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Marriage & Pre-Cana

Congratulations!  We congratulate you on this momentous decision. Marriage is an incredibly important event in a person’s life. God blesses your love for one another. He wants you to be happy and live a fulfilling life together.

Marriage Requirements
  1. Each Person must be free to marry
  2. Fill out freedom to marry forms
  3. Attend Marriage Prep weekend
  4. Present recently obtained Baptismal certificate
  5. Obtain Civil License
Wedding Guide
We have prepared this guide to help you navigate the arrangements connected with a Catholic wedding.  First, you will make an appointment with our Priest/Deacon. He will explain the marriage preparation process and the necessary paperwork.  During this meeting, the Priest/Deacon will ask whether either of you has been previously married. If either of you has been divorced, you will need to apply for an Annulment before proceeding any further. Talk this over with the Priest/Deacon. If both people are free to marry, you next complete a pre-marriage compatibility FOCCUS questionnaire, which takes about ten days to process. The Priest/Deacon will review the results with you.

Catholic Tradition
The Catholic Church wants its members to marry within the faith. Normally, the priest is the official presider at Catholic weddings. If there are extenuating circumstances, a couple may request a dispensation. Catholics are required to marry a person of the opposite sex. The Catholic Church does not perform same sex marriages. Catholic theology teaches that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Both of you must be practicing Catholics: registered in a parish and attending Mass regularly. The Parish Office maintains a roster of all registered parishioners. The Santa Fe Archdiocese uses the contribution envelope system to verify regular Mass attendance. All parishioners are required to use collection envelopes.

Setting the Wedding Date:
Once you’ve met with the Priest/Deacon, contact the Parish Office to arrange your wedding date. At St. Charles, weddings are performed at 10:00 am on Saturdays. Once the date is set, invite family and friends to celebrate this wonderful occasion!  Weddings are not usually celebrated during Advent and Lent. These seasons are preparatory times for Christmas and Easter.
Marriage Prep Weekend
Married life is an adjustment. The Church wants to prepare couples with insights into some of the challenges of marriage. Therefore, couples are required to attend a Marriage Encounter Weekend, Pre-Cana Class, or Archdiocesan Sponsor Program. Contact the Parish Office to obtain information concerning these programs.
Wedding Particulars
In addition to the ceremony itself, there are a variety of items to be considered.

  1. Church Rental: Fee is $300 for registered parishioners.  For non-parishioners, see #7.
  2. Priest/Deacon & Servers: The stipend for the Priest/Deacon performing the wedding is $125.  We provide 2 Altar Servers; stipend is $10 per server.
  3. Wedding Facilities Coordinator:  She coordinates the facilities, including lighting, sound and setup/cleanup.  She facilitates the wedding party with dressing room arrangements.  She is available to assist with any other facility needs.  Fee: $50.
  4. Accompanist/Cantor:  As your wedding is a sacred event, religious music is used.  Contact the Parish Office to make an appointment with our Music Director to plan the music for your ceremony. Our Music Director is the sole accompanist for all weddings.  He also provides a cantor.  Music fee: $175.00.
  5. Flowers: You may use your own florist or our Parish Florist.  Parish Florist Fee: $100 plus flower cost. The Wedding Facilities Coordinator will provide specifics concerning your floral arrangement setup in the Church.
  6. Unity Candle/Lasso: The Unity Candle or the Lasso Ceremony is sometimes requested.  These items are to be provided by the couple.  Lasso Ceremony requires additional $25 fee.
  7. Wedding Couple from Another Parish: This is allowed with the pastor’s permission.  Church rental for non-parishioners is $500.  The couple must provide a priest to perform the ceremony.  If the priest is from outside the Santa Fe Archdiocese, he must provide a “Letter of Good Standing” from his Bishop at least 2 months prior to the wedding. Contact the Parish Office for specifics.
  8. Safety Issues: For the safety of your guests, no rice, flower petals, or bird seed can be thrown on the premises, either inside or outside.  Additionally, no runners, carpet, wooden planks, etc. may be laid in the aisle.  Alcohol is not permitted in or near the church facility.
If you are interested in having a wedding at St. Charles or have additional questions, please contact the Parish Office.