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  1. A couple desiring to be married at St. Ferdinand Parish needs to understand that in Catholic belief and practice, marriage is more than a legal contract with rights and responsibilities to be fulfilled by husband and wife. Marriage is a Sacrament or a sign to a couple that God is important to them, similar to their relationship with one another. The desire to live one’s Catholic faith must also be important to them, similar to their living out their relationship with one another.
  2. Each couple must be free to marry in the church, not having been married before or if so, having any previous relationship declared null by a Church court.
  3. Since requesting marriage in the church expresses a consistent belief on one’s part that the sacrament takes place within a communal setting, it is understood that a Catholic seeking marriage in the church is a practicing and registered member of the community.
  4. At least, six months before the desired date of marriage, a couple is to contact a priest at this parish for a series of interviews. The purpose of these appointments, which may take several months to complete, is to determine the readiness of the couple to marry and the suitability to proceed with setting a date for the marriage in the Church.
  5. The series of interviews will include the taking of the marital inventory to assess the relationships’ strengths and weaknesses. The results will then be discussed with the couple. Also, during this period, the couple will complete the necessary documents that are required to be married in the Church.
  6. Once the above assessments have been made, readiness has been ascertained and all documents completed, a date for the marriage will be set in the church calendar.
  7. If special circumstances exist, such as a person younger than 20 years of age coming for marriage, the diocese requires the couple to obtain pre-nuptial counseling.

Advance Preparation

The priest or parish minister will explain the marriage preparation classes that are required. The seriousness of entering a Christian marriage relationship requires the utmost diligence and willingness to be prepared in the best possible way. Engaged Encounter is a weekend experience in which an atmosphere is created that enables the couple to concentrate on one another while free of the pressures and interruptions of daily living. It is a low-key weekend specifically designed to give the couple an opportunity to dialogue honestly about their relationship ~ their strengths and weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, and their role in the church and society.

Documents (Before a date has been set)

    1. Catholics and any baptized Christian must provide a recent copy of their baptismal certificate, i.e. dated within the last 6 months.
    2. Confirmation certificates are to be provided or at least dates and places where these sacraments were received.
    3. Two close relatives or friends, who have known them since their reaching the age of maturity, are to testify to the status and freedom of the bride  & groom to marry.
    4. A document to verify that the marriage instructions have taken place is required.

Marriage License

For information on how to obtain this document please call (562) 462-2137 or (818) 374-7191. You can also visit in person at 14340 Sylvan St. in Van Nuys. The day of your wedding ceremony, you will be getting married religiously and legally.


The church encourages a great deal of innovation and personal planning of wedding ceremonies. A great deal of involvement by the couple, not only in preparation but also in participating in the actual ceremony is encouraged. (No weddings are held on Holy Saturday.)

Planning the Ceremony

Together with the Wedding Coordinator who will be present for the Sacrament of Marriage, the couple will plan the ceremony. Especially when the parents are available & are part of the couples’ journey, effort ought to be made to have the parents of the two families to be included in the ceremony. This involvement helps all to recognize that this is a family day, as well as a day for both the bride and the groom. A nuptial mass is recommended for couples who have been practicing their faith regularly; otherwise, a wedding service may be more appropriate. You will be given a booklet to help you prepare the wedding ceremony. The wedding coordinator will also set the date with the couple for the wedding rehearsal and help prepare the religious items needed for the Wedding service. A fee of $75.00 for the wedding coordinator is included with the Church payment.

Financial Offering

A deposit of $100.00 is due at the time that you come to do the FOCUS Inventory.

      • Deposit is non-refundable
      • Total for registered parishioners: $400.00
      • Total for non-registered parishioners: $500.00

This is an offering made solely to the church but not determined by the priest.

No Rice, Bird Seed, or Paper Flower Throwing

Throwing rice, birdseed, and paper flowers is inappropriate and not permitted Rice and birdseed especially are improper. Such items are dangerous when walking, causing possible slipping and falling. This also creates cleaning costs. Please advise your friends and relatives of this.


To familiarize the wedding party with the procession, the sanctuary, the ushering, and any special ceremonies chosen by the couple, a wedding coordinator will guide the wedding party through the rehearsal. Please be on time as another rehearsal may be scheduled after yours.

Official Witnesses

Witnesses or (padrinos) should be married in church and practicing.

Ring Bearer and Flower Girls

We do not recommend children under the age of five because their attention span is very short and behavior is unpredictable.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Catholics ought to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation before their wedding service not only to confess their sins in a spirit of repentance but also to ask God’s gift of healing, so that they might enter marriage as selflessly and spiritually whole as possible. Reconciliation is held each Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. ‘til 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 ‘til 6:30 p.m. in the church. There is NO Reconciliation celebrated the night of the rehearsal. You may also call the rectory for an appointment to receive the Sacrament of reconciliation.

Time of Ceremony

Weddings are scheduled two hours apart to prevent the need to rush. A ceremony can begin at 12:00 p.m., or 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. If another day of the week is desired, the couple must talk with the priest about this.


Music may be a blend of classic, folk or contemporary church music. The parish wedding coordinator will be happy to offer suggestions. Music fees are not included in the church stipend.


Flowers may be arranged by the bridal party, as is the aisle runner if it is desired. Please arrange to remove all decorations immediately after the completion of the ceremony.


Pictures may be taken during the wedding ceremony. The photographer is asked to use common sense, and to not interrupt or impede the ceremony. She/he is asked, at all times, to keep a comfortable distance and to NEVER enter the sanctuary area during the ceremony. No flash pictures are permitted during the ceremony; video without spots and audio taping is also permitted.

Marriage Candle

If the ceremony of lighting the marriage unity candle is chosen, the marriage candle is to be obtained by the bridal party.

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