”, they must be notified in time to carry out the appropriate procedures if necessary, such as if one of the spouses comes from a country outside the European Union (the documents written in another language must be accompanied by a certified translation) or if one of the parties is not Catholic.

Choose A Parish or An Alternative

The majority of religious marriages take place in the local parishes of the spouses, although it is also customary that, if they both belong to different places, the bride and groom marry in the church of the city or of the village of the bride.

But can a couple marry outdoors? Organize your wedding at the beach, in a field, in the heart of a garden: it depends on the diocese and on the authorization of the bishop of the diocese, who will judge the convenience of the celebration depending on the circumstances.

In principle, there would be no problem, but the restrictions imposed in the past and the tradition, very dear to some priests, lead some of them to reject this possibility. Young priests are more in favor, especially abroad. If the parish priest refuses to marry you in this way, you can always celebrate it in a religious place and combine it with a symbolic outdoor ceremony. It is not the best solution, but it is a nice alternative.

Choose The Right Wedding Dress

It is not that there are restrictions on the choice of dress at a Catholic wedding, but it is true that a little more discretion is recommended than at a civil wedding. However, it is not necessary to give up the sensuality and the expression of its feminine forms.