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Weddings: Cathedral Requirements


At Sacred Heart Cathedral we accept wedding bookings up to eighteen months in advance. Please contact the Cathedral on (03) 5443 4400 to discuss available dates. Your booking is confirmed when we receive the registration form (available after initial enquiry) and your deposit of $200 (non-refundable) cheque or money order made payable to ‘Sacred Heart Cathedral’. Confirmation is required within 2 weeks of the initial booking.


As of the 1st July 2019 (weddings scheduled after this date) the fee will be $1000 to be married at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Please contact the Cathedral Office to make a booking.  The completed form must be returned with a non-refundable Deposit of $200 to secure your booking.

This will then be deducted from the total fee, which will be due one month prior to your wedding date. Payment can be made in cash at the parish office, bank cheque, money order or an online transfer:
BSB: 083 543 - Account NO: 457 867 616

Please note the above fee is for the use of the Cathedral only.

Changes to bookings

Any change should be made known as soon as possible in writing. It is important that the ceremony commence at the time arranged so as not to effect other ceremonies which may have been scheduled in Sacred Heart Cathedral. IF FOR ANY REASON YOU WISH TO CANCEL THE BOOKING, YOU SHOULD WRITE OR RING AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.

Marriage Preparation

A very important part of your preparation is a pre-marriage education which you should attend. During your engagement prayer and presence at Mass are central to your spiritual preparation.

Marriage Preparation is offered and strongly recommended through Centacare.This will be discussed with the priest celebrating the marriage.

These books may be helpful to you and are available from the Cathedral bookstore:
Couples Preparing for Marriage - by Barry Hickey
When We Marry - a publication of the Liturgical Commission, Brisbane
Your Wedding - a Redemptorist publication.
Together for Life by Joseph M. Champlin (given as a gift to the couple).

Marriage Papers

Parties to a marriage must complete a series of documents before marriage. These are required by Church and Government authorities and need to be complete not more than six months and not less than one clear month before the marriage. These papers are prepared by the celebrant unless other arrangements have been made.

Certificates Required

You will require the following certificates to enable the priest to prepare your marriage papers.

Birth Certificate of Extract of Entry of Birth. In the case of persons born in Victoria this is obtainable from the Registrar of Births, 589 Collins Street, Melbourne.

Baptism Certificate issued within six months of the date of marriage. In the case of baptised persons, a Baptism Certificate can be obtained by writing to the church where the Baptism took place. When doing so, please include a stamped, self addressed envelope and give your full name, date of birth, parents’ names and date of baptism if known. A Certificate of Confirmation is also requested.

Letter of Freedom is required for all Catholics not living in Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish. This is obtained from the bride’s or grooms’ parish priest.

The Catholic bride, or the Catholic party to a marriage in which only one party is Catholic, is requested as a courtesy to have permission of his/her parish priest to marry at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Declaration of Freedom

Civil Law requires that both parties sign a declaration before marriage that they are free to marry. This declaration is normally made at the time of the rehearsal.


Any Catholic priest or deacon registered with the Civil authorities as a Celebrant of Marriages may officiate, provided the Administrator of Sacred Heart Cathedral is advised in advance and the normal protocols are followed.

The Ceremony

Marriage ceremonies in Sacred Heart Cathedral follow ‘The Rite of Marriage’ approved for use in Australia by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and issued by authority of the Australian Episcopal Conference. The ceremony must be prepared with the assistance of the celebrant.

Wedding Booklet

When preparing your wedding booklet, you should consult with the celebrant regarding the content. The celebrant must approve the copy before printing and the booklet must be in accord with ‘The Rite of Marriage’ as approved for use in Australia.


Two witnesses over the age of 18 years are required to sign the marriage register.

Marriages of two-baptised Catholics

Marriages where both parties are Catholic may be celebrated with Nuptial Mass. This presupposes the couple would have been present during Mass on Sundays during the engagement and is prepared for the reception of the Eucharist during Mass.

Marriage of Interdenominational People

The Catholic partner in a marriage where the other partner is not a Catholic, is required to sign a promise stating: "I reaffirm my faith in Jesus Christ, and with God's help, I intend to continue living that faith in the Catholic Church. I promise to do all in my power to share my faith with our children by having them baptised and brought up in the Catholic faith. My intended partner has been informed of my declaration and promise". Normally Mass is not celebrated with a Mixed Marriage. However, if both parties freely ask for it, permission is given.


Photography and recordings are permitted in the Cathedral.  However, it is important that the people you hire for this are instructed to be discreet and non-intrusive, and observe any directions given them by the celebrant.


If you wish to provide flowers for the Cathedral, please contact the Parish officeon (03) 5443 4400


The selection of music for weddings requires careful consideration as it needs to take into account the wishes of the bride and groom, but also the liturgical, musical and pastoral context of the Nuptial Mass or Wedding Ceremony in a Catholic Church setting. The planning is best undertaken well ahead of time and in correspondence with the priest or deacon officiating at the wedding, and the musicians.

Paul Taylor is the current Organist and Director of Music at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and is responsible for all music in the Cathedral. If you wish to have a singer in addition to the organ, this must be arranged in conjunction with Paul. One of the Cathedral’s approved Cantors should normally be invited to sing, as singing for Weddings and Funerals is part of their ministerial role at the Cathedral.

Couples preparing music will be provided with suggestions to hear recordings of organ music (via Youtube) and from which to choose. In keeping with the liturgical context of the Nuptial Mass or Wedding Ceremony, the texts of vocal or choral music should generally be based on biblical or liturgical sources and be consistent with Catholic doctrine.

Items from classical or contemporary Christian poetry can also be suitable, however, popular secular love songs that originated outside Church contexts and make insufficient reference to God, Christ, the Sacrament of Marriage or the Church community, are considered not appropriate for sacred liturgical celebrations of marriage. They may work better at the wedding reception.

The organist's wedding fee is $200. The fee for cantors is also $200. These fees are current as from January 2021.

Correspondence in relation to wedding music MUST be kept in writing so there is a record of communication, and should be sent to the Director of Music 1-3 months before the date of the wedding in order to allow time for proper planning.

Given that the music ministry in Catholic Churches is meant to be provided by “live” musicians, as an expression of their prayer and ministry to God and the congregation, the playing of music through electronic means (e.g. CDs, IPADs or other electronic means) is not permitted, except with the expressed approval of the Administrator of the Cathedral and the Director of Music.

Paul Taylor
Organist & Director of Music
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Confetti or rice is not permitted in or anywhere around the Cathedral. It would be appreciated if you made this clear to your guests.

Acknowledgement of Country
The Diocese of Sandhurst recognises the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we live, serve and worship.
We acknowledge the people of the regions of our Diocese.
We respectfully honour and acknowledge their ongoing custodianship and their connections to the land, waters and animals. We pay our respects to their culture, their Elders, past, present and emerging, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and the hopes of their peoples.
We express our gratitude in the sharing of this land, our sorrow for the personal, spiritual and cultural costs of that sharing and commit ourselves to actively working alongside First Nations People for healing, reconciliation and justice.