Marriages take place here at Mission San Luis Obispo. There is a minimum 6 month preparation period. Please review our current Marriage Preparation Guidelines.
Dear Engaged Couple,
Congratulations and God’s blessing on your commitment to marriage. Holy matrimony is one of the sacraments of the Church; in fact it is seen as the first, dating to antiquity, intended by God the Father. Christian marriage is, first and foremost, a way of living out God’s will in our lives in a manner that is giving, loving and filled with reward. It is our wish that all marriages celebrated in the Old Mission of San Luis Obispo achieve this fullness of purpose that God intended.
These Guidelines are designed not only to help you plan for your wedding, but to prepare for the lifelong commitment of marriage. The key is to understand that this time, leading up to your wedding, is a time of sacramental preparation, much more than event planning. We can help you plan a memorable wedding, but you, together with those preparing you for marriage, must take responsibility to fulfill the personal and sacramental formation that will guide you the rest of your lives.
We have tried to anticipate and answer many of your questions in the brochure. Once you have completed the initial wedding agreements and secured a wedding date, you will be assigned a Wedding Coordinator who will help you plan and organize your wedding rehearsal and liturgy. In the meantime, feel free to contact us if we can be of more general assistance. Again, congratulations! May God continue to strengthen your love and commitment.
Fr. Russell Brown and the Old Mission Parish Staff
Unfortunately, Old Mission San Luis Obispo cannot accommodate everyone who would like to have their wedding in our church. We do not have the support facilities or staff to serve as a true “destination wedding site” as other venues do. On weekends especially the church is in demand for parish activities, Masses, and remains open to visitors and tourists.
To schedule a wedding at Old Mission Church you must be a registered parish member residing within the Diocese of Monterey, or a previous member with a demonstrated affiliation to the parish.
Before the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony can be scheduled at Old Mission San Luis Obispo, you must do ALL of the following:
For example: are you a family member of a registered parishioner who is living within San Luis Obispo County? Did you graduate from high school or college in San Luis Obispo and attend Old Mission during your education? NOTE: Marriage Preparation must be conducted at the parish where you currently reside.
For Old Mission Parish Members: $950
This amount includes the use of the Mission, the ceremony and Mass, the stipend to the Priest or Deacon and the services of a Wedding Coordinator to help prepare your service. The Wedding Fee does not include musicians’ stipends. These must be arranged separately through the Old Mission Music Director.
Catholics with Affiliation to Old Mission: $1,250
This amount includes the use of the Mission, the ceremony and Mass, and the services of a Wedding Coordinator to help prepare your service. The Wedding Fee does not include musicians’ stipends. These must be arranged separately through the Old Mission Music Director. You may also need to arrange individually for a clergy member to celebrate your service.
Marriage Preparation Only: $250
This service is for local Catholics seeking marriage preparation for a wedding to be performed at a church other than Old Mission.
Personal Gift to Clergy:
Such a gift is at the discretion of the wedding party. You may wish to give a personal gift to the Deacon or Priest who officiates at your Marriage. If the person who celebrates your wedding is not Old Mission Clergy, your gift is not included in your church offering. You should discuss this personally with your celebrant.
Deposit/Cancellation Fee: $250
Please note that the deposit of $250 is non-refundable should you choose to cancel your wedding. Please provide in writing your request for cancellation, the name of the individual to whom the balance is to be made payable and a current address. If you reschedule, the deposit may be applied to a new date. If for any reason Old Mission determines that your wedding cannot take place on the date you requested, a full refund of your deposit will be made.
It is the responsibility of the engaged couple to confirm their wedding date with the Old Mission Office Manager prior to making commitments with caterers or venue locations.
1. Baptismal Certificates: An updated certificate with notations (sacraments received) for the Catholic and other Christian Parties. This new certificate must be dated within six months of the proposed wedding date. Contact your church of baptism for this certificate.
2. First Communion and Confirmation Certificates (for the Catholic parties): Photocopies are acceptable if not noted on your recently updated baptismal certificate.
3. Freedom to Marry Forms: Two witnesses will be asked to testify. Forms for both the bride and the groom will be provided by the priest/deacon responsible for the marriage preparation.
4. Pre-Nuptial Investigation: Documentation for both the bride and the groom will be completed by the priest/deacon responsible for the marriage preparation.
5. Certificate of completed pre-marital counseling: Provided by priest, deacon or designated marriage counselor.
6. Dispensations: Special permission is required from the Bishop of Monterey for the wedding to take place if either the bride or groom is not Catholic. The priest assisting with preparation will help with the required forms.
7. Dispensations: The Diocese of Monterey requires that all engaged couples attend an Engaged Couples Encounter Retreat Weekend prior to marriage. Schedule your weekend as early as possible, as Engaged Encounter Retreat dates are limited. Visit www.mcee.org or www.engagedencounter.com for further information.
8. California State Marriage License: Required by law for marriages taking place within the State of California. A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of application. A Catholic priest cannot marry any couple without possession of a marriage license.
9. Remaining Balance of Church Wedding Fee
10. Floral/Decoration Guidelines: Signed agreement.
11. Photography and Videography Guidelines: Signed agreement.
12. Music Guidelines: Signed agreement.
It is the responsibility of the Mission Music Director to arrange music for all the weddings celebrated at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Pro-Cathedral.
Please make an appointment four to six months prior to your wedding date to discuss guidelines and plan music for your wedding.
Please note that only sacred music from the Church Canon is appropriate for a religious ceremony at the Mission and all music must be approved by the Mission Music Director. Pre-recorded music is not allowed.
It is our practice that only Mission Music Ministers provide music at the weddings in the Mission. We have an outstanding music department and bring professional excellence and liturgical sensitivity to every celebration.
The fee for musicians is not included in the church reservation wedding fee. The wedding party is responsible for the musicians’ fees and we ask that the checks are mailed to the musicians at the Mission no later than two weeks before the wedding day.
Musicians are not present at the wedding rehearsal which is held on Friday afternoon before the wedding day.
Please call Iva Svitek, Mission Music Director at (805) 781-8220, Ext. 22 with any questions and to make arrangements. Thank you.
It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to make all necessary arrangements for photographing their wedding. Photographers are welcome to take pictures before, during and after weddings.
Prior to the wedding, you may use the church grounds for photographs. The Wedding Coordinator will be arriving one hour before the wedding to prepare the church. Special arrangements must be made for any weddings not scheduled on Saturdays.
If you are planning to have floral arrangements on the altar for your wedding, you need to contact Nancy Kelso Doody, the Environmental Coordinator at least one month prior to your wedding day to discuss appropriate liturgical color and floral design. (805)748-0775.
Please provide a copy of the floral agreement to your florist.