“A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh, so they are no longer two but one flesh."
Mk 10:7-8

The Archdiocese requires a minimum eight-month preparation period before the wedding.  The marriage prep process is designed not just for a beautiful wedding day, but to build the type of marriage that will last till death do us part.

The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. – CCC 1601

The sacrament of marriage is one that brings great blessings to the couple, to their family and friends, and the Church as a whole. St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish strives to prepare couples for not only their wedding day, but for a lifetime of grace filled blessings in the relationship that will help lead them to eternal salvation.

Marriage Preparation Steps

  1. Call Your Parish (8-12 months before the wedding)
    Call as soon as you get engaged! A member of the parish staff will schedule a meeting with you to discuss your wedding preparations as soon as possible.
  2. Initial Meeting (8 months before the wedding)
    At this meeting, you’ll learn about the preparation process for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the necessary paperwork for your marriage, and set your tentative wedding date.
  3. FOCCUS Inventory (7-8 months before the wedding)
    The FOCCUS Inventory provides you with a personalized profile of your relationship. Your parish will set up your inventory session and, upon completion, the follow-up sessions needed to review your results. These sessions aim to facilitate communication between you and your future spouse.*Note: Some parishes use inventories other than FOCCUS
  4. Marriage Prep Program (6 months before the wedding)
    Various programs are available within the Archdiocese, all of which focus on the theology of Catholic marriage as well as important life skills. You’ll receive help identifying a prep program that best fits your needs. If your parish doesn’t offer a program, see the list on this page:
  5. Natural Family Planning (5 months before the wedding)
    NFP respects the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, and enriches the bond between husband and wife. This course gives couples a natural approach to understanding the cycles of fertility and infertility. Course listings found here.
  6. Final Meeting (2 months before the wedding)
    This meeting will review your previous preparation, complete all of your paperwork, and plan your wedding liturgy. You’re getting close to celebrating this beautiful sacrament!
  7. Sacrament of Reconciliation (1 week before the wedding)
    Catholics preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Reconciliation and the Eucharist are invaluable sources of grace and healing. Celebrate this sacrament with your spouse-to-be!

For Marriage Preparation in Spanish

Please go to the official marriage preparation program website:

The Marriage Ceremony

A Nuptial Mass is the usual form for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony between two Catholics.
A marriage between a Catholic and a baptized Christian is usually celebrated outside of Mass.
A marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person is always celebrated outside of Mass.

Learn More