Father Mark Bernhard and staff wish you congratulations on your Engagement!

Congratulations once again on your engagement! This is an exhilarating time and the promise of a life full of love to come. During this time of formal preparation for your wedding, find your roots in what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage: Marriage is a covenant between man and woman, reflecting the covenant between Christ and his Church. This beautiful vocation challenges spouses to lead each other to Christ, sacrificing even as he did in order to get each other to heaven.

Selecting a Date

As soon as you are engaged, please call the parish office at 630-654-3365 to secure your wedding date on our church calendar.  Our Wedding Coordinator will work with you to find a date and start your 6-month marriage preparation.  Once booked, you will receive an emailed confirmation letter and detailed instructions.

Mass or Ceremony?

Both are valid in the Catholic Church.

mass includes the Eucharist.  The presider is always a priest.  A wedding mass lasts 45-60 minutes depending on attendance.

ceremony does not include communion.  At Notre Dame, the presider is a deacon.  A wedding ceremony lasts between 35-45 minutes.

In both cases, wedding rehearsals are the evening prior at 5pm.

The Process & Next Steps

Prenuptial Questionnaire

The Wedding Coordinator will help you make an appointment with a priest or deacon to complete the Prenuptial Questionnaire.  Ideally, this in-person, 90-minute meeting will be with your wedding presider.


Set up a few date nights to watch the 6 episodes of The Mystery and Meaning of Marriage in the “Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage” series on FORMED.

To access this and other quality Catholic content, go to Click on sign up.  Sign up as a parishioner.  In the drop-down menu click on Notre Dame Parish, Clarendon Hills. Enter your name and email address.  You’re in!  On future visits, just go to “sign in.”

While we only require the above, please treat yourselves to all the free content on FORMED.  Enjoy their large variety of programs on many interesting topics.  Search “Marriage” for additional shows on building a strong, happy marriage!

Natural Family Planning

We will arrange for you to participate in a Natural Family Planning class individually in-person or in an online group to fulfill the diocese’s fertility education requirement.

Witness Affidavits 

Both the bride and the groom will need two witnesses to ensure that you are entering this union willingly. Close friends or family members will make an appointment with any deacon or priest at any Catholic Church to complete, sign, and seal-emboss the affidavits for you.

Marriage Preparation Meetings

Complete 8-hours of marriage preparation classes.

As a couple, you will meet with one of our local volunteer mentor couples in-person 4 times, for 2-hours each.  Once per year we host a larger group event which will replace the first two meetings.

The third and fourth meetings will review your FOCCUS survey results, which you will independently complete online.  I will send the links to your individual emails.

In extraordinary circumstances, you can complete an 8-hour online, on-demand course, which has an additional fee.  You can access the information here:   If you use this option, please email a copy of your completion certificate.  You will still need to complete the FOCCUS survey online and meet with a mentor couple, priest or deacon to review your survey results.

Selecting Readings

After your Prenuptial Questionnaire meeting, the Wedding Coordinator will email you reading options from which you will select your readings.


Our Musical Director, Michael Keefe, will meet with you to advise you regarding all wedding music.


Sacramental Records 

Six months prior to your wedding, you will request a current, original baptismal certificate from your parishes of baptism. They will mail us one with a current signature and an embossed parish seal. The old one in your parents’ memory box is not sufficient.

Marriage License 

Sixty-days prior to your wedding, you will be eligible to apply for your marriage license.  You will do this at the DuPage County Municipal Complex on County Farm Road in Wheaton.  It is best if you first start the process online.  It will expedite your time in line at the county office. You can drop this at the parish to my attention anytime, or bring it to your rehearsal.  Please note that in the State of Illinois, only your presider needs to sign the marriage license. Neither you nor your witnesses need to sign it after the wedding.  I will mail the completed license at the Clarendon Hills Post Office once you head to your reception.


You will receive a fee sheet at your initial meeting.  Fees are due 30 days prior to your wedding.


We require that you go to confession before your wedding.  To help you prepare, we provide videos on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Notre Dame confessions are Saturdays from 4:00-4:45pm.  You can also make an appointment with Father Mark.

Things To Consider As You Plan

Things to Avoid as You Plan

–Bridal party attendants under age 5.  They become the focus instead of you.

–Unity Candles–they are not religious.

–Scattering flower petals, rice, confetti, glitter, bubbles or the like, inside or outside of the church.

Things to Consider as You Plan

–Large bridal parties may not fit up at the altar.

–Our church interior is lovely on its own.  While flowers are allowed, most couples choose not to decorate the church.

–Use photographers/videographers familiar with Catholic ceremonies and protocols.  We do have an audio connection port for videographers.


Our Wedding Coordinator will be available to answer any questions that arise as you plan.

Our hope is that as you prepare, you will encounter the Love of Christ and His desire for your marriage.

Congratulations again!  For more information, please call the Parish Office at 630-654-3365.



Additional Resources

Let Your Vineyards Flourish: The Eternal Riches of the Marriage Rite