As a professional planner helping Catholic brides and grooms coordinate their weddings, I am called to reflect on the beautiful traditions of our Church. My reflection has brought me to consider my own wedding--almost seven years ago--and how if I were planning it from the place of deep faith I hold today, the timeline of our wedding festivities would have looked a bit different.
Part of this spirit of reflection comes from where my husband and I were in our faith journey at the time we got married. We were both strong in our love for Christ and for the Church. Neither of us, however, was well-versed in the rich traditions of our faith outside of Sunday Mass.
Today, I love reading about engaged and newlywed couples who seem so practiced in their faith. It fills my heart with joy seeing how deeply it is integrated into their proposals, wedding preparations, celebrations, and families.
These brides and grooms truly place their marriages at Christ’s feet, acknowledging their primary vocation is to glorify him by serving each other in the sacrament of marriage.
Since I don’t have my own wedding to do over again, I pray that through my services, I am able to help and encourage my Catholic couples to integrate their spiritual life into their weddings. This means supporting them in timeline creation and helping them plan not just a day-of schedule, but a wedding week with significant time for spiritual rest and preparation leading up to the big day.
Below are some of my favorite suggestions, as well as a sample timeline for structuring your own wedding week around Christ.
How wonderful would it feel to enter into marriage with a clean conscience, having absolutely no sin weighing down on you as you make your vows? In our marriage, my husband and I try to go to confession regularly, as it provides us with a time to support to each other in the sacrament. The day or two before your wedding, consider scheduling in a time to head off to confession with your beloved.
Hearing the word of God, receiving the Eucharist, giving our Lord thanks and praise: the Mass has so much to offer our hearts! I encourage you to look up daily Mass times for the day before your wedding and take that extra hour to continue centering your hearts in preparation.
I love the idea of Adoration before your rehearsal, with an invitation to your families and bridal party to join you. You could bring a prayer card, Rosary, or journal. Or, simply kneel in Christ’s presence, allowing him to wash over your hearts and fill you with the Holy Spirit.
Veneration of Mary
This tradition can be part of your wedding ceremony, so it wouldn’t need to be included on an official timeline, but do discuss it with your priest. I love this tradition because you are asking our Mother of all the faithful to pray for you as you start your own family. This could involve lighting a candle before her statue or placing flowers at her feet.
I hope these suggestions help you reflect as you think about your own wedding. The dress, the flowers, the food, the party...these details all give glory to God in their own true beauty. But the prayerful traditions of our faith offer us the even deeper beauty of union with Christ, his Church, and our spouses. I pray you find this fruit in your marriage preparations!
Below is a sample wedding week timeline Keara created for Spoken Bride readers; click to download your copy.
About the Author: Keara Mooberry is a Catholic wife, mother to two little boys, and a wedding coordinator, owner of Keara Anne Weddings, based out of the greater Philadelphia area. She loves helping engaged couples stay organized and calm as they prepare for their wedding days and marriages. In her spare time, Keara can be found swimming, reading to her boys, and striving to live liturgically in her home.