We are very happy that you want Jesus
to be part of your wedding ceremony.
We have a few requirements that will help to experience a smooth marriage preparation process. The Sacrament of Christian Marriage is a communal celebration which takes place in God’s house, the Church, witnessed by family and friends. The important thing for engaged couples to keep in mind as they check numerous items off their pre-wedding “to-do” list is the well-known adage, “Your wedding lasts a day, but your marriage lasts a lifetime.” Because Christian marriage is a sacrament, the Catholic Church wants couples to be well-prepared. The Church encourages couples to invest time and energy into the all-important work of preparing for their married life together.
You must be an active, registered member of St. Martha Catholic Church for at least one year in order to be married at St. Martha’s. If you are an active, registered member of another Catholic Church and wish to be married at St. Martha’s, contact your local pastor for permission and to begin marriage preparations at your Church.
The Marriage process must begin at least (8) months prior to the wedding date. The couple must complete a Preliminary Wedding Information Sheet (PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY), along with a letter signed by both to our pastor, Rev. Fausto Stampiglia, giving compelling reasons why you would like to marry at St. Martha Church and in the Catholic Church. Once our pastor approves your request, he will assigned a clergymen to begin the marriage preparation process. The couple will be contacted via email to schedule an appointment. Our wedding regulations and a check off list is provided below to assist with the requirements.
If marriage preparations are being done at your local Church, the couple must satisfy the requirements of their (Arch)Diocese. A meeting should be scheduled with your local clergymen to complete all required forms. A letter from the pastor must be sent to Rev. Fausto Stampiglia indicating that the couple are registered parishioners in good standings, and marriage preparations will be completed at their local Church. It is required that the entire marriage file be sent to the local diocesan Marriage Tribunal Office for approval. After the file has been approved by the local diocese, it must be sent to the Diocese of Venice Tribunal Office (1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285) for final review and approval. Please allow at least one month for this process to be completed. The approved marriage file must be received 2 weeks prior to the wedding date.
If either future spouse has been married before, they must speak with a clergymen before choosing the wedding date. In such cases a date cannot be reserved. A clergymen will determine what process needs to be followed (annulment, lack of form, a dispensation, etc.) before marriage preparation can begin and the date set.
There are many people whose marriage is not fully recognized by the Church. Catholic Church requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a priest or deacon. Catholics who exchange marriage vows in the presence of only ministers from other religious traditions or authorized civic officials are not considered validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Those couples may seek to have their union officially recognized by the Church. In technical Church terms, this is known as convalidation of a marriage. The couple must complete the marriage preparation process in order to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Both parties (no matter what religion), must acquire an updated/current Baptismal certificate (within the last six months), as well as a copy of the Confirmation certificate from the parishes of origin. Baptismal Certificate Request form is provided below.
Couples Marriage Preparation – The Witness to Love Program –
WTL Marriage Prep Program is a program endorsed by our Bishop Dewane. Please come and build a Relationship that will last forever.
Upon completion of the Program Couples will receive a Certificate of Completion with an official diocesan parish-stamped form; That way you will receive a discount from the Clerk of the Circuit Court on the marriage license.
Obtaining a Marriage license can be found at the Sarasota County Government web site under Clerk of the Circuit Court. The marriage license must be used within sixty days of issuance.
Virginia Bray, our Music Director, will contact the couple via email with music selections and to address any questions concerning a soloist or instrumentalist. Only Liturgical music is allowed, no other form of music is permitted (modern, broadway, movie themes, etc.). The music which is shared in the Sacrament of Christian Marriage expresses not just the love of the couple for each other but, just as important, the love of God for them and for all His people. Appropriate music for this spiritual celebration is of the utmost importance and must be chosen thoughtfully. Frequently asked questions concerning music can be found on a tab below. You may email Virginia Bray with any questions.
We use Celebrating & Living the Sacrament: Together for Life booklet (fifth edition) for couples to choose their Readings, Psalms, Gospel, etc. If you require a booklet, please contact Sara Brinn.
All marriage preparation documents, wedding fee, Together for Life tear-out sheet, and marriage license must be received 2 weeks prior to the wedding date.
Registered Member – $800
Non-Registered Member – $1,500
Marriage Preparation for a non-registered member being married at another location – $300
Our fees include:
* Use of the Church
* Altar Servers
* Music Director – correspond and assist wedding party with music selections and be in attendance on the wedding day
* Use of our Bride’s Room to either get ready or hang out before the wedding begins
How can we be sure that the music we choose for our wedding will be appropriate?
