Congratulations on your engagement to be married! We at The Immaculata would be happy to share our worship space with you on the occasion of one of the most important days in your life, when you accept from God His blessing in the Sacrament of Marriage.
The Immaculata has provided the following "Frequently Asked Questions" which we hope will help answer some of your questions about celebrating your wedding at our church.
Who can get married at The Immaculata?
- At least one party of the couple must be a baptized Catholic to be married at The Immaculata.
- Couples are not required to be affiliated with the University of San Diego.
- Parishioners and non-parishioners alike are welcome to be married at The Immaculata.
Non-parishioners are required to secure the services of their own priest or deacon who will provide them with pastoral care during the preparation process and who will officiate at their wedding ceremony.
- Couples must be free to marry in the Catholic Church. (All prior marriages must be addressed.)
How long is the "waiting list"?
Contrary to popular belief, The Immaculata is NOT booked several years in advance, nor do we have a "waiting list" for the year. The most popular wedding time is 2:00 p.m. which tends to book up quickly, but there are usually 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. times available. The Immaculata is currently booking for 2014 and 2015 only. We begin booking 2016 dates on September 1, 2014. (Currently, the only 2:00 p.m. time slot for 2014 is in December.)
- The Diocese of San Diego recommends nine (9) months notice for marriage in the Catholic Church.
When are wedding ceremonies held?
- Wedding ceremonies at The Immaculata are celebrated on Saturdays only, at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. While any time of day is beautiful for a wedding at the Immaculata, each time slot has its own distinct advantages:
11:00 a.m.: The most flexible time of the day. After a beautiful late-morning wedding, you can welcome your guests to a luncheon reception immediately after the ceremony, without needing to cover a time gap between the ceremony and the celebration. There is also ample time for photos in the church afterward, or, if you like, you can begin the wedding a bit later, at 11:30.
2:00 p.m.: A popular ceremony time, despite the occasional need to work with a time gap between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. The church is beautifully enhanced by natural light and the effects of sunlight on the stained-glass windows. Please keep in mind that confessions in the church begin at 3:30 p.m., so if your ceremony has a late start, you will have less time for photos inside the church.
6:30 p.m.: The most romantic ambience of the day occurs with this ceremony time. Most of the year, the wedding begins as the sun is beginning to set, and the church can be aglow with candlelight. The nature of the marriage sacrament is beautifully accentuated by the atmosphere of the evening ceremony. Afterward, a lovely moonlit reception helps create a most memorable celebration of your marriage. If you don't mind only having 1/2 hour to decorate or set-up for your wedding, you may also have your ceremony begin at 6:00 p.m.
Weddings may not take place between the 2:00 and 6:30 time slots due to our Reconciliation service and Vigil Mass.
- Rehearsals are scheduled the Friday before the wedding at 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis. The only exceptions may be if the Friday is a holiday, solemnity or if there is a parish event at The Immaculata.
- Wedding ceremonies on Sundays are never allowed.
- Ceremonies are held year-round, however special policies may be in effect during certain times of the Liturgical Year.
How can we set a date?
A 30-day tentative hold may be placed on a date by contacting Krysteena Atienza, the Parish Wedding Director, at the parish office at 619-574-5704 or by email at email@example.com and completing a Date Request Form. Wedding date holds are based on first-come, first-serve basis dependent upon receipt of the Date Request Form to the Wedding Director. It is strongly recommended that you hold off on booking your reception venue until you have received an official letter from The Immaculata confirming your wedding date.
Once a tentative date is set, the Parish Wedding Director will provide you with the Wedding Packet which will include the 2014 Marriage Guidelines, the Guidelines Agreement Form and Visiting Clergy Form, both of which are required with the deposit in order to confirm your date.
- Tentative dates are confirmed upon receipt of the 1) Guidelines Agreement Form, 2) Visiting Clergy Form 3) $600 non-refundable deposit. The forms and deposit must be received within 30 days of booking the tentative date or your reservation will be canceled without further notification.
How much is the fee for use of the church?
- The offering for the church is $1,100.00. A non-refundable deposit of $600.00 is required to confirm the date and time of the wedding. The balance of $500.00 is due six months prior to the wedding and once paid is also non-refundable.
- Payment covers the use of the church, and the Immaculata will provide a Rehearsal Coordinator and Wedding Sacristan/Coordinator. Musicians, florists, etc. must be contracted separately.
- Payments must be made in the form of check, cash, money order or credit cards. Credit card payments must be made in person at the office.
- It is customary to provide your presiding priest with a stipend or honorarium following the ceremony.
Does The Immaculata have musicians that we can use?
- Yes, The Immaculata has very fine musicians who are experienced in their role as liturgical musicians and are available for your wedding ceremony.
- Our Wedding Music Director and Organist, Krishan Oberoi, is happy to assist you in selecting a cantor and musicians for your ceremony. He will also help you select songs that will be an expression of your Christian faith and convey the sacredness and dignity of your wedding ceremony.
Can we bring in our own musicians?
Guest choirs, cantors and musicians are welcome at The Immaculata. However, they will be required to provide a letter from their parish as proof that they are actively engaged as liturgical musicians. Additionally, guest musicians are required to provide their own equipment, including a sound system (if needed), microphones and microphone stands, etc. The Immaculata's piano is available to guest musicians. The organ, however is reserved only for use by The Immaculata's organist.
What preparation classes will we have to take?
The Diocese of San Diego requires a two-part preparation process:
1. Attendance at the Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program (DMPP) – a full day program held on a Saturday
2. Attendance at the Engaged Encounter Weekend - a Friday night to Sunday afternoon event held at a retreat center.
- Additional or alternate preparation may be required depending on a couple's circumstances.
- Couples living out of town may complete the Marriage Preparation Program(s) within their own Diocese in place of the San Diego Diocesan programs.
Does The Immaculata also book dates for Founder's Chapel?
The Immaculata is a San Diego Diocesan Parish while Founder's Chapel is a chapel of the University of San Diego. Therefore, Founder's has their own policies, guidelines, staff members and calendar. Those interested in celebrating their wedding at Founder's Chapel can contact Founder's Wedding Coordinator, Darlene Polak, at 619-260-2229.
Does The Immaculata or the University have facilities for receptions?
- The Immaculata does not have a space large enough to accommodate wedding receptions and it is the policy of the University of San Diego not to rent out their banquet halls to private parties.
Is picture-taking allowed in the church during the ceremony?
Picture-taking by professional photographers is allowed, however, in order to ensure that every wedding at The Immaculata is not only memorable, but maintains a sense of dignity and reverence, we require that all photographers agree to abide by the policies outlined in detail in the Marriage Guidelines booklet and in the Policies for Photographers and Videographers document.
What documents are needed for marriage at The Immaculata?
Engaged couples are required to complete and/or submit a variety of documents to the church in order to get married. This is part of the process of determining your freedom to marry in the Catholic Church and of registering your marriage with the Catholic party's church of baptism.
Please be assured of our sincere desire to cooperate with you to make your celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage meaningful and memorable. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Krysteena Atienza, our Parish Wedding Director, by phone at 619-574-5704 or firstname.lastname@example.org