Process for SJU alumni/employees who wish to get married
at the Chapel of St. Joseph-Michael J. Smith, S.J.,Memorial

(revised July 2017)

The following are the requirements set forth for weddings occurring at SJU.  These have been developed, keeping in mind the requirements of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, to make wedding celebrations beautiful and meaningful.

  1. The following people are eligible to be married at the Chapel of St. Joseph:
    • SJU graduates who have spent their undergraduate years at the University;
    • Current employees of SJU;
    • Current Seniors at SJU.
    • Please note:  Permission for marriages other than those with the listed eligibility may be obtained on a case-by-case situation approved by both the SJU Wedding Coordinator and the Director of Campus Ministry.  Please contact the Wedding Coordinator for more information on this.
  2. An SJU Wedding Registration Form must be completed by the priest requested to be the presider at the wedding or by the pastor/priest of either the bride/groom’s parish.  The form can be found on our website (click on the link for “Registration Form”) or can be obtained by calling the wedding coordinator at SJU (610-660-1673).  It should be noted that SJU cannot supply priests to preside for weddings.  It is the responsibility of the couple to contact and confirm a presider.
  3. A Letter of Permission to marry at SJU must be obtained from the pastor of the parish of either the bride or the groom.
  4. Please note:  The SJU Wedding Registration Form and the Letter of Permission must be in the hands of the Wedding Coordinator before a date can be given.
  5. Those who are eligible for a wedding at SJU may call for a wedding date 12-14 months before the date of the wedding.
  6. When the two required forms are present, the SJU Wedding Coordinator will give the couple a date.  An agreement will be sent outlining SJU’s requirements.  This agreement and a check for $1,000 (payable to Saint Joseph’s University) should be returned to the Wedding Coordinator within three weeks to confirm the wedding date.  The name, address and phone number of the priest who will preside must be included with the fee.
  7. There are two times set aside for weddings at SJU:  Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and at 3:30 p.m.  Rehearsals are on Friday evenings:  5:00 p.m. for the 1:00 wedding and 6:00 for the 3:30 wedding.
    • The paperwork for the wedding should be done by the priest who is the presider or by a priest in the bride/groom’s parish.  This paperwork includes the Prenuptial Investigation form, two witness forms for each party and any necessary dispensations or permissions.
    • The Wedding Coordinator will send the priest the necessary forms after a signed agreement and check are received.
  8. If the paperwork is done locally (in the Philadelphia Archdiocese) it should be given by the priest to the SJU Wedding Coordinator one month before the wedding date.
  9. If the paperwork is done by a priest in another diocese, it needs to be sent by the priest to the Chancery office of his diocese.  They will then send it to the SJU Wedding Coordinator..
  10. Although it is not offered at SJU, an approved Marriage Preparation Program is required by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Wedding Coordinator can assist you in finding local Marriage Preparation Programs to attend in the Philadelphia area. In addition to this requirement, there are a number of pre-marriage assessment inventories available to assist engaged couples in communicating with each other about important issues that will affect their married lives together. Saint Joseph’s University does not require or administer a particular pre-marriage inventory. However, we strongly recommend that couples talk with their assisting priest about taking an inventory. For more information, please visit
  11. All couples need to meet with the SJU Wedding Coordinator for a liturgical planning session 3 months prior to the wedding to discuss appropriate readings, music, etc. for the wedding liturgy.
  12. The SJU Guidelines deal with various policies and requirements of the University, liturgical and musical preparation, instructions for photographers and videographers and all the other details surrounding the celebration of the sacrament.  All weddings taking place in the Chapel of St. Joseph need to follow these requirements.