St. Mary of the Assumption, Charlevoix, Mi
Wedding Protocol and Information
Congratulations on your engagement! Whether you celebrate your wedding day here at St. Mary of the Assumption or elsewhere you have our prayers and best wishes. For your convenience, the following is a list of policies for all weddings that are celebrate at
St. Mary of the Assumption in Charlevoix, Michigan.
Who may celebrate their wedding at St. Mary of the Assumption?
Our parish receives numerous requests for wedding celebrations. It is not possible to fulfill all of the requests that come to us. As a result we have had to establish criteria. There must be some reasonable connection to our parish. That is, you would have to be a full-time or part-time parishioner, or have roots here. You must be a practicing Catholic. If you are a member of a Catholic Church elsewhere, you will need to present us with a letter from your pastor stating that you are a member in good standing in your parish.
Setting the Date and Time
It is wise to set a wedding date one year in advance. The date should be set prior to arranging for a reception site. The time of the wedding is arranged with the pastor. No weddings will be permitted on Sundays or on Friday evenings.
Choosing a Presider
The parish pastor or associate pastor will preside at all weddings of full time or part-time parishioners. Non-parishioners can arrange for their own preist and must be arranged in advance of booking the church. Normally, non-parishioner couples should provide their own priest. The guest priest must be able to produce proof that he is a priest in good standing within his own diocese. A word of caution: it is not easy to arrange for a priest to witness a marriage at another parish as they are busy on weekends with their own responsibilities. You must be absolutely certain your priest is available.
Marriage Preparation Requirements
Marriage preparation at St. Mary of the Assumption is coordinated with the parish priest. All couples are obligated to participate in marriage preparation. Those who live in another town will be expected to take their marriage preparation in their own parish. This would include all paperwork and any needed dispensations. Please notify St. Mary of the Assumption via formal letter where your marriage prep will take place. Include the name of the church, address, phone number and the name of the priest. When your marriage preparation is completed your priest will send us a letter stating that you have fulfilled the obligations of the parish and diocese. All couples must be ready to produce baptismal records.
Early in your marriage preparation you will receive some materials that will help you plan the details of your wedding liturgy. If both parties are Catholic, a wedding is normally celebrated within Mass. This, however, is not required. If one party is not Catholic, a wedding is celebrated outside of Mass. All details of your wedding liturgy are subject to approval of the pastor. Please note the following:
- You should choose a lector (or two). Your lector must be a practicing Catholic if you have a Mass. If you are celebrating your wedding outside of Mass, your lector must be at least a practicing Christian. Choose someone who has the ability to do public speaking well.
- If you are celebrating your Wedding within Mass, you should choose two Eucharistic Ministers.
- Depending on the size of your wedding you should have at least two ushers. The Groomsmen can fulfill this role or help the chosen ushers.
- If you have flower girls or ring bearers, they should be at least 5 years of age or mature enough to fulfill their role.
- Please no aisle runners or throwing of petals on the floor.
- The Unity Candle is not part of the Catholic Ritual of marriage.
- For maintenance reasons, do not throw rice, birdseed, confetti or anything else in or outside the church.
- Flowers for Mary are optional.
- Altar servers are optional.
- Flowers are optional. Please keep it simple and in balance with the sanctuary setting. You may take the flowers after the service or leave them for the parish to enjoy.
- Dress modestly and appropriately for a church wedding.
The wedding Stipend (Fee)
Full-time and part-time registered parishioners are asked to pay a stole fee of $200. In addition, they must pay the organist’s fee and the cantor’s fee. Non-parishioner will be expected to pay a stole fee of $500, plus the organist and cantor fees. The fees are due in advance and are made payable to the parish, the organist and to the cantor. All fees are non-refundable and are due one month in advance.
There is not an obligation to pay the priest who witnesses your wedding. If you wish to give him a personal gift it is your prerogative and always appreciated. Gifts to the Altar servers are also optional.
The parish Music Director, Laura Tillotson, is happy to assist you in your wedding plans. It is your responsibility to contact the Music Director at least 6 months in advance of your wedding date. Payment for the organist is due 4 months before your wedding and is non-refundable. Only liturgical music is appropriate for a church wedding. She has a prepared packet with information in regards to music for your wedding liturgy. She can be reached through the Parish office, 231-547-6652 and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email Laura at least 6 months before your wedding to request information. The Music Director has the final say on your musical selections. If you wish to have other musical instruments played by guest’s musicians, you may do so, with her approval. Cantors and soloists are available in the area. All pre-recorded music must be pre-approved. Allmusic selections should be presented to Music Director at least 4-6 months in advance of the ceremony.
A classroom is made available for the bridal party.
The wedding rehearsal normally takes place the evening prior to the wedding. Keep in mind the ability of your wedding party to be present. A mutually agreeable time with the Priest is required. Parents, lectors, ushers, wedding party, flower girl, ring bearer and bride and groom must be present for rehearsal.
The photographer should be professional. A maximum of two photographers is allowed. You can have an additional party or videographer record your ceremony. Photographers should be respectful of the Mass itself and not be disruptive. Photographers are not allowed in the sanctuary. All photography must be completed by 3:45 pm.
A Wedding Mass lasts approximately one hour.
A Rite of Marriage outside of Mass lasts approximately 35-40 minutes.
All wedding guests and people associated with the wedding must vacate by 3:45 pm.
The church is not air-conditioned.
No alcohol is allowed prior to the wedding.
Please double check for any belongings after the wedding or equipment brought in by third parties.
It is suggested that you appoint a person for this reason.
Pets are not allowed in the ceremony.
Please use church entrances.
Please supervise all children.