Why choose St. James
Because St. James is one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in the South Bay.
Our staff at St. James makes your ceremony special. Choose from our priests and deacons to celebrate your big day.
Our wedding coordinator will assist you in the decision making for your liturgy, and will coordinate your rehearsal to make sure your wedding ceremony runs smoothly.
Our professional musicians assist in making your ceremony memorable.
Historic parish. Founded in 1890 as the Dominguez Memorial Chapel, the current church is our parish’s third, built in 1961.
Frequently Asked Questions
To begin your wedding preparation, please come to the Parish Office to pick up a wedding booklet along with a Marriage Intake Form. Once your form is completed and returned, a Priest or Deacon will contact you to schedule your first of (typically) three appointments. Please note that there is at least a six month preparation time required for marriage, and in order to be married in the Catholic Church, at least one of you must be a Baptized Catholic.
You will be able to set your wedding date and time during your first appointment with the Priest or Deacon (provided there are no special circumstances). If there is a previous marriage, regardless of where it took place, no date can be set until final permission has been granted from a Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Church. Also, if one of you is not Catholic, a Permission and Dispensation form will need to be completed and sent into the Archdiocese.
Weddings are generally held on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., as well as on Friday afternoons, year round.
For those couples being married in a Catholic Church outside the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, we are happy to assist you with your marriage preparation by completing the first two wedding preparation appointments. Afterwards, we will forward all the paperwork through the Diocesan Office where you are to be married. For those couples desiring a wedding outside a Catholic Church, whether it is within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles or elsewhere, you must obtain the necessary permissions for the ceremony before we can begin any preparation work.
Since marriage celebrates the unbreakable commitment between a man and a woman who are free to make this mature decision in the community of believers, certain documents are required to establish your sacramental status within the Church, your freedom from any previous unions, as well as sworn statements attesting to your clear understanding of the nature and responsibilities of Marriage.
The following are required documents:
Baptismal Certificate A newly issued copy of your Baptismal Certificate (with notations regarding confirmation and prior marriages) is required for those who are Catholic. This can be obtained by contacting the Church of Baptism and requesting a new certificate. For those Baptized in another Christian faith, a copy of the original certificate is sufficient.
Letters of Freedom (forms provided by the parish) This is a sworn statement, witnessed by a Priest, minister or notary public, attesting that you have never been married before, in either a Church or civil ceremony, and that there is no known impediment to the marriage. Parents normally fill this out, or others who have known you most or all of your life may complete it. Two witnesses are required for each party to the marriage. We also have specific Letters of Freedom for those who are widowed and those who have been granted a Church annulment.
Permissions and Dispensations In the case of an “Ecumenical Marriage” (the union of a Catholic and a person baptized in another Christian faith), a Permission for Mixed Marriage form must be completed by the Priest/Deacon and either signed or witnessed by the parties. In the case of an “Interreligious Marriage” (the marriage of a Catholic and a person that has not been baptized in another religious tradition), a Petition For Dispensation From Disparity of Worship must be completed by the Priest/Deacon and either signed or witnessed by the parties. In both cases, the parties are expected to demonstrate a willingness to commit themselves to honest dialogue concerning their respective religious traditions, and to make sincere efforts to understand and respect each other’s beliefs. As part of the process, the Catholic party signs a declaration stating that he/she is prepared to remove dangers of falling away from the faith, and promises to do all in his/her power to have all the children baptized and brought up in the Catholic church. The non-Catholic party acknowledges an awareness of the obligations of his/her Catholic spouse to preserve and profess his/her faith, and to do all possible to baptize and educate the children of the marriage in the Catholic faith.
Civil License The County Court registers all civil documents. Therefore, any questions you have regarding the procurement of the civil license or other civil concerns should be addressed to the Court. Licenses are valid for ninety days from the date they are issued. The marriage license must be given to the Wedding Coordinator no later than the day of the rehearsal. Please note that it is against the law for the ceremony to take place without a civil license. You may obtain additional information at the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder/County Clerk website.
Pre-Nuptial Inquiry This documents your freedom to marry and is generally completed at the initial interview.
“Let us love one another, because love is of God.”
We rejoice with you at the announcement of your engagement.
By asking to be married in the Catholic Church, you are publicly professing your faith in the Lord Jesus and
proclaiming your desire to live as married disciples of Christ for the rest of your lives.
Christ raised matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament,
giving spouses a special grace to live out their marriage as a symbol of Christ’s love for his bride the Church:
“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the Church” (Ephesians 5:25).