Our Music Director is a valuable resource and can guide you through all aspects of choosing the music for your wedding liturgy.
Is it possible to have a friend or relative sing at our wedding?
The musical demands of a Catholic wedding liturgy are quite complex, requiring considerable expertise to be done well. Our Music Director can advise you concerning our parish policy on this matter and whether this person is the best choice.
We have a song which is “special” for us. May we request that it be sung at our wedding liturgy?
The wedding liturgy is concerned with the spiritual dimension of love. Songs sung at this liturgy must express not only your love for each other, but also the love of God – the source of all love.
Could our “special” song be sung before the wedding liturgy begins or played as prelude music?
Prelude music and songs before the wedding liturgy set the tone for the Sacrament of Christian Marriage which is about to take place. Secular music which is not permitted during the wedding liturgy would also not be permitted for prelude music.
Our “special” song was sung at my cousin’s wedding. Why can’t it be sung at ours?
While secular and popular songs have been used at times in some parishes by musicians and clergy who are unfamiliar with or simply disregard the Church’s teachings regarding Sacred Music, they have never been permitted. Again, Church guidelines do not permit the use of secular music during the Sacred Liturgy.
Is it appropriate to use other instruments besides the organ during our wedding liturgy?
Other instruments (such as trumpet, flute, harp or guitar) are often used at wedding liturgies and can add to the musical dimension.
May we hire another organist or musical group not associated with the parish?
Some parishes have contractual agreements and/or policies concerning the use of anyone other than their Music Director at wedding.
Wedding times on Saturdays are 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., or 7:00 p.m. Weddings during the weekdays are available upon request. (Weekday Masses are 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12 noon, and 5:30 p.m.; and our Saturday Masses are 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.).
The rehearsal is always the Friday evening before the wedding at 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise stipulated.
The Church, Sacristy, and Bride’s Room will be opened a ½ hour before the wedding. If you need more time, please let the Parish Secretary or the Church Sacristan know so that arrangements can be made.
Parking is available in the back of the Church, on 2nd Street, and across Fruitville Road. We have a ramp for the handicapped, on the south side of the Church inside the gate facing the back parking lot.
The Bride and her Bridesmaids can dress in the Bride’s Room located on the south side of Church, at top of the ramp, door on the left before Church side door entrance. NO FOOD OR DRINKS ARE ALLOWED.
The Groom and Best Man wait in the Sacristy until the ceremony begins.
Wedding coordinators arenot allowed at the Church wedding rehearsal or wedding without approval from the pastor. If permission is given to the coordinator, they are not to interfere, interrupt, intervene or direct the wedding party or guests; they are to be seated with the guests and only If the wedding coordinator does not comply, they will be asked to leave. Permission form can be provided.
For everything to go smoothly, it is better to have the reception line in the reception hall, not in Church.
Due to Fire and Insurance Regulations…
No throwing of rice, confetti, flowers, bubbles, etc. on the couple in front of or on church grounds.
No runners are allowed
No lights or candles on church pews or wherever they obstruct the flow of the celebration.
No swags that obstruct the passage through the pews.
Under no circumstances does the Ring bearer carry the real rings. The Groom or Best Man is to give the ring(s) to the Sacristan before the ceremony, she will place the ring(s) on the Altar
The Flower girl is not allowed to throw flower petals. They can carry a basket bouquet.
We do not rent the Parish Hall for Wedding Receptions. Our facilities are reserved for Parish Ministry use only.
Photographer or Videographer
Photography and Videography in the Church and Courtyard is allowed.
The photographer has 45 minutes to complete their shoot in the Church after the wedding. We ask that you be mindful of our Sacristans time and duties. Our Sacristan must set up for the next Mass or Service.
The pastor allows flash photography during the ceremony.
Discuss with the couple what shots are wanted before the wedding, so that time is not wasted.
Any floral decoration placed on the pews MUST have felt under the clamps, loose ribbon around pew end, etc. in order to protect our wooden pews. NO tape, wax, or wet flowers against pews.
A floral arrangement or plant may be placed on the bottom step which leads to the Altar, insofar as they do not hinder the celebrant. No flowers or plants are placed anywhere on the floor near the Altar.
Small floral arrangements or plants may be placed on either side of the Ambo.