Congratulations on your engagement!
WE ARE HONORED FOR YOU TO CONSIDER HAVING YOUR WEDDING AT SAINT BONIFACE!
Dear Engaged Couple!
The Saint Boniface staff congratulates you on your engagement! We are honored that you are considering having your Sacramental wedding with us at Saint Boniface! To seek marriage is a sign contrary to our secular world, with fewer and fewer making the commitment to be married, even civilly. You are going a step further, and asking to commit to one another before Christ, and His bride the Church. With that commitment you are guaranteed the grace of God to help you, and your family, throughout your life together; all you need do is accept that grace, just as you are called to love and accept one another.
This document is intended to serve as the guidelines for having your wedding at Saint Boniface Catholic Church, as well as a listing of frequently asked questions to help guide you in the process over the coming months. On reserving the church for you wedding, both the bride and the groom will be asked to verify that you have read, and understand, this document. At the same time don’t be overwhelmed by this document, it is meant to be referred to in the coming months. Please read to the end for some helpful tips!
Be assured of our prayers for you, as well as our desire to support you now and in the years to come.
A. General Expectations
1. It is important to recognize that wedding coordinators, and writers in bridal periodicals, are not able to make decisions about liturgical celebrations (in other words, the details of how we perform the Sacrament of Matrimony - the celebration within the church.) In addition, practices at other churches are not necessarily normative for what can, or ought to be done during the celebration at Saint Boniface. The Saint Boniface staff will have discretion over all matters concerning the liturgy.
B. Who may be married at Saint Boniface Church?
1. One member of the couple, either the bride or the groom, must be a practicing Catholic to have your celebration at Saint Boniface.
2. You do not need to be a registered parishioner of Saint Boniface to be married at Saint Boniface. Registered parishioners do, however, receive preferential treatment in terms of reserving the church and in the monetary amount expected for reserving the church.
C. How much does a wedding at Saint Boniface cost?
1. The fee for the use of the church is $1,750, with $875 due to secure the reservation. The remaining $875 is due one month before the wedding. Special consideration will be made for currently active members of the parish. If you are unable to afford this fee, we are willing to meet with you to discuss your circumstances.
2. The $1,750 includes: the organist, wedding assistant, cantor and the church rental
3. The $1,750 does not include:
i. The presider - not expected but appreciated, especially if the presider helped with the marriage preparation, and if they traveled. Between $100 and $200 is customary.
4. The cost for having a wedding at Saint Boniface is comparable with a wedding at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Saint Louis Bertrand, and Saint James (Bardstown Rd.)
5. By having your wedding at Saint Boniface, you are helping to save this historic church, and parish, and enable future weddings to enjoy the same beauty that inspired you. Thank you!
D. Who may preside at the wedding?
1. The presider is a Catholic priest, or deacon, typically known by one or both families.
2. Please consider the age, ability, and availability of the cleric before asking him.
3. If such a member of the clergy is unknown, or unavailable, both the Pastor and Associate Pastor are willing to discuss the possibility of presiding at the celebration.
4. A firm commitment by a member of the clergy is required before the church can be reserved. The presider is expected at the rehearsal, typically the evening before the wedding.
5. The presider will be sent a letter giving him permission to officiate over the wedding, along with some information regarding the norms for celebrating weddings at Saint Boniface. The presider is expected to abide by those norms.
6. Presiders from other diocese are welcome at Saint Boniface; they will need the customary Letter of Good Standing, from their ordinary. All presiders must be qualified by civil and church law.
7. It is understood that the presider will work with the couple and oversee the required formation necessary for a Catholic wedding. (see following section)
E. Who will work with us to complete the marriage formation, and paperwork?
1. As stated above, the wedding presider is normally the one to work with the couple in the months leading up to the wedding. That responsibility may be delegated. Nevertheless, the presider retains the responsibility of ensuring the freedom of the couple to marry, and that they are properly formed in understanding both the unitive and procreative aspects of Sacramental marriage.
2. Both the marriage paperwork, and civil license, are expected in the sacristy of Saint Boniface before the start of the wedding rehearsal.
3. The marriage paperwork, and the civil license, are to be left in the care of the Saint Boniface staff who ensure that the civil license will be mailed the following Monday.
4. Follow this link to access the Archdiocese of Louisville expectations for marriage formation.
F. Who else can assist at the wedding?
1. Lectors: Please choose three experienced readers. The readers must attend the rehearsal.
2. Eucharistic Ministers: If you are having a Mass you may choose family, or friends to act as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion - if they are commissioned in their own parish. The bride and groom may consider beginning their married life in service to the Church in this manner. As a rule, if there are 75+ guests coming up for Holy Communion it is wise to have four ministers (including the priest). If there will be 75 or less three will typically be sufficient.
