You must arrange a meeting with one of the priests or deacons of the parish before setting a wedding date. The Joliet Diocese Presbyteral Council has recommended to the Bishop that there be a minimum of six months time for a couple to prepare for marriage in the Catholic Churches of this Diocese. The couple must call the parish offices at least six months prior to the tentative date of the wedding to arrange a meeting.
A wedding date cannot be scheduled until it has been documented that both parties are free to marry in the Catholic Church. We are not allowed to “pencil in” weddings until that freedom has been confirmed. Please do not schedule your wedding reception until you have your wedding date confirmed on the parish schedule to avoid possible embarassment and disappointment.
We recognize that reception halls throughout DuPage County are frequently booked a year in advance of the wedding date. If you have a particular venue in mind, or are having difficulty finding a venue, we suggest you schedule the required meeting before searching for a venue and you can call to “lock in” a date (if it is open on our calendar) once you have located a venue.
Either the bride or groom must be a practicing Catholic. By canon law, Catholics must be married in the church of either the bride or the groom. Newly registered members of St. James Parish must wait at least 6 months before scheduling a wedding.
If either of you has had a prior marriage, you must show proof of your freedom to be married in the Catholic Church. Your consulting priest or Deacon will assist you in this process. Outside of special circumstances, prior marriages will usually require an annulment granted by the Catholic Church, even for marriages celebrated civilly or in other faiths.
The times for marriage celebrations at St. James Parish are Saturdays at 11:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. Friday weddings may be scheduled by special arrangement. Rehearsals are typically scheduled the evening before the wedding at either 5:00 or 5:30 PM.
Required Forms to be Submitted prior to Wedding Liturgy:
- Baptismal Certificates (a new copy must be obtained from parish of Baptism within the period of six months preceding the wedding date) Copies may be obtained by contacting the parish where the Baptism was celebrated. Click here for a directory of Catholic parishes in the United States. If the parish where Baptism was celebrated has closed, records are kept at the local Diocesan office. To locate the contact information for a particular diocese in the United States, click here.
- Confirmation Certificates Copies may be obtained by contacting the parish where the Confirmation was celebrated. Click here for a directory of Catholic parishes in the United States. If the parish where Confirmation was celebrated has closed, records are kept at the local Diocesan office. To locate the contact information for a particular diocese in the United States, click here.
- Marriage Affidavit Forms (two apiece) Please note that the form must be completed and signed by a Catholic Priest or Deacon. Forms are available in all the parishes of the Joliet Diocese. For a directory of parishes located in the Joliet Diocese, click here.
- Du Page County Marriage License (The license is valid for 60 days) For further information, click here.
If a Catholic is marrying a person who is non-Catholic, time should be set aside to cover some of our Catholic beliefs about prayer and ritual, in hopes of implementing spiritual unity at the wedding. A discussion of how your marriage can best be celebrated, involving both families, should be considered since non-Catholics are not allowed to receive the Eucharist.
Before the marriage can be celebrated, The Catholic party will be asked to declare that he/she is prepared to remove any dangers of falling away from the Catholic Faith. The Catholic party will also be asked to promise to do all in their power to have the children baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church.
If either of you will not have reached your nineteenth birthday prior to your wedding date, both of you must first be interviewed by a counselor from Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities must forward to the priest or deacon a positive recommendation from the counselor, to proceed with the preparations.