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GETTING MARRIED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Please inquire at least 6 months in advance
The Church requires a preparation period of at least six months prior to the wedding to explore the couple's readiness, to take care of necessary paperwork, and to ensure that the couple takes the time needed to prepare well. There are several components to the preparation process in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, and we can assist you through every step along the way. Engaged couples should secure a date for use of the church and begin this process before making commitments with caterers, reception facilities, etc.
Documents Required for Getting Married in the Catholic Church
Marriage celebrates the unbreakable commitment between a man and a woman who are free to make this mature decision in a community of believers. Certain documents are required to establish your sacramental status within the Catholic Church and your freedom from previous unions. Sworn statements attest to your understanding of Christian marriage and your willingness to live within the Church's vision of marriage.
Permission from the Bishop is needed when a Catholic prepares to marry someone of another faith; a dispensation is required for a Catholic to marry someone who is not baptized. Likewise, couples planning to be married in another Roman Catholic diocese need permission from the Diocese of Santa Rosa.
The documents needed for marriage are generally prepared in the local parish of the bride or the groom unless other arrangements are made.
The marriage cannot take place without the following documents:
Baptismal Certificate: Catholics need to get a certificate from their parish of baptism issued within the six months prior to the wedding. For those baptized in another Christian faith, a copy of the original baptismal certificate is sufficient.
Bride and Groom Form "A" and Form "B" for your Witnesses. These forms, completed with a pastoral staff member, attests to the freedom and intentions of each party to the marriage.
Civil Marriage License: It is illegal for a marriage to take place without a civil license. The license must be acquired in person and is good for ninety days from issuance. Any California county can issue a license for marriage to be performed anywhere within the state. The Sonoma County Clerk's office adress is: County Clerk-Recorder Office 585 Fiscal Drive Room 103, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Other Documents: If either party has been married before, other documentation regarding past marriage(s) will be required.
Marriage Preparation Sessions
Engaged couples are asked to participate in an approved marriage preparation program, contact office for more details.
Residents Of Other Dioceses
Couples planning to be married here who reside in other dioceses are asked to complete the marriage preparation process prescribed by their home diocese. The required documentation for marriage is the same across all dioceses.
Residents Of This Diocese Getting Married Outside The Diocese Or In Another Country
Couples who reside here and are planning to be married in other dioceses or in another country need to know that this process takes a little longer. While the required documentation for marriage is the same across all dioceses, it takes extra time to forward these papers through the proper channels.