Marriage at the Basilica
Congratulations on your engagement! We are pleased you have chosen to be married at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The celebration of your wedding is a very important occasion for you, and we’d like to help make your arrangements at the Basilica as easy as possible.
As a couple getting married at the Basilica, you may have many questions about where to begin the process. Below you will find an outline of the steps you need to take. Click on each step for more information.
Schedule your wedding and decide on the reception location. Contact the officiating priest to check his availability.
Complete a marriage preparation program.
Contact the priest in charge of your paperwork.
Contact the Wedding Music Coordinator for the Basilica
Contact the Wedding Coordinator to finalize the plans for your wedding day.
Complete Diocesan Paperwork
Secure the Marriage License
Nine to 12 months before your wedding.
In this step, you reserve your wedding date with the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Diocesan guidelines require that weddings at Notre Dame be celebrated in the Basilica, Lady Chapel or Log Chapel. Weddings may not be performed at any other location on campus.
To be married in one of these locations, you must be one of the following:
Current Notre Dame student
An alumnus/a of Notre Dame
A member of Sacred Heart Parish
A current full-time member of the faculty or staff who has been employed at the University for a minimum of five years.
You are required to select the priest or deacon who will preside at your wedding. The Basilica will provide you with the necessary documents for your presider.
Reservations for weddings in the Basilica, Lady Chapel or Log Chapel for the year 2018 will be open on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 8 a.m. EST. All reservations must be made by phone at (574) 631-4288. No walk-ins will be accepted.
Wedding times are Fridays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (summer only) and Saturdays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. on non-football weekends or dates of other major University events.
Please have the following information available when you call to make your reservation:
Names of the bride and groom
Their affiliation with the university
Religion of both the bride and groom (one must be Catholic)
Address where confirmation should be mailed
Phone number of either the bride or groom
Dates and times you are interest in getting married
You are also required to select the priest or deacon who will preside at your wedding. The Basilica will provide you with all the necessary documents for your presider following your confirmation.
Six to nine months before your wedding.
Marriage preparation provides an opportunity for reflection and discernment on the sacramental and vocational nature of the life-long commitment to marriage. Like other sacraments, the Church requires some special preparation by the couple to receive the sacrament of marriage. You are asked to spend some significant time reflecting on your relationship, your commitments to one another and God’s presence in your lives.
Marriage preparation (Pre-Cana) can take place in any parish or diocese that has an established program which fulfills the Church’s requirement for marriage preparation. The University of Notre Dame offers a marriage preparation program to current students and Sacred Heart parishioners. Notre Dame alumni, current full-time faculty members and full-time staff who have been employed at the University for a minimum of five years are eligible to get married at the Basilica, Lady Chapel or Log Chapel, but they must fulfill their marriage preparation requirements through their local parish.
Most parishes require that you contact them at least six months before the wedding date; if you are eligible to do your preparation at the University of Notre Dame, the same principle applies. The earlier you contact us the better.
For more information, please call Megan Sorg at (574) 631-8730.
Six months before your wedding.
A number of documents are required by the Basilica and, in some situations, obtaining and completing them may require considerable time. Together with your priest, you will gather and complete the following forms, all of which must be turned into the Basilica Office no later than two months before the wedding.
The Priest for your Wedding: The question of who officiates at your wedding is an important one. The choice of the presider is an invitation that the couple extends to someone they know and trust and someone with whom they are comfortable in his role as a representative of the Church. The priest is not necessarily the same priest who will help you with the documentation. Any priest in good standing, approved and delegated by the Basilica Rector may preside at your wedding in the Basilica, Lady Chapel or Log Chapel.
Affidavits: These acknowledge that both parties are free to marry. Your parents or close relatives are asked to fill out the form before a priest, deacon or pastoral associate. Both the bride and groom must each turn in two affidavits.
Baptismal Certificates: Updated certificates, issued by the parish where you were baptized (dated six months before the wedding), are needed. You cannot use originals or copies of originals for this purpose. Also, make sure all notations are listed including: First Holy Communion, Confirmation and any marriages.
Marriage Registration Form: This questionnaire is completed by a priest and answered by each party before the pastor or priest. Its purpose is to provide a legal statement of freedom and right of intention to marry.
Permission Letter: Weddings usually take place in the parish of the bride. As a courtesy, the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese requires the permission of the bride’s pastor for the marriage to occur at the Basilica.
Marriage Preparation Certificate: You will receive a certificate at the completion of your marriage preparation program. This marriage preparation process should begin at least six months before your wedding day. The certificate will be part of the paperwork submitted.
Six to nine months before your wedding.
