For couples planning a Catholic wedding

Planning your Catholic wedding: A checklist

Together in God's Love Catholic marriage preparation program

Congratulations on your engagement! Your parish will be happy to help you plan your wedding. This website can help, too, by giving you an idea of what to expect. Use this step-by-step checklist as a guide to planning your Catholic wedding:

1. Getting engaged

Catholic wedding checklist

2. Contacting your parish

3. Preparing for a lifelong marriage

4. Setting the wedding date

5. Choosing the form of your wedding

6. Choosing Scripture readings

7. Choosing wedding music

8. Choosing vows

9. Choosing roles for family and friends

10. Choosing other liturgical elements

11. Creating a wedding program for your guests

12. Dealing with the details

13. The honeymoon and beyond...

For more information

Questions & Answers

Look here if you have specific questions that aren't covered in the planning section.

Browse by Topic

Look here for an index of topics covered on Catholic Wedding Help.

Other websites

ForYourMarriage.org

This website deserves a bookmark for its wealth of marriage-building tools: blogs, daily marriage tips, personal stories, videos, marriage inventories, and links to resources in your area, just to name a few. And it's sponsored by the U.S. Catholic bishops' pastoral initiative on marriage.

Books

The Catholic Wedding Book: A Complete Guidebook for Brides, Grooms, and their Parents by Molly K. Hans and Fr. William C. Graham

"Easy reading for Catholics of all ages, The Catholic Wedding Book provides practical advice for planning a wedding liturgy and the text of all official forms, readings and prayers approved by the Church — everything you need to make your wedding joyful and meaningful."

   
 

Together for Life by Fr. Joseph M. Champlin

The classic Catholic wedding planning booklet: all the prayers, blessings, and scriptural texts with commentaries, at a really inexpensive price. Includes a four-page planning worksheet.

   

Celebrating Marriage Preparing the Wedding Liturgy: A Workbook for the Engaged Couple Paul Covino, editor

Still one of the best Catholic wedding planning resources available, Celebrating Marriage is written by experts in the Catholic liturgy to help couples use sound liturgical and pastoral principles to make their wedding a more prayerful, celebratory experience for everyone involved. Chapter titles include "Age Old Traditions and Timely Advice," "The Ceremony: The Wedding Liturgy," "The Readings: The Lectionary for Marriage," "The Music for the Wedding Liturgy," "The Environment for the Wedding Liturgy." The appendices include "Preparing a Printed Program for the Wedding" and the text of the "Blessing of an Engaged Couple."

134 pages.

   

Handbook of Church Music for Weddings by Mary Beth Kunde Anderson and David Anderson (©2007, 47 pages, Liturgy Training Publications)

Although this book was written for those in the Church who work with couples planning their wedding, couples may find it useful for what its publisher describes as "...an extensive list of congregational psalms, acclamations, hymns and songs." Order it from Amazon by clicking on the title above.

   

Your Catholic Wedding: A Complete Planbook by Rev. Chris Aridas (197 pages, ©2000, Crossroad Publishing)

A thorough guide to planning your Catholic wedding; according to the publisher, it provides "the entire liturgical rite with options, practical details of church arrangements, an insightful commentary, and valuable checklists." Examples of chapter titles include:

  • The Sacrament as Grace for the Community
  • The Sacrament as Grace for the Couple
  • The Church's Assumptions
  • The Couple's Spiritual Preparation
  • Required Documents
  • Interfaith Marriages
  • The Liturgical Celebration
  • Options Involving Family and/or Guests
  • Expenses: Who Pays for What?
  • Checklist One: The Couple's Calendar
  • Checklist Four: People in Attendance
   
 

Rite of Marriage

This is the official text of the Rite of Marriage, as approved by the Vatican and the U.S. Catholic bishops. Includes the text for the Rite of Marriage in each of its forms, as well as the text of all Scripture readings and accompanying commentaries.

   

Christ on Your Guest List by Renee de Burgh

Like many wedding planning workbooks, this one helps couples plan the details of their engagement period and wedding day with checklists and worksheets and exercises. Unlike other wedding planning workbooks, however, this one approaches all those details through the lens of Catholic faith. The authors repeatedly challenge couples to ask, "What's really important in all this?" So, for example, they not only provide practical guidance and tools for creating a guest list, but also include a "letter" from Jesus encouraging parents of the bride and groom to focus on welcoming guests in prayer. Quotes and anecdotes extend and illustrate the theme of each section. Chapter titles include "Budgeting for Matrimony, not Mater-Money"; "Free from Human Expectations: Etiquette, Feelings, and Other Rough Waters"; and "Parties." From the publisher: "Instead of the "perfect" day, let's plan the Christ-centered day. Grooms and Brides can say good-bye to etiquette, -zilla's, must-have's, perfection and debt. Embrace your dignity as an engaged couple and learn communication, unity, and decision-making skills that not only will help you center all the details on Christ, but also will prepare you for marriage. This book is not intended to replace any portion of the Pre-Cana preparations required of engaged couples seeking the sacrament of Matrimony. Many Pre-Cana instructors provide ample resources for couples to plan the wedding ceremony; this book aims at planning everything else." 196 pages.

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