Weddings 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. 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
At least nine months before your wedding.
Reserve your wedding date at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Diocesan guidelines require that weddings at Notre Dame be celebrated in the Basilica, Lady Chapel or Log Chapel.
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.
Reservations for weddings in the Basilica, Lady Chapel or Log Chapel for the year 2019 will be open on Monday, March 5, 2018 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. except on home 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 (at least one must be Catholic)
Address where confirmation should be mailed
Phone number of either the bride or groom
Dates and times you are interested in getting married
You are also required to select the priest or deacon who will preside at your wedding. "Who should officiate at our wedding?" The question is an important one -- the couple extends an invitation to a priest they know and trust, and someone with whom they are comfortable in his role as a representative of the Church. 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.
Please know that to ensure you can have your wedding reception at the location of your choice, you should decide and book as soon as possible. If you would like to have your reception at Notre Dame as well, please contact VenueND at (574) 631-1400 or venueND@nd.edu, or visit venue.nd.edu.
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. As with other sacraments, the Church requires some special preparation by the couple to receive the sacrament of marriage. You will have the opportunity to spend some significant time reflecting on your relationship, your commitments to one another and God’s presence in your lives.
Marriage preparation (sometimes also called 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 Kelly Klee 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. The Liturgy Office will provide you with all of these following confirmation of your reservation. A priest must assist you with the documentation, but not necessarily the same priest who will officiate at your wedding, especially if that is difficult due to location.
Together with a priest, you will gather and complete the following forms, all of which must be turned into the Liturgy Office no later than two months before the wedding.
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 the most updated notations are listed, including First Holy Communion, Confirmation and any previous 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 Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend requires the permission of the bride’s pastor for the marriage to occur at the Basilica. If the bride is not Catholic, the permission must come from the groom's pastor.
Marriage Preparation Certificate: You will receive a certificate at the completion of your marriage preparation program. The 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 or music 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 ideas to your presider and the Wedding Music Coordinator to help prepare the wedding liturgy.
Contact the Wedding Music Coordinator six to nine months in advance. You may email Jonathan Hehn at email@example.com or call Campus Ministry at (574) 631-7800.
Three months before your wedding.
The wedding coordinator will help with all the logistics of your actual ceremony in the Basilica, and will be at both your wedding rehearsal and the wedding itself. The coordinator will also serve as your liaison with the Basilica Sacristan. Please note that the wedding information sheet, which you will receive with the rest of your paperwork after the confirmation of your wedding at the Basilica, should be completed and submitted to the wedding coordinator at the rehearsal. The wedding coordinator will also see that the civil paperwork (your marriage license) is in order and return it to the Liturgy Office, who in turn sends it to the St. Joseph County Courthouse.
Two months before your wedding.
All of your paperwork must be on file in the Liturgy Office by this time. These are required by the Church, not just the Basilica, and include each of the following: marriage registration form, updated baptismal certificates, affidavits, letter of permission from bride’s pastor, Pre-Cana certificate.
Please mail to:
University of Notre Dame
322 Coleman Morse Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Please do not put this off and then rush to get it in, or worse, neglect to turn it in on time. You may not be married in the Basilica if we do not have these documents.
For further questions regarding paperwork, please call the Liturgy Office at (574) 631-4288 or email Amy Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Pre-apply online here.
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
- A fee of $1,000, payable to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, will confirm the reservation of your wedding date and time. This fee covers administrative and operation expenditures, and does not include the stipends to the presiding priest(s) or musicians described below.
- It is customary to offer a stipend to the priest for his services in your preparation for marriage and for presiding at the liturgy. $200 is suggested.
- Payment for musicians is separate from the Basilica fees and must be received by Campus Ministry 30 days prior to the wedding day.
You will receive these in your wedding packet. If you need extra copies, please click the links below.
Sacred Heart Parish:
If you are a registered member of Sacred Heart Parish, all wedding arrangements must be made through the Sacred Heart Parish Office: (574) 631-2750 or sacredheartparish.nd.edu.
Liturgy Office (574) 631-4288 (to schedule a date or questions regarding paperwork)
Wedding Musicians and Marriage Preparation (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)