Getting Married

Congratulations on your engagement!

The Catholic Church encourages couples to take time to prepare for marriage as a sacrament and to invest in their relationship before fulfilling your vocation to married life.

Marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. The married couple's relationship expresses the unique bond of Love that Christ has for all of us. By celebrating your wedding in a Catholic Church as a sacrament you allow God to become present to both of you and to your family and friends gathered with you on this special day.

How to get married in the Diocese of Grand Rapids

Below are a few of the basic steps necessary to begin your journey of being married in the Catholic Church. We are excited to accompany you!

1. Call your parish

Call your parish to set up a time to meet with your parish priest, deacon or pastoral administrator as soon as you become engaged. If you do not yet belong to a parish, you can find one using the link above.

2. Complete the Marriage Preparation Program outlined by your parish

The Catholic Church requires you to begin your marriage preparation at least six months before your wedding date. During this time of preparation, you and your fiancé will be given the opportunity to focus on your relationship readiness, skills and expectations for a lifelong marriage and understanding Catholic marriage as a sacrament.

Your pastor will discuss the required marriage preparation course with you during your first meeting.

View options for completing preparation for the sacrament of Marriage.

Click here for the current Pre-Cana class schedule


3. Plan the wedding liturgy

There are a few different options regarding celebrating the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church. Normally, marriage between two Catholics is celebrated with Mass. Other options include: Celebrating a Mass or a Liturgy of the Word ceremony to mark the marriage of a Catholic and baptized non-Catholic. Marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person is celebrated within the Liturgy of the Word.


Want to learn more?

Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan (U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter, 2009)

Marriage resources (USCCB)

For Your Marriage |Por Tu Matrimonio

Marriage: Unique for a Reason (USCCB)