At least six months prior to the date you hope to marry, you should meet with a Priest to talk about your plans. He will help you to determine the requirements for marriage in your particular case. Among those requirements are the following:
      The Church will need a new copy of your Baptismal Certificate, issued within the past six months from the church of your Baptism, so you should contact that church and request that they send such a certificate for marriage purposes.
      The Archdiocese of San Francisco also requires couples to attend a formal Marriage Preparation Program.
      We will give you the necessary information to register for that program.

      The time and date of the wedding will be arranged with the Priest. Generally, weddings are on Saturday afternoons. Couples are allowed to use the church for a total of 1 hours for the ceremony and for photographs, so it is important that your wedding begin on time because the church is frequently needed used for other commitments.

      Make arrangements directly with your own florist for flowers and their delivery to the church. Usually, flowers may be placed in the church any time after the morning Mass on Saturday, but you should call the rectory beforehand since there are times when the church will be in use.
      Though you may have a "flower girl", we do not allow the dropping of flower petals in the church.
      No tape of any kind is to be used to affix flowers or decorations to pews, and decorations should be removed after the ceremony, but the flowers should remain as a donation for the use of the church, and a gift to the worshipping community who will attend Masses on that weekend.

      Our parish Music Director, Eric Maddox (415-505-5821) should be contacted as soon as your wedding date has been confirmed, so that he can assist in planning the music for the ceremony, as well as arranging for any singer(s).   The priest, however, must approve all music used during the wedding, to ensure that it is liturgically appropriate.  The Music Director's fee should be made payable to "St. Sebastian Church", and should be delivered to the Parish Office a week prior to the wedding.
      Recorded music is never permitted in liturgical services.

      Photographers should discuss arrangements with the Priest before the ceremony. Using a flash or movie lights during the ceremony is not permitted. The photographer should be as inconspicuous as possible during the wedding itself.

      You may obtain a Marriage License (required by the State of California) from the Marin County Clerk, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room #234, San Rafael. The office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday thru Friday. (415) 473-6772. Due to processing time, applications are accepted for filing only until 3:30 p.m.
Video: How to Get a Marriage License

      Saint Sebastian's requests a standard donation for each wedding, which goes to the parish for all the preparations for the marriage, as well as for the use of the church for the rehearsal and ceremony.
      It is also customary to give an honorarium to the Priest who witnesses the ceremony, and to any Altar Servers who assist. These gifts should be in separate envelopes marked "Church", "Priest", "Altar Server", etc.
      The Marriage License and Offerings must be brought to the Parish Office at 373 Bon Air Road at least one week before the Rehearsal.

      The Priest witnessing the ceremony should set the time and date for a Wedding Rehearsal when you set the date of the wedding.
      Every member of the wedding party should attend the rehearsal.
The church is a sacred place, so please advise those in your wedding party on proper behavior both for the rehearsal and the wedding. There should never be any eating, shouting, or playing in the church.
      If you are having a Nuptial Mass, in order that Catholic members of your wedding party may receive Communion with you, please make arrangements with the Priest should you or they want to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) before your wedding day.

      Most parishes have a very firm rule forbidding the tossing of rice or birdseed in or around the church. Please do not allow any family or friends to do this.

      God designed the love between a man and a woman to be "life-giving love", and the marital act, to be truly human, must always be open to God's will. The Church teaches that couples are the only ones who can plan their families, but may never reject God from their lives through contraception.

      Natural Family Planning is the perfect method of family planning and, when used conscientiously by a couple, can deepen their love and appreciation for each other, help them grow in their understanding of their own marriage, and assist them in either achieving or avoiding pregnancy.

      We offer the following list of instructors who are most willing to help you experience the life-giving love of marriage. Please give them a call. You'll be glad you did:

Billings Ovulation Method

Jodi Mendietta (San Francisco)

(415) 285-3036

Creighton Model Fertility Care System

Cristina Frazier (San Francisco)

(415) 820-1638

Jenny Perez (Daly City)

(650) 301-8896

July 29, 2016