For Newly Engaged Couples

Congratulations on your engagement!
Your parish family is thrilled to celebrate this milestone with you and pray for you as you journey towards your wedding day. If you are on this page you may be looking for the answer to the question, “I’m engaged, NOW WHAT?” Planning for not only a Wedding but for a Marriage can seem overwhelming. Rest assured, you have come to the right place! Check out the information below and in the additional tabs in the Holy Matrimony section of this website to find more information and some helpful links that will help you anticipate your wedding day and your life together in the vocation of Marriage.

I’m Engaged, Now What? Can I just Pick a Date?

The process of preparing for and anticipating your wedding are exciting! It is a time that can bear much spiritual fruit and is meant to allow a future husband and wife time to grow in mutual respect, understanding, and charity towards one another. The clergy and staff of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church are honored to anticipate this Sacrament with you and offer their prayers and support as you approach the day when you become husband and wife in the eyes of God.  Your next step is to officially begin the marriage preparation process with the parish. At your initial meeting, called “Pre-Prep,” you can suggest dates that you are hoping to lock in for your wedding day. Once we know what dates you are looking at, it is a several step process to confirm and requires our office staff, clergy, and office of Family Life to all coordinate. This may take a little time because we are vibrant parish! The more flexibility you have with your dates the easier and quicker it will be to confirm a date and time. We suggest not confirming with a reception venue until you have confirmed with the Church. 

CLICK HERE to schedule your Pre-Prep Meeting!

Marriage Preparation at Sacred Heart of Jesus

The goal of the Nazareth Marriage Preparation Program of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church is to prepare couples for Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The Sacrament of Marriage explicitly implies the creation of a new family, as husband and wife create a “little Nazareth” in their home together, prayerfully discerning the fruitfulness God asks of them. Therefore, the marriage preparation program of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church prepares couples to accept the graces available to them through the Sacrament of Marriage and apply them in their daily living.  

This is accomplished through a series of meetings with the Marriage Preparation Coordinator, the priests, and with mentor couples.  

The entire marriage preparation process requires a minimum of seven months. It is strongly recommended that couples allow nine months to a year to complete the entire process. As part of the process, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington requires face-to-face meetings with a priest, in official preparation, at least six months prior to a planned wedding date.  

To schedule your Pre-Prep Meeting and begin the Marriage Preparation Program, please email Laura Ricketts at  or CLICK HERE and you will be redirected to the Calendly scheduling assistant. Find a date and time that work for you and your fiancé(e), sign up, and you’re all set!


To pay fees, stipends, or make gifts to our marriage and family ministry, click on the PayPal link or scan the QR code below:

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