Marriage Preparation Program


Marriage Preparation

Congratulations on being called to the sacrament of marriage and on your decision to marry in the Catholic Church. We at Sacred Heart are excited to help you prepare for not only a beautiful wedding ceremony, but also a joy-filled life of marriage.

It is our intention that your wedding be a beautiful, memorable and grace-filled event that not only expresses your commitment to each other, but will also draw you closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. In the celebration of your marriage in the Church, you are inviting the Lord to be present to you as a full partner in your life together. He will honor that invitation and bring you much happiness, joy and peace. Please be assured or our prayers for you during this time of preparation.

Sacred Heart uses the Fully Engaged Marriage Preparation Program. During the marriage preparation process, you will complete an online marriage inventory (which is the starting point for “must have” conversations) and you will meet with a mentor couple on five different occasions to share conversation about key areas of married life. The mentor couple is an ordinary couple who is willing to share their own experiences, successes, mistakes and what they have learned along the way while challenging you to reflect on your own experiences, understanding and readiness for marriage.

Please contact the parish office to begin the preparation process.

Please see the Diocese of Boise webpage for more information on marriage preparation, enrichment, and validation:

We also encourage you to participate in an Engaged Encounter Weekend. This weekend retreat has been designed to help strengthen your communication skills as well as help you learn much more about each other:

Please see Bishop Peter Christensen’s letter to engaged couples and the Basic Steps for Marriage Preparation in the Diocese of Boise here.


Setting the Date and Time

All wedding and rehearsal arrangements need to be made in consultation with the priest/deacon from Sacred Heart who is officiating at your wedding. Do not set a firm date or time without consulting with the priest/deacon first! We will do our best to give you the date and time you prefer, but that will not always be possible. Weddings may be celebrated any day of the week, but are discouraged on Sundays. Weddings on Sundays, major feasts and during Lent involve certain restrictions. Saturday wedding times are 11 am and 1 pm.  Friday evening Masses are recommended as another option for couples. Rehearsals are generally held the evening before the wedding.

The Liturgy

According to diocesan guidelines two Catholics are encouraged to be married with a Mass. In the case of an interfaith marriage, a Mass is optional.  We will use the book, Together for Life, to aid in planning your ceremony. We will be available for any other help you might need in this area. You will need to meet with the officiating minister (priest or deacon) to confirm the plan for the actual wedding ceremony.  Family or friends who are ministers from other faith denominations are welcome to participate in the liturgy as is appropriate.

The Music

It is important to have appropriate liturgical music at your wedding. Sacred Heart has many very talented musicians who are anxious to assist at weddings. Regardless of who is doing your music, arrangements need to be made through and approved by the Wedding Coordinator.

The Rehearsal

The Wedding Coordinator will help facilitate your wedding rehearsal which will last 30 minutes to an hour. Because your rehearsal is usually only one of a number of commitments the coordinator and priest/deacon have scheduled, please be prompt for your rehearsal and the wedding itself. Often the Church is also scheduled for use immediately after your rehearsal or wedding. Bring the marriage license to the rehearsal and give it to the minister. We encourage only those who are in the immediate wedding party (bride and groom, attendants, parents, ushers, and lectors) to attend the rehearsal.


The Wedding Coordinator will work with you and your photographer in selecting the most appropriate times and places for photographs or video-taping.

Wedding Supplies

There are vases and baskets available for your use. If you wish the candelabras, we will supply the candles (seven for each holder) for a fee of $30.00. If you choose to use a unity candle, you will need to purchase it separately.

Wedding Room

The key for the wedding room (used by the bride) is available for you the day before the wedding. You may return it to the Wedding Coordinator or the parish office after the wedding. The men use the Library (Tom's Room) for their preparation before the wedding. If the wedding party is large, we will open Hope Hall for you, if available.

Sorry, No Rice!!

Insurance, liability and other concerns prohibit the throwing of rice or birdseed on church property.


You may not remove or move anything in the Sanctuary. We are always mindful that our environment is for the prayer of the entire community worshipping at Sacred Heart.

Other Resources and Reading Materials

  • Catholic Updates (Available at the parish office):
    Cohabitation Before Marriage
    Sacrament of Marriage: Sign of Faithful Love
    Spirituality of Marriage
    Ten Commandments for "Fighting Fair"
    Ten Things You Should Discuss Before Marriage
    How & Why of Natural Family Planning
    Sacraments: It all Starts with Jesus
    Preparing for Marriage
    Helping Our Children Grow in Faith
  • Discerning Marriage by Fr. Michael Sweeney (Available from the parish library)
  • American Catholic Marriage Link
  • For Your Marriage