n 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.
Who can get married at St. Mary's?
First, either 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.
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.
What steps should I take to be married at St. Mary's?
First, we ask that you call our Pastoral Associate, Kathy Reilly, who will begin some initial paperwork with you. Kathy will begin a file for you and give copies of this paperwork to Father Andrew Thomas (Fr. T).
When you are speaking with Kathy, you can talk about some possible dates. Kathy will run these dates by Father Andrew and a date will be set.
When do weddings usually happen at St. Mary's?
Weddings are celebrated on Saturday's usually at 11, noon, 1 or 2 PM.
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 contact Sharon Konopa, our wedding coordinator. Sharon 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 Sharon.
Sharon will help guide you through making your wedding arrangements. She will also schedule your rehearsal time and will be there during your rehearsal and on your wedding day.
To contact Sharon, please call her at 541-926-6812 or email@example.com.
The second thing we ask you to do is to work Kathy Reilly who will continue to coordinate paperwork and your marriage preparation. You can contact Kathy at 926-1449 ext 303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will also need to arrange a meeting with Father Andrew. He looks forward to visiting with each couple so that he can make your wedding ceremony special for you.
What is involved in marriage preparation at St. Mary's?
Once you contact Kathy, she will arrange a time for you to come in to take the FOCCUS. This is a pre-martial inventory. You should allow 2 – 3hours for this first session.
Then, one of our parish's engagement counselors will call you and set up a time to meet with you. They will usually meet with you three or four times for about two or three hours each time.
We also ask that couples attend an engaged couples weekend, which is hosted at our parish. Generally there is a weekend each spring and fall.
Finally, we ask that you meet with a sponsor couple 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 $350 for parishioners. This includes your wedding coordinator and all the administrative costs.
Sharon Konopa will speak with you about fees for musicians and other gratuities.
If you are a non-parishioner who is getting married at St. Mary's, the cost is $550.
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
Fr. Andrew Thomas, Pastor 541-926-1449
Sharon Konopa, Wedding Coordinator email@example.com
Kathy Reilly, Marriage Prep Coordinator 541-926-1449 ext 303 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 4 PM because of our Saturday evening Mass and confessions. Because of the 4 PM timeline, this usually works best for a simple reception like with cake and punch. Joni Siewell, our office manager, will be able to provide you with information about fees and insurance requirements.