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Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church whereby a Christian man and woman join together the whole of their lives in Christ.  Marriage is a means of grace in the life of the couple and, as the “domestic church,” the family is the foundation of the Christian community.

Marriage between a Catholic and a non-Christian is non-sacramental, but it is a valid marriage that may be celebrated in a Catholic Church with proper dispensation.

Preliminary Information for Celebrating Matrimony at St. Peter’s

Wedding donations for St. Peter’s parishioners* - $750 ($500 deposit to reserve a date)

* registered parishioners without 6 months of demonstrated parish support will be asked to contribute at the non-parishioner rate; requested donations may be reduced once 6 months of parish support is demonstrated

Wedding donations for non-parishioners - $1500** ($750 deposit to reserve a date)

** donations for non-parishioners may be reduced if marriage preparation is completed apart from St. Peter’s and a visiting priest is officiating

The above donations help to defray the costs for use of the church and other facilities, plus appreciable administrative and pastoral workload that goes along with the wedding preparation.  These donations are tax-deductible. Additional wedding costs will include musician/cantor fees and flower arrangements, if desired. These fees are not tax-deductible.

Catholics celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage in their own parish church, unless the pastor grants permission otherwise. Registered parishioners at St. Peter’s may reserve a wedding date after meeting with a priest at St. Peter’s and with a deposit of $500. The priest will determine freedom to marry and availability of clergy before permitting scheduling. The pastor at St. Peter’s will determine the priest or deacon to officiate at each wedding or must provide the proper delegation for a visiting priest to officiate.

If you are not a registered, active parishioner at St. Peter’s, you will need to obtain the permission of your proper pastor to be married at St. Peter’s. With that permission, you may contact St. Peter’s to determine the possibility of a wedding at St. Peter’s. If it is determined that you are free to marry and a St. Peter’s priest/deacon is available, you may then reserve a wedding date with a $750 deposit. If you are bringing a priest from outside St. Peter’s to officiate at your wedding, the pastor at St. Peter’s must grant delegation to him before the wedding.

If you are not registered in any parish, are an active-duty member of the U.S. military or have unusual pastoral circumstances, please contact St. Peter’s for assistance in determining the availability of St. Peter’s for your wedding.

Celebrating Matrimony away from St. Peter’s (for registered parishioners only)

If St. Peter’s is your parish, then you must obtain the permission of the pastor to be married elsewhere. Please contact the rectory to obtain this permission. If the wedding will be away from St. Peter’s, but you will require the marriage preparation at St. Peter’s, you will be asked for a contribution of $200 to St. Peter’s. Additional costs will apply based on the pre-Cana program you choose to participate in and for weddings which will take place in foreign countries.

Marriage Preparation at St. Peter’s

Catholic marriage preparation consists of the following elements:

  • one-on-one meeting with a priest or deacon (typically 2 or 3 meetings)

  • collecting pertinent documents (our wedding administrator will help with this)

  • pre-Cana workshop (marriage preparation classes)

The first step in the process of preparing for marriage is to make an appointment to meet with a priest at St. Peter’s.This is a pastoral meeting and there is no cost. The priest will use this occasion to get to know you a bit and offer encouragement. He will make a preliminary determination that you are free to marry and find out the circumstances of the couple/wedding. He will answer your questions about the preparation process and help you to make important decisions that will help you prepare well for your marriage. If you are a registered parishioner of St. Peter’s, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make an appointment, or call the rectory at 202-547-1430.

At St. Peter’s we offer a series of Pre-Cana classes*** twice a year: in the fall and winter. You must have met with a priest or deacon prior to registering for the class. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PROGRAM CONSISTS OF THREE CLASSES ON CONSECUTIVE SATURDAYS, typically 8:30am – 1:30pm. Couples attend all three classes; attendance is mandatory to receive the certificate of completion.

To register for our classes, you must have met with the priest or deacon who will be completing your preparation. Registration is due one week before the start of the class. To register for our classes, please return the completed registration form (below), along with your check made payable to St. Peter's Church, to Julie Penndorf at 313 2nd St SE, Washington DC 20003.  Our classes do fill up. You may wish to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about the availability of space in the upcoming classes before registering.

Pre-Cana Class Brochure

*** If you are unable to participate in our pre-Cana sessions, consider these other options:

The "Three to Get Married" program at Our Lady of Bethesda Center for Family Development, the Archdiocese of Washington Marriage Preparation program, or the Diocese of Arlington Marriage Preparation program.