Are there specific guidelines governing marriage at a mission?

The policies and procedures are set by each mission, and a typically available at the church Rectory, if the mission is an active Catholic Church. Some missions do a better job than others in providing written guidelines. One of the most comprehensive is Santa Ines, whose written guideline follows:

Marriage Guidelines of Santa Ines

Wedding Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

"We welcome Catholic marriages here in the church at beautiful Old Mission Santa Inés. Arrangements should be made with a priest at Mission Santa Ines at least 6 months in advance. The wedding coordinator is Debra White (805) 688-0294 who should be contacted immediately. She can aid you in the preparation of your wedding and advise you as to church customs, flowers, etiquette, candles, etc."

You will need A RECENT Baptismal certificate for each Catholic party, which must be obtained from the church of baptism (issued within the last six months)

You will also need:

• Certificates of First Communion and Confirmation (photocopies would suffice, if possible)

• Testimony of the bride and groom

• The sworn testimony of two competent witnesses for each party concerning freedom to be married in the Catholic Church (usually parents). Forms are available from the parish but need to be signed in the presence of a priest or a notary

• Certificate of completion of either an Engagement Encounter Weekend or a Marriage preparation course

You will, of course need to have a MarriageLicense. Your Marriage License (valid for 90 days) should be delivered to the officiating priest prior to the wedding rehearsal. For marriage license information call 805-568-2210.

No alcoholic beverages allowed on the premises either before or after the wedding rehearsal or wedding ceremony. Bird seed, rice, flower petals, confetti, potpourri or fruit are not allowed inside or outside the church.

Church Fee: Fee for parishioners (a worshipping, contributing, acting member in the life of the parish) is $550.00 for 2008 and $600.00 for 2009; the fee for non-parishioners is $1,200.00 for 2008 and $1,300.00 for 2009. There is a $200 deposit when the wedding is booked and the balance is due at least one month prior to the wedding. The church fee does not include a good-will offering to the officiating priest.

Officiating Priest: The priests at Old Mission Santa Inés will gladly officiate at your wedding. We also welcome a visiting priest of your choice to celebrate or concelebrate, but a priest residing at Old Mission Santa Inés must also be available on that date in case a visiting priest must cancel on short notice.

Music: To arrange for music, please call soloist Erika Miller 805-459-8983 or soloist Peggy McHale 805-693-8696. Fees are to be paid to them directly. You may elect to use your own musicians. All music should be approved by the wedding coordinator.

Photographers: Please select your photographer carefully and instruct him/her to spend no more than 30 mintues taking formal pictures after the wedding. ALSO, arrangements to take pictures prior to the wedding should be within the time frame of the wedding and not interfere with a preceding event. Photographers are not allowed in the Sanctuary during the ceremony, and may NOT use flash photography at any time.

Flowers: Flower bouquets may be positioned at either side of the altar and are to be left in church for Sunday Masses. Any florist may be used. The possibility of sharing flowers with other couples being married on the same day may be planned (share expense). Please do not deliver anything before the day of the wedding. Taping decorations to the pews is NOT allowed.

If you need additional information, please contact Sheila Benedict, Parish Administrator, at 805-688-4815.