Marriage Preparation Process at St. Joseph

Marriage Preparation Process at St. Joseph


a. Contact the Church Office at least 6 months prior to the desired wedding date

– The secretary will check for availability of the date on the Church

calendar and notify the priest or deacon to check his calendar for


– Inform the secretary of any prior marriages of either party.  She will pass

this information along to the priest/deacon.

– Obtain the appropriate pre-marriage questionnaires in the appropriate

language.  These can be taken home and filled out separately by each

fiancé  and returned to the Church office.  [These may be emailed and

completed electronically as well.]

b. The secretary will hand the completed questionnaires to the priest/deacon

who will review and assign an engaged sponsor couple to the prospective

bride and groom.

– The Engaged Sponsor couple will set up meeting(s) with the couple at a

mutually agreed upon time to discuss the questionnaires and share

experience.  After these are finished the Engaged Sponsor couple notify

the office of the outcome and any concerns they have.

c. At the same time, the fiancé s may sign up for any of the diocesan Natural

Family Courses offered on the diocesan website [] OR

may sign up for the Diocesan Marriage Course, Together in God’s Image

– If the diocesan marriage course is selected, the couple should contact the

parish office to set up a meeting to take a FOCUS exam.  [Personality

indicator to be used by the diocesan presenter]  There is a cost associated

with the scoring of the test.  This cost changes from time to time.

d. After the couple meets with the Engaged Sponsor Couple, whether or not the

Natural Family Planning class is completed or the Together in God’s Image

course is taken, the couple will set up a meeting or meetings with the


– The meetings will cover the necessary paperwork.  The couple will need:

• Baptismal Certificates with notations within 6 months of the marriage

• Affidavits of Free Status provided by the Church [Family member or

• Any letter of Decree of Freedom to marry that comes with any

• The marriage license to be obtained from the County Clerks office


friend known for a long time and at least 18 years of age may fill this


annulments that are required if applicable

[please note the legal time requirements of not more then 30 days

and not less than 2 days prior to the marriage]

• Payments of fees to the secretaries

– The priest/deacon will file any necessary dispensation required [see #1


– The priest/deacon will discuss the theology of marriage as understood by

the Roman Catholic Church

e. The secretary will give the couple the book, Together for Life, in which the

couple will select the appropriate Scriptures readings, prayers, and marriage

options and then meet with the priest/deacon again.  At this meeting the

priest/deacon will discuss with the couple

– The ceremony in general

– Music options

– Hispanic or other Traditions [i.e. coins, lazzo, unity candle, etc.]

– The people in the bridal party and how to enter and exit the church

– Announcements to be made

– Any other options or concerns with regard to the ceremony

f. The secretary will set a time for the rehearsal which may be a Thursday or a

Friday evening depending on the secretary’s schedule who handles the

rehearsal.  By this time, if the couple has not returned the marriage license,

they should do so by the rehearsal.  [The priest or deacon may need to do

some preparation on the license prior to the wedding, depending on the

issuing county.]

– The entire wedding party should be at the church no more then 10

minutes prior to the scheduled rehearsal time.  Due to this rule causing

undue stress among secretaries, there may be an additional added $50.00

fee if the rehearsal begins more than 10 minutes after the scheduled

rehearsal time.

– Any changes the couple wishes to discuss with the secretary to be given to

the priest/deacon should be discussed prior to the rehearsal so the

secretary can note it in her rehearsal plans and avoid confusion.

– Copies of readings will be available at the rehearsal if not picked up prior

to the rehearsal for practice purposes.  There is no need to bring the

advanced practice copies back as the readings will be available at the

wedding in a binder notebook.

– The wedding party is to bring no food or beverage into the church proper

during the rehearsal or the wedding.  Permission for covered drinks can be

sought from the secretary for the rehearsal but under no circumstances

should unattended minor children be allowed to drink in the church.

There is room in the Narthex or Old kitchen for this.

– Due to lack of facilities in the present church, to be remedied in the future

Associated Fees for Weddings at St Joseph

a. Focus:  Various changing price ranges for interpretation of Questionnaire

b. Diocesan Wedding Course  (Contains NFP course)

c. Natural Family Planning (NFP):  Varies by type and location [check Diocesan


d. Church Fees:  [explained in Church contract]

– Deposit

– Rental Fee [cost of utilities]

e. Stole Fee:  as gift for priest/deacon

f. Musician Fees

g. Other Fees

building of the new church, all wedding party should come fully dressed.