Preparation Programs & Documents


We will work with you in this process of preparation.  Some of these preparations include the gathering of certain documents, the completion of a pre-martial inventory, and your participation in a pre-marriage preparation program (Pre-Cana or similar programs).




1. A new Baptismal Certificate dated within six months of the day you wish to be married must be submitted by each Catholic party.  In the marriage of a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian, the non-Catholic is also to present a record of baptism, if that is possible.  Writing or phoning the church in which the baptism took place easily obtains these certificates.  Copies of original certificates are unacceptable.

2. A Confirmation Certificate is also required for all Catholics.  (Both certificates remain on file at St. Josaphat.)

3. A civil Marriage License is required for the marriage to take place in church.  This can be obtained at the Office of the Cook County Clerk, 118 North Clark Street, Lower Level Randolph Street in Chicago.  It is good for 60 days from when it is issued, but cannot be used within the first 24 hours of receiving it.  It should be brought to the wedding rehearsal.  Currently, in Cook County, there are no blood tests needed to obtain a license.  You need to go together and have proper identification.   Obviously, no wedding can be witnessed without a valid license.  If you have any questions regarding this license call 312-603-7790.  Only cash is accepted at the county office.

4. In case of a marriage ceremony at a non-Catholic church involving a Catholic and a non-Catholic, a dispensation must be obtained from the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese before the wedding.  Because of the time involved in such a procedure, it is advisable to complete all of the necessary paperwork as soon a possible.




Pre-marriage preparation includes a program that offers you the time and setting to consider together your life as a married couple.  A number of programs are available to you.  Popular programs include Discovery Weekend, Engaged Encounter, and the Parish Pre-Cana or Archdiocesan Pre-Cana.  These programs are approved by the Archdiocese and fulfill the recommendation for pre-marriage preparation required by the Archdiocese.  Arrangements for any of the programs are the responsibility of the couple.  Reservations are required for all programs.  The cost of the Parish Pre-Cana is included in your wedding fee.  If you are being married somewhere else, the cost of Pre-Cana is $200.00



Couples taking the Catholic Couple Check Up receive a twenty page report on their relationship with a discussion guide tailored to their individual situations immediately after completing the inventory.




1. A statement of intention by both bride and groom, called a pre-nuptial questionnaire, is required.

2. In cases where the priest preparing you for marriage does not know you or your family, two affidavits for each of you may be required.  Adults who know you well complete these affidavits in any Catholic parish in the presence of a priest, deacon, or pastoral associate.  Close family members (parents, sisters, brothers) are most acceptable since they can easily answer the questions asked.  They need not be Catholic, but should be at least eighteen years of age.

3. In case of a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, a dispensation must be granted.  When the non-Catholic party is Christian and has a copy of his/her baptismal certificate, the parish priest can grant the dispensation.  In cases where the non-Catholic does not have a record of baptism, the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese must grant the dispensation.



Back to Wedding

SJP Comms
Year of Prayer

Member Profile Keep Updated