Congratulations on your engagement! The next weeks and months will likely be a blur of anticipation and planning. As you are busy sharing the great news and throwing around wedding day ideas, we encourage you to invite God into this exciting and joyful time in your relationship. Embracing marriage as a sacrament will transform your whole life together and take your love to a much deeper level.
Here are the practical steps to getting married within the Catholic Church:
1. Contact your parish pastor asap. This should be done as soon as you get engaged, before the wedding date is set. At the very least it needs to be done six months before your wedding. Your pastor will be able to guide you through the other steps and ensure that there is nothing that may prevent you from getting married in the Church.
2. Choose a marriage preparation course. We are lucky to have several different marriage preparation options in Ottawa. Your pastor has to approve the course you take, so talk to him beforehand to see what route is best for you. Check out upcoming classes here.
3. Submit your marriage prep 'proof of completion' to the pastor. Whichever course you take, your marriage prep will equip you with a new perspective and practical tools for living your life as husband and wife. You will also get a lovely certificate at the end that your pastor needs for your records.
4. Make time for any additional meetings. You may need to commit to meetings to go over the wedding liturgy, finalize paperwork, or follow up after marriage prep.
5. Obtain a Civil Marriage License. This needs to be delivered to the parish before the wedding in order for your marriage to be recognized by the government. Please see the Province of Ontario website for details.