Weddings at the Cathedral

As the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rochester, we receive many inquiries every year about how Catholics can arrange to have their marriages celebrated at Sacred Heart.

For those who are interested, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Step 1: Read our Wedding Guidelines with your fiancé(e) and make sure that you are willing and able to  follow all the stipulations. You’ll both have to sign the following Wedding Guidelines Agreement and bring a copy of it to your first meeting.

Step 2: Call or email our parish secretary, Michele Kelly to check on the availability of your desired date and to set up an initial meeting with our Cathedral Rector, Fr. Van Lieshout. (Please note: Your wedding date can’t be officially scheduled on our books until Steps 3 and 4 are completed, but you are welcome to inquire ahead.) We ask that you call at least six months in advance of your proposed marriage date.

Step 3: Meet with Fr. Van Lieshout to complete the initial paperwork. At this meeting you will go through a Pre-Marriage Inventory to ensure that nothing stands in the way of our being able to do the marriage. (Couples who are doing their marriage prep out of town should complete the Pre-Marriage Inventory in the parish responsible for their marriage formation.)

Step 4: Once you’ve completed the initial paperwork and the Pre-Marriage Inventory and turned in the signed Wedding Guidelines Agreement, you can pay the initial deposit and officially reserve your date!

All of the above are just the initial details. Your actual wedding prep in the Diocese of Rochester will consist of:

  • Completing and reviewing the Fully Engaged Marital Inventory with the priest, deacon, or other parish minister assigned to assist in your formation. This is a tool used in many parishes through the US and normally consists in 3 to 4 sessions.
  • Completing any additional paperwork which might be required and obtaining news copies of your sacramental records for our marriage files.
  • Completing an approved pre-Cana course with your fiancé either as a one-day in-person session, or a series of online videos and questions to be reviewed with your parish minister.
  • Planning the liturgical and ceremonial details of your wedding with one of our Cathedral wedding coordinators (they will reach out to you about two months in advance of your wedding to start this process).
  • And…going through a wedding rehearsal (normally one or two days in advance) with those family members and friends who will take an active part in the liturgy.

But above all, we hope that your marriage prep draws both you and your fiancé into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and a more personal commitment to live out the full practice of your Catholic faith!