Congratulations on Your Engagement!


I’m so happy for you. Now, you might be here because you are searching for more information on what to do next after your engagement. Don’t worry, I got you covered! In this blog post I’m going to go through the things you need to prepare prior to your wedding day.


Fun trivia: I actually made a YouTube video about this topic, and you are welcome to hop on there!


Getting Married in the Catholic Church


First thing you need to do is pray to God. Thank Him for this new journey and ask for his blessings and grace for the preparation of the wedding. If you’d like, you can also pray the St Josemaria Escriva’s novena for a happy and faithful marriage.


Next you and your fiancé should talk to a local parish priest. You can either call the Church to book a time or meet the Father after a mass, for example. Communicate your intention to get married and ask for his guidance. He might ask about you and your fiancé: whether both of you are Catholics or have been baptized or otherwise.


According to Catholic Wedding Help, there are different types of matrimony in the Catholic Church. First is a celebration within mass, without mass, and a celebration between a Catholic and an unbaptized person. And yes, there is a list of baptismal validity, which you can ask to a local parish priest.

Selecting a Church and Paying the Fees


When selecting the Church, you need to pay attention on several things. Some churches require 6 months and others 1 year of notice prior to the wedding date. Also, there’s a fee for local parishioners and for non-local parishioners. If you have questions, you can always call the parish office of the Church you selected.

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Gathering Documents and Completing the Marriage Preparation Course


From this point, I will continue with the scenario of two Catholics getting married within a mass at a Catholic Church.


The Father then will ask you to bring baptismal certificates and they must be recent ones. In other words, both of you need to contact the Church where you get baptized. Convey your intention to get married and ask for a new baptismal certificate. The Church where you get baptized might ask for updates, such as Confirmation date and place if you have been confirmed.


In the meantime, you and your fiancé need to be enrolled in a marriage preparation course. There should be an in-person course in your parish. If not, you can ask Father if you can attend the online one. For example, there is one from the Agape Catholic Ministries. It is recommended to do the course as soon as possible. You can finish it within 3 months approximately. At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate that you need to submit to Father.


Note that you might also need to get the pre-marriage inventories or natural family planning course. 

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What Will Happen in the Interview with Father?


Your fiancé and you can arrange a meeting with Father. He will ask questions to get to know both of you better: whether you are under coercion or free of coercion, whether or not either of you are previously married, or more. At the same time, Father might be filling out a form he needs to submit.


In the same meeting or in a separate meeting, Father will ask details about your witnesses. The witness of the future bride should be someone who knows her well from 18 years old or a parent. The witness of the future groom should be someone who knows him well from 18 years old or a parent. This is because Father will ask the witnesses questions about the engaged couple, a.k.a. you and your fiancé. He will ask whether or not the witness knows that the future bride / groom can get married, whether or not the witness knows that the future bride and groom are not related by blood, and so on.

Readers Preparation, Music Selections, and Prayers of the Faithful


In addition to the fees, you need to arrange for readers, music, and prayers of the faithful. The Church you selected will provide you with a list of first reading, second reading, Gospel, prayer of the faithful, and music list. In Catholic, a wedding day is not just a celebration but also a sacred matrimony that unites a man and a woman. Therefore, carefully select your readings and the readers. Same goes with the music and musicians, and the prayers of the faithful and the reader.

Guidelines for Other Vendors: Photographer, Videographer, Florist


I suggest asking guidelines to the Church parish office regarding photography, videography, and flower arrangements. Usually, anyone who steps on the altar needs to do so respectfully. And some churches do not allow flash photography. The Church might also have pedestals for flowers and a blackboard as a signage in front of the Church.

What's Next?


Wait for the next blog post regarding budget. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at griseldaportraits@gmail.com