On behalf of St. Paul Parish, congratulations to you on your engagement and on your decision to enter into the holy and joyful state of marriage. Jesus’ first miracle took place at the wedding feast of Cana. We hope to be of assistance in making your ceremony a solemn celebration of God’s love for you and your love for each other. Due to the seriousness and sacredness of marriage, you will need to prepare for your special day. The following Church requirements must be followed and will help you to prepare properly for the wedding ceremony and more importantly, your life together as husband and wife.


Marriages are usually celebrated on Saturday at 12 noon or 2:00 PM at St. Paul Church. In order to ensure persons’ sincere desire to be married at St Paul Parish, a date is not reserved unless a $200.00 deposit has been received. This is non-refundable and may be subtracted from final offerings due the parish.


  1. Catholic parties are required to present recent (not a copy of the original) copies of their baptismal certificates. They must be dated within six months of the wedding. (If you were baptized at St. Paul’s or St. Mary Magdalen dePazzi, we already have your baptismal record). The baptismal certificate is easily attained by calling the church of your baptism and asking for your baptismal certificate for the purpose of marriage. No marriage can take place without this certificate. Complete parish contact information can be found at : The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Website .
  2. If you are marrying a non-Catholic, they should present a copy of their baptismal certificate if they have been baptized. The Catholic party must be willing to do all in their power to have the children of this marriage baptized and reared as Catholics. The Catholic party is asked to sign the document stating this intention.
  3. Catholic parties (bride or groom) not from St. Paul Parish are also required to present a “Letter of Freedom to Marry” from his/her parish. This may be obtained from the Rectory or Parish Office of your home parish.
  4. Each party is asked to choose two people who have known them sufficiently enough to give testimony of their intention to enter into marriage. This is called a Pre-Marriage Witness Testimony.


A Pre-Cana Workshop is required for all engaged couples. The Pre-Cana Workshop is based on the four major aspects of marriage: Spirituality, Communication, Adjustment and Sexuality. Pre-Cana Workshops may be taken in any (Arch) Diocese.

For information on Workshops scheduled in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia you may visit their website at:  Click on Options for Marriage Preparation on the right side, scroll to bottom of page and the click on “Online registration”. Or, you may call the Family Life Office directly at: 215-587-3561.

It is also possible to complete your Marriage Preparation (Pre-Cana) online. You may visit the website: However, this is not recommended. Couples find it worthwhile to do their Pre-Cana with other couples because they can pick up a lot of information just talking to others. Marriage is a relationship and marriage preparation is best done in relationship with other couples.

When you have completed your Pre-Cana, preferably several months before your wedding, please return the Certificate of Attendance to the St. Paul rectory.


The Nuptial Mass or the Nuptial Ceremony is first and foremost a public act of worship of the Catholic Church. It is within this context that the Sacrament of Marriage is celebrated.


The Sacrament of Marriage is greatly enhanced by the use of Sacred Liturgical music. Whether the bride and groom choose a Nuptial Mass or a Nuptial Ceremony, appropriate Liturgical music, properly placed, serves to focus the attention of the assembled and leads them to the source of love itself – Who is God. We want you to have the best Liturgical music possible. Our Coordinator of Liturgical Music is contractually responsible for and will guide you in choosing liturgical music. She must be made aware of and approve the music that is selected.

Because the Wedding Liturgy is first and foremost a religious and church celebration, no music of a secular or non-sacred nature is permitted. Please note that Richard Wagner’s Bridal March “Here Comes the Bride” as well as Felix Mendelssohn’s Bridal March from “Lohengrin,” are not permitted as they come from secular sources which mock the nature of marriage. Furthermore, there is infinitely more beautiful and grandiose music which may be used. Our Coordinator of Liturgical Music will be happy to provide appropriate instrumental pieces of a more solemn character for the entrance of the bridal party and ministers.
Please contact the Coordinator of Liturgical Music at least three months before your wedding. All musical arrangements, including obtaining cantors and instrumentalists, are arranged by the Coordinator.

If a parish organist or cantor is not used and you choose to hire your own, the fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) must still be paid to parish personnel since all of our organists and cantors are contracted. If you wish to use your own cantor, or organist, please inform the coordinator. Likewise, the coordinator will be more than happy to assist in the hiring of other instrumentalists (for example, a Trumpeter). In general, persons who are brought in for the day must be somewhat familiar with Catholic Liturgy and have an understanding of our norms with respect to Mass. In the event the person(s) is/are not familiar, the parish organist /cantor will be present to help guide them through the process

1. The fee for our Organist is Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
2. The fee for our Cantor is Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00). All cantors must lead the congregation in song from the lectern in the Sanctuary. No other location is permitted.
3. Payment of music fees must be made directly to the Pastor prior to the wedding on the night of the rehearsal. The Marriage License should also be presented at this time.