The Wedding Music Coordinator for the Basilica will guide all musical preparation for the wedding liturgy. A list of approved musicians will be available at the time of the initial consultation, and all musicians must be selected from this list. Payment for musicians is separate from the Basilica fees and must be received by Campus Ministry 30 days prior to the wedding day. All music must be appropriate for sacred liturgical celebration. No secular texts will be allowed.
To plan your wedding liturgy, the following may be helpful.
Spend some time in prayer and consideration of the following:
What readings convey our understanding of sacramental love?
What style of liturgy fits into our common sense of prayer?
Select your Scripture readings (a good collection of these may be found in the planning guide, Together for Life by Rev. Joseph Champlain with Rev. Peter A. Jarret, C.S.C.). This book is included in your wedding packet.
Bring your readings and creative suggestions to the presider and the Wedding Music Coordinator to help prepare the wedding liturgy.
Contact the Wedding Music Coordinator Director of Music six to nine months in advance by email at email@example.com or call Campus Ministry at (574) 631-7800.
Three months before your wedding.
The weddiing coordinator will help coordinate your plans and will be at both your wedding rehearsal and the wedding itself. The coordinator will also coordinate your plans with the Sacristan's Office of the Basilica. Please note that the Sacristy Information Booklet, which will be provided to you with your paperwork after the confirmation of your wedding at the Basilica, should be completed and submitted to the wedding coordinator at the wedding rehearsal. The wedding coordinator will also see that all civil paperwork (marriage license) is in order and will return it to the Basilica Office that in turn sends it to the St. Joseph County Courthouse.
Two months before your wedding.
All of your Diocesan paperwork must be on file in the Basilica Office by this time. Please mail to:
University of Notre Dame
322 Coleman Morse Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
The presider will help you with the documentation as well as assist you with the preparation of the liturgy. Completed documentation (marriage registration form, updated baptismal certificates, affidavits, letter of permission from bride’s pastor, Pre-Cana certificate) should be returned to the Basilica Office no later than two months before the wedding.
For further questions regarding paperwork, please call the Basilica Office at (574) 631-4288.
State of Indiana requirements for marriage license:
An application for an Indiana marriage license is obtained at the St. Joseph County Clerk’s office located in the St. Joseph County Court House, 101 S. Main St., South Bend, IN 46601, (574) 235-9635. The office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed on Saturday. The marriage must be performed within 60 days after the license is issued.
There is no waiting period between application and the ceremony. The license is provided the same day of application. Please allow 30 minutes to complete the process.
Both applicants must be present to apply for a marriage license and you may not take the application out of the office. Proof of age and residence is required. You must furnish a valid driver’s license or other state issued identification that contains your date of birth and current address
What we do for you:
Reserve your wedding date and collect and process all your paperwork for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Set the policies regarding the use of the Church and how it may be decorated for weddings. Guidelines will be available to you in the Sacristy Information Booklet once your wedding date is reserved.
Provide a wedding coordinator who will attend the rehearsal and wedding and will assist you in the details of your wedding liturgy.
Provide liturgical musicians for your wedding.
Offer wedding preparation “Pre-Cana” programs to current students and Sacred Heart parishioners.
Normally your presider is the most appropriate person to administer the required Church documents. However, if he is not available to do so, you may ask another priest to help you with the documentation. The documents you need will be provided to you in your wedding packet once your wedding is confirmed.
There is a $1,000 Church fee, payable to the Basilica upon confirmation of your reservation date and time of your wedding. This fee covers administrative and operation expenditures, and does not include stipends to the presiding priest(s) or musicians. Payment for musicians is separate from the Basilica fees and must be received by Campus Ministry 30 days prior to the wedding day. It is also customary to offer a stipend to the priest for his services in your preparation for marriage and for presiding at the liturgy. Two hundred dollars is suggested.
Sacred Heart Parish
If you are a registered member of Sacred Heart Parish, all wedding arrangementsmust be made through the Sacred Heart Parish Office: (574) 631-7511 or www.nd.edu/~sacheart/index.html.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart (574) 631-4288 (to schedule a date or questions regarding paperwork)
Notre Dame Campus Ministry (574) 631-7800 (to contact musicians or to make arrangements for marriage preparation if you are a current Notre Dame student or Sacred Heart parishioner)
Sacred Heart Parish Office (574) 631-7511 (to schedule a wedding date – ONLY registered members of the parish)
Many couples have found it helpful to have additional information available for on-campus and off-campus banquet facilities, hotels and motels and various other vendors:
Vendors Packet (Bakers, Limo Service, Music, Florists, Formalwear, Photographers & Videographers, Printers, House Rentals, Wedding Planners)