Irene Settele 310.938.3156
Kevin Babuder 310.376.5065
Because every couple is unique, the Priest or Deacon will use this time to get to know you and answer any questions you may have. Then, he will begin creating your “Wedding File” which will contain the necessary paperwork mandated by the Archdiocese to be married in the Catholic Church.
FOCUS Study Tool
(Facilitating Open Couple Communication Understanding and Study)
The Priest or Deacon will either administer this in the office during your first appointment or he may have you take it home to complete. If you take it home, please return it to the parish office as soon as possible. We will enter the information from your bubble sheets into the computer and forward you a copy. The Priest or Deacon will go over it with you during your second appointment.
You will be able to set your wedding date and time during this appointment (provided there are no special circumstances). If there is a prior marriage, regardless of where it took place, no date can be set until final permission has been granted from a Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Church. Also, if one of you is not Catholic, a Permission and Dispensation form will need to be completed and sent into the Archdiocese.
Saturday weddings can be scheduled for 10:30 am, 12:30 pm or 2:30 pm. Friday evenings are also a popular time as well, generally at 3:00pm or 4:00pm.
At the end of your appointment, the Priest or Deacon will ask you to prepare for the second appointment by working on the following:
FOCUS Study Tool (if you didn’t complete this in the office, please return it ASAP)
Four Letters of Freedom (2 for each person – due at next appointment)
Obtain “newly issued” Baptismal Certificates (due at next appointment)
Engaged Encounter Retreat Brochure (sign up ASAP at www.ceeofla.org)
Together For Life Booklet (begin looking this over and discussing)
During this appointment, the Priest or Deacon will go over your Focus Study Tool and answer any questions or concerns you may have. He will also collect the following documents:
A “newly issued” copy of your Baptismal Certificate, including notations of your Confirmation and any prior Marriages, is required for those who are Catholic. Just contact the Church of your Baptism and request a certificate. This is a common request and typically there is no fee involved. For those Baptized in another Christian faith, a copy of the original Baptismal certificate is sufficient.
Letters of Freedoms
This is a sworn statement, witnessed by a Priest, Minister or Notary Public, attesting that you have never been married before, in either a Church or Civil ceremony, and that there is no known impediment to the marriage. Parents normally fill this out, or others who have known you most or all of your life may complete it. Two witnesses are required for each party to the marriage. [We also have specific Letters of Freedom for those who are widowed and those who have been granted a Church annulment.]
Engaged Encounter Certificate
All couples are required to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat. At completion, you will receive a certificate which needs to be submitted to your Priest or Deacon. If you’ve completed it before your second appointment you can bring it, if not, please be sure it’ll be completed so you can bring it for your third appointment.
At the end of your second appointment, the Priest or Deacon will remind you to work on the following areas of the wedding before the final appointment:
Contact the Wedding Coordinator
The Wedding Coordinator can be contacted as soon as possible prior to the wedding date. They will provide an invaluable service making sure everything runs smoothly the day of your wedding. They will schedule and run your rehearsal as well as answer any questions you may have regarding our guidelines for decorations, flowers, photography, videos, etc.
Wedding Music Workshops
The Music Director offers occasional workshops presenting the many musical options available to you for your wedding. Each couple should contact the Music Director at least four months before their wedding to find out about upcoming workshop dates. The Music Director will assist each couple in determining musical selections, and will serve as organist, pianist, and/or vocalist for your wedding. Please see the music section of the website for further details.
Review the Together for Life Booklet
This booklet goes over the most important part of the wedding, the Liturgy. Because every couple is different, we ask that you work together to discuss and complete the Liturgy Planning sheet (containing samples of the readings, vows, prayers etc). During your final meeting with the Priest or Deacon you will be concentrating on the Liturgy aspect of your wedding. Also, please think about who you would like to ask to assist during the Wedding Ceremony (Lectors, Gift-bearers, EM’s).
Obtain a Marriage License
The County Court registers all civil documents. Therefore, any questions you have regarding the procurement of the civil license or other civil concerns should be addressed to the Court. Licenses are valid for ninety days from the date they are issued. The marriage license must be given to the Wedding Coordinator at the rehearsal. Please note that it is against the law for the ceremony to take place without a civil license. You may obtain additional information at the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder/County Clerk website: http://rrcc.lacounty.gov/clerk/marriages.cfm
During this appointment the Priest or Deacon will ensure that all your paperwork has been completed and all necessary documents have been submitted. Then, the Priest or Deacon will focus on the wedding liturgy (readings, prayers, vows, etc…). At the end of the appointment, he will answer any additional questions you may have and go over any last minute details before the wedding.
