Congratulations!

Your first step in preparing for your Catholic wedding in Stanford Memorial Church is to contact Stanford University which determines your eligibility for using Memorial Church for weddings. Please contact the Memorial Church wedding coordinator at wedding-program@stanford.edu.

We are happy to do the canonical wedding preparation for:

  • all those getting married in a Catholic ceremony in Memorial Church

  • all those getting married elsewhere who are Stanford students, staff, faculty or those who have been registered, active members of the Catholic Community @ Stanford for one year.

Those being married in Memorial Church have the option of doing their canonical paperwork in their home parishes, if that is more convenient. A minimum of six months is required by the Catholic Church for the required instruction, paperwork and documentation. We ask that you contact Nancy Greenfield, the Director of Canonical Wedding Preparation for CC@S, at least six months before your wedding date. (650 704-0787; ngreenfield875@gmail.com). However, in reviewing the canonical steps, below, you may require longer than 6 months to prepare for your wedding.

Here are the canonical steps required of all Catholics intending to be married in a Roman Catholic wedding:

  1. If you and your fiancée are Roman Catholic, and/or a Christian of a different denomination, you will each need to submit a copy of your certificate of Baptism. If you are a Roman Catholic you will need a RECENT copy of your certificate of Baptism--issued by the church of baptism and no longer than six months ago. This cannot be a photocopy of your original certificate. Contact the church of your baptism and indicate that you are being married and that you need a copy of your record. They will know what to do and will send it to you. Christians of other denominations (other than Roman Catholic), can submit a photocopy of his/her original Baptism certificate. If possible, bring these with you to your first appointment with the CC@S Director of Catholic Wedding Preparation when we will do your “Intake”.

  2. There is a form (Form A) which each of you will need to complete and another form (Form B) which must be completed by a witness for each of you. These are not time-consuming and will be done in the Intake appointment.

  3. If one of you is Catholic, and one of you is not, a dispensation is needed for the Catholic party. This is not a problem, and will be handled in the normal course of the preparation, but it is wise to start the process as soon as possible. Again, the details will be handled at your CC@S intake appointment.

  4. If one or both of you have been married before, either in a religious or civil ceremony, you may need an annulment before you can be married in the Catholic Church. This applies to non-Catholics as well. The process is designed to be as pastoral and efficient as possible, but it does require many months for an annulment to be granted (typically at least a year). If you are not members of the Diocese of San Jose, the annulment needs to be processed in the diocese where you reside. We cannot predict the time frame for each diocese, so it is imperative that you contact our Director of Wedding Preparation IMMEDIATELY so that we can help you begin the process.

  5. If you are being married in Memorial Church, you will need to complete the counseling with the counselor assigned to you by Memorial Church at least two months before the wedding. This counseling session requires the completion of the Taylor-Johnson Inventory which is administered through the Memorial Church Wedding Coordinator.

  6. If you are being married elsewhere, the completion of a Pre-Cana workshop is required instead of the counseling, and must be arranged for individually. The CC@S Director of Catholic Wedding Preparation can provide information on the workshops in the Bay area.

  7. In addition, there is a second pre-marital Inventory called FOCCUS, which is administered through the CC@S Director of Catholic Wedding Preparation. This is completed after the first intake session. It is a wonderful tool for facilitating your communication with one another. If you are being married in Memorial Church, this can also be done through your home parish, in consultation with us.

  8. If you are being married in Memorial Church, you will receive the contact information for your celebrant when all of your paperwork is complete. We ask that you meet with your priest at least six weeks before your wedding to plan the actual ceremony. Note: Stanford requires that the celebrants for all Catholic weddings held in Memorial Church be CC@S priests.

  9. If you are being married elsewhere, and we are doing your prep, we will discuss with you the method of transmittal of documents which your parish requires and work with you to get it to your parish in a timely fashion. This requires that your paperwork be completed six weeks before your wedding in order to ensure its arrival in plenty of time.

In summary:

  • if you are or your fiancé have been married before, even in a non-Catholic ceremony, you will need to begin annulment proceedings with the CC@S Director of Catholic Wedding Preparation at least eighteen months in advance.

  • Each of you will bring to your first Intake Session with the CC@S Director of Catholic Wedding Preparation:

    • A copy of your Roman Catholic Baptism certificate issued within the past 6 months from the church of your Baptism

    • If you were baptized in a different faith, a photocopy of the Baptism certificate is sufficient.

  • During your first Intake Session with the CC@S Director of Catholic Wedding Preparation you will take care of

    • Filling out Forms A and B

    • Applying for a dispensation, if needed

  • During your second Session with the CC@S Director of Catholic Wedding Preparation you will take care of reviewing the FOCCUS inventory results.

  • If you are getting married at Stanford Memorial Church, you will

    • Take the Taylor-Johnson test with the Stanford Memorial Church Wedding Coordinator

    • Review the results of the test with a counselor assigned by Memorial Church, at least 2 months before your wedding date

  • If you are getting married somewhere other than Stanford Memorial Church, you will

    • Attend a Pre-Cana workshop

  • We ask that all canonical requirements be completed at least six weeks before your wedding to ensure either:

    • a smooth meeting with your celebrant well ahead of the wedding if you are being married in Memorial Church, or

    • the timely arrival of your documents in the parish where your wedding will be taking place.