Can I be married at St. Paul?
Of course! We welcome all active parishioners and can’t wait to celebrate with you. Not an active parishioner? See next question.
If neither bride nor groom belong to St. Paul, can they still have their wedding at St. Paul’s Church?
As a general rule, no. We’d love to but are limited in staff and priest availability. Some exceptions can be discussed if the couple has strong ties to our active parishioners and can coordinate with a celebrant outside of our parish. Non-active-parishioner rates apply.
What if I don’t have a parish? I’m not registered.
Don’t worry! If you’re Catholic, you have a parish – by virtue of residence. The parish nearest your home has a responsibility to all those who live within its boundaries. Want to become an active parishioner of St. Paul? Click here to contact us.
How soon should we contact a priest?
The sooner, the better. Give our team time to make sure your special day is well coordinated. Following the marriage guidelines of the Archdiocese of Chicago, arrangements for your wedding should be made at least four months in advance. This is necessary to allow sufficient time to complete pre-marriage requirements and to take care of the details of planning the marriage ceremony.
What are the pre-marriage requirements?
We want to make sure all couples are spiritually ready for this important sacrament.
Luckily, the Archdiocese of Chicago has many preparation options for you to choose from. Click here.
What documents do we need?
- A Baptismal certificate – dated within six months of the wedding.
- In an ecumenical marriage, a baptized non-Catholic is also asked to present a record of Baptism, if possible. This may be a church certificate or a personal affidavit.
- A Confirmation certificate for Catholics, if this is not already included in the notations on your Catholic Baptismal certificate.
- The attendance certificate presented at the completion of your Pre-Marriage or Pre-Cana program. For information on these programs, click here.
- Two affidavits affirming each person’s freedom-to-marry may be needed.
- A marriage license from Cook County, Illinois one week before your wedding day. For information on obtaining a marriage license, including locations and hours, click here.
- Because every couple is unique, there may be some cases where other documents are required.
How are weddings celebrated during COVID?
Our team of staff and volunteers are working so hard to keep you safe! Click here for details!
Also, a Digital Mass Companion Guide with link to QR Code for guests can be designed for an additional $100. Please see the question on wedding fees for the breakdown of all add-ons.
What sort of liturgy should be planned?
Your liturgy should be simple and beautiful. This is the beginning of a lifetime journey, and we hope for a joy-filled day! Worrying about too many details can distract couples from what they are doing when they promise to love each other until the end of their lives. Our parish has a wedding coordinator available if you would like assistance with details.
If the wedding involves different faiths – or where large numbers of guests are not Catholic, we encourage the use of the Rite of Celebrating Marriage Outside Mass (i.e. without communion). Our coordinator or our pastor can help you with this.
What type of readings should be used? Who should read them?
To find the approved readings for Catholic weddings, click here.
When selecting readers for your ceremony, we ask that you choose those who have been trained with the church as lectors, or we can provide trained lectors for your mass.
What will it cost?
The wedding fee $950
Cleaning fee (COVID Compliance) 400
Music fee 200
* Active-Parishioners rates can be accessed through REALM.
A 50% deposit is required to reserve your date. $150 of your fee is non-refundable.
Full payment is required 10 days prior to your wedding.
Live-streaming $ 450
Wedding Coordinator $ 150
Digital Mass Companion Guide with QR Code for guests $ 100
*For more information on services provided by our wedding coordinator, click here.
Is a donation given to the priest?
It is a Catholic custom to give the priest presiding at your wedding a ‘personal’ stipend. The priest’s gift or stipend (i.e., $100-$200) is given directly to the priest at your last meeting, at the rehearsal, or on the day of the wedding itself, usually with a card or note of ‘thanks.’
If our wedding is being conducted elsewhere, can we do the paperwork with St. Paul?
For a fee of $200, our staff can assist you with marriage paperwork.
What is the seating capacity?
COVID restrictions have limited our capacity to 180 for a wedding mass and 10 for a marriage blessing
Are there restrictions we should know about for the day of the wedding?
Please arrive ON TIME. We coordinate multiple weddings each weekend and will need time to clean and sanitize in between. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late, masses are changed to ceremonies, and ceremonies are changed into short blessings. This is done to accommodate the schedule of our cleaning team, staff, volunteers and musicians.
NO balloons: if they float to the ceiling… we’re in trouble!
NO food: our cleaning team works so hard, we don’t want to add more work.
NO alcohol: this is such a sacred moment, let’s focus on what’s important and celebrate afterwards.
There are additional COVID restrictions for all events in the church. Please click here to review.
What are the procedures regarding music?
We are developing a strong music program at St. Paul. We can assign a musician to your wedding and you can coordinate the music with that musician.
Music fees are waived if you provide your own music. Please advise them to bring their own sound equipment.