Thank you for considering our beautiful church for your ceremony. Founded in 1902, our parish is full of history and splendor. We ask that those who seek the sacrament of marriage please contact the church at least 12 months before the planned wedding day.
This is the process that leads to the celebration of the sacrament of marriage in our Parish:
Both parties must provide the following documents to begin the process of planning the celebration of the sacrament of marriage:
- Baptism certificate – newly issued from the church where the person was baptized. Not a photocopy. The reason for this is to assist in establishing the freedom to marry.
- First Communion & Confirmation certificates – if possible, these may be originals or newly issued. these are used to determine the person’s Catholic upbringing.
Once these certificates have been submitted, the secretary will schedule a meeting between a minister (priest/deacon) and the couple for the Prenuptial Inquiry.
The total requested donation is $1000. A $200 deposit is due at the beginning of the process. The deposit is nonrefundable in case of cancellation either by one of the parties or by the parish. The deposit counts towards the total requested donation, which must be received in full by the parish office at least one month before the wedding date.
The prenuptial inquiry will be done in the presence of a church minister. During the inquiry, the minister will ask that the required forms be completed for each party, including but not limited to the Declaration of Freedom and Dispensation (if applicable).
- Declaration of Freedom – Each party to the marriage must obtain two forms, signed in the presence of a church minister or his delegate. The secretary will assist with this process. Each witness is to contact the office and make an appointment to meet with the secretary to complete the form. Witnesses shall be at least 18 years of age, know the bride/groom for a minimum of 20 years and preferably be a parent or close relative of the bride/groom. These forms must be submitted at least six months before the planned wedding day.
- Dispensation – The minister will determine if this process is required and will provide the necessary forms for completion by the bride and/or groom.
In some cases, the minister will work with the couple on obtaining additional documentation for the bride and/or groom, as needed.
Please note: if the bride or groom belongs to a Catholic church other than St. Anthony, they must also ask their pastor for a letter of permission to be married outside of their parish boundaries. The secretary can provide further information.
Setting the Date
Once all required forms have been completed and submitted to the parish secretary, the wedding and rehearsal dates will be set. St. Anthony Parish gives the priority to major liturgical celebrations and books dates as available on a first come, first served basis. The rehearsal is usually on a Wednesday or Thursday at 5:00pm. If the bride and/or groom are 15 minutes late for the rehearsal or wedding ceremony, it may be cancelled.
Couples planning to get married in the Catholic church, whether for the first time or in a con-validated marriage, are expected to participate in a Marriage Preparation program, such as the Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend retreat or the Engaged Couple Conferences. This requirement must be completed at least six months before the wedding. It is highly recommended that reservations be made as soon as possible. Once the required preparation is completed, the certificate of completion is to be delivered to the office.
The secretary will set up a follow-up appointment with a minister for a Counseling session to take place soon after completion of the pre-marriage preparation. The Priest/Deacon may ask to meet with the couple for additional counseling sessions as deemed necessary.
Planning the Liturgy
The minister will guide the couple and assist in planning a ceremony that is liturgically appropriate.
- Readings – The secretary will provide a selection of readings that are appropriate for the marriage rite. St. Anthony Parish will assign the lectors for the ceremony.
- Music – The selected music must be liturgically appropriate.
- Photographers and Videographers – Only one official photographer and one videographer are allowed in the ceremony. During the ceremony, the photographer/videographer must remain outside the Sanctuary area, and they may not move around or cross it. No video lighting is permitted. If posed group pictures are to be taken inside the Church, the secretary shall be informed, and the session may not last more than 15 minutes immediately following the ceremony in consideration of other scheduled events. The Church garden is also available for pictures. The couple is responsible to relay this policy to their photographer/videographer.
- Flowers – The couple is to consult their own florist regarding the planned flower arrangements. Two bouquets of flowers should be left in the Church following the wedding for use in the Sunday liturgies and celebrations. The florist may set up one half hour before the ceremony. The couple is responsible to ensure that all decorations including flowers, trash and debris are cleaned up immediately after the ceremony. Decorations may only be tied or clipped — use of tape, hot glue and staples is prohibited. Candles may not be used in the floral decorations. Rice, confetti, bird seed or other similar items are not to be dispersed inside our outside the Church property. Likewise, flower petals are not to be dropped by the flower girls inside or outside the church. The aisle length, from the front of the altar to the farthest pew is 142 feet. There are 30 pews on each side of the church. For safety reasons, aisle runners are not allowed and space between the pews cannot be obstructed.
Obtaining a Marriage License
The couple must obtain a marriage license from the county courthouse and forward it to the office one month before the wedding date. A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date issued. DO NOT OBTAIN A CONFIDENTIAL marriage license.
- LA County Registrar: 12400 E. Imperial Hwy, Norwalk, CA 90650 • (562) 462 2137
- City of Los Angeles: (213) 462-2137 • www.lavote.net/clerk/marriages
- Orange County: (714) 834-2248
Meeting with the Celebrant
The secretary will schedule a final meeting with the priest/deacon assigned to preside in the marriage ceremony two weeks before the wedding date. The minister will go over the liturgy and will answer any questions for the couple as the final preparation for the marriage ceremony.
It is important that all persons who will participate in the marriage ceremony be present for the scheduled rehearsal. Only the persons who attend the rehearsal will be able to be part of the marriage ceremony. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to explain this policy to their guests and to make the necessary arrangements.