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Margaret Lynch
Cathedral Wedding Office Manager
206-382-4288


Thank you for considering the possibility of being married at St. James Cathedral. We want to support and assist you in the best way possible as you embark on this very important commitment in your lives.

This page is intended to answer a few of the questions which are most likely on your mind at this time. It may also help you to raise some questions which haven’t yet occurred to you but which will be important for you to consider as you make plans for your wedding.

Click here for resources for couples who have already scheduled their wedding at the Cathedral

Who can be married at St. James Cathedral?
Normally, those who are registered parishioners of the Cathedral Parish. The Catholic Church has a long tradition of celebrating the sacraments within one’s own community of faith. There can be exceptions to this, however. For example, couples belonging to other parishes of the Archdiocese might wish to celebrate their wedding in the Cathedral with a priest or deacon from their home parish officiating.
 

Who is able to officiate at weddings in the cathedral?
The Pastor, Father Ryan, normally officiates at Cathedral weddings. But permission can be given for a priest- or deacon-friend to officiate. And, as indicated above, if you belong to another parish in the Archdiocese, your pastor will be the appropriate person to approach in this matter.

Are people who are not of the Catholic faith able to be married at St. James Cathedral?
They are, if they are marrying a Catholic.

Are people who have been married before able to be married in the Catholic Church?
Normally speaking, the answer to this question is no. That is because the Catholic Church regards marriage as a permanent commitment. However, because there are exceptions and extenuating circumstances, you would be well advised to discuss it as soon as possible with the priest or deacon whom you approach about officiating at your wedding.

Is some sort of preparation needed for couples wishing to be married?
Yes. Since marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament and a lifetime commitment, one of the ways we value and honor it is by taking time to help couples prepare. All Cathedral parishioners begin this process by completing a comprehensive Pre-Marriage Inventory or questionnaire, followed by an interview with a member of the marriage preparation team. This takes place before the wedding date is finalized on the cathedral calendar. Afterwards, couples are required to participate in a marriage preparation program, a number of which are approved by the Cathedral. Couples who are not cathedral parishioners deal directly in this matter with the priest or deacon who will officiate at their wedding.  Click here for more information about marriage preparation.

When may weddings take place at the Cathedral?
Saturday is the usual day for weddings to be celebrated. They are never celebrated on Sundays. Also, the Church discourages celebration of weddings during the season of Lent.

Is the cathedral chapel available for weddings?
Yes. If you are anticipating a small wedding, (i.e., fewer than 80 people) you may wish to discuss this possibility with the wedding coordinator.

Do Catholic weddings always take place during Mass?
No. Wedding can be celebrated either during the celebration of Mass or during a Liturgy of the Word. Normally, weddings are celebrated during Mass only when both parties are of the Catholic faith.

Does the cathedral have policies regarding the content of the wedding service, the music to be used, etc?
Yes. The content of the service is set forth in the Church’s official Ritual Book for weddings. However, the couple being married is encouraged to engage in helping to plan the wedding service by choosing the Scripture readings that will be used during it. There are certain other options for the service, too, which will be explained to you. The cathedral also has standards and policies regarding the music to be used at a wedding. There are set forth in some detail in the Wedding Policies and Procedures for St. James Cathedral which is given to all couples who are going to be married in the cathedral.

How does a Cathedral parishioner arrange to get a wedding on the cathedral calendar?
If you are a regular and contributing parishioner of St. James Cathedral, you may begin scheduling a wedding by calling the cathedral wedding coordinator up to 14 months (and no less than 9 months) before your desired wedding date. She will discuss with you your preference regarding a date and time for your wedding. After she clears a tentative date on the cathedral calendar, she will call you back and arrange for you to come in and take the standard Pre-Marriage Inventory. Your date will remain tentative until the inventory has been completed, and the results discussed with you and shared with Father Ryan by a member of the parish’s marriage preparation team. This process is normally completed within two months. At this point, which could be as much as one year before your desired wedding date, your date will be able to be confirmed.

How does a someone who is NOT a Cathedral parishioner arrange to get a wedding on the cathedral calendar?
It is necessary first of all for you to have a priest or deacon who is willing to preside at your wedding. Normally, of course, this would be a priest or deacon from your own parish. It could also be a relative or a close friend. Once you have identified the priest– or deacon-presider, the Cathedral wedding coordinator will work with you to find an agreeable date for your wedding. This date will remain tentative until the priest or deacon has requested and received permission for the marriage from the Cathedral pastor. The priest or deacon obtains permission by filling out the “delegation form” provided by the wedding coordinator.

Someone who is not a Cathedral parishioner may begin this scheduling process by calling the Cathedral wedding coordinator as early as 12 months before the desired wedding date.
 

PARISHIONERS and NON-PARISHIONERS, PLEASE NOTE:
The above steps should be followed before you finalize any arrangements regarding the place of your reception, contracts with photographers, florists, etc.

 
Is there a fee involved for a cathedral wedding?
Yes. The fee assigned to your wedding helps defray the costs of the services of the wedding coordinator, the organist, the sacristan, the custodians, the business office, as well as the cost of utilities, such as heat and electricity. There are two fee schedules at St. James Cathedral, one for parishioners and another for non-parishioners.

Fees for parishioners*
For weddings in the cathedral, the fee is $1,100. For weddings in the cathedral chapel, the fee is $850.
No parishioner of St. James Cathedral is ever turned away because of an inability to pay the fee.

*The parishioner rate for weddings is set in order to honor the commitment of participating, contributing members of the parish. It is unfair to them to extend it to people who simply register in order to pay a lower fee. Normally speaking, the parishioner rate applies to those who have been registered and participating members for at least six months prior to scheduling.

Fees for non-parishioners
For weddings in the cathedral, the fee is $2,300. For weddings in the cathedral chapel, the fee is $1,100.

Click here for a breakdown of the complete wedding fee schedule.

A non-refundable security deposit is required:
Please note that $200 of your fee must accompany the initial forms requesting a wedding date at the cathedral.


If you want to be married at the cathedral...
Please contact Margaret Lynch, the Cathedral Wedding Office Manager, 206-382-4288, as soon as possible to discuss your wedding plans and to obtain the necessary information and forms.

 

Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303