Saint James is not a parish, but the former minor seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago and current administrative center, and therefore couples do not need to be registered members.
Any Catholic who is free to marry and has a connection to the Archdiocese may do so at Saint James Chapel.
To begin, please download the Saint James Chapel Wedding Planner, read and agree to the information within the document. Please then contact our wedding ministry team for help with scheduling a date.
Given it’s beautiful setting, the Saint James Chapel calendar fills very quickly. We recommend you reach out to our team as soon as you learn of your engagement to begin making plans.
Saint James is a historic chapel that provides an idyllic setting for worship, reflection, and of course, the sacrament of marriage. Your wedding fee helps cover not only the expenses incurred by the chapel staff as we help you plan your wedding, but also the maintenance and upkeep of this historic building. Additionally, wedding fees help support the ministries and outreach programs of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
$3500: Chapel fee, to be paid when reserving the chapel. Checks should be made out to the Archdiocese of Chicago. Grand Wedding Packages are also available upon request. Please note that full payment is required when you make your reservation; In the rare circumstance that you need to cancel your wedding, with a reasonable hardship, you may be eligible for a refund of 50% if the cancelation is more than nine months prior to the ceremony, 25% if six to nine months prior. If the cancelation is less than six months from the ceremony, a refund cannot be issued. Saint James Chapel will make every effort to reschedule your postponed (not canceled) wedding under extraordinary circumstances at no cost to you.
When you are taking FOCCUS or the One in Christ, the fees are payable at the first meeting of the seminar as directed by the location. Other PreCana program fees can be paid online at Family Ministries or at the door.
Our fee includes consultation to answer your questions throughout the process. In addition, our wedding team will organize and attend your rehearsal and ceremony. Saint James provides staffing and leadership at the chapel to assist your celebrant.
- Witness affidavit forms will be obtained from a priest/deacon and can be done at any Catholic church. Your witnesses must sign the affidavits in front of a priest, deacon, or member of the clergy and have them stamped with the church’s seal and included in your completed prenuptial file. Your completed file will be sent directly by your celebrant to Saint James. Two witness affidavit forms for each of you are required. Adults who know you well complete these affidavits in any Catholic parish in the presence of a priest, deacon, or pastoral associate. Close family members (parents, sisters, brothers) are most acceptable since they can easily answer the questions asked. They need not be Catholic but should be at least 18 years of age.
- A new baptismal certificate dated within six months of the day you wish to be married must be submitted by each Catholic party to their clergy for inclusion the prenuptial file. In the marriage of a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian, the non-Catholic also presents a baptismal record. Writing or phoning the church in which the baptism took place is an easy way to obtain these certificates. Copies of original certificates are unacceptable (if available, confirmation certificate is also requested).
- A civil marriage license is required from Cook County prior to your wedding day and brought to Saint James at the rehearsal for signing.
- A statement of intention by both bride and groom, called a pre-nuptial questionnaire, is required and will be completed with your priest, deacon or marriage minister at your first meeting.
- In case of a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, a dispensation must be granted. Your celebrant will assist you with this.
All couples are required to take a communications inventory (Facilitating Open Caring Communication Understanding Study, or Catholic Couple Check-up). This will help facilitate a discussion tailored to their individual situations. The results of the check-up will be discussed with your priest or deacon.
In case of a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, a dispensation must be granted. Your celebrant will assist you with this.
Pre-marriage preparation, often called PreCana, includes a program that offers you the time and setting to consider together your life as a married couple. All couples must participate in a PreCana or similar program as requested by their pastor, since it is required by the Archdiocese. Arrangements for any of the programs are the responsibility of the couple. Please plan early to participate in PreCana, since reservations are required for all programs.
Parking in the Saint James courtyard is not available. Families typically provide a shuttle to and from the reception venue or suggest guests use a ride share service or walk if the venue is close. For parking location availability, we typically recommend that guests download a parking app. Be sure to provide guests with our address, 835 N Rush, as there are many Church's in the area named after Saint James.
Please click here for information to share with your florists, and here for information to share with your photographer and videographer. To promote an effortless wedding day, it is very important that you share this information to your florist, photographer and videographer well in advance of your wedding.
Couples take the primary and active role in planning their wedding at Saint James Chapel, which is why we do not work with anyone other than the bride and groom. This allows for more streamlined communication and decision making and avoids confusion throughout the process.
We certainly understand that a wedding coordinator can be a great asset in the planning process. Our wedding team will lead both the rehearsal and ceremony together with your celebrant. Outside wedding coordinators are not permitted to lead these occasions or interfere but are welcome to support us during rehearsals and to help facilitate especially arrival and departure times for you.
After you're married, you can obtain a marriage certificate here from Cook County.