We know that all of us need God’s blessing at all times; but at the time of their engagement to be married, Christians are in particular need of grace as they prepare themselves to form a new family.
Let us pray, then, for God’s blessing to come upon this couple, our brother and sister: that as they await the day of their wedding, they will grow in mutual respect and in their love for one another; that through their companionship and prayer together they will prepare themselves rightly and chastely for marriage. Amen.
–Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings
We request that the bride or groom must be a registered & active member of OLPH to be married at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and to complete your marriage preparation here.
1. At least 9-12 months before your desired wedding date…
Discuss intentions with the priest or deacon and answer basic questions about readiness for marriage in the Catholic Church
Discuss potential dates for church and pencil in a date on the calendar (do this before scheduling a reception venue)
Guidelines for scheduling the church: Friday evenings or Saturdays no earlier than 10:00 and no later than 1:00. (See Planning your Wedding Ceremony)
Discuss parish requirements for marriage preparation
Pay Marriage Preparation Fee (see Fees at the end of this document).
You will be registered for the Prepare-Enrich Inventory (The Prepare-Enrich Inventory is a customized couple assessment completed online that identifies a couple’s strengths and growth areas. It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education.)
Complete Prepare-Enrich Inventory
Identify and ask a married couple to be your mentor couple.
(Your mentor couple will walk with you on the journey of marriage preparation, sharing their marriage with you, and supporting you as you prepare for your life together.) Please See Mentors for Engaged Couples for requirements and guidelines for choosing a mentor couple.
The mentor couple will meet with you 6 times after the initial meeting with the Marriage Preparation Coordinator couple. Usually, these meetings are scheduled about once a month.
Schedule a meeting with your mentor couple and the Marriage Preparation Coordinators –their contact information will be in the information the priest or deacon gave you at the meeting. After this meeting, you can confirm the wedding date on the church calendar and pay the church fee (See fees at the end of this document). After this meeting, you will also receive a personalized Scavenger Hunt that contains all of the activities that you will accomplish for your marriage preparation.
Begin personalized Scavenger Hunt
2. At least 6-9 months before the wedding date…
Obtain copies of your baptismal certificates and send them to the parish. Catholic parties must obtain a newly issued copy of their certificate from the parish where they were baptized. Non-Catholics may provide a photocopy of their original baptismal certificate.
Enroll in Natural Family Planning course (See Natural Family Planning)
Check church/priest calendars and schedule rehearsal
Continue your Scavenger Hunt
3. At least 3 months before your wedding date…
Make sure that you have sent your baptismal certificates to the parish so that they are in your marriage file.
Register for and attend GIVEN, the archdiocesan marriage retreat day (from 9:00-2:00 on a Saturday. See http://bemissionarydisciples.org/given/ for upcoming dates and to register).
Schedule the Night 5 dinner with your priest/deacon and your mentors. Set the date for after attending the GIVEN retreat, yet do schedule this meeting with your celebrant as soon as possible to ensure of a date possible for all attending.
Meet with organist/musicians to discuss music choices from the recommended list (see Wedding Music Selections and Policies) and Policies (Other selections must be approved by your celebrant.)
Inform church about a decision on flowers (See Planning your Wedding Ceremony)
Schedule the final meeting with Marriage Preparation Coordinators and your mentors after you and your mentors complete the 6 meetings.
Schedule liturgy meeting with the celebrant for at least a month before the wedding date to plan the ceremony.
Continue your Scavenger Hunt.
4. At least 1 month before the wedding date…
Get a marriage license from Howard County (both people getting married must be present)
Have liturgy meeting with the celebrant
Bring Scavenger Hunt document with signatures
Bring certificate of completion from NFP class (not necessary if you took Mark & Kathy’s class)
Go over ceremony details—readings, music, etc.
Provide church photography guidelines to your photographer/videographer (see Photographer Guidelines). Schedule a walk-through with a photographer if they are unfamiliar with OLPH so they can see the lighting, etc.
- The fee for Marriage Preparation is $125. Payment will be made via an on-line form sent to you after your initial meeting with your celebrant.
- The fee for the marriage ceremony is $500 including the use of the church, organist, and cantor. If you use your own musicians, the fee is $300. Payment will be made via an on-line form sent to you after your initial meeting with your celebrant.
- The fee for the Natural Family Planning Class is $135. The fee is payable on-line when you register for the class. (see Natural Family Planning)
- The fee for GIVEN is $25, payable on-line when you register ( see http://bemissionarydisciples.org/given/ )