Parish Policies for Wedding Ceremonies

Congratulations!

Please be assured of our prayers and support for you during this special time for preparation for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Diocesan Policies for Wedding Ceremonies

Sometimes the requirements for wedding ceremonies -- along with the many other aspects of planning your wedding -- can start to feel overwhelming. In an effort to help you plan your ceremony in concert with the beauty and fullness of Church teachings, we have created this Fifteen Point Checklist for Holy Weddings. Please use this as your guide when planning the specific aspects of your wedding ceremony.

>> FIFTEEN POINTS FOR A HOLY WEDDING

St. Joseph Church Policies for Wedding Ceremonies

We understand the many facets of planning your wedding ceremony, and the importance of this special day for you and your family.

We have put together the following resources to help guide you in preparing for your wedding ceremony. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the parish office for clarifications or to set up a meeting with our Pastor.

Please note - if you choose to employ a Wedding Coordinator, they MUST meet with the liturgy director and the pastor to
ensure that everyone has the same information.

Scheduling Your Wedding Ceremony

Call the Parish Office and schedule a meeting with a clergy member. During the initial meeting you can set a wedding date. Only after speaking with a priest can a date be confirmed. 

The wedding date should be at least 6 months after that first meeting. A couple must be free to marry in the Catholic Church. If either person has been previously married, no date can be set until their freedom to marry has been determined.

Ordinarily, weddings are celebrated on Saturdays anywhere from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm being the latest. Other days and times can be arranged if the church is available. 

Please note, there are no weddings scheduled during the Lenten season.

Scheduling Your Rehearsal 

When scheduling your wedding ceremony, a rehearsal date and time will also be set. Typically, the rehearsal takes place the Friday evening before the wedding day.

 

Decorations

Floral Arrangements

It is customary for all flower arrangements used in the church for your wedding to be left for weekend Masses, though if you are taking them after the wedding, any mess must be cleared by the wedding party, before Sunday at 7:30 am. 

During the Christmas or Easter season, the arrangements that are already present in the church may not be moved/rearranged.

Floral arrangements may be placed in front of either (or both) altar candles, and/or on pedestals behind the altar. 

Pew Bows

Pew bows can be used, but they must be attached without tape. Ribbons or snail clips are permitted.

Candles

Candelabras may be used, however, dripless candles are required to prevent wax from damaging the floor.

Equipment

You may not relocate any equipment or furnishings.

The use of an aisle runner is discouraged, as it presents a tripping hazard, especially for the elderly.

Throwing of rice or any other material outside of the church is not permitted—this is a safety issue.
However, bubbles are allowed.

The church must be returned to its normal state before 8:00 PM. This means that any decorations are removed, stray programs have been collected, any debris has been discarded, etc. This clean-up process is the
responsibility of the wedding party/family, not the priest and parish staff.

Photography & Videography

Flash photography is permitted as the couple enters and leaves the church, but it is no longer permissible once the couple arrive at the altar.

Please note, no spotlights may be used during the wedding.

Photographers and Videographers are not allowed to enter the Altar area during the ceremony.

Additionally, photographers and videographers are to be discrete when moving around during the ceremony to preserve the liturgy.

After the wedding, group pictures can be taken in front of the Altar.

 

Celebrant and Concelebrants

Typically, the parish pastor, parochial vicar, or a deacon witness marriages.

If you have a relative, or a friend who is a priest or deacon, we welcome them to officiate a wedding at our parish. Please be sure to coordinate the necessary details with our pastor.

Please note, any priest or deacon from outside the Diocese of Jefferson City planning to celebrate or assist with a wedding ceremony at our parish requires a current Letter of Good Standing from their Bishop or the Superior of their order.

Required Documents

Please note, all necessary paperwork should be completed one month prior to the wedding if the marriage will take place at the our parish, and requests for documentation from our parish office should be made two months if the marriage will take in another parish.

Baptism Certificate (Issued within the last 6 months)

Every Catholic must present a Baptism certificate from their church of Baptism.

The certificate must be issued within 6 months of the scheduled first meeting with the celebrant.

Please note, this document should have notations on back indicating all Sacraments received up to date.

 

Civil Marriage License

If you are to be married in Fayette, Missouri, you will need a Howard County Marriage License.

This can be obtained from the Howard County Clerk’s Office in Fayette.

If you are to be married outside of Howard County / Missouri, check on the requirements of that state/county. They may vary from those of Missouri.

You may find information on the Official Website of the State of Missouri's website pertaining to marriage helpful in obtaining your marriage license.