You will need to provide several documents for your marriage:
If you are not living in our Parish boundaries and not a registered parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, we will need a letter from the Pastor of the Church you belong to stating that (1) you are a registered parishioner at that Parish and that (2) the Pastor of the Church gives you permission to be married at St. Anthony’s.
A Baptismal Certificate issued six (6) months before the wedding date is required (not the original Baptismal). Please call the Church of your Baptism and request a new Baptismal copy with all notations on the reverse side. If you are not confirmed, we strongly recommend that you be confirmed before your marriage; however, you may still be married if not yet confirmed.
Affidavits of Freedom to Marry
You will each be asked to name two (2) people who know you well and would be willing to testify that you are free to marry. The people you choose can be parents, other relatives, or friends who know you well.
The marriage license should be obtained 1-2 weeks prior to the ceremony. In Texas, marriage licenses are valid for 30 days and have a 72 hour dormant period (you may not use it until 72 hours after purchase). A marriage license can be obtained at any courthouse in the state of Texas. The marriage license should be given to the Wedding Coordinator at the wedding rehearsal.
In Montgomery County, the wedding couple and the witnesses do not sign the marriage license; it is signed only by the presiding Priest or Deacon. After your wedding, the Church will record your marriage in the Sacramental Register of the Parish and mail the license back to the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office for you. The County Clerk will record the information in the public records of the County and will return a certified copy to you, usually within 6 weeks after the wedding.
: In particular cases, if other documents are needed, the Priest or Deacon will ask for them.
Engaged Couple/Sponsor Couple Programs
You will have the option to participate in either of these 2 programs:
Engaged Encounter Weekend (EEW)
This is a weekend experience where couples planning marriage have time together to concentrate on each other, free of the tensions, pressures, and interruptions of daily life. It is designed to give couples an opportunity to dialogue honestly and intensively about their future life together. You will be given a schedule of when and where this program is offered. It will be your responsibility to make the reservations to attend. You must let the Priest/Deacon know that you plan to attend, and he must sign your registration form. Click here to visit the
Arch-Diocese website on the marriage preparation process
for more information.
Sponsor Couple Sessions
This is an opportunity to prepare for your marriage by meeting with trained married couples for 5 sessions in their homes. You will receive the book
For Better & For Ever
by Robert Ruhnke which will be used as a basis for these sessions. Due to the limited capacity of the Engaged Encounter weekend, most of our couples prepare in the Sponsor Couple Session process.
The goal of the
Sponsor Couple program
is to provide a couple-to-couple approach to marriage preparation. The same way that an older, more experienced employee becomes a mentor to a new employee, the sponsor couple becomes a mentor for the engaged couple. The engaged couple preparing for marriage meets with the sponsor couple at a mutually-agreeable time for a series of 5 evenings in the home of the sponsor couple. During these evenings, through a loosely-structured program, the sponsor couple can share, encourage, guide, and support the engaged couple in their quest for a Christian marriage. Topics discussed include family of origin, traditions, money management, sexuality and intimacy, the place of prayer in a Christian marriage, the spirituality of marriage, God’s relationship in your marriage, essential of a Christian marriage, etc.
The next step in the preparation process is the planning of the Liturgy. You will be given a booklet,
which explains the various choices you have in planning the Liturgy. Included in the book are scriptural passages from the Old and New Testament that speak about marriage. Please schedule an appointment with the
Pastor’s Assistant 8 to 12
prior to the date of the wedding.
Ministers Who Serve and Assist in the Liturgy
: Our Priests/Deacons are pleased to preside at your wedding! A visiting priest or deacon who officiates weddings at St. Anthony of Padua must receive delegation from the Pastor of St. Anthony’s. The visiting priest/deacon must understand and agree to follow the wedding liturgy guidelines of our Parish. Clergy from outside the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston must have the testimonial of suitability for ministry from his own religious superior or Bishop before he is allowed to exercise ministry at St. Anthony.
Altar Servers are not required but some couples request them if their marriage is being celebrated within a Nuptial Mass. Three (3) experienced servers will be assigned.
(Please see page 5 for Altar Server stipend fees.)
: The readers you choose should be given the chosen texts well before the wedding date to rehearse. They must be at the rehearsal.
: If your wedding will include a Nuptial Mass you are encouraged to provide
Extra-Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
from among your guests. These ministers must be Catholic and are expected at the rehearsal. The Wedding Coordinators can also function in this role if needed.
Music and Musicians
: When a date for the ceremony has been set, the couple must begin thinking of the liturgical preparations. If, for example a couple is planning on using extra instruments (strings, brass, etc.) the Music Office should be contacted immediately. Music selections must be appropriate for liturgical use and expressive of the Catholic Christian beliefs and vision of marriage. A musical selection is considered appropriate for worship when the words clearly express Catholic Christian faith and serve to deepen prayer. Music that comes from non-liturgical sources such as Broadway, popular songs on the radio or internet, etc. can detract from the worship experience and is not permitted.
Our Music Department will work with you in the selection and placement of music for your wedding, and can provide quality liturgical music that will enhance the prayer of your liturgy. Other instrumentation can add to the beauty of the music, and our Music Department can give you contact information for various instrumental ensembles. Please contact Natalie Giardina at
, or by phone at 832-482-4125, or Charles Giardina at
, phone at 832-482-4141.
Please do not contract the service of any musicians without the prior consent of the Music Department. This request must be made well in advance of the wedding – at least 3 months before the wedding.
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ON MUSIC POLICIES.)
: St. Anthony’s Wedding Coordinators will be on site for the rehearsal and on the wedding day to ensure the celebrations proceed smoothly, promptly, and according to guidelines. Wedding Coordinators hired by the couple will, at all times, defer to the Parish Wedding Coordinator, for direction.
The Wedding Party
- All members of the wedding party (attendants, ushers, parents, readers, etc.) should attend the rehearsal.
- The Bride and bridal attendants are asked to please be mindful of the necessary modesty of dress that is appropriate for the reverent respect for the Church and the liturgy.
- Attendants: Bridal attendants and groomsmen should be kept within a reasonable number (between 1 and 7).
- Children in the wedding party: Flower Girls and Ring Bearers should be of an appropriate age of maturity.
- We encourage at least 2 gentlemen, separate from the groomsmen, to serve as ushers. Their primary responsibilities are to welcome and seat guests and family members.