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Information regarding Wedding Ceremony
"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament." (Canon Law)
You must meet with a Catholic priest at least six months before the wedding date.
The matrimonial union is for a man and women of whom at least one is a Baptized and Confirmed Catholic
Each must present proof of the sacraments received, including baptism, communion, and confirmation. The baptism certificate must have a recent date of a least six months.
You must attend a Marriage Preparation class
You must obtain a Marriage License and present it to the priest who is celebrating your wedding no later than the rehearsal date.
If you are not a member of St. Mary’s Parish, then we do require a letter from your parish priest identifying your practice of the faith.
Schedule a meeting with a Priest
Please make sure to bring proof of the sacraments received, including baptism, communion, and confirmation. The baptism certificate must have a recent date of a least six months. A priest will review these documents and inform you of any other document needed.
Attend a Marriage Preparation Class
You must attend an Engaged Encounter or other approved marriage preparation and a Natural Family Planning class within the six months. English classes are not offered at St. Mary's, you can choose any location from the list below:
Marriage Preparation Programs For the Engaged (M4E)
St. Vincent's Marinwood
1 Saint Vincents Dr.
San Rafael CA 94903
Marriage for Life Catholic Marriage Preparation (M4L)
The Cathedral of the St. Mary of the Assumption
111 Gough St. (at Geary Blvd.)
San Francisco CA. 94102
Choose the date
Once all requirements have been met and you have received approval from the priest to select the wedding date, please call or visit the parish office to discuss any available date. A minimum deposit of $150.00 must be paid in order for the date to be booked on the Church calendar.
There are two locations that are approved for a Catholic wedding ceremony: St. Mary of the Angels Church in Ukiah and St. Francis Church in Hopland. No additional locations can be considered.
You may schedule your wedding date on any day of the year with the following exceptions: Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Easter Sunday, and Christmas Day. Weddings are usually scheduled on Saturday. The time slots available for Saturday weddings are as follows: 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm. If you would like to celebrate your wedding on a day other than Saturday, please check with one of our parish priests for date & times that are available.
Photographers and Videographers
The church will be available one half hour prior to the wedding for set up and pre-wedding pictures. All photography must be completed and equipment removed from the church one half hour after the wedding. Pictures may be taken in the church using natural light or flash photography. No additional lights, umbrellas or screens may be set up. Studio-type portraits of the bride and groom or bridal party should be taken at the studio or at the reception. During the wedding ceremony or Mass, the photographer or videographer is to show proper respect for the religious rites. Photographers are not permitted to be in the sanctuary area around the altar during the wedding and are expected to remain stationary during the entire ceremony. Videographers are limited to two cameras. Videographers may not “plug into” the existing sound system of the parish. No video editing equipment is allowed in the church. Again videographers must remain stationary during the entire ceremony.
Flowers and Decorations
Pew bows are permitted but must be attached to the pews using clips, ties or other material (no tape) which will not leave marks on the wood. Parish liturgical seasons decorations (Advent Wreaths, Easter flowers, banners, etc.) are not to be removed. It is up to the Bridal Party/Family to arrange for flowers through the florist of your choice. Flowers can be placed in front of the ambo (pulpit). Only low floral arrangements are allowed in front of the altar. Flowers may be presented in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary after Communion. No rice, birdseed, rose petals or other “thrown objects” are permitted before, during or after the wedding ceremony.
Should the Bridal Party/Family want music at the wedding ceremony, you are welcome to engage appropriate musicians. The choice of music should be in good taste and in keeping with the religious nature of the occasion. All music must be approved by the celebrating priest. Please contact the wedding coordinator for suggested local musicians.
Preparatory and Departure Times
You will be allowed a MAXIMUM of one-half hour before the wedding for set up of flowers, cameras, video equipment, etc. and one-half hour after the wedding for pictures and the removal of equipment and flowers. After the ceremony, your guests will be ushered out of the church following the bridal party. The bridal party will then return to the church for pictures.
Please be mindful of the 30-minute overage maximum since the next wedding of the event will be preparing directly after yours. The church must be completely vacated by 1:30 pm for the 12:00 pm wedding or 3:30 pm for the 2:00 pm wedding.
Rehearsal and Wedding Coordinators
There is no rehearsal prior to the event. All necessary coordination of activities will be handled by Parish Staff. Consequently, no outside Wedding coordinators or planners are allowed to operate within the church. Additionally, we ask the Bride and Groom to remind everyone to show proper respect during the entire time the wedding party is in the Sanctuary.
Once again, the Bridal Party will be expected to display proper respect while in the church and on church grounds. This means absolutely no food, drink or gum chewing. No alcohol is permitted anywhere on the church grounds before, during or after the wedding. Children who are less than six years old should be seated with a parent or guardian after they process into the church. It is very important that everyone in the Bridal Party arrives at least 15 minutes early to the event.
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