One of the most beautiful aspects of wedding ceremonies is how sacred traditions vary across cultures and religions. For Catholics, marriage, also known as holy matrimony, is considered a religious sacrament and it often involves specific, time-honored rituals. Before couples can get approved for a Catholic wedding, they may be required to submit certain documents, participate more in church activities, and go through an intensive marriage preparation process with a priest.
The first step in getting married in the Catholic Church is to fill out an application form at your local parish office. The application will ask for information about you and your partner's marital status as well as other personal details such as your address and contact information. After submitting this form, you will meet with a priest from your parish who will lead you through an interview process called "pre-marriage counseling." This session will allow both parties to discuss any issues that may arise during the marriage including finances or family relationships.
After completing these steps successfully—and obtaining approval from both families—you should schedule an appointment with the priest who will officiate your wedding ceremony. During this meeting, he will review all necessary paperwork including birth certificates or baptismal certificates if applicable; proof of divorce if applicable; death certificate if the deceased spouse has not remarried.
When it comes to Catholic weddings, there's one thing you should know: they can only be performed indoors.
"In the Catholic faith, the church is considered a sacred place where Christ is present," explains Scalia. "And since matrimony is believed to be a covenant with God, the only place a wedding ceremony can be administered is indoors."
So unlike many other religious and civil ceremonies—which often take place outside—Catholic weddings do not allow outdoor venues. If you've always wanted an outdoor component to your wedding, your alfresco portion of your event may have to be reserved for the reception.
So what does this mean for your big day? First and foremost, it means that you can't get married in a park or garden or any outdoor location that isn't actually a church building (or at least part of one). But don't worry! There are plenty of other options for gorgeous settings that are still close enough to feel like home.
If you're looking for something more traditional, consider renting out an old town hall or opera house for the ceremony itself—these vintage buildings have tons of character and really make your guests feel like they're part of something special!