Together for Life Booklet
In the back of this booklet, there is a section of 5 pages that are perforated. These contain the very special choices that you have made together regarding your wedding. The Priest or Deacon will go over them with you in detail and then he’ll make a copy of them for your wedding file. The Priest or Deacon may also ask you to bring a copy of these selections to the Wedding Rehearsal for your Wedding Coordinator. Please email these selections to the wedding coordinator two weeks prior to the wedding date.
Wedding Rehearsals are scheduled with your Wedding Coordinator as soon as possible. They most likely will be held on a Thursday or Friday evening. Rehearsals will begin on time, and last approximately one hour. It is essential that all members of the wedding party (including readers, gift bearers, etc) be present.
You will need to provide the Wedding Coordinator with the following items at your rehearsal: Marriage License
Copy of your selections from the Together For Life book.
Items needed for the ceremony (guest book, pens, programs, etc)
All Church related payments and stipends.
The Church provides the Unity Candles for you.
All Church related payments:
- Church Donation: $500 if a parishioner at Saint James; $750.00 (if not a parishioner) This donation should be made payable to St. James Church. It is a your gift to the church and is not for the Priest or Deacon who presides over your wedding ceremony.
- Wedding Coordinator: $150
- Music Director: $200 Made payable to Kevin Babuder. (additional musicians/services extra)
- Altar Servers – $20 each – Cash only, please. The wedding coordinator will let you know in advance how many are needed.
- Priest or Deacon Offering. There is no set fee, but a free will donation s suggested. Made check payable to priest or deacon.
- Marriage Preparation only ( If your Wedding is elsewhere ) $200.
Floral arrangements enhance the beauty of any environment and we welcome your creativity with regard to this area. Please be mindful of the fact that as a sacramental celebration, the principal goal of liturgical environment is to help convey the mysteries of God’s saving love, and not merely to decorate space.
The following guidelines should be followed:
Wedding couples may select a florist of their choice. In the event of multiple weddings on the same day, couples may contact each other and the florist to share expenses. Please check with the Wedding Coordinator for names and phone numbers of other wedding couples.
Your flowers and decorations must be removed after your wedding unless other arrangements have been made.
No floral arrangements may be placed near the altar, ambo or lectern. No floral pillars may be used.
The Church environment is decorated according to our liturgical calendar. There are certain colors used during the different seasons which will be prominent and which may influence your decision as to arrangements. You may obtain additional information from the Wedding Coordinator.
None of the existing Church decorations may be moved.
Flowers or bows may be tied on the end of the pews with rubber bands or plastic clips. No tape can be used. No swaging of pew bows.
Garlands and aisle runners are not permitted.
Candles may never be used on the pews. No candelabras on the altar or aisles.
The following are not permitted in the Church or anywhere on the Church grounds: bubbles, flower petals, birdseed, rice, confetti, doves, butterflies or any other items not connected with the immediate religious celebration.
We want to make sure that your wedding is a day that you remember and a day that you can view again. A Catholic wedding ceremony or Mass is primarily a celebration of a couple’s love in union with our worship of God as an act of thanksgiving for this love. Therefore, we must make sure that while we catch this moment on film, we keep the primary emphasis in focus. For this reason, the following guidelines must be followed by your photographer. Please provide them with a copy of the form letter to photographers and videographers.
All photo/video work must be done with the available light. No flood, strobe or spotlights are permitted.
No flash photography is allowed during the ceremony. You may use a flash for the seating of parents, the Processional (entrance of the bridal party and bride), and the Recessional (the bride and groom exiting the Church).
All photographers and videographers must check in with the Wedding Coordinator prior to the ceremony to receive any specific requirements of the Priest. Photographs and videos may be taken discreetly and unobtrusively during the ceremony. Photographers are not permitted to enter the sanctuary.
Posed pictures are permitted for 20 minutes only after the ceremony.
At no time are the decorations already in place in the Church to be moved or rearranged.
There will be a Wedding Music Workshop
in the Church on
Saturday, June 4, 2016
at 10 am
All wedding couples are asked to attend one workshop.Here you will get answers to all your questions about the music for your wedding.
Call the Parish office 310.372.5228 or
Kevin at 310.376.5065
Click on any title below to hear this music:
- Pachelbel Canon in D
- Bach- Cantata, BWV 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
- Handel – Water Music – Air
- Jean-Joseph Mouret_ Rondeau from Sinfonie de Fanfares
- Bradley Joseph – Piano Love SongsThe Wedding Song (There is Love)
- Johann Sebastian Bach-Air on G String
Bride (may also enter to any song above):