A How To Guide for Your Catholic Wedding

Wedding Liturgy OP

Your Catholic Wedding Ceremony will be a rich and wonderful celebration, based on universal traditions, and flavoured with your own unique personality. At least one fiancé must be a baptised Catholic in order to marry in the Catholic church.

A Catholic wedding can take place within holy Mass (called a Nuptial Mass) or with the Wedding Service alone. Both options include Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Rite of Marriage, Nuptial Blessing, Concluding Rites and the Signing of the Register. A Nuptial Mass in addition has the Liturgy of the Eucharist and Communion Rite.

Ordinarily, those who do not attend Mass regularly, or where one fiancé is not Catholic, will celebrate their marriage with a Catholic Wedding Service. Speak with your Celebrant about the best option for you.

how to guide for Catholic Weddings || Catholic Wedding Nuptial Mass

The Catholic Nuptial Mass

    1. Introductory Rite
    2. Liturgy of the Word
    3. Rite of Marriage
    4. Liturgy of the Eucharist
    5. Communion Rite & Nuptial Blessing
    6. Concluding Rites & Signing of the register

The Catholic Wedding Service

    1. Introductory Rite
    2. Liturgy of the Word
    3. Rite of  Marriage & Nuptial Blessing
    4. Concluding Rites & Signing of the register

For each ceremony, we’ve created a guide with the order of events so that you can become familiar with it. For parts, there are options such as for the readings, hymns and some of the prayers.

While some Celebrants are happy for the couple to select these, others will have a preference, and others may be bound by diocesan policy. Please check with your Celebrant before settling on the liturgy options. This is especially the case with the music selection as some churches have a strict policy regarding suitable music and may have limitations on who is authorised to use the heritage organ.

A detailed order of service should be provided to the Celebrant so that all are aligned in their understanding of what will take place and the ceremony can run smoothly.


It is common practice for couples to print a booklet for guests to follow the ceremony. This could be as simple as a list of ‘the order of events’, or a full script of all the prayers and hymns prayed during the ceremony or something in between. Increasingly, couples are going paperless, and utilising digital books or the church projectors. Everything regarding the liturgy needs to be approved by your celebrant so to avoid unnecessary waste and distress, please do not print or distribute booklets without his sign off.

Francine & Byron Pirola

Francine & Byron Pirola are the founders and principal authors of the SmartLoving series. They are passionate about living Catholic marriage to the full and helping couples reach their marital potential. They have been married since 1988 and have five children. Their articles may be reproduced for non commercial purposes with appropriate acknowledgement and back links. For Media Enquiries Please Contact us here

Comment Policy

We love to hear your stories and ideas. Please keep your comments respectful, your suggestions productive and published under your own name. More info here

Leave a Comment