Marriage Guidelines


   The Catholic Community of St. Mary of the Assumption congratulates you on your decision to marry in the Catholic Church. Our preparation process is designed to prepare you to enter a marriage that will last for the rest of your lives, as well as assess your readiness to do so at this time. The basic outline of the process appears below. Each item or requirement will be fully explained to you by the priest during your first interview.
1. Call the rectory (805) 922-5826 and request an appointment with the priest after you have read this information and completed the Marriage Information Form . Formulario en español  Both the bride and the groom must meet with him. This initial interview must take place at least six months before the proposed wedding date. Please scroll all the way down to download the Marriage Form.
2. Bring the completed form with you when you meet with the priest.

3. If there are no apparent obstacles to your marrying at this time, the priest will explain each requirement and discuss with you the Marriage Guidelines. If there are obstacles to marrying at this time, the priest will explain them to you and tell you how to remove them.

4. The marriage preparation process includes the following:

  • Several one-hour meetings with the priest who is assisting you with the preparation.

  • Collection of the documents necessary to complete your marriage file:

    • Proof of baptism or non-baptism for each party. (See additional requirements on Marriage Guidelines)

    • Certificates for First Communion and/or Confirmation if received in a Catholic or Orthodox Church.

    • Certificate of completion of an approved marriage preparation program.

    • Sworn testimony of two people for each party establishing their freedom to marry in the Catholic Church.

    • Sworn testimony of the bride and groom.

    • Valid civil marriage license issued by any county in the state of California or

    • If you are already civilly married, a certified copy of the marriage license for that ceremony.

    • Church decrees of annulment for any kind of prior marriage by either the bride or the groom.

    • Any special permission(s) required by Church law.

 Fulfillment of financial obligations

6. Planning the wedding ceremony

7. Rehearsal

8. Celebration of the marriage

Fulfillment of Financial ObligationsGenerally, the financial obligations include the following:

Donation to the parish (includes deposit):


(balance due 1 month prior to wedding)

Wedding Coordinator:    

         $  80

(fee is due 1 month prior)

Altar Servers (2 @ $10 each)  

         $  20

(fee is due 1 month prior)




Minimum total financial obligations:



*To receive any privileges as an active member of this parish showing your time, talent and treasure, you must be a registered parishioner and active within one year of your registration date.

A deposit of $100 is included in this price.  This deposit will be required to secure the date of your event/ceremony.  This deposit is refundable up to 30 days from the date your deposit is received.  The balance of your donation to the church is payable 1 month before your wedding.  The remaining fees are payable to the wedding coordinator the night of the rehearsal (her fee and the altar servers fee).  If you choose to have a singer/choir, it is your responsibility that he/she gets paid directly.

Marriage is a right in the Catholic Church. No eligible Catholic can be denied a Church wedding because they cannot make a donation. If you are unable to fulfill the financial obligations, please let your priest or his representative know immediately so that other arrangements can be made.

If you are having your civil marriage blessed or validated in the Catholic Church, your financial obligation for a registered parishioner is $100 less than the donation to the parish. There is no reduction of fee for the non-registered parishioner.  The fees to the wedding coordinator, altar servers and music fees remain the same for both registered and non-registered.

 Planning the Wedding Ceremony: The priest or his representative will give to you and will explain to you a planning booklet called “Together for Life”. This booklet contains all of the choices for all of the parts of a wedding ceremony, as well as planning forms. The booklet also contains complete instructions and explanations.
 Rehearsal: It is your responsibility to contact the Parish Wedding Coordinator at least one month before your wedding ceremony to schedule your rehearsal. We also recommend that you contact her for any questions you may have that pertain to the rehearsal and the day of your wedding.  Her name is Gisela Rendon. She can be contacted at (805) 922-5826 Ext. 109.
 Music: If you wish to have any type of music at your wedding, it is your responsibility to find & acquire the music for your ceremony.  The Rectory is not responsible for music for weddings. The basic guideline to be followed in planning your music is that all music played in the church is to be religious music. If you have questions about the music, or if you would like to contact an organist, pianist or vocalist, you are encouraged to talk to the rectory.
 Decorations and flowers - please follow the guidelines as stated below:You are welcome to decorate the interior of the church for your wedding. Please do not do anything that damages, mars or scars the walls, floor or pews. Tacks, scotch tape, bare wire are not to be used in the church.  Runners are not permitted.  No floral or garden arches are allowed before the altar or sanctuary or in the isles, only at the vestibule but without obstructing the entrance doors. The throwing of rice, bird seed, and flower pedals, etc., inside or outside of our church is not allowed. Pew decorations must hang from the ends of the pew. You are welcome to leave flowers for Sunday Mass if you wish. It is your responsibility to let your florist know these regulations.
 Photography: Photographers should check with the Wedding Coordinator (or the Rectory) to review the Guidelines for Weddings either at the rehearsal or prior to the wedding. Generally, pictures can be taken anytime during the ceremony from anywhere in the church except from the sanctuary. Each couple may have one still photographer and one video cameraman. Flash pictures and video camera lights are not permitted during the ceremony. Posed pictures are permitted inside the church only after the ceremony. Photography should not interfere with the ceremony in any way. Please make sure your photographer is aware of our regulations.