Marriage FAQs

Who do I contact at the parish to get more information?

Please call Jennifer Williams at 813-229-1595. Parish Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

I am an active member of another Catholic parish in the diocese. Can I celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage at your church?

Certainly. There are some requirements you should be attentive to: (a) you need to talk with your pastor and receive permission to marry at a parish other than your own, (b) your home parish is responsible to prepare you for the sacraments, and (c) we ask that one of your parish priests (or another priest of your choosing, e.g., a family friend) be the celebrant at the wedding ceremony. Please see “Wedding Times” below for more information.

I am not currently registered at any parish. Can I register as a parishioner of Sacred Heart, so that I can have my preparations for Marriage done with you?

Yes, but we encourage you to register and worship at the Catholic parish located near your place of residence, so that you will become active and involved in the life and ministry of that parish. Our parish boundaries are Osborne Ave to the north; Davis Islands, Harbour Island, Bayshore to Howard Ave to the south; Channelside and Nebraska Ave to the east; Hillsborough River, Rome Ave, and Howard Ave to the west.

Yet, we have people from all over the Tampa Bay region who are active parishioners. If you are drawn to worshiping with us and have a desire to be active, contributing, and a part of our faith and ministry community, you are welcome to register with us. If you live outside of the parish area, you must be registered, active, participating, and contributing at Sacred Heart for at least one year before contacting us about a desired wedding date.

We no longer live in the Tampa Bay area, but our parents and grandparents were married there, and we would love to also celebrate our wedding at Sacred Heart. Is that possible?

Because Sacred Heart, as a parish, is more than 150-years old, there are many “legacy” families for whom celebrating sacraments here is a family tradition. We work to accommodate all such requests. The requirements outlined above in “active member of another Catholic parish in the Diocese” also apply.

When should I contact Sacred Heart to schedule a wedding? 

The Diocese of St. Petersburg requires that preparation begin no less than 6 months prior to the date of the wedding.  There are many times of the year that the requests far outpace the dates and times available. Generally speaking, the average is 12-18 months before marriage.

If you are a member of another parish, there are several things you need to do as described above.  Once we receive a written commitment from your parish, a date can be set.

What is the marriage preparation process at Sacred Heart?

See our process here.

Do you have a Pre-Cana Program at your parish?

The Pre-Cana courses, one part of the marriage preparation process, are offered by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, as well as the surrounding dioceses of Venice and Orlando.

How long before my wedding should I begin the preparation process?

Perhaps a better way to answer the question is to recommend that you finish the preparation process 30-45 days before the wedding date. Then you can decide to start based on other things in your life, e.g., business travel, holidays, academic semesters, and other important events in your life. In any case, the Diocese requires that preparation begin no less than 6 months prior to the date of the wedding.

What are the wedding fees at Sacred Heart? 

The fee for all weddings is $1,500. This fee includes an hour rehearsal the previous evening, and the ceremony time on your wedding day. It also includes a coordinator who will be present at the rehearsal and during your wedding.

Do you have a Wedding Coordinator that assists with weddings?

Yes, as mentioned above, we provide a coordinator to assist at the rehearsal and the ceremony. The coordinator works to help direct and facilitate the little details of your celebration, e.g. to work with your florists, photographers, videographers, etc. once they arrive at the church, to help with the “do’s and don’ts,” and let you enjoy the celebration without worrying about processions, seating, or other details of the wedding day. Our coordinators have worked with most Tampa-area wedding professionals (florist, photographers, videographers, planners, etc.).

Do you have an organist available to play for my wedding?

Yes, our Director of Music, Philip Jakob, is an accomplished organist and singer. His fee is $250. When you discuss with him the music for your wedding he may advise that you consider hiring a Cantor. Sacred Heart has some excellent singers who serve as Cantor. A Cantor will charge $150. Music fees can be paid on the day and before the wedding commences. Please prepare separate payments for each musician.

In addition, we have developed a list of ‘tried and tested’ instrumentalists so if you are looking for a violinist, a string quartet, a trumpeter etc., we would advise that you contact Philip first before hiring:

When you contact Philip please supply the following details:

  • names of the engaged couple
  • name of the priest/deacon officiating
  • date and time of the wedding
  • whether the wedding will be within or outside of a Mass.

Philip will then send you the appropriate documentation to take the selection of music to the next step.

More questions regarding music during weddings can be answered here.

What about parking during the wedding?

The majority of wedding parties take advantage of free street parking in downtown Tampa on weekends.  Oftentimes, wedding parties “rent” city parking meters in front of the church and on Twiggs Street. For additional information, please contact the Parking Division administrative offices at 813-274-8179.

The parking lot across the street from the main entrance of the church is a private lot and not part of the church.  So, during rehearsals and the wedding event, your guests will need to pay the advertised rate.  Barring downtown events (e.g. Gasparilla Art Festival, etc.), the lot usually has plenty of parking available at the advertised rate.  Some wedding parties have made their own arrangements with “717 Parking” to rent the entire lot for their wedding. 717 Parking can be contacted at 813-228-7722.

The Madison Building Parking Garage is also available to rent for weddings. They can be contacted at 813-229-0874.