Marriage

candle-flowersWeddings at San Francisco Solano are celebrated on Saturdays at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 2:00 pm.  Arrangements must be made a minimum of six months in advance with a parish priest.
Contact: Fr. Ted Olson–949 589-7767 Ext. 2111
Email: FatherTed@sfsolano.org

Congratulations!

On behalf of the parish community of San Francisco Solano, we, the priests and parish staff, congratulate you for your decision as a couple to commit yourselves to each other, to the Lord, and to this community of faith through the Sacrament of Marriage. It is our hope that you will not only have a memorable wedding day, but also long and full lives together, richly blessed by God in ways you cannot now foresee.

It is our privilege to join with you as you prepare for your wedding day and married life.

To be ‘married in the Church’ is not simply to have a religious ceremony in the church building. Rather, it is to approach marriage, celebrate marriage, and live marriage ‘in the Church,’ that is, as active members of the Body of Christ that is the Church community.

The wedding is not simply a prayer of blessing upon the couple. Rather, it is a solemn act of consecration by which you commit yourselves to each other in Christ until death. Clearly, this is a noble and generous decision. It is one of the Church sacraments that manifest the wonder and beauty of the Lord’s living presence among us.

We ask you to make these months of preparation a time of spiritual growth by words and deeds of thankfulness, daily prayer, and weekly participation in the Eucharist (Sunday Mass). In this way you will live open to the Lord’s action in your lives, and your wedding ceremony will be an authentic expression of who you are and how you live.

In your love for each other, the Lord’s love for you becomes manifest. In your love for each other, the Lord’s love for others becomes manifest.

May God who is Love gather you in the divine embrace forever.

Sincerely in Christ,

The Priests and Parish Staff of San Francisco Solano Parish

Marriage Guidelines

  • Arrangements for marriage begin with an interview of the couple by a priest of the parish. One of the parties must be a registered member of San Francisco Solano Parish. Unless there are special considerations, the date and time of the marriage will be set at this meeting. Diocesan policy requires at least six months of preparation time.
  • The engaged couple preparing for marriage will receive a copy of the wedding booklet, Together for Life, which includes options for prayers, vows, and scripture readings, as well as a liturgy planning sheet.
  • In the case of a marriage between a Catholic and non-baptized person, a non-Eucharistic liturgy of marriage is appropriate.
  • Saturday Weddings at San Francisco Solano Parish are celebrated at 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, and 2:00 pm.
  • After the initial meeting with the priest, the bride should contact the parish wedding coordinator, Mrs. LaVonne Chesire, at 949/858 – 8379 as soon as possible. She will assign a parish wedding coordinator who will assist the couple through the wedding. The wedding coordinator provides invaluable services, including scheduling of the rehearsal date, answering questions relating to flowers, photographer/videographer, providing guidance in planning the liturgy, preparing the sacristy for the celebration, and attending the rehearsal and wedding. The stipend for the coordinator’s services is $125.00.
  • A meeting will be scheduled with the bride and groom one or two weeks before the wedding date during which time details of the rehearsal and wedding ceremony are finalized. Wedding rehearsals are scheduled on Friday evenings at 5:30 pm or 6:30 pm. A maximum of one hour is allowed for each rehearsal. Please encourage everyone to be on time. Parents, grandparents, members of the wedding party, and lectors should attend this rehearsal.
  • Parish musicians are responsible for providing music for all weddings at San Francisco Solano Church. Please contact Ms. Brenda von Gremp, Director of Music, at 949/589-7767, ext. 115, as soon as possible. You may request additional musicians through the Director of Music. Please direct all questions regarding music selection to the Director of Music.
  • The minimum wedding stipend to San Francisco Solano Parish is $375.00. This check and those for the accompanist, cantor, additional musicians, wedding coordinator, and two altar servers are given to the wedding coordinator the evening of the rehearsal. The couple may wish to give a gift or offering to the priest/deacon, but this gift is optional. Altar Servers receive a stipend of $15 each. Anything else for the wedding (e.g., gift book and unity candle) should also be brought to the rehearsal.
  • The church environment reflects the various liturgical seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent,  Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time. The decor for these seasons takes precedence over other decor. Please keep in mind that Easter is celebrated for 50 days, culminating at Pentecost, the liturgical color of which is red. If you wish, a floral arrangement may be placed to the right of the altar. Wedding flowers may be removed from the church immediately following the wedding or left for weekend liturgies during Ordinary Time.
  • An aisle runner is not permitted.
  • Bows or ribbons may be affixed to the pews using plastic clips only. NO WIRE, TACKS, OR TAPE of any kind may be used.
  • Rice, birdseed, confetti or rose petals are not permitted in or around the church or church grounds.
  • The Bride’s Room is available one hour before the wedding. It is part of the church building, and therefore, eating and drinking are not permitted. The wedding party is responsible for the removal of all flower boxes and any other items after the wedding.
  • On the day of the wedding, the church will be available to the florist and photographer/videographer 45-60 minutes before the ceremony. The coordinator will also be present offering assistance to the florist and photographer/videographer. She will also guide the ushers in the seating of guests and coordinate the musicians with your wedding procession.
  • To facilitate the wedding beginning at the arranged time, the guest book should be removed five minutes prior to the time the wedding commences. 
  • Please give your photographer/videographer the guidelines, and instruct him or her to identify himself or herself to the wedding coordinator before the ceremony. Please discourage your friends and family from taking flash pictures during the ceremony. You may wish to contact Ray Demarjian, a parishioner and professional videographer, at 949/858-5994 for these services.
  • The following in a summary of stipends provided San Franciso Solano Parish and Staff.
Church: Parishioner–Minimum of $450.00
Non-parishioner–$1,000.00
(paid at the time the marriage is scheduled)
Wedding Coordinator: $150.00
Organist/Accompanist: $200.00
Cantor: $175.00
Altar Server 1: $15.00
Altar Server 2: $15.00

