The Sacrament of Marriage:

The Sacrament of Marriage General Information:

The Rite of Matrimony is one of seven Rites in the Catholic Church. The Sacrament of Marriage follows holy tradition that has been the standard for the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. Like all Sacraments in the church be prepared for a beautiful journey that you and your fiancé will be taking together in preparation for becoming one, under the sacred vows that are ancient tradition.

For more information on getting married in the Catholic Church talk to your local parish to obtain a copy of  “Together for Life” or refer to the website.

Website: https://togetherforlifeonline.com/

Who can be married in a Catholic Church?

For your marriage to be performed at a Catholic Church, at least one partner must be Baptized Catholic and a practicing Catholic in good standing at their local parish.

Why does it require 6 months in advance to plan my wedding?

A Marriage Sacrament requires pre-nuptial preparation, also called the Nihil Obstat. A Tribunal is performed by your local diocese, and it also involves Tribunal work at the Reno Diocese where Our Lady of Tahoe is located when you travel here from another diocese. You would work locally with your home parish where you are a church member to work through Sacramental Journey.  Contact your local priest or parish office to start the process.

What if there is a previous divorce?

Annulments/ Divorces- if you or your partner requires an additional Catholic Annulment or Civil Divorce paperwork, please plan about a year to finalize those documents prior to your 6 month pre-nuptial preparation.  We are unable to take your reservation until you have your Catholic annulment/Divorce paperwork.


6 month preparation time (Pre-Nuptial, Nihil Obstat) to be completed at your local parish:

- Investigation of Marriage
- Authority to Marry
- Engaged Encounter Certificate (Pre Cana) either on-line, weekend encounter, classes
- Annulment/Divorce (if applicable)
- Presiding Priest – Single Ceremony Certificate (if applicable)

For each Catholic Partner:

  • A recent copy of your Baptismal Record, dated within six (6) months of your wedding date, clearly stating the name of the church and full mailing address
  • Notations on Baptismal Certificate of all current sacraments to date are preferred. (Optional Holy Communion Record and Confirmation Record)

For each Non-Catholic

  • Your Baptismal Record would be appreciated, but not necessary


  • Permission to Marry Letter
  • Letter of Good Standing
  • A Delegation Letter from your local priest to authorize another priest to perform your marriage (The priest performing your marriage should be authorized by the State of Nevada) Refer to Presiding Priest information

Civil Documents Required:

  • A Douglas County Marriage License (Please see Douglas County Website for available times to get the license)
  • Presiding Priest ONLY –Single Ceremony Authorization for State of Nevada/ Douglas County Authorization to perform Matrimony is required by the State of Nevada (Any priest that is not already authorized in Douglas County to perform marriages is required to complete this paperwork with our Diocese of Reno and Douglas County as part of the Pre-nuptial paperwork)


  • $200 Non-refundable fee to reserve your date
  • OLT Non-parish Couples $700 OR OLT Parish Couples $500
  • Stipend for Priest (feel free to ask our Sacrament coordinator for range if needed)
  • Payment to musicians, photographers, florists, outside wedding coordinator, etc. (you must use OLT Sacrament coordinator for church ceremony that is included in Final Payment), etc. are outside vendors that are the responsibility of the wedding couple.
  • $200.00 Inclement Weather fee for Nov-March snow removal (Refundable if there is not inclement weather snow removal).

Approximate Timeline for Payment and Preparation:


  1. If applicable, any Catholic Annulment and/or Civil Divorce paperwork. (Approximately One year)


  1. Secure your Date. Follow the directions for How to RESERVE YOUR DATE (Minimum 6 months prior to date requested)


Your Pre-Nuptial and/or Pre-Cana work begins – Plan 3-6 months to complete your Sacramental Journey with your local parish

  1. Select and attend a Catholic Engagement Encounter Venue (Online, weekly, or weekend retreats)
  2. Complete your Required Paperwork for all Catholic Marriages at your local parish.


 Your Tribunal ( Nihil Obstat) Begins - Plan on 1-4 months (The larger your Diocese, the longer this may take)

Now that your Pre-nuptial paperwork are completed at your local parish, your local Diocese Tribunal will review your information and give a written authorization and Diocese Seal (Nihil Obstat) for couple to Marry outside of local Diocese. Then the Diocese of Reno will also prepare your documentation through to Nihil Obstat and give the permission to perform the Matrimony Sacrament at our local parish.


Four(4) to Eight (8) weeks before your wedding date send to Our Lady of Tahoe

  1. Select Final Readings for your Sacrament Ceremony (6 to 8 weeks prior)
  2. Send your final $700 payment to Our Lady of Tahoe
  3. Send your Ceremony Information Sheet


  1. Arrive in Douglas County in time to secure your Civil Wedding License. You must appear in person to acquire this.  Check the Douglas County, Nevada Web Site for Available times and places.
  2. Presiding Priest – Single Ceremony Certificate To Perform Matrimony (Requires Notarized Document, which means priest must appear before a notary)
  3. Arrive on time to Rehearsal

Getting Married at Our Lady of Tahoe

We enjoy a beautiful setting at our church for those that love the outdoors and the beauty of nature.  If you are coming from outside Our Lady of Tahoe Church and the Reno Diocese, your Pre-Nuptial preparation will be in accordance with your local parish.


  1. The following 5 items must be mailed to Our Lady of Tahoe Office
    1. Completed Wedding Date Reserve Information Form
    3. Letter of Good Standing Letter from your Local Parish Priest
    4. Signed and Initial: Wedding Ceremony Contract
    5. $200 Inclement Weather Deposit (Nov-March weddings)
  2. The following is information about a Visiting Priest
    1. Presiding Priest – Single Ceremony Authorization

Wedding Dates will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.  A confirmation email should be received by you after payment is received.  Your date is not reserved until you receive confirmation via email or regular mail.

An Our Lady of Tahoe Wedding Sacrament Coordinator will be assigned to you.

To assist you and your family and friends through the final stages of your sacrament, (i.e. Rehearsal, Ceremony, etc) a Catholic Wedding Sacrament Coordinator will be present to instruct you through the final stages of your sacrament, along with the priest.

Information about Visiting Priest:

Please note that in the State of Nevada to perform marriages, all clergy from outside the state must obtain a one-time authorization to perform matrimony.  This process takes about 3 weeks.  You will need to obtain a Single Ceremony Certificate with Affidavit to Solemnize Marriages for State of Nevada/Douglas County.

Please follow the instructions for : Presiding Priest Instructions


Six (6) to Eight (8) weeks prior to your date, you should have completed all of your Pre-Nuptial documents and your Nihil Obstat and Pre-Cana work with your local parish.  You and Your local parish are responsible for sending the information to your local Diocese for your Tribunal.  Your Diocese will approve (Nihil Obstat) or contact you with changes.  Your local Diocese will be sending your approved documents to the Diocese of Reno for an additional Tribunal/Nihil Obstat.  While these processes are proceeding, you will make your final selections for your Ceremony.

Your Ceremony specifics and payment need to be sent directly to Our Lady of Tahoe.

Six (6) to Eight (8) weeks before your wedding date send to Our Lady of Tahoe

  1. Select Final Readings and personnel for your Sacrament Ceremony
  2. Send your final $700 payment to Our Lady of Tahoe
  3. Send your final Ceremony Information Sheet to Our Lady of Tahoe

One week to 2 days before your wedding arrive in town

  1. Acquire your Wedding License from Douglas County
  2. Acquire your Presiding Priest Authorization to Perform Matrimony from Douglas County
  3. Your wedding Rehearsal is the day before your wedding


Important Addresses, Websites, and Phone numbers.

For more information on getting married in the Catholic Church talk to your local parish to obtain a copy of  “Together for Life” or refer to the website.

Website: https://togetherforlifeonline.com/

Our Lady of Tahoe:

Our Lady of Tahoe
PO Box 115
Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

Phone number: (775) 588-2080
Office Email: susan@ourladyoftahoe.org

Wedding Sacrament Coordinator:
Email: Lmesa1_957@msn.com

Assistant Wedding Sacrament Coordinator
Email: mindy.crawford@managementmc.com

Website: https://ourladyoftahoe.org/

Diocese of Reno

Presiding Priest Authorization:

All letters of suitability are to be sent to:
Rev. Robert Chorey
290 S. Arlington Avenue
Reno, NV  89501.

Letters may also be scanned and emailed to bobc@catholicreno.org.

Tribunal Contact Information :

Email: PiedadG@catholicreno.org

Website:  https://renodiocese.org/home/about-our-diocese/tribunal/

Douglas County Nevada:

Douglas County Administration Building
175 US-50
Stateline, NV 89449
(775) 586-7226

Website:  https://cltr.douglasnv.us/general-information/marriage-information/


All Priests or Deacons coming from OUTSIDE THE STATE OF NEVADA to perform marriages must be licensed by the State of Nevada. Most states do not require the licensing of clergy to witness marriages. The State of Nevada does.

The visiting priest/deacon will need to provide the Diocese of Reno with a Letter of Good Standing or Letter of Suitability and/or a Celebret. And then obtain a Single Ceremony Certificate from the State of Nevada – Douglas County for a marriage taking place at Our Lady of Tahoe in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

In order to avoid any delays for the bride and groom please have the visiting priest/deacon send Diocese of Reno Clerk’s Office of the Moderator of the Chancellor your documents.

Contact: Karen Smeath in the Diocese of Reno Office of Chancellor:

  1. Diocese of Reno
    290 So. Arlington Avenue
    Reno, NV 89501
    (775) 326-9410
    Website:  https://renodiocese.org/home/about-our-diocese/tribunal/


Then a Single Ceremony Certificate with Affidavit to Solemnize Marriages for State of Nevada/Douglas County must be obtained.  It requires a Notarized application and a fee to obtain. The application can only be mailed or obtained in person at the Douglas County Clerk Office because it requires original notarized documents.  To download the application:

  1. Douglas County Clerk
    P.O. Box 218
    Minden, NV 89423
    (775) 782-9023
    Website: https://cltr.douglasnv.us/general-information/marriage-information/minister-instructions/
  2. A Letter of Delegation from Our Lady of Tahoe Catholic Church will be provided.
  3. A copy of the Authorization to Solemnize Marriages issued license is required to be delivered to Our Lady of Tahoe.

Q. Who is eligible to get married in a Catholic Church?

A. At least one of the couple must have been baptized Catholic and an active member of a Catholic Church. Proof of your Catholic Baptism is required with a copy dated within 6 months of your wedding date. If you are completing an RCIA class, you should be planning your wedding after your RCIA class work is completed.

Q. Can I get married in a Catholic Church if I have been divorced?

A. If you were previously married in a Catholic Church, your marriage needs to be annulled by the Catholic Church before you can remarry. Do plan on at least 6 months to a year to receive a Catholic annulment if one is needed. If you were previously married in a Civil ceremony, your civil divorce paperwork would be required.

Q. Can you perform my wedding outside at the beach or in the woods?

A. No. The Diocese does not allow outside weddings. Your ceremony must be inside the church.

Q. Can I rent your Hall for my rehearsal party or after party?

A. Only Our Lady of Tahoe members can rent the hall.

Q. How long will it take for my Sacrament of Marriage paperwork?

A. Plan at least 3-6 months to complete your Sacrament work at your local parish. This is called Pre-Nuptial paperwork and includes your Pre-Cana Catholic Engaged Encounter certification. After your Pre-nuptial Preparation is completed your Tribunal will start the Nihil Obstat process. This is the part where your Pre-Nuptial paperwork is sent through your Local Diocese. If you are from a different Diocese then your Tribunal will forward your Pre-Nuptial paperwork and Nihil Obstat to the Diocese of Reno for Nihil Obstat and then forward all paperwork to Our Lady of Tahoe that must arrive at the least four (4) weeks prior to your wedding date. Do plan on two (2) months for your Tribunal to be completed (unless your diocese is Los Angeles or Seattle, then plan on two (2) to four (4) months). So a Sacrament of Marriage takes at the least six (6) months and at the most one (1) year, not including a Catholic Annulment. The larger your diocese, the longer the Tribunal takes to process your Pre-Nuptial Paperwork and issue a Nihil Obstat.

Q. What are the costs of getting Married at Our Lady of Tahoe Church?

- $200 Non-refundable fee to reserve your date
- OLT Non-parish Couples $700 OR OLT Parish Couples $500*
- $200.00 Inclement Weather fee for Nov-March snow removal
Other Costs to Consider
- Payment to musicians, photographers, wedding coordinator, florist, etc.
- Stipend for Priest

Q. What is an Nihil Obstat and a Tribunal?

A. When your paperwork is complete, the Diocese review of your Sacrament work begins. A Nihil Obstat is an authorization that is signed and stamped with diocesan seal. In the case of Catholic weddings it is authorization for the couple to be married outside of their local diocese and to be married in our Diocese of Reno. A diocesan Tribunal is a department of the diocese that reviews and processes Wedding Nihil Obstats and Catholic Annulments. If The Diocese of Reno is not your local Diocese, then an additional Diocese review and Nihil Obstat is also performed at the Diocese of Reno, as part of the Tribunal process.

Q. We are coming from Out of Town and need to know about local vendors. Do you have a list for that?

A. While we do not endorse any particular vendor, we have compiled a list of local vendors that would be able to help with aspects of your wedding activities. Please see : OUTSIDE VENDOR LIST