The Sacrament of Marriage
Congratulations on your engagement! Engaged couples who would like to be married at St. Ambrose should call the St. Ambrose Parish office at 314-771-1228 as soon as possible to secure a wedding date. Archdiocesan guidelines require at least SIX MONTHS notice; however, it is necessary to contact the parish before you sign contracts with venues for the celebration as our wedding calendar fills early.
Please note that our wedding times are:
- Friday evenings, to start no earlier than 4:30pm
- Saturday mornings at 11am
- Saturday afternoons at 1:30pm
If you are a parishioner, and you choose to have our pastor, Fr. Jack Siefert, celebrate your wedding Mass, the Parish Pastoral Associate will oversee the Pre-Nuptial Investigation and Marriage Preparation processes. Please contact her at 314-771-1228 to begin the Marriage Preparation process.
If you are a non-parishioner/visitor, you will be responsible for securing your own Presider for the wedding ceremony. This priest or deacon will be responsible for overseeing your Marriage Preparation and paperwork completion.
Wedding Planning Guidelines
There are many factors to consider when planning a wedding in a Catholic Church. To honor the sacredness of this celebration, St. Ambrose has guidelines in place regarding dress, music, church decor, flowers, photography/videography, etc.
The church sanctuary can accommodate up to eight bridesmaids and their accompanying groomsmen. Larger wedding parties will be required to sit in church pews.
Please carefully review the guidelines below before completing your registration process. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the St. Ambrose Pastoral Associate at 314-771-1228 to discuss.
Wedding Planning Guidelines – Please print a copy of these wedding guidelines for your records.
We also have a Frequently Asked Questions document that provides more detail on our policies.
Please read before completing any registration paperwork.
1. Offering to the Parish:
Active Parishioner: No Charge for Church
Non Parishioner: $1,500 fee* to the Church
To be considered an active parishioner you must have registered and been an active member of the parish for at least six months prior to the wedding being booked at Saint Ambrose. Given the definition of active parishioner status, those who do not meet these requirements are considered non-parishioner/visitor.
*For non-parishioner/visitors a non refundable deposit of $750 must accompany the signed Wedding Registration Form. The remaining balance of $750 is due 60 days prior to the wedding date.
2. Presider: $200
This fee is for a priest or deacon from Saint Ambrose as the Presider at your wedding. If you are bringing your own priest or deacon, please discuss fees directly with him. This fee is due 15 days before your wedding.
3. Wedding Coordinator – $250
You are required to use a Saint Ambrose Wedding Coordinator. The Parish Wedding Coordinator represents St. Ambrose and has the final say on how things will operate, when things will occur, and how things are done. If your own wedding coordinator is going to be at the church on the day of the wedding, please have them contact the Saint Ambrose Wedding Coordinator. This fee is due 15 days before your wedding.
4. Parish Organist – $300
Although you are not required to contract with the Saint Ambrose Music Director, Darren Modde, we encourage you to do so. Mr. Modde will meet with you to help select your music. You can view his website as a good resource to start the process with him. You will find a list of appropriate Catholic music on the website (www.moddemusic.com).
If you choose to bring in an outside organist, there will be a $100 fee payable to Darren Modde, Saint Ambrose Music Director, to cover his consultation time and equipment setup costs related to an outside organist using the church organ. You must make arrangements for an outside organist directly with Mr. Modde.
All musician fees (organist, vocalist, and others) are due 15 days before your wedding.
5. Parish Vocalist – $150-250
If Cantor is from outside of parish, fees are to be determined and paid directly to them. Approval of the outside cantor is made by the Music Director of Saint Ambrose. Other musicians (violin, cello, trumpet) available upon request: $150-200. Mr. Modde will work with you to hire other musicians to make your wedding memorable and special.
6. Altar Servers – $40 for 2 Altar Servers
Please pay each server in cash. Mark two separate envelope with SERVER. Saint Ambrose will provide two servers or you may supply your own. Altar Server fees are due 15 days before your wedding.
Your wedding date is not confirmed until the office has received your registration form and deposit (if applicable).
After you have spoken with the Pastoral Associate and confirmed that the date and time you want are still available, please download and complete the registration form below.
Please send the completed form and (if applicable) your deposit check, payable to St. Ambrose within 10 days of reserving the date/time.
5130 Wilson Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Once your paperwork has been reviewed by our staff, you will receive a confirmation email. Please note that your wedding date is not confirmed until you have received that email.
Your wedding day is the start of a lifetime together, the beginning of a marriage that is Free, Total, Faithful and Fruitful. To ensure that you are well-prepared for your marriage, the following Marriage Preparation is required for all couples whose marriage is being celebrated by Saint Ambrose clergy:
1. Fully Engaged Couples Inventory
Separately, you will complete an online inventory to help couples build a strong foundation of communication for their marriage. You will be sent links via email to complete this inventory after you send in your registration form.
2. Marriage Preparation Weekend
Together, you will attend a Marriage Preparation weekend. These weekends focus on the spiritual and practical aspects of living out the Marriage Covenant. There are several Marriage Preparation programs in the area that meet this requirement. Once you have signed up for your weekend, please let the Pastoral Associate know so she can update your file.
3. Intro to Natural Family Planning Class
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is not only highly effective for planning your family, it is also very effective in overcoming obstacles that compromise your ability to become parents. You will need to attend an introductory course on one of the NFP methods of your choosing.
4. Meeting with our Pastoral Associate or a Married Couple from St. Ambrose
At this meeting, you will discuss the Sacramental understanding of marriage, the marriage preparation process and the Fully Engaged inventory. You will also review the results of your Fully Engaged Couples' Inventory.
5. Meeting with the Priest or Deacon who will officiate your wedding
Your Wedding Mass and Ceremony
Your wedding coordinator will be in touch with you 4 weeks prior to your wedding date. You may review our policies and procedures in the Wedding FAQ for Brides and Grooms. To help prepare you for that initial meeting, you may begin choosing your readings, petitions, vows and ring blessings using the documents below. Please record all choices on the Liturgy Planning Sheet for either a Full Mass or Ceremony Only.
Rehearsals are usually held on the Thursday before the wedding. The rehearsal times are 5:00, 6:00 p.m., or 7:00 p.m. Rehearsals are scheduled for 45 minutes. In order to stay on schedule, please ensure that all parties are present no later than ten minutes before the rehearsal time.
To help make sure that we can accomplish everything that needs to be completed at the rehearsal, please make sure the Wedding Liturgy Planning Sheet is filled out and returned to the Wedding Coordinator no later than 2 weeks before your wedding.
You may download a copy of the Liturgy Planning form here:
Please bring a copy of each of the readings you selected (see Wedding Planning section below), the Prayers of the Faithful, and your marriage license. Give all these items to the Wedding Coordinator at the rehearsal.
Yes, there is much to plan and a lot to prepare. But we pray that, through it all, you will keep a place in your heart for what really matters. For your wedding is one day; your marriage is forever. The time you spend now talking, praying, forgiving, and working on your relationship sets the groundwork for a holy and life-giving marriage: in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, all the days of your life.
Father Jack Siefert, Pastor