What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.— Matthew 19:6

Marriage is “the matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1601)

hands 2Congratulations on your engagement! The following information should help as you begin the process of preparing as a couple for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.  Please carefully read all of this information, so there are no last minute surprises as you come closer to the wedding day.

As with all Sacraments of the Catholic Church, Marriage requires spiritual preparation and as such, we require at least six months of preparation time.

If you are in need of Marriage preparation and are not planning to have your wedding at the Cathedral, please use THIS FORM for registration.

Wedding Times

Weddings are held at the following times, with corresponding rehearsal times assigned (please note that we do not celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony during the Lenten Season).

Wedding Time: Rehearsal Time:
Friday, 1:00pm Thursday, 5:00pm
Saturday, 10:00am Friday, 3:00pm
Saturday, 12:00pm Friday, 4:00pm
Saturday, 2:00pm Friday, 5:00pm


Fees for the Cathedral are determined based on parishioner status.  The determination of status is made at the point of scheduling the date.

Active Registered Parishioners:  Cathedral – $600  /  Chapel – $400
An active registered parishioner is an individual who has been registered at St. James Cathedral Parish for a minimum of one (1) year PRIOR to the reservation of the wedding date.  Additionally, active parishioners must maintain regular Mass attendance. As well as make regular financial contributions to the parish through the consistent use of parish envelopes, check or on-line payment, and/or volunteer in parish ministries.

Active Parishioners within the Diocese:  Cathedral – $1,000  /  Chapel – $750
An active parishioner within the Diocese meets all of the qualifications of an “active registered parishioner” but regularly attends Mass at another parish within the Diocese of Orlando.

Out of the Diocese/Not Active:  Cathedral – $1,500  /  Chapel – $1,000
This rate is for applicants who are not active at any parish within the Diocese of Orlando.  They may be active members of a parish outside of the Diocese of Orlando.

All fees must be paid 60 days prior to the wedding.

Please note:  Music fees are separate.  Contact our Music Director, Elizabeth Jennings at 407-461-7510 to discuss music for your wedding.  Wedding music sessions are held once a month in the Cathedral.  Check the bulletin or website for dates.  Only musicians approved by the Music Director are permitted.


0113Every marriage celebration is given 1.5 hours.  For example,  if you have a noon wedding all pictures must be complete and the wedding party must vacate the Cathedral no later than 1:30 PM.  This time frame allows for a Mass or ceremony with approximately 30 minutes for pictures to follow (the church is not a place for a pre-photo shoot).  We recommend that you have a list of who you want in the pictures for your photographer so the process runs smoothly and you are finished and exiting the building within the time frame allotted.

Wear suitable attire.  The bridal party should be dressed in suitable attire that speaks to the holiness and sanctity of marriage.

Limited Space at the Cathedral.  Because of the limited space in the Cathedral, the entire bridal party MUST arrive at Church already dressed in their wedding garments. This includes the bride.  Groomsmen and the groom may arrive 45 minutes prior to the wedding time.  Groom and groomsmen will wait in a room off the transept area, accept for the gentleman who will assist with the seating of the guests.  The bride and bridesmaids must arrive at the Cathedral no later than 20 minutes before the wedding time.  We have a small bride’s room, with a bathroom at the back of the Cathedral where they wait.  If desired, the bride may stay in her car outside the Cathedral until she is ready to walk down the aisle.

Large parties need more time to process.  If you have a large wedding party (more than 10 couples) who will be walking down the aisle, you will need to plan on the bridal procession beginning 10 minutes prior to the scheduled wedding time. Please let Nancy know ahead of time so that this can be coordinated.

Early is on-time.  On-time is LATE!  Your rehearsal is scheduled when you schedule the wedding. Please be prompt.  We allow 45 minutes for each rehearsal.  So if you begin late, your rehearsal will still need to end 45 minutes after the scheduled time.  The wedding needs to also begin promptly at your scheduled time.  If it does not, things may have to be cut from the ceremony or you may lose the opportunity for pictures following the wedding.  The later you start, the less time you will have.

We are here to help you.  You will be assigned a coordinator; they will run the rehearsal as well as make sure all goes smoothly at the wedding.

The Cathedral is a “food-free” zone.  You are expected to observe the proper reverence for the Cathedral building at all times. Please do not bring water bottles, coffee or any beverages, chewing gum or food into the Cathedral.

