Planning Your Wedding at St. Joseph

We offer our congratulations to you as you prepare for your wedding. Marriage is a very important sacrament in the Catholic Church; therefore requirements are in place for a marriage in the Church. Marriage is a covenant made between two people with God and is a sacred event in the life of the couple. Therefore, the Diocese of Savannah requires six (6) months of preparation on the part of the couple to be married. Either the bride, the groom or both must be Catholic in order to be married at St. Joseph Church.

General Requirements

Church law requires that both of you must be free to marry, that is, neither one of you was married before. If either one of you was married before, and your former spouse is still living, you will need to obtain a declaration of nullity for the marriage from the Tribunal of the Diocese of Savannah. The parish priest or deacon will assist you in starting the process. Under no circumstances may a date be set for the ceremony, or even a tentative date set, until the Tribunal process is complete.

In an interfaith marriage, i.e. a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic, the Catholic person makes a promise to maintain his or her own faith and to do all in his or her power to ensure that any children born of the union will be raised in the Catholic faith. The party who is not Catholic makes no promises but is aware of the promise of the Catholic. In addition, a permission/dispensation is required from the Diocese of Savannah Pastoral Office for interfaith marriages when freedom to marry has been established. The priest or deacon conducting the pre-marriage preparation/documentation will obtain this permission.

Photos courtesy of the Smaha-Peterson Family

If you would like to know more about getting married at St. Joseph’s, feel free to read through our Wedding Guidelines Booklet and give us a call at the office to register for your wedding at St. Joseph Church. 

Forms for Registered Wedding Couples