Getting engaged is a joyful and exciting time and we are so happy to be a part of your big day! Below you will find a general timeline and answers to commonly asked questions about preparing for marriage here at St. Joseph.
Marriage Preparation TimeLine
8-12 months: Contact Us
The first step in planning a Catholic wedding is to contact us. You can do that here, by email, or by phone (303-279-4464). We ask that this is your first step so that you have adequate time to complete your marriage preparations and can book your wedding date as soon as possible. When you contact us, we will set-up up an initial meeting.
8 months: Initial Meeting
Please plan on meeting with Deacon Ed or Deacon Denny before starting your Marriage Prep or NFP programs.
7-8 months: FOCCUS Inventory
6 months: Marriage Prep program
5 months: Natural Family Planning
2 months: Final Meeting
1 week: Reconciliation
Do I need to have a Catholic wedding?
Yes. All Baptized Catholics are required to marry according to "canonical form," which is the fancy way of of saying that Catholics need to be married in Catholic ceremonies. It's an important part of living in full communion with the Church and failure to do so will impede your ability to live a Catholic life. If God is calling you to the vocation of marriage, we want you to be able to experience the fullness of that calling. The sacrament of matrimony, like all sacraments, is an outward sign that reveals Jesus Christ and through which His divine life and love are expressed. The graces you and your future spouse receive from God in the sacrament of matrimony will help you to be faithful spouses, good parents, and to have a loving and lasting marriage. Finally, when you and your future spouse enter into a sacramental marriage you are entering into a covenant with God, a special commitment that God wants to have with you. This commitment reflects, however imperfectly, God's relationship to humanitity. As Catholics, we experience marriage as a vocation, a sacrament, and a covenant which is why the Church requires us to be married in a Catholic ceremony.
Can I still have a Catholic wedding if my fiancé is not Catholic?
The short answer would be yes... probably. As stated above, all Baptized Catholics are required to marry according to "canonical form." Every interfaith, or ecumenical, couple is different so depending on your circumstances you may need to fill out a Dispensation Form or take other steps to overcome any obstacles, details of which can be discussed during your meeting with the deacon performing your wedding. Your future spouse will need to complete Marriage Prep with you. Don't worry; it's a fun and enriching experience for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The important thing to know is that the Catholic Church strives to support interfaith couples so you are prepared to face your specific spiritual challenges. To learn more about the Catholic Church and mixed marriages, please click here.
This Marriage Prep stuff seems like a lot of work. Is it really necessary?
It is absolutely necessary. Think of how much time and effort you are putting into your wedding day - the dress, the cake, chicken or beef. None of these things will affect the quality of your married life. Each step of the Marriage Prep program is designed to help you and your future spouse be prepared for a life-long, loving sacramental marriage.
Who do I contact at St. Joseph about getting married there?
Please call the Parish Office at 303-279-4464 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to be a registered parishioner to be married at St. Joseph?
Yes (although you may be registered at a different parish and be getting married here). This may be the first time you have thought about officially registering at a parish, possibly you didn't know registering at a parish was something you needed to do, or you have recently moved here. Please contact the Parish Office and we can discuss details with you. If you are a parishioner here and getting married at a different parish, please see the question below.
I'm a parishioner at St. Joseph but I would like to have my wedding at a different parish. Can I?
Yes. Please contact us for your Marriage Prep and the parish you would like to be married at for booking the ceremony. Please note that your timeline will be slightly different that the timeline listed above since your paperwork needs to be completed earlier so it can be sent to the parish where your wedding will occur. Some of the popular places to get married in our Archdiocese include Mother Cabrini Shrine, Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel (Chapel on the Rock), and the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Is the Community Center available to rent for my reception?
Yes, details can be provided when you contact us about your wedding. Please click here to view our flyer.
Where can I have my ceremony?
In the church. Our pie shaped-church seats over 500 with no one more than 10 pews away from the altar. The unusual shape is great for large or small ceremonies. The Archdiocese does not allow outdoor weddings.
When can I have my ceremony?
Please contact us before booking anything else so we can make sure your wedding date is available. Like most wedding venues, we often book weddings a year in advance. We do not have weddings Saturday night or Sunday mornings, or any other time that would conflict with our Masses. Generally, weddings are held at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm on Saturdays.
I would like to get married, but it's really expensive. Do you have any tips on cutting costs?
It's easy to wonder how people got married before Pinterest and Instagram, tiered cakes, designer gowns, and customized favors, but the Catholic Church requires none of those things to get married. Referring to the trend of big, elaborate weddings Pope Francis said, "the spouses come to the wedding ceremony exhausted and harried, rather than focused and ready for the great step that they are about to take. The same kind of preoccupation with a big celebration also affects certain de facto unions; because of the expenses involved, the couple, instead of being concerned above all with their love and solemnizing it in the presence of others, never get married.” Money should never stand in the way of you and your future spouse entering into the sacrament of matrimony. It's hard to have a simple wedding when American culture expects you to throw a $30k party, but the experience of marriage far out weighs the experiences of a reception. Your family, friends, and fellow parishioners are there to support your marriage. If you have any other monetary concerns, please let us know.
More Getting Married Resources
Build Your House Upon Rock: A Bible Study for Catholics Preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage by Nancy Humes
School of Agape - Sara and Justin, married June 2011
Learning to Say "I Do" - Sara and Anthony, married July 2014