Commercial and street parking is available in the neighborhood, where permitted.  There are 2-hour permit parking lots on Christian Street between South 7th and 8th streets and on South 8th street between Montrose and Washington Avenue.  Please contact Michele Gambino at [email protected] to inquire about renting the Italian Market parking lot, located on Carpenter Street. Inquiries regarding the use of the elementary school parking lot across the street from St. Paul’s Church should be directed to the following THREE individuals: 

VIA EMAIL ONLY TO: [email protected] and CC:  [email protected] ; CC:  [email protected]



Floral arrangements are made by the couple. We recommend one arrangement on either side of the Tabernacle. These arrangements are a donation to the church; therefore, they must remain on the altar after the liturgy. Flowers may be attached to designated pews however, tape or other damaging adhesives are not permitted to preserve the pews.


Our church floor is made of ornate ceramic tiles causing any type of runner to buckle making it very dangerous when people walk, especially during processions. Since this is extremely hazardous, we PROHIBIT the use of an aisle runner here in St. Paul’s Church. This policy has been made effective for insurance reasons as well as for the safety of all concerned because of prior accidents.


Candles of any kind are not permitted in the body of the church due to fire hazards.


The so called Wedding or “Unity Candle”, introduced in many places into the Rite of Marriage and often after the exchange of vows has never been part of the Roman Catholic Liturgy of Marriage and fails to adequately express the theological meaning of the Rite. In fact, the ceremony that frequently accompanies the lighting of this candle detracts from the central and most significant dimension of the Sacramental Rite, the Exchange of Vows itself which is followed by the Blessing and Exchange of Rings. The Exchange of Vows is the Sacramental action of unity and its primary symbol. In both the Rite of Marriage during Mass and the Rite of Marriage outside Mass the use of the Wedding or Unity Candle is thus prohibited. We are aware that these items are expensive and that someone may have already gifted this to you. As an alternative, and to prevent offense to a loved one, we often recommend that it be lit at some point during your reception.


The practice of the bride and groom visiting the Marian altar or shrine following the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage should reflect sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of the Lord. The Rite of Marriage makes no reference to this devotional practice; therefore, if it does take place, it occurs after the Concluding Rites of the Mass/Ceremony. This is an optional practice.


In order to maintain enough time between weddings and provide reverence during our Confession time and preparation for those attending the Anticipated Mass for Sunday on Saturday evening, we ask that the bride and groom decide either to have a receiving line or to take TWENTY MINUTES for photos. We ask everyone to maintain the utmost respect for the Blessed Sacrament at all times.


In addition, you may choose two people who will present the gifts of bread and wine at Mass.


If they are participating in the Entrance Procession, they must be at least 7 years of age or else be accompanied by an adult. Children are not permitted to throw flowers petals on the floor of the church.


At no time may alcoholic beverages be present or consumed in St. Paul Church, St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church, St. Paul Rectory or on any of the Parish grounds. Balloons are not permitted to be brought into the Church. Also, no rice, confetti, birdseed, or flower petals are permitted to be thrown on Church property and no aisle runners are permitted to be used inside of the church. Festive items such as bells or bubbles may be used outside of the church.


Please have your photographer/videographer see the priest before the wedding. They may not be in the Sanctuary. Afterwards, pictures may be taken in the church for 20 MINUTES. We ask that they please keep a respectful tone and attitude mindful of the rites that are taking place.


On the evening of your rehearsal, you are asked to bring with you the following items:

  1. MARRIAGE LICENSE – You must obtain a Pennsylvania license. Both parties must appear in person to apply. The couple can apply in any county. The license remains valid for sixty (60) days. Both parties must supply proof of identification and age through one of the following: driver’s license, passport, birth certificate or Pennsylvania non-driver’s license. If either party has been divorced or widowed, they must present a copy of the divorce decree or death certificate. As of June 25, 1997, blood tests and premarital physical examinations are not required to obtain a Pennsylvania license.Philadelphia County
    City Hall – Room #413
    Monday through Friday
    8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
    $80.00 – cash ONLY
  2. OFFERING & FEES—Please put in separate envelopes and mark each with the recipient.

A: Wedding Fee is $1200.00 less a $200.00 deposit made once date is reserved. This deposit fee is non-refundable should the date be cancelled.

B. Music

Organist- $200.00
Cantor- $200.00
C. Other
Sexton- $50.00
Altar Server (Adult)- $25.00
Celebrant- $50.00


Our Coordinator of Liturgical Music will assist in the outline of your program if you choose to have one. The Coordinator of Liturgical Music must review a copy of it before it goes to print. Once your program is approved you may bring them to the wedding rehearsal. For your convenience a sample Order of Mass/Ceremony is provided in the back of the Booklet.


Please begin to fill out, and bring any questions you have regarding this worksheet, to your consultation with the priest . This worksheet may downloaded from the section WEDDING MASS PLANNER WORKSHEET, the 3rd item from the bottom of this page.


The wedding rehearsal and the ceremony take place in church; therefore, your attendants should be dressed accordingly and prepared to be fully attentive to the priest conducting the rehearsal. The Wedding Liturgy celebrates the sacrament of marriage and should not be treated as a fashion display of dresses and tuxedos. Modesty in dress is a sign of respect in and out of church.


Please encourage everyone to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before the rehearsal. If someone needs to go to confession that night, please inform the priest.


Please remember that as a newly married couple you should be registered in a parish. If you wish to remain in St. Paul Parish, please inform the Pastor before your wedding. If you are joining another parish, please register there immediately after the honeymoon.