As a long-distance bride who’s only able to meet with our presiding clergy four times tops before the wedding day, I’ve been grateful for the great advice and suggestions online at Catholic Wedding Help.
If you’re getting started planning a Catholic ceremony and have questions about readings, music, the processional, or even how to best word your programs, be sure to give this site a look. The Q&A format in many sections is easy to follow, as is the info about differences between a wedding with or without a full mass.
Here, a few of the best tips I’ve picked up so far:
· If you plan to marry in the Catholic Church, be sure to start tracking down copies of the certificates confirming your baptism, communion and confirmation six months in advance. You’ll likely need to contact the churches where these sacraments were performed and arrange to have the copies forwarded to your officiant. Be sure to allow plenty of time.
· The Church often frowns upon “theatrical” wedding music like “Here Comes the Bride” or “The Wedding March.” The preferred Catholic processional is also different than at a Protestant wedding, with the bride and groom entering the church together. Many Catholic churches will agree to the “classic” processional if that’s what the couple prefers, but be sure to talk with your clergy before making decisions about these aspects.
· The Church requires marriage preparation classes for all couples, and often has additional requirements for second marriages. Your clergy or the website for your local diocese should offer lots of information.
· Since Catholic wedding celebrations usually encourage a lot of guest participation, consider fully printing the words to the various prayers, readings and songs in your program. That way, even if your guests aren’t Catholic, they can at least follow along with what’s happening.
Are you planning a Catholic wedding? Have you come across any great resources or planning advice, no matter what your cultural background?
(Photo Credits: Catholic Wedding Help)