Wedding preparation program
Married couples are among God’s gifts to the Church. We believe in what Saint John says in one of his letters, “Where love is, there is God.”
To witness the love of a man and woman in the sacrament of marriage is to glimpse God. That is why marriage fills us with wonder and gratitude. For this reason too, we take preparation for the sacrament of marriage seriously.
As you consider the possibility of celebrating your marriage in the Saint Louis Cathedral Basilica, these guidelines will provide some detail regarding weddings in the Church. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Mary Ann Fox at 314-373-8208.
Part I: Confirming the Cathedral for your wedding
Before any arrangements can be made, please call Mary Ann Fox at 314-373-8208 to reserve a date for your wedding.
- IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE CATHEDRAL PARISH, you should contact a member of the Cathedral clergy prior to arranging any of the other details of your wedding. The initial meeting will enable the priest/deacon to outline the requirements of marriage preparation for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, as well as specific details for weddings at the Cathedral. This meeting will also allow you to clarify any questions you may have regarding the requirements. For parishioners who have been registered and actively supporting the parish for a minimum of 6 months, an offering for the use of the Cathedral Basilica in the amount of $1000 (which includes a cantor and wedding coordinator) will also be required. For parishioners who have been registered for less than 6 months at the time a wedding date is booked, an offering in the amount of $2000 will be required. This is suggested as the minimum offering and is not intended to limit your generosity.
- IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE CATHEDRAL PARISH, you must obtain the written permission of the Pastor of the parish of either the bride or the groom if both are Catholic. If only one of you is of the Catholic faith, then the written permission of the Pastor of the Catholic party is required. This permission should be given on the form included in your marriage information packet (Forms for Pastor’s Permission). In addition to receiving your Pastor’s permission to be married outside of your own parish, the following conditions are also required:
- Contact a priest/deacon from one of your parishes or another priest/deacon whom you know. He should sign the form (form for officiating priest/deacon) agreeing to do the following:
- Complete all the necessary paperwork and file it with us no later than the time of your wedding rehearsal
- Be present for your rehearsal
- Witness your marriage
- Make an offering for the use of the Cathedral Basilica in the amount of $2000 (which includes a cantor and wedding coordinator). This is suggested as the minimum offering and is not intended to limit your generosity
- Make your check payable to the Saint Louis Cathedral Basilica
- Sign the contract
- Attend two meetings with Cathedral Basilica Staff – one for music, the other to review protocol
Please complete and return the required forms and contract with your check to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 4431 Lindell Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63108. NOTE: NO DATE IS CONFIRMED UNTIL THE RECEIPT OF ALL PAPERWORK AND
PAYMENT IS RECEIVED BY THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT LOUIS. Please call to confirm your date and time of your wedding approximately one week after mailing in the appropriate information.
** YOU MUST CALL THE WEDDING COORDINATOR AT 314-373-8236 TO REVIEW CERTAIN PROTOCOL BEFORE MAKING ARRANGEMENTS WITH FLORISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, ETC.
- If you live within the Cathedral Parish boundaries, but are not registered as an active parish member (or have not been active for at least one year), a member of the Cathedral clergy will be happy to meet with you to discuss your marriage plans.
You may schedule your wedding on Friday evening, Saturday morning or until 1:30 Saturday afternoon. If you wish a weekday wedding, you may arrange for this with the Cathedral staff. On days when more than one wedding is scheduled, there will be an interval of one and one half hours between the ceremonies.
Part II: Preparing for your marriage
In accord with the marriage preparation policy established by the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, you will need to complete the following:
- Preliminary assessment of readiness for marriage (FOCCUS).
- Participation in at least one of the recommended marriage preparation programs.
- Completion of the necessary forms for our Church records, including copies of baptismal certificates.
- Plan the ceremony with the assistance of priest/deacon and Director of Music Ministries for the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.
- If the priest/deacon who is to witness your marriage serves outside of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, please discuss this with a member of the staff as soon as possible.
- Early in the planning, arrange a meeting with the wedding coordinator.
Part III: Planning your ceremony
Your wedding celebration must follow the directives of the Church; however, you will have some options within those directives from which you are personalize your wedding celebration. In approaching the planning sessions, please be mindful of the following:
- If both bride and groom are practicing Catholics, you are encouraged to celebrate your wedding within the context of the Eucharist. If either the groom or bride is not Catholic, it may be more appropriate to celebrate the wedding ceremony within a service of Scripture readings and Prayers which would enable all of your guests to fully participate. If either the bride or groom has never been baptized in any church, the wedding ceremony must not include the Eucharist.
- The Cathedral Basilica Sanctuary can accommodate wedding parties; including the bride and groom and attendants; up to 14 people. Additional attendants may sit outside the Communion rail.
- All music for your wedding will be arranged at a meeting with the Director of Music Ministries for the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. You may contact the Director at 314-373-8228 to set up a meeting in order to discuss musical selections for your wedding along with the compensation for the ministers of music. This should be done at least two months prior to the wedding date.
- Only music integral to the wedding liturgy and appropriate to the sacred ceremony is permitted.
- The Cathedral organist is employed for all weddings and will suggest the use of cantors and instrumentalists for your consideration.
- All fees and stipends for musicians and the Church are to be paid at the meeting with the Director of Music Ministries.
- Photographers are never allowed to enter the sanctuary, balcony, or pulpit.
- Flashes and camera lights are not to be used during the ceremony.
- Videographers are requested to remain stationary during the ceremony.
- With permission, posed photographs may be taken for up to thirty minutes following the ceremony in the All Saints Chapel only. Weather permitting, posed pictures may be taken outside on the Cathedral grounds.
Flowers and Decorations:
- NO candlebra’s in the sanctuary or candles down the aisle are permitted.
- ONLY fresh cut flowers and live plants are permitted, and these should not be removed following the ceremony.
- The length of the main aisle is 163 feet. If you wish to use an aisle runner, it must be linen and the florist is responsible for removing it immediately after the ceremony.
- The priest/deacon assumes responsibility for directing the procession of the wedding party.
- Food and drink of any type are not allowed in the Cathedral Basilica or on its grounds. For insurance reasons, we cannot allow rice, birdseed, flower petals, or any other items thrown in the Cathedral or on the grounds.
- Please consider appropriate dress for rehearsal AND wedding. This is a CHURCH – modesty is required- no strapless gowns or bare shoulders are allowed. There is not a dressing room in the Cathedral Basilica. There is a large restroom downstairs on the west side of the Church for your use, but it suggested that you come to the church dressed.