We give thanks to God for the blessing you and your future spouse are for the Church. Engagement is an exceptionally exciting and busy time for couples. Not only are you preparing for your wedding day, but you are preparing for a lifetime together as husband and wife.
The purpose of marriage is to help married people sanctify themselves and others. For this reason, they receive a special grace in the sacrament which Jesus Christ instituted”
St. Josemaria Escriva
Steps of Marriage Preparation
1. Preliminary Interview
Contact your parish office to schedule a meeting with your parish priest, deacon, or marriage coordinator. This should take place between six to twelve months prior to your anticipated wedding date and before any arrangements are made or a wedding date is set.
During your preliminary interview, the priest, deacon, or marriage coordinator will explain to you the marriage preparation process, provide you with the diocesan Marriage Preparation Guidelines & Calendar, and request any necessary documents from you and your fiancé(e).
2. Required Documents
Before your wedding, your pre-nuptial file must be completed with the following documents:
- Certificate of Baptism with all notations for each Catholic Party (within the last six months).
- A Pre-Nuptial Questionnaire (Form A) is to be completed with a priest, deacon, or marriage coordinator and signed by all parties.
- A Letter of Freedom to Marry (Form B) is to be completed by two witnesses on behalf of each engaged person. Forms are available at the parish.
- A Certificate of Completion from a diocesan approved marriage preparation program.
- A valid Florida Marriage License. Visit your county’s website for more information.
- Death Certificate of previous spouse or Annulment Decree, if you were previously married.
- Canonical Dispensations and Permissions, if necessary.
3. Pre-Marital Inventory
You will complete a pre-marital inventory (Fully Engaged or FOCCUS) to help identify and work through any issues that need to be addressed with a mentor couple prior to your wedding date. While pre-marital inventories are not predictors of marital success, they can be a helpful tool for growth and preparation.
In addition to a pre-marital inventory, you will receive formation to help you grow in your understanding of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and practical skills, such as communication, parenting, financial management, natural family planning, and couple prayer. This formation may be offered within your parish. If your parish does not offer marriage formation, you may attend a diocesan Pre-Cana Retreat.
5. Wedding Date
A wedding date may be noted during the preliminary interview for the sake of wedding planning and arrangements, but the final date for the wedding is not to be set until proper paperwork is received, the entire formation process is completed, and the decision to proceed is made.
6. Wedding Liturgy
You will plan your wedding liturgy with the help of your parish priest, deacon, or marriage coordinator. Areas for liturgical planning include the selection of the scriptures, music, liturgical ministries, and other related issues.
Marriage Preparation Retreats
- Marriage Preparation Guidelines & Calendar – English | Spanish
- Marriage Preparation Resources
- Diocese of Orlando Norms for Marriage
- Natural Family Planning List of Providers and Instructors
- Parish-Based Marriage Preparation
- Navigating Engagement with Peace, Joy, and Gratitude (Video Series for Women)
Director of Marriage & Family Ministry