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What is Holy Matrimony (Sacrament of Marriage)?

The sacrament of marriage is a visible sign of God’s love for the Church. When a man and a woman are married in the Church, they receive the grace needed for a lifelong bond of unity.

“The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church-CCC 1661)”


Marriage Preparation at St. Frances Cabrini (SFC)

Couples are required to contact one of the parish priests at least six months in advance of the desired wedding date. This should be done before making commitments with caterers, reception halls, etc. Weddings are scheduled with respect to the couple’s wishes, the availability of the church building, and the schedule of the priest. The priest will help to explain to the couple the different documentations and preparations for the sacramental celebration of their marriage.

For couples preparing for marriage, SFC offers a program where, after the conversation with the priest, the engaged couple meets individually with the Married Preparation Coordinating Couple who will mentor and facilitate discussions on topics including Marriage as a Sacrament, God’s Plan for Marriage, and the Lived Experience of Marriage. Contact- Chris & Ann Aguilar, Marriage Preparation Coordinators by email: aguilarbus@yahoo.com or by cell at (408) 748-4761.

The program consists of:

  • An initial phone or video call, to share information and set up sessions
  • FOCCUS Pre-Marital Inventory, to be completed by the Bride and Groom online, individually, BEFORE the first In-Person Session
    (link provided after the Initial phone or video call)
  • Two Four-hour Sessions (In-Person) minimum, typically a week apart
    • Sessions include discussions and videos from Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage (Augustine Press) and address FOCCUS inventory results
    • Dates/times are flexible, based on the schedules of both the engaged couple and mentor/facilitator couple
  • Natural Family Planning Introduction Class, scheduled independently and taught by certified instructors through the Diocese of San Jose:

Cost of the Program: $130 (itemized below)

  • FOCCUS – $25/couple, paid directly to FOCCUS when registering to complete the inventory
  • Couple’s Workbook, Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage, $30/couple, paid to mentor/facilitator couple at first In-Person Session
  • Natural Family Planning Introduction Class – $75/couple, paid directly to DSJ when registering for the class


Marriage License Information

Before a Marriage Ceremony can take place, both parties must first obtain a Marriage License from the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. The Marriage License must not be issued more than 90 days prior to the wedding date. The Marriage License is best requested from the County of current or future residence. Please check your respective county’s website for their fees and services.

Information for Santa Clara County: https://clerkrecorder.sccgov.org/services-we-provide/apply-marriage-license

Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder’s Office
70 West Hedding St
East Wing, First Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 408-299-5658
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Applying for a Marriage License

Requirements to apply for a Marriage License:

  • two unmarried persons must appear in-person and
  • be 18 years of age or older (valid government-issued picture identification is required)

Appointments are suggested, but not required. You can book an appointment through the online portal at the link here.

Santa Clara County requests that you fill out an online application before appearing in-person to receive the license.

Once you’ve appeared at the County Office, you will receive the following documents from the clerk:

  • A Marriage License
  • An envelope pre-addressed to the County Clerk-Recorder

You must give these items to the Priest or Deacon performing your marriage ceremony. That person will complete the rest of the information on your license and have your witness (es) sign in the appropriate boxes. If the marriage is being recorded at St. Frances Cabrini, the parish office will mail in the signed marriage license to the County within 10 days from your marriage. The County of Santa Clara will mail out the Marriage Certificate within 3-6 weeks after receiving the signed document.

Reservation and Payment of Wedding Fees:

To assist the couple in planning for their marriage ceremonies at SFC, the following are the fees for getting married in Church:

  • Church Wedding Fee – $750.00
    • Initial deposit of $250.00 is required to reserve the desired church wedding date and time.
    • Balance of $500.00 is required on Rehearsal Day
  • Wedding Coordinator Fee – $150.00 – check issued to the wedding coordinator
  • Church Musician – (private arrangement with the couple)

The above fees do not include stipends for clergy outside of SFC Parish, clergy appreciation gift (optional), fees for musician/s, choir director, choir, florists, photographers, videographers, and/or limousine services. The bride and groom will assume the responsibility for payment for such stipends or fees.

Celebration of the Marriage (Wedding) Liturgy

The wedding coordinator in collaboration with the priest doing the wedding will assist the couple in choosing the appropriate readings and prayers for the liturgical celebrations of their marriage.

Our Wedding Ceremony Coordinator is Maria Sarmiento. Wedding rehearsals are normally scheduled on the day before the wedding. The wedding coordinator schedules with the couple the wedding rehearsal.