The Diocese of Des Moines

Wedding Guidelines

Marriage is a life-long vocation, a sacrament and a covenant between two people, meant to transform the world around them.  When promoting vocations, it is important to remember that Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony work together to the same end, the transformation and sanctification of the world.  From holy and strong marriage vocations come holy and strong priesthood vocations.  All are invited to pray for couples who are preparing to enter into the sacrament and covenant of marriage.  Many are surprised to learn that the ministers of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony are the couple themselves, with a deacon or priest serving as an official representative of the Church receiving the vows. 


Wedding Planning – You are considering a lifetime of marriage. What a wonderful time in your life! Marriage is a lasting commitment that you make to each other freely. The gift of your whole self to another person calls for fidelity, a life-long commitment and enables you to have and nurture children in an atmosphere of love. This is what the Church means when it calls marriage a covenant and a sacrament. A married couple becomes a sign of how much God loves us, a sacrament of this total love. 

The Diocese of Des Moines offers Wedding Planning Guidelines, a handbook that can help couples in their choices for worship space decorations, worship aids, parts of the wedding Mass or service, and some thoughts on traditional practices and music. Each parish also has marriage preparation guidelines and processes—contact your parish for more details.