Required Documents

  • For Catholics, a new Baptismal certificate, issued from the church of baptism and dated within six months of the wedding date is required. For other baptized persons, a copy of the original baptismal certificate is required.
  • For Catholics, photocopies of First Communion and Confirmation certificates are required.
  • ‘Freedom to Marry’ forms, two for each person, signed by parents or relatives and witnessed by a priest or notary public are required.
  • Each couple must participate in San Francisco Solano Parish’s marriage preparation program, which has two components. First, the couple will take the FOCCUS Inventory at the parish office during regular office hours (9 am to 12 noon and 1 pm to 5 pm) within one week of the initial appointment.  A married couple wil be assigned to assist with the couple’s marriage preparation (generally one meeting in the married couple’s home to discuss the engaged couple’s FOCCUS Inventory and other topics related to married life). Please allow forty-five minutes to an hour for completion of the FOCCUS Inventory.
  • Also, the couple will participate in a day-long marriage preparation program, offered the first Saturdays of October and March, at San Francisco Solano Parish. The parish will issue a certificate of completion of marriage preparation once the couple fulfills the marriage preparation requirements. If a couple cannot attend the Saturday marriage preparation program at San Francisco Solano, they may attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend or one of the Deanery VI marriage preparation programs, offered in various local parishes.
  • A valid marriage license for the State of California is submitted to the parish office at least one week prior to the marriage.
  • The priest or deacon preparing you for marriage will complete the Pre-Nuptial Questionaire, which determines the couple’s freedom to marry and appropriate intentions in preparation for marriage, once all the sacramental records have been acquired.
  • Some couples may need to obtain a dispensation from a certain condition in order to marry in the Roman Catholic Church. The most common dispensation is that required for couples’ entering an interfaith marriage, that is, where one party is Catholic, and the other is from another faith tradition. The priest will discuss with the couple the reason and process for obtaining any required dispensations.

Wedding Music: Guidelines and Information

Christian marriage is more than a private celebration of love. It is an act of worship, a celebration of a sacrament of the Church, and therefore, the music selected for the wedding should be appropriate for a Catholic liturgical celebration.
Music chosen for the wedding liturgy must be religious in nature so that the faith and prayer of the assembled community be both expressed and strengthened. Popular love songs that exclude God are liturgically unacceptable either before, during, or after the wedding liturgy. Love songs and popular ballads are best left to the reception.

The wedding liturgy is unique among the festivities surrounding the preparations and wedding day, and the music for it should suit its unique role. Your exchange of vows is an act of public worship; you commit yourselves to one another in the presence of the people of God, the Church. The vows, prayers, scripture readings, the giving and receiving of rings, the nuptial blessing—all of these are for you and everyone present an expression of faith in God and in each other.

A first step in planning the church music for your wedding is to contact the Director of Music, Ms. Brenda von Gremp, at 949/589-7767, ext. 2115. A formal consultation will be planned, and at that time, music selection, accompanist, cantor, and additional instrumentalists, if requested, will be discussed. The Director of Music must approve in advance all music and musicians who will provide liturgical music for the celebration of a marriage at San Francisco Solano Church. The fee for the accompanist is $150. The fee for the cantor is $125.

Photographers and Videographers

The following are guidelines have been adopted regarding photographs and videos:

  1. Upon arrival at church, please check in with wedding coordinator. Normally the church will be available for set-up approximately 45-60 minutes before the ceremony.
  2. No flash pictures are to be taken during the ceremony.
  3. During the actual ceremony, all still photos must be taken from a location behind the last row of guests. You may not approach the altar during the ceremony.
  4. The wedding coordinator will advise you of the two locations from which a video camera mounted on a tripod can be placed prior to commencement of the ceremony. At both locations the tripod must remain stationary. If the location closest to the choir area is chosen, the videographer may stay with the camera as he or she will be screened from the guests.
  5. Pictures may be taken in the church for 15 minutes immediately following the Mass or Ceremony. Photographs of the entire wedding party also may be taken in the meditation garden or in front of the church or in the patio area. If requested, the celebrant will join the bride and groom for a picture.
  6. Please discuss any questions with the wedding coordinator.