Marriage Preparation Timeline
At Least Nine Months Before the Wedding
- Attend Prenuptial Meeting. At this seminar, you will have an opportunity to review the requirements of the marriage preparation program and begin the necessary paperwork. If you are being married at the Newman Center, no firm wedding date may be set until after you attend a seminar, so we recommend that you do NOT reserve a reception hall, caterer, and so forth until you fulfill this requirement.
Marriage seminars will be offered on the following dates at 2:00 PM:
- January 27, 2013
- March 10, 2013
- May 12, 2013
- July 14, 2013
- September 15, 2013
- November 17, 2013
For information regarding Marriage Seminars contact Milly Venezia at email@example.com.
- Take the FOCCUS Premarital Inventory. After registering to complete marriage preparation at the Newman Center you will be given pass codes to take the online version of the FOCCUS premarital inventory, a tool that aids couples in furthering dialogue about the issues pertinent to married life. Download this PDF for more information.
- Complete the FOCCUS review.After completing the FOCCUS, you will be paired with a sponsor couple or Newman Center staff member to meet to discuss some of the areas from the FOCCUS inventory. Alternately, you may have the option to review the FOCCUS with a member of the marriage preparation team.
Eight to Nine Months Before the Wedding
- Submit all necessary premarital documentation. The following items must be submitted to the Marriage Preparation Office:
- Baptism Certificates: For Catholics, the baptism certificate must be issued within 6 months prior to the wedding date. You can request the certificate from the church where you were baptized and have it sent directly to you or to the Newman Center. Baptized non-Catholics may provide a copy of their baptism certificate. A new original is not required for non-Catholics.
- Affidavits of Free Status: These are sworn sealed statements, usually by parents if they are living, that you have never been married before and have no impediments to marriage in the Catholic Church. Instructions for this form will be given to you at the marriage seminar.
Seven to Eight Months Before the Wedding
Couple Education and Enrichment
- Marriage Preparation Classes: In addition to a marriage prep inventory, you will complete an educational component designed to fine tune practical skills such as conflict resolution, decision-making, financial management, and communication. There are various educational programs available in the diocese, with formats varying from a weekend retreat to multiple evening meetings.
- God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage:This is a program designed to get everyone on the same page spiritually. It is based on John Paul II's Theology of the Body and it will teach you not only what the Church teaches about marriage and sexuality, but why she teaches it. To register for this course visit the diocesan website.
- Natural Family Planning Course: To ensure that you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in accord with God's plan for marriage, you will have the opportunity to learn about Natural Family Planning, an effective and safe method of family planning supported by the Catholic Church. Class locations, dates, and times are available here.
Three Months Before the Wedding
- Begin Planning your Liturgy: Together as a couple, begin thinking about the type of liturgy you would like to have, the Scripture passages you would like read, the vows you would like to say, and so forth. The Together for Life book given to you at your initial prenuptial meeting will guide you through this process.
- Set up a Musician for your Wedding:The Newman Center does not currently have a Music Director. However, we are able to provide a list of musicians that have played regularly at the Newman Center. Please keep in mind that musicians are a separate fee from the wedding fee.
Two Months Before the Wedding
- Obtain a Marriage LicenseFor Arizona weddings, a marriage license may be obtained at the Marriage License Office. Please plan ahead if you would like to apply for the Arizona Covenant Marriage License, which requires obtaining a notarized statement from us that you have participated in marriage preparation. If you are being married in another state, you must obtain your marriage license in that state.
- Contact the Marriage Prep Office at 480-967-7823 to make sure your file is complete.
One Month Before the Wedding
- Schedule a Meeting with your Celebrant to go over your plans for your liturgy and any last-minute details or concerns.
- Take the Opportunity to Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliationif you are Catholic, as part of your preparation for the sacrament of matrimony.