Photo courtesy of Enrique Perez of Movie World Studio
In the Catholic Church, marriage is a sacrament. Because of that, we have certain traditions and guidelines which surround the wedding ceremony. This article will introduce you to some of these and also tell you how to get more information.
First thing to note:
Weddings must be planned at least 6-9 months in advance. There is preparation to go through prior to being married in the Church.
Who can get married at St. Mary’s?
First, one or both the bride or groom-to-be should be Catholic. Additionally, either the bride or groom-to-be (or their family) should be registered, practicing members of St. Mary’s for at least six months prior to beginning marriage preparation with the church.
Also, couples need to be “free to marry” in the Catholic Church. If either the bride or groom-to-be has been married before, an annulment through the Church would need to be granted. This applies even if the person who was married before is not Catholic. No wedding date can be finalized until the annulment is completed, and all paperwork and preparation has been completed.
What steps should I take to be married at St. Mary’s?
First, we ask that you stop by the parish office and speak with Teresa Middlemiss, she will begin some initial paperwork with you. The forms will then be given to Father Edwin.
When you are speaking with Teresa, you can talk about some possible dates. She will run these dates by Father Edwin and a date may be tentatively set.
When do weddings usually happen at St. Mary’s?
Weddings are celebrated on Saturday’s usually at 10am or 1PM.
Once our date is on the calendar, what should we do next?
At this point, we ask you to do two things. The first is to work with Teresa Middlemiss to coordinate who will continue to your paperwork and your marriage preparation. You can contact Teresa at 541-926-1449 or [email protected].
The second thing we ask you to do is to connect with our wedding coordinator (Teresa will tell you who will be the coordinator for your wedding). The coordinator will meet with you and go over some of our policies regarding pictures, decorations, music and the ceremony in general. We ask that you not make any decisions in these areas until you have visited with our coordinator.
The coordinator will help guide you through making your wedding arrangements. The coordinator will also schedule your rehearsal time and will be there during your rehearsal and on your wedding day.
You will also need to arrange a meeting with the celebrant. He looks forward to visiting with each couple so that he can make your wedding ceremony special for you. Sometimes a couple asks for a specific celebrant. We try to accomodate such requests where possible,
but it is not always possible to do so, and there are sometimes unavoidable changes that come about.
What is involved in marriage preparation at St. Mary’s?
Once you are assigned a wedding prep sponsor or sponsor couple, that person or couple will arrange a time for you to come in to take the FOCCUS. This is a pre-martial inventory. You should allow 2 – 3 hours for this first session.
Then, you will set up more times to meet. They will usually meet with you three or four times for about two or three hours each time.
We may also ask that couples attend an engaged couples weekend or seminars dealing with marital topics, which may be hosted at our parish, or in the vicinity.
Finally, we may ask that you meet with the sponsor after the weekend.
We know that sounds like a lot, but we are really committed to helping couples have strong, healthy and lasting marriages.
What are the fees for getting married at St. Mary’s?
The basic fee is $500 for parishioners. This includes your wedding coordinator and all the administrative costs. It does not include the costs for the pianist, the vocalist or choir. The wedding coordinator will speak with you about fees for musicians.
If you are a non-parishioner who is getting married at St. Mary’s, the basic fee is $600.
Can we have an outdoor wedding?
It is the policy of our parish that weddings must be held in the church. This is consistent with the overall policy of the Archdiocese.
Names to remember
Father Edwin L. Sanchez, Administrator 541-926-1449
Teresa Middlemiss, Marriage Prep Coordinator 541-926-1449 ext 338 [email protected]
Can we have our reception at St. Mary’s?
You are most welcome to have your reception at St. Mary’s. In general, receptions need to be finished by 3:00 PM because of our Saturday evening Mass and confessions. Because of the 3:00 PM timeline, this usually works best for a simple reception like with cake and punch. No alcohol is permitted on St. Mary’s premises. Joni Siewell, our Business Manager, will be able to provide you with information about fees and insurance requirements 541-926-1449 ext 305.
What readings can we choose from for our wedding?
Choose one reading from each of the 3 documents – 1 from Old Testament, 1 from New Testament and 1 from the Gospel readings. Tell your coordinator which readings you have chosen.