So you want to get married… Here’s what you need to know!

Wedding Preparation

The family of St. Anne’s is eager to help you prepare for your wedding day and we promise to walk with you for the many years that lie ahead. Also if you are planning a big wedding consider getting the best favour bags for your wedding!

Please see the Program Outline below.  This briefly describes the steps a couple goes through to prepare for a wedding here at St. Anne’s.  Also find the Marriage Preparation Handbook.  This answers many of the usual questions couples have about the wedding celebration.  And lastly, also find a schedule for the Diocesan Pre-Marriage Retreat Program.  Let me explain a little what these are all about.

Basically we ask couples to do four things in preparation for a wedding.

  1. Meet with a priest to become clear about what it means to marry in the Catholic Church. This is the purpose of the “Introductory Meeting” and the “First Meeting with the Priest.”  (See Program Outline.)
  2. Gain information about what it takes to have a successful marriage.  This is the purpose of the “Pre-Cana Classes.”
  3. Work at the communication skills you will need to keep your relationship alive.  This is the propose of the “Pre-Marital Inventory.”
  4. Plan the wedding celebration.

Marriage Preparation Program Outline

The following is a schedule of the steps a couple would normally follow in preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage at St. Anne’s Parish.  Special circumstances may require additional steps.  These exceptional situations would be explored in the “Initial Contact” or “First Meeting With The Pastor.”   The following sequence  is recommended but may need to be altered in individual cases.  A couple may be given a tentative wedding date when they first contact the Church.  But  the pastor cannot formally agree to witnessing a marriage until after the Pre-Nuptial Investigation which is part of the couple’s first meeting with him.  If you are not living in Wausau you may want to explore the possibility of doing some of these preparations through a Church near to you.  Please feel free to contact the St. Anne’s Parish at anytime if questions arise.

Initial Contact (1-2 years prior to wedding) (6 month minimum)

  1. Couple contacts parish
  2. Parish secretary interviews couple by phone to determine whether they are candidates for the marriage preparation program
  3. Parish Secretary sends information packet to couple including:
    • This Marriage Preparation Program Outline
    • Schedule of Introductory Meetings
    • Schedule of Pre-Cana Classes
    • Guidelines for Weddings at St. Anne’s

It is the couple’s responsibility to register or make appointments for the following steps:


Introductory Meeting  (10-12 months prior to the wedding)

  1. Pastor reflects with couples on the meaning of their wedding vows.
  2. Pastor reviews steps of Preparation Program
  3. Questions and answers
    • Couples fill out Pre-Marital Inventory ($15 fee to process this Inventory)
    • Couples indicate to priest whether they will take Class or Sponsor Couple program (see below)

  First Meeting With The Pastor (9-11 months prior to the wedding)

  1. Pastor completes the Pre-Nuptial Investigation with Couple
  2. Explores need for special preparations (interfaith, previous marriage, etc.)
  3. Gives the couple materials helpful in planning the wedding celebration.
  4. Please bring a Certificate of Baptism with you to this meeting.  These should be gotten by contacting the church where you were baptized, informing them you are getting married and asking them to send a current baptismal certificate.  Please keep the original certificates.

Wausau Area Pre-Marriage Program  OR Sponsor Couple Program (7-10 months)

Couple participates in one of the Saturday Pre-Marriage Programs offered by the Wausau Deanery or its equivalent. OR the couple may choose the Sponsor Couple Program.  In this program the engaged couple meets with a married couple from the parish five times prior to the wedding.  This allows deeper trust and more heartfelt communication to develop.  We strongly recommend it.  But we realize it may be impossible for couples living out of town and the one day Pre-Marriage program may be best for them.  The Sponsor Couple program also takes the place of the Discussion of the Pre-Marital Inventory below.

Discussion of Pre-Marital Inventory (for those not doing the Sponsor Couple Program) (6-9 months prior to the wedding)

  1. Parish Facilitator Contacts Couple to set up a time
  2. Couple meets as many times as necessary to work through the material in the Pre-Marital Inventory (usually one to three meetings)


Second Meeting With Pastor (1-3 months prior to the wedding)

  1. Pastor helps couple prepare the liturgy for the wedding celebration
  2. Schedule the rehearsal if it hasn’t been scheduled already.


Rehearsal (Usually the night before the wedding)

The wedding rehearsal may be scheduled at almost any time.  Please allow in your planning approximately one hour for the rehearsal in church.

The Wedding Celebration!

Items to Review: