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COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Memorial Church is currently closed for tours and visits. The Church is open for scheduled religious observances, weddings, memorials, concerts, and events. For more information, please see our listing of events.

Banner image featuring a macro shot of a bride underneath her veil, via Freepik Licensed through Student Affairs.

Wedding FAQs

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Calendar/Waiting List

Q: How long is the waiting list?
A: We don’t have a waiting list.  It’s first come, first served and dates are subject to availability.

Q: When does the new calendar open up?  How far in advance can you book a wedding date?
In January 2020, we opened up the calendar for 2021.  In January 2021, we will open up the calendar for 202, etc. There is a 3 month minimum preparation time required for non-Catholic weddings. There is a 6 month minimum preparation time required for Catholic weddings.

Items at the Church

Q: Is there a table we can use for reception and guestbook-signing?
Yes. There is a rectangular table in the vestibule of the Church that is available for use. The Church does not provide a tablecloth or table decorations, but couples are welcome to bring their own.

Q: Are flower arrangements and decorations allowed in the Church?
Yes.  However, the church is a very large and very busy space, so less is more.  We do not allow cloth runners and we do not allow anything, such as flower petals, etc. to be tossed on the floor. Flower arrangements are restricted to the Chancel area of the Church. They are not allowed in the Church vestibule due to space constraints. Arrangements may be placed on the Chancel, on the marble banisters, and on the high altar. Pew decorations are also permitted. All flowers must be removed from the church after your ceremony.

Q: How can we secure pew decorations to the ends of the pews?
You may use materials including clips, rubber bands, and twist-ties to secure pew decorations. Tape, glue and/or other adhesive materials are not allowed because they may damage the wood.

Q: When can our florist arrive to start decorating the Church?
The florist can arrive one hour before your ceremony time to set up any decorations, no earlier. They should come to the Round Room to unload.

Q: Does the Church provide candles for the chancel alcoves and the unity candle?
Yes. Memorial Church provides the alcove candles, as well as the unity candle and two side candles for the unity candle. Alternatively, you are welcome to bring your own unity candle and side candles.


Q: Where can I find driving directions to Memorial Church?
Driving directions to the Church are located on our website: Click on the map link for directions on the right hand side. Along with driving directions is a map of the surrounding area. A interactive map of the University campus can be found at


Q: Where can guests park for the wedding ceremony?
Guests can park in the Oval at the top of Palm Drive in either the permit or metered parking spots on the weekends. Alternatively, if guests are familiar with the campus, they can park along Santa Teresa Street or in the parking lot behind Tresidder Union. Permit and metered parking is free on the weekends. Please note that finding parking and walking to/from the Church may take some time.

Q: Can guests take photos during during the ceremony?
No. Only professional wedding photography is allowed during the ceremony.


Q: May we have a friend/family member perform a musical piece at our ceremony?
All questions regarding music during a wedding ceremony in Memorial Church must be directed to the University organist, Robert Huw Morgan. He can be reached at 650.725.0530 or email.

Vendor List

Q: Do you have a list of preferred/recommended vendors?
No. We do not keep a list of vendors or reception sites.  However, most of the local photographers and florists have done many weddings here.


Q: What should we bring to the rehearsal?
You need to bring your marriage license, programs (if applicable) and candles for unity candle.

Q: How long is the rehearsal?
The rehearsal will last for one (1) hour. You must show up on time as no extra time will be allotted for the rehearsal if you are late.

Q: What do we do at the rehearsal?
We will run through the entire ceremony and the processional. You will also receive instructions on parking for the wedding party and information on the bride and groom’s respective rooms. The rehearsal is also the time to clarify any last details with the Wedding Coordinator and clergy regarding the ceremony.

Q: I’ve met with you and finished my counseling, now what?
Look at the checklist and timeline in your packet/on the web. The next step is to contact your Stanford clergy once you receive their info. from my office/Catholic Community at Stanford Wedding Prep Director.

Main Quad

Q: Can we have a receiving line?

Q: Can we throw anything outside?
No. Nothing is to be thrown – flower petals, rice, birdseed, etc.

Q: How about bubbles?

Q: While we’re taking pictures, can we have a table set with refreshments for our guests?

Timing on the Day of Wedding

Q: How long do we have the church reserved?
One hour before your ceremony through one hour after.  E.g., if you have a 1 pm wedding, your time will be from 12-2:00.  You must be out of the church and not be in front of the church taking pictures after that time.  You can still take pictures on the sides of Quad, but are asked to be sensitive to the next wedding and not obstruct their time/space.

Q: When will we be finished with the ceremony?
If it is a non-Catholic ceremony you will be finished at approximately 30 minutes after the hour.  If it is a Catholic non-mass, then it will be closer to 35 minutes after the hour.  If it is a Catholic mass, it’ll be closer 45 minutes.  The timing in the Catholic ceremonies is more fluid – you should discuss this with your priest.

If you don’t see your question on this list, please contact the Memorial Church Wedding Coordinator.