Saint Joan of Arc Parish rejoices with you on your recent engagement. Moreover, we are honored that you have chosen to celebrate your wedding in your parish church. Your wedding is a source of happiness and blessing for the entire parish family.
As you begin preparations for your marriage, please be attentive to the guidelines outlined in this booklet, from the requirements for the preparation of the couple, to planning and celebrating your Wedding Mass or Liturgy. If questions arise at any stage of the process, please feel free to contact the parish office or the appropriate staff member for clarification.
Scheduling Your Wedding Date
Couples wishing to be married at Saint Joan of Arc Parish must contact the parish office approximately 1 year (no less than 6 months) prior to the anticipated wedding date. To be married at Saint Joan of Arc Church at least one of the bridal couple, either the bride or the groom, must be a registered member of Saint Joan of Arc Parish for at least six months prior to booking a wedding date (consideration is given to those who were past members of the church).
Beginning Your Preparations for Marriage as a Couple
After contacting the parish office and identifying a wedding date, our office staff will inform you of the parish clergy (either a priest or deacon) assigned to work with you in preparation for marriage and to celebrate your wedding liturgy. You will need to contact the priest (or deacon) and schedule an initial meeting to take place about 9 months prior to your wedding date. All preparations for marriage require both the bride and groom to attend together.
At this first appointment, the necessary paperwork will be gathered and undertaken and the priest will conduct a brief ‘interview’ to determine that both the bride and the groom are free to marry in the Catholic Church. Those to be married will have to provide the priest with a record of valid baptism. For Catholics this must be a newly issued baptismal certificate obtained from the church where you were baptized. Baptized, non-Catholic Christians will also need to provide a record of Baptism, which may be either an original baptismal certificate (which would be immediately returned to you), or a more recently issued certificate or a letter from your church attesting to your Baptism.
If both the bride and groom reside outside of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, a priest from one of their local parishes must oversee their marriage preparation and must complete all necessary paperwork. A Marriage Preparation/Pre-Cana program must also be undertaken, either where the couple resides or in the Pittsburgh area. Completed paperwork must be forwarded to the priest at Saint Joan of Arc in the customary manner, and must be received at least six weeks before the wedding date.
All marriage couples must also plan to obtain a valid, Pennsylvania Marriage License. Please note that the license is valid for 60 days from the date of issue, and may be obtained from any county within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
To see all the guidelines and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please click on the button below to download our “Celebrating Your Wedding at Saint Joan of Arc” Booklet.