Weddings in the Catholic Tradition

Thank you for considering the possibility of being married at the Chapel of St. Ignatius. We want to support and assist you in the best way possible as you embark on this very important commitment in your lives. 

This page is intended to answer a few of the questions which are most likely on your mind at this time. It may also help you to raise some questions which haven’t yet occurred to you but which will be important for you to consider as you make plans for your wedding.

Who can be married at the Chapel of St. Ignatius?

The Catholic Church has a long tradition of celebrating the sacraments within one’s own community of faith. Couples typically marry in the home parish of one or both members of the couple. Since the Chapel is not a parish, weddings at the Chapel are restricted to current Seattle University students, alumni, faculty, staff, regents, or trustees. 

Who is able to officiate at weddings in the Chapel?

The couple typically approaches their own priest or deacon to witness at their wedding. This person could be from this diocese, or another diocese. If you belong to another parish in the Archdiocese, your pastor will be the appropriate person to approach in this matter. You may also approach a member of the Seattle University Arrupe Jesuit Community.

Are people who are not of the Catholic faith able to be married at the Chapel of St. Ignatius?

They are, if they are marrying a Catholic.

Are people who have been married before able to be married in the Catholic Church?

Normally speaking, the answer to this question is no. That is because the Catholic Church regards marriage as a permanent commitment. Couples may have recourse to an annulment, but we do not have the staff capacity or expertise at the university to assist you in this process. Please contact your home parish for assistance. Weddings will not be scheduled at the Chapel if either party has a previous marriage which is not yet formally annulled by the Catholic Church.

When may weddings take place at the Chapel?

Weddings at the Chapel of St. Ignatius are celebrated on Saturday at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. except during university closures, major university events, the Advent/Lent liturgical seasons and the week before and after changes in the liturgical seasons. 

Weddings must be scheduled at least six months in advance of the wedding. Please contact Campus Ministry for more information about guidelines and scheduling. Please allow for five business days for a response.   

Do Catholic weddings always take place during Mass?

No. Weddings can be celebrated either during the celebration of Mass or during a Liturgy of the Word. Normally, weddings are celebrated during Mass only when both parties are of the Catholic faith.

Does the Chapel have policies regarding the content of the wedding service, the music to be used, etc.?

Yes. The content of the service is set forth in the Church’s official Ritual Book for weddings, the Order of Celebrating Matrimony (2016). However, the couple being married is encouraged to engage in helping to plan the wedding service by choosing the Scripture readings that will be used during it. There are certain other options for the service, too, which will be explained to you. The Chapel also has standards and policies regarding the music to be used at a wedding.  

How does someone arrange to get a wedding on the Chapel calendar?

Contact the Campus Minister for Liturgy at least six months before your prospective wedding date. If the date and time you request is available, the Campus Minister for Liturgy will place a hold on the slot. Once you complete the Wedding Finance Agreement and submit a $250 non-refundable deposit, the date and time will be confirmed.

Is there a fee involved for a Chapel wedding?

Yes. The fee varies depending on university affiliation.

Students, Faculty or Staff Seattle University Alumni Regents or Trustees
$500 $1000 $1,500

A non-refundable security deposit of $250 (taken out of your fee) must accompany the Wedding Finance Agreement.

Is some sort of preparation needed for couples wishing to be married?

Yes. Since marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament and a lifetime commitment, one of the ways we value and honor it is by taking time to help couples prepare. All couples marrying in the Chapel must go through some marriage preparation program. Marriage preparation is required for engaged couples to assess their readiness for marriage and to assist them in understanding that marriage is a vocation, covenant and sacrament. Campus Ministry hopes marriage preparation will offer ways to help engaged couples live out their vocation with hearts striving to be a couple with and for others. Seattle University Campus Ministry does offer one marriage preparation program, or you could participate in the program through your parish, or the Archdiocese.

What is the Seattle University Campus Ministry Marriage Preparation Program?

While our Marriage Preparation program is specifically geared toward couples interested in being married in the Roman Catholic Church, couples being married in other faith traditions and contexts may also benefit from taking part in this process. Whether you are getting married on-campus or somewhere else, Campus Ministry is here to be of service to you. 

Marriage preparation is intentional time that a couple takes to talk explicitly about their relationship's gifts and challenges. Led by a marriage preparation facilitator, who is typically a graduate student, couples participate in 4-6 sessions, each approximately an hour long. These sessions involve conversations around family of origin, lifestyle expectations, friends and interests, personality, communication styles, problem solving, spirituality and values, sexuality, finance and readiness. 

Who is welcome to participate in Marriage Preparation at Seattle University?

Current students, faculty, staff, alumni, regents, and trustees of Seattle University regardless of their location of marriage. NOTE: Couples need not be Catholic to participate in marriage preparation at Seattle University.

How much does Marriage Preparation Cost?

Marriage preparation is $350 per couple or $75 if one of the individuals is currently enrolled as a student at Seattle University.  

When and where do we meet for Marriage Preparation?

Mostly on campus and according to your schedule. You can determine all the details with your facilitator.

How do I start the process of reserving or finding out more about the Chapel of St. Ignatius?

Please contact Campus Minister for Liturgy , 206-296-6992, as soon as possible to discuss your wedding plans and to obtain the necessary information and forms.