Marriage Preparation

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Please be assured of our prayers and support for you during this special time for preparation for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Scheduling the Wedding

Call the Parish Office (573.635.7991) and schedule a meeting with a clergy member. During the initial meeting you can set a wedding date. Only after speaking with a priest can a date be confirmed. The wedding date should be at least 6 months after that first meeting. A couple must be free to marry in the Catholic Church. If either person has been previously married, no date can be set until their freedom to marry has been determined.

Wedding Ceremony

Why in the Church? A wedding ceremony entails the conferral and reception of a sacrament. It thus involves far more than mere sentiment, beautiful flowers, and romantic wedding photos taken under a rose trellis. It is important to maintain the sense of the sacred, because that is exactly what a marriage ceremony is – a sacred, sacramental occasion. For more information, see the following article and talk with your priest:  Must Catholics Marry in a Church?

It’s important to remember that your wedding is taking place in a religious setting. If the bride and groom are both Catholic, the wedding is usually celebrated with a Nuptial Mass. If a bride or groom is baptized non-Catholic, the wedding may be celebrated with a Mass or without a Mass, as you determine. Only the Catholic partner will receive Holy Communion. If a bride or groom is not baptized, the wedding is celebrated without a Mass.

Wedding Celebrations

Ordinarily, weddings are celebrated on Saturdays anywhere from 10:00 am; with 2:00 pm being the latest. Other days and times can be arranged if the church is available. THERE ARE NO WEDDINGS SCHEDULED DURING THE LENTEN SEASON. A rehearsal will also be set when the wedding is scheduled. The rehearsal is typically on the Friday evening before the wedding day.

Decorating the Church

Only live flowers can be used. It is customary for all flower arrangements used in the church for your wedding to be left for weekend Masses. During the Christmas or Easter season, the arrangements that are already present in the church may not be moved/rearranged. Pew bows can be used, but they must be attached without tape. Ribbons or snail clips are permitted. Candlebras may be used, but dripless candles are required to prevent wax from damaging the floor.


Flash photography is permitted as the couple enters and leaves the churhch, but it isn’t permissable once the couple arrive at the altar. No spotlights may be used during the wedding. No one can enter the Altar area during the ceremony. Photographers/Videographers are to be discrete when moving around during the ceremony. After the wedding, group pictures can be taken at the Altar

Wedding Celebrant

The pastor, parochial vicar, or a deacon usually witness marriages. A relative or friend who is a priest or deacon is welcome to officiate a wedding at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Any priest or deacon from outside the Diocese of Jefferson City who plans to celebrate/assist with a wedding will need a current Letter of Good Standing from their Bishop or the Superior of their order.

NOTE: All necessary paperwork should be completed one month prior to the wedding if the marriage will take place at the Cathedral of St. Joseph and two months if the marriage will take place away from the Cathedral.



Documents Needed

Newly Issued Baptism Certificate

Every Catholic must present a Baptism certificate from their church of Baptism. The certificate must be issued within 6 months of the scheduled first meeting with the celebrant. The document should have notations on back indicating all Sacraments received up to date.

Civil Marriage License

If you are to be married in Jefferson City, Missouri, you will need a Cole County Marriage License. This can be obtained from the Cole County Clerk’s Office in Jefferson City. If you are to be married outside of Cole County / Missouri, check on the requirements of that state/county. They may vary from those of Missouri.

Natural Family Planning / Fertility Care Resources:

Mid-Missouri Natural Family Planning

St. Louis Office of Natural Family Planning

Kansas City Metro Fertility Care


What is Marriage?

What does the Church teach on Human Sexuality?