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Wedding Guidelines

WEDDING CEREMONY PROCEDURES

St. Paul Catholic Church
In accordance with Pastoral Guidelines
for Marriage Preparation
Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee
and Dioceses of Florida

 

 

All couples must meet with a priest or deacon prior to securing a wedding date at St. Paul Catholic Church.


REQUIREMENTS
It is with profound awareness of the richness and beauty of the sacrament of marriage that the Catholic Church throughout the State of Florida has written a Common Policy for Pastoral Marriage Preparation.

  1. Catholics must present a baptismal certificate dated within six months of the wedding date.  
  2. Both bride and groom must complete, individually, under oath, and in the presence of a priest, a prenuptial questionnaire known as the “A” form.
  3. Two relatives (preferably parents) or friends of each party must sign individually, under oath,  in the presence of a priest, deacon, the “B” form to declare the freedom of each party to marry.
  4. All couples will take the FOCCUS Questionnaire as a means of determining strengths and weaknesses regarding readiness for the Sacrament of Matrimony.
  5. A marriage preparation course is mandatory for ALL COUPLES whether one or both parties are Catholic.  The couple is encouraged to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend.  The Pre-Cana conference will also meet this requirement if the Engaged Encounter Weekend is an impossibility.
  6. If there has been a former marriage, both the Marriage Certificate and the Death Certificate or Declaration of Nullity must be produced.
  7. In a marriage of mixed faith, the Catholic party alone is to make a written or verbal promise to attend to the Catholic upbringing of all children born of the marriage.  The non-Catholic is made aware of the Catholic’s responsibility in this matter.  In the case of a mixed faith marriage, the wedding ceremony does not include Mass.
  8. If a priest other than the local parish priest is to perform the ceremony, he must have the pastor’s permission.  If the priest is from another diocese, his diocese must provide certification that he is a priest in good standing with his diocese.
  9. As a general rule, the marriage takes place in the parish of the bride (if she is Catholic).  If the marriage is to take place elsewhere, a letter of permission is to be obtained from her pastor.
  10. The Catholic party should attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) before marriage.
  11. A non-Catholic minister may take part in the Catholic wedding ceremony.
  12. Under  no circumstances are beach, garden, home, theater, etc., settings permitted for the celebration of the sacrament.  It must take place in a Church.

PLANNING THE CEREMONY
Together with the Director of Marriage Ministry, the couple will plan prayers, readings, and wedding format prior to the rehearsal.  The Director of Marriage Ministry will fulfill the role in helping plan the details of the wedding ceremony according to the church, liturgical and social etiquette.  We do not use outside wedding coordinators in the planning and execution of the wedding ceremony.  The Director of Marriage Ministry will conduct the rehearsal and guide the wedding ceremony.

Weddings are typically scheduled on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. or at 7:00 p.m.  Weddings may also be scheduled on Fridays between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  However, weddings may occur any day of the week with the exception of Holy Week at which time no weddings are scheduled.

MUSIC
Arrangements for ALL music must be made through the Liturgical Music Director, Mr. Brian Brown.  Music for the wedding ceremony should be liturgical in nature and be able to lead the congregation in prayerful participation.  Mr. Brown will make suggestions and assist in planning music selections.  He should be contacted as soon as a wedding date has been set with the parish priest.
 
MUSICIANS/VOCALISTS
Our parish music ministry employs talented organists, pianists, instrumentalists and vocalists who are available to accompany the ceremony.  Usage of our parish musicians and/or cantors is included in the wedding fees.  Outside musicians and cantors must be approved by our Music Director, Mr. Brian Brown.  Any additional cost to secure outside musicians and cantors is the responsibility of the couple. 

FLOWERS
Floral decorations present in the church during Christmas and Easter may not be removed.  Flowers and decorations must be chosen in accordance with the Catholic liturgical season that coincides with the wedding date.  Flowers are allowed in specific areas of the church.  At no time are flowers placed on or above the altar.  Fresh flower petals and runners are not permitted in the church, however, artificial flower petals may be scattered on the aisle as long as they are removed immediately after the ceremony.
 
PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY
Most professional photographers are aware of the requirements concerning photographs and video during the wedding ceremony. However, the couple is responsible for communicating these requirements to the photographers.  Picture taking and video must not interfere with the ceremony at any time  nor block the view of the altar.  At no time will photographers be permited into the sanctuary area for photos during the ceremony.

MISCELLANEOUS
Birdseed , rice, confetti, etc. is not permitted in the Church or on the parish grounds which includes the school and parish center.  Food and drink are not permitted in the church.  A cleaning fee will be assessed to the couple for failure to return the church and grounds to order after the ceremony.  

ALCOHOL
At no time is alcohol permitted on the premises before the wedding ceremony nor is any member of the wedding party to consume alcohol before the ceremony.  Failure to adhere to this policy may result in the cancelation of the wedding ceremony.
 
REHEARSALS
Rehearsals are held the evening prior to the wedding ceremony.  All who are taking part in the ceremony must attend the rehearsal.  The Director of Marriage Ministry will conduct the rehearsal.

WEDDING FEES
For parishioners of St. Paul Catholic Church: $1250
  • $500.00 refundable security deposit (due when wedding is scheduled)
  • $750.00 church usage fee (due 30 days prior to wedding date)
For non-parishioners:  $2250
  • $500.00 refundable security deposit (due when wedding is scheduled)
  • $1750.00 church usage fee (due 30 days prior to wedding date)
The church usage fee compensates our parish staff and ministers involved in the preparation and execution of the wedding ceremony.  The $500 security deposit is reimbursed provided all rules are followed and no additional compensation is needed.
 
PARISH RECEPTION SPACES 
Rental fees for the Gym:  
  • Parishioners:  $750 ($500 refundable security deposit plus $250 fee)
  • Non-parishioners: $1000 ($500 refundable security deposit plus $500 fee)
Rental fees for the Giri room:
  • Parishioners:  $650 ($500 refundable security deposit plus $150 fee)
  • Non-parishioners:  $750 ($500 refundable security deposit plus $250 fee)
In addition to fees, in order to secure these facilities, a Diocesan Special Events Insurance Policy is required.  St. Paul Parish must receive this policy and rental fees at least 30 days prior to the event.