Phillip and ThiLee Pijajn wedding
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Phillip and ThiLee Pijahn

Plan a Wedding

Planning Your Marriage at The Basilica of Saint Mary

Welcome to our marriage preparation process.  We hope that your experience is one that enriches you as a couple and provides you with a solid foundation as you begin your Sacramental marriage together.

The love between a man and a woman is a gift from God.  The commitment two people make to be together for the rest of their lives and to accept children from God is sealed before the community and God during the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Getting Married at The Basilica

  • The bride or groom must be a registered member of The Basilica for at least 3 months prior to booking a wedding date.This person must also  have attended a New Member dinner or brunch.
  • The couple must complete a Marriage Preparation program

Basilica Wedding Times

Friday evening: 5:00pm
Saturday: Noon and 3:00pm

Marriage Preparation

This is your opportunity to reflect on and explore the sacramental and vocational nature of your life-long commitment in marriage.

The Basilica will do all we can to make sure you are prepared for this important, holy and life-long commitment.  Through the program, couples will discuss all aspects of marriage:spiritual, relational and practical. 

  • The Basilica’s preparation program fulfills the standard marriage preparation requirements for the Archdiocese of St Paul/Minneapolis.
  • Couples should begin marriage preparation at least 10 months to one year before their wedding

Preparation Checklist

You’ll receive a checklist to follow as you move through your preparation process.  The checklist ensures you have enough time to truly benefit from each step and have enough time to work on relationship issues that may come to light.

We have discovered that if preparation begins too close to the wedding day, the couple tends to get caught up in the wedding day preparation.  They have a hard time giving adequate energy to important aspects of their own relationship.

Marriage preparation fee

The Basilica charges a marriage preparation fee of $1,200.

  • A 50% deposit is made to secure the date, this is non-refundable.
  • The balance is due two weeks before the wedding. 
  • One half of the full marriage preparation fee of $1200 is refundable if the fee is paid in full if the wedding is canceled.

Marriage Preparation only (wedding elsewhere) costs $500.

For more information on having your wedding at the Basilica, please contact Nancy Keller, 612.317.3478.

Our marriage preparation process includes:

  • Welcome meeting
  • Foundations of Marriage class
  • Administration of a pre-marriage inventory called "PREPARE"
  • Meetings to review results of the PREPARE inventory (with the marriage director or a marriage mentor couple from the parish)
  • Engaged Temperament Retreat (a separate fee)
  • Wedding workshop
  • Individual meeting(s) with a wedding liturgy planner
  • Production of a wedding program/leaflet
  • Meeting with wedding officiant: priest/deacon
  • Wedding rehearsal
  • Parish wedding coordinator on day of wedding

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage Preparation

Q:  We are not members but have been attending The Basilica.  Can we book a wedding date?

A:  Unfortunately, no.  Since we get so many requests for weddings we need to honor our 3-month policy consistently.

Q:  If my fiancée/fiancé is not Catholic, can we still be married at The Basilica?

A:  Yes, only one of you needs to be Catholic.

Q:  We don’t want to wait 10 months to a year. Can we book a sooner date?

A:  On rare occasions.

  • If a couple has already done some marriage preparation elsewhere.
  • If a couple is willing to begin our preparation. This involves at least completing the pre-marriage inventory and one review meeting before securing a date so that we can get a good sense of the strength of their relationship.

Q:  My fiancée/fiancé does not live in the Twin Cities. How can we do the preparation?

A:  We can often be quite creative about how to accomplish the preparation when a couple or one of the two do not live locally.

Q:  We are members but will not be getting married at The Basilica.  Can we still do our preparation here?

A:  Yes. We will discuss our preparation-only fee with you.

Q:  One of us has been married before.  Will that prevent us from booking a wedding date?

A:  In the Catholic Church, all previous marriages must be discussed before a wedding date can be booked.  The marriage director can determine what will need to be done. If an annulment is needed, the marriage director can explain that process and help you begin.

Q:  Can we have our own musicians?

A:  The Basilica wedding policy booklet answers all questions related to the wedding ceremony and wedding day.

For any unanswered questions or to discuss a wedding at The Basilica, you can contact the marriage office at 612.317.3414.