The First Steps

Congratulations on your intention to join yourselves as husband and wife in the Holy Sacrament of Marriage. As you prepare to share your vows in the presence of God and His Church, our parish community is eager to assist you in whatever ways you may need.

This site is meant to guide you in the preparation of your marriage liturgy. We hope it will answer your questions so your wedding ceremony is a joyous celebration of God's love for you and your love for each other. 

Use the drop down menu above for more information regarding your ceremony and the requirements for celebrating your marriage either at St Anthony's or at the Abbey Church of St Leo.

If you need more information regarding marriage at St. Anthony's or the Abbey Church at St. Leo, please fill in the Marrige Inquiry form found on the bottom of this page. 



First Steps - Before the wedding can take place


  1. One or both of you must be a registered, practicing member of St Anthony of Padua Parish. If you are a member of another Catholic parish, a letter of parish membership and permission from your pastor is necessary.
  2. Catholics wishing to be married in the Church are to be practicing their faith by attending Mass every Sunday. This cannot be stressed enough. It is vital that we gather with a community on a regular basis to hear God’s word and share in the Eucharist.
  3. Commitment to your parish through stewardship of time, talent, and treasure allows us to continue to strive to do God’s work. We hope you will prayerfully consider how you can share with your parish in all three areas.
  4. Marriage prep is a process in which you and your intended spouse meet several times with a married couple from the parish to discuss communication habits and healthy relationships. A couple trained in this process will call you several months before your wedding to schedule a meeting. If you have any questions about the Marriage Prep process or have not been contacted at least 3 months before your wedding date please contact your presiding priest or the Marriage Prep office.
  5. Attend a Marriage Enrichment Conference for the Engaged. An Enrichment Conference for the Engaged is a Saturday retreat with your spouse-to-be and with other couples preparing for marriage. It is a day sponsored by the diocese of St Petersburg and the purpose of the day is to help you to continue to reflect on your relationship, your faith and the life-long commitment of marriage. Please return the certificate you receive at the Enrichment Conference to the parish office so it can be added to your marriage file. Participation in this day is mandatory.
  6. All Catholics being married in the church are strongly encouraged to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation before their wedding celebration. You can discuss this with your presiding priest.
  7. Completion of necessary paperwork and preparation sessions with a priest is required.
  8. Please present a newly issued certificate of Baptism with notations if you are Catholic. Simply call or write the church where you were baptized and ask them to send the certificate to the presiding priest you are working with. If you are not Catholic, then present a photocopy of an original baptismal certificate.
  9. Please bring your marriage license to the rehearsal. The wedding can not take place without it!
  10. Times and Days Available - Friday afternoons and Saturdays at  2:00pm are the times usually reserved for celebration of weddings. Certain times during the Church’s year are less appropriate for weddings.  For instance, weddings are not celebrated during Lent, except in special circumstances as determined by the presiding priest you are working with.