Groomsmen in front of cathedral Don’t forget your paperwork.  Please remember to bring the following items with you to the rehearsal: the civil marriage license, order of procession, and reading selections.

Only two flower arrangements are permitted on the altar. If you are taking the arrangements, please arrange for the florist or family member to remove them immediately following the ceremony so they are cleared away before the following Mass begins.  Please make sure that all flowers are pinned on the men or that someone is there to pin on the boutonnieres for them.

No aisle runners are permitted.

Pew bows are allowed, but not provided. These should be attached by proper holders – usually provided by the florist, or tied.  No scotch tape or nails or thumbtacks are allowed to be used on the pews for any purpose.

Bring your accessories with you.  Pew bows and  programs  should be brought the day of the wedding.  Being a downtown church, things can easily disappear so we are not comfortable storing any personal item. If you chose to have a unity candle, you will need to purchase 2 taper candles and 1 pillar candle, we can provide the stand.

Receiving lines following the wedding are not permitted.   There will only be time for pictures before the next wedding or Mass begins. We expect only the wedding party and family to remain on the premises following the wedding for pictures.  Bubbles, bird seed, rice, butterflies or any form of celebrating when the couple leaves the Cathedral is prohibited.

Rose petals, fake or real are permitted.  They must be strewn in the aisle by 1 person only.  The throwing of petals by the guests or arranging petals on the aisle is not permitted.

The Cathedral is an alcohol-free zone.  If any alcohol is found on Cathedral property, those guests will be asked to leave, even if they are part of the wedding party. Due to the sacredness of the occasion, if either the Bride or the Groom is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, the priest/deacon must cancel the wedding.

We are very proud of our beautiful Cathedral and are happy that you have chosen to celebrate receive the Sacrament of Marriage here. We appreciate your considerate and respectful treatment of this sacred place and ask that you keep in mind that this is God’s house.  We wish you much love and happiness with God’s abundant blessings on your marriage.


The following information will be discussed at length at your first sacramental preparation meeting with the priest/deacon. Please do not register or begin any of these steps until after your initial meeting.  Your first meeting will be scheduled after your wedding application has been accepted.

Canon Law is the law of the universal Catholic Church. It contains a number of regulations for the marriage of members of the Church.

Church law requires that both of you must be free to marry, that is, neither one of you was married before. If either party was previously married, (even civilly) and the former spouse is still living, you will need to obtain a declaration of nullity on the marriage from the Tribunal of the Diocese.  If you are a member of St. James Cathedral, you will need to contact our regional advocate, Gigi Santiago at 407-246-4856. Under no circumstances may a date be set for the ceremony, or even a tentative date set, until the Tribunal process is complete.

If both parties are Catholic, they should be practicing Catholics and have received both First Holy Communion and Confirmation. You will be required to present a current baptismal certificate (i.e., one issued in the previous six months).  This certificate should also include dates and places where your First Communion and Confirmation took place.

If one of the parties is not Catholic, then a dispensation is needed. The priest/deacon helping you with your preparation will request this for you.  If the person is a baptized member of another Christian Church, St. James Cathedral requires a copy of their baptismal record.  If there are difficulties in obtaining the certificate, the priest will discuss what needs to be done.

You will need two (2) notarized statements for both the bride and groom from witnesses attesting to your freedom to marry. These witnesses may be anyone who knows you sufficiently well to state that you are free to marry – we would suggest parents or close relatives.  The priest/deacon will give you the necessary forms for this.

The couple must participate in either the Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend or the Diocesan Pre-Cana Program.  Registration information will be provided at your first marriage prep meeting with the priest or deacon.

You are required to complete a FOCCUS INVENTORY. FOCCUS is a type of personality profile/communications survey designed to pinpoint areas of agreement and disagreement between a couple proposing to get married.  It is not a marriage compatibility test, but a tool to assist a couple preparing for marriage in knowing the strengths and weaknesses in their relationship.  Every couple will be assigned to a married couple from the parish whose ministry it is to assist them in discussing the FOCCUS inventory results.  Following your initial meeting with a priest/deacon, Nancy will register you for Foccus, and you will each receive an e-mail with instructions from Foccus Inc.  Upon completing the FOCCUS inventory, Nancy will receive the results and pass them on to our coordinators who will contact you to schedule your meeting with them to review the information.

St. James Cathedral also requires an introduction to Natural Family Planning Class.  Registration information will be provided at your first marriage prep meeting with the priest or deacon.