Marriage Preparation

The Marriage Preparation Process and Timeline

1. CONTACT:    Couples are encouraged to make contact with the parish Liturgy/Wedding coordinator as soon as possible – Sally Bergum at or 952-405-7229.

2. MEETING:    The wedding coordinator will help set up an initial meeting with one of the priests or deacons (often the one who will preside at your wedding).

a.    Based on this meeting the priest/deacon will verify the couple is eligible to be married in the Church and a wedding date may be confirmed.

b.    The priest/deacon will also discuss necessary steps if one or both parties have barriers to being married in the Church (e.g. previous marriage).

3. INVENTORY:    The wedding coordinator will set up the PREPARE inventory for the couple. Taken online, the instrument generates a profile of the couple’s relationship. After completion engaged couples will meet with a trained PREPARE mentor couple from the parish for 2-3 sessions to discuss the results of the PRPARE, including:

a.    Identify strength and growth areas
b.    Explore personality traits
c.    Strengthen communication skills
d.    Resolve conflicts and reduce stress
e.    Compare family backgrounds
f.    Comfortably discuss financial issues
g.    Establish personal, couple, and family goals

The PREPARE mentor couples will invite you to their home for these important sessions. They are dedicated, faith-filled members of the parish who take their own marriage seriously and offer their experiences in service and support of your marriage preparation.

The feedback and evaluation of these sessions is overwhelmingly positive. Engaged couples often comment how helpful the discussions are not only as they reflect on their future of life together as a married couple, but also very valuable in dealing with and reducing stress during the wedding preparation period.

For more background information about the PREPARE inventory, please CLICK HERE

4. RETREAT:    Engaged couples are expected to participate in a marriage preparation retreat.  The tradition of “retreat” is an ancient one, especially for people of faith. Scripture tells us many stepped out of the normal rhythm of daily life to reflect on one’s journey and response to God’s call. Even Jesus took time in a quiet place to draw more deeply into the mystery of God’s will. From this example we lift up the value and opportunity to retreat for some concentrated time to focus on your marriage.

Pax Christi provides a retreat option for both members ($50/couple) and non-members ($75) preparing to celebrate the sacrament of marriage. This day long experience (8:30am-7:30pm) is facilitated by staff and mentor couples from the PREPARE ministry of the parish. Couples are encouraged to register for a retreat as early in the preparation process as possible.

Online registration is available on the EVENT REGISTRATION page. For more information please call the parish office, 952-941-3150.

Retreats are also offered by other organizations. Check the following websites for availability:

5. IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS:    The wedding celebration and recognition of your marriage has both a sacred and secular component. Please take seriously the request for the following documents:

a.    Baptismal Certificate-
i.    The Church requires that Catholics obtain a copy of your baptismal certificate (one dated within six months of your wedding date) from the church of baptism. You may call or write to them and a new one will be sent. We can also assist locating the contact information if necessary. The church of baptism provides a permanent record of your sacramental life. Notification of your marriage will be sent to this church after you are married.
ii.    Those baptized in another Christian denomination need only provide a photocopy of your baptismal certificate.
iii.    For those not baptized, please inform the priest or deacon you are working with.

b.    Marriage License-
i.    Apply for your marriage license at any county office. It takes 5 days from the date of application to be valid and is valid for six months after you receive it. Please have it signed and turned in four weeks before your wedding date. Couples participating in the retreat and PREPARE discussions qualify for a reduced fee for their marriage license with the State of Minnesota. The parish will provide the necessary documentation to receive the discount.

6. FEES:    Pax Christi holds Stewardship as a Way of Life as one of our founding values.  Stewardship is not a program, but a way of living, calling for an individual conversion of heart.  

Who is a Christian Steward?  One who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with an increase to the Lord.    *United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Stewardship:  A Disciple’s Response"

Stewardship covers every facet of our life. We are called from our Baptism to be good stewards of all of the gifts we receive.  Jesus Christ calls each of us to use all of our gifts wisely, develop them to their fullest potential, and be willing to share them with generosity.

Pax Christi takes the role of being a stewardship parish very seriously.  We work hard to be responsible stewards of the gifts our members provide. Many programs and activities that are open to all are offered without a charge, but that does not mean they are “free.”  These program and activity fees are paid out of the generosity of our members, who contribute to Pax Christi each week through the collection basket.  There are programs and activities that are offered for a select group, and in these cases, the group or activity is expected to be fully supported by the participants.  
When it comes to weddings and wedding preparation, as you well know, there are many costs associated with the preparation for marriage, as well as on the wedding day itself.  Fees that are the couple’s responsibility to Pax Christi include:

•    Cantors, instrumentalists, and sound board operators are available for hire and the Worship director will provide you with a list of approved musicians as well as the fees that the individuals charge.  
•    If you choose to use our Marriage Preparation Retreat, anticipate a registration cost of $50.00 per couple for members and $75.00 per couple for non-members.  This highly-rated, one-day couple retreat is held at Pax Christi two or three times each year.  
•    A fee of a minimum of $300.00 is required as a Stewardship response to the services offered to you by this parish.  The fee includes the use of the building for the rehearsal and the wedding, including a Bride’s room and a Groom’s room; the services of an on-site wedding coordinator PREPARE inventory.

Fees should be paid at the initial meeting when a wedding date is confirmed. Checks may be made payable to “Pax Christi.”

Questions? Contact Sally Bergum, Wedding and Liturgy Coordinator, 952-405-7229, or

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Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347


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