How do I get married in the Catholic Church?

January 23, 2012

First, congratulations on your engagement and your decision! You’re about to begin an incredible journey to the sacrament of marriage. The first thing you need to do is contact your parish priest as soon as possible. During the engagement process, the church encourages you to take six months to examine your relationship spiritually and mentally. During that time, the church wants you to take part in its preparation programs and you can choose from weekly sessions, working with a sponsor couple or taking part in a weekend. In the Archdiocese of Baltimore, for instance, there is something called Engaged Encounter, where couples take part in the weekend option and learn from experienced couples and interact with other engaged couples as well. It’s an intense, but rewarding experience filled with reflection that will help you grow as a couple.

Contact your local diocese or visit its website to see what programs are offered!

Visit for all kinds of resources on Catholic marriage. If you want to see how a couple in their 20s and 30s embarked on their engagement, visit

In the Archdiocese of Baltimore, couples may register for archdiocesan pre-Cana programs hosted by other parishes by contacting the Division of Catechetical and Pastoral Formation at 410-547-5406. Click here to learn more about marriage preparation programs and see a pre-wedding checklist. The fee is typically $80 for archdiocesan programs, although fees may vary.

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