3. Servers: Servers are encouraged, especially for a Nuptial Mass. Please ask one or two family members or friends to serve at the altar.
4. Children: Children must be seven years or older to walk in the bridal party. If they are younger, they may be led up the aisle by an older child.
5. No signs, or animals (non-service) are permitted in the procession.
6. Ushers and other duties are at your discretion.
G. When can we be married at Saint Boniface?
1. Friday – while not common, it may be possible to arrange a Friday wedding.
2. Saturday – weddings are typically scheduled for a start time between 2PM and 5PM
3. Sunday – weddings, like all the Sacraments, are encouraged to take place during the Sunday liturgy – the normal Sunday Mass. Your wedding, while deeply personal, is first a celebration of the Church and technically anyone can attend. Some have found this to be an opportunity to entrust their marriage to the prayer and work of the Church as a whole. Consider it an option, if only for a moment. The cost for such a wedding would be minimized.
4. The Archdiocese of Louisville requires six months of marriage preparation prior to the wedding. Exceptions are rare. Saint Boniface will only reserve the church for weddings six months, or more, in advance – unless an exception is communicated.
H. What about the rehearsal?
1. Rehearsals are typically scheduled the evening before the wedding at 6PM. Rehearsal will last between half-an-hour to an hour.
2. With traffic, and work schedules, it will be difficult for your wedding party to make a rehearsal before 6PM. If you want to attempt it the approval of the Saint Boniface staff will be necessary.
3. Please have the groomsmen and bridesmaids paired before the rehearsal.
4. The entire bridal party, lectors, servers and anyone else who has a role during the liturgy should attend the rehearsal.
5. The marriage license is expected at the rehearsal.
I. What accommodations do you have for the bridal party before the wedding?
1. Saint Boniface has no dressing area; it is necessary that you arrive already dressed.
2. The bride, and bridesmaids, may wait in the ‘tower room’ in the back of church.
3. The groom, and groomsmen, may wait in the sacristy in the front of church.
4. The consumption of alcohol is forbidden on Saint Boniface property. The sobriety of the bridal party is necessary for the wedding to take placed.
5. Smoking is prohibited.
6. Food and snacks are not permitted.
J. What are the guidelines for flowers and décor?
1. The view of the ambo, altar, presider’s chair, or the exchange of vows should not be obstructed.
2. Due to the danger of slipping on the hardwood floors, aisle runners are not permitted.
3. If bows are used on the pews, they must be tied, not taped.
4. Rice, confetti, bird seed, etc. are not allowed to be thrown inside, or outside, the church.
5. The florist must contact the Saint Boniface staff to set a time to get into the church.
K. What are the guidelines for photographers and videographers?
1. These professionals must contact the Saint Boniface Staff before the wedding to discuss the guidelines. Saint Boniface expects professionalism.
2. Flash is permitted only during the entrance and exit processions.
3. Pictures may be taken during the ceremony from behind the congregation.
4. Video recording is allowed if discreet. If the equipment is bulky it must be stationary.
5. Group pictures may be taken after the ceremony for a period of 45 minutes.
6. The wedding party, and guests, are asked to be respectful while posing in recognition of the sacred space.
7. Pictures, and video recording by your guests are discouraged. Please help to convey this message before the ceremony.
L. How do we select music for the wedding?
1. The parish Director of Music plays (the organ) for all weddings at Saint Boniface.
2. Two months before the wedding please contact the Saint Boniface Staff to arrange an appointment to discuss the music.
3. Only sacred music is allowed during the liturgies at Saint Boniface.
4. The Director of Music selects the cantors and musicians for the liturgies at Saint Boniface.
5. If you desire music other the organ the Director of Music will arrange musicians for you. Fees will be paid directly to these musicians, and payment is due the week before the ceremony.
M. Are there any other aspects that we need to consider?
1. Your guests at the wedding are not mere spectators. Their role is to pray and to witness the exchange of vows. Please encourage them to participate.
2. Weddings need to start on time. The seating of the grandparents should take place a few minutes before the scheduled time of the wedding.
3. The assembly will be asked to stand at the beginning of the procession.
4. Receiving lines are not practical following a wedding at Saint Boniface. At the end of the ceremony the wedding party will proceed immediately out the front doors of the church, come around the side, and back in the church to begin taking group pictures.
N. So, what now?
1. Breathe. There are many details to be worked out, questions to be asked and answered, decisions to be made; you don’t need to stress. Focus on what is important, your Sacramental marriage, and know that we are here to help. Not everything is covered here; that’s ok, we’ve done this a few times before, we will work with you.
2. The tendency is to get the reception venue booked, and then look at the church. We encourage you to think in terms of what is most important, we will work with you to find a date that works but we challenge you to start here.
3. Think about a presider, again, if you are having difficulty we will see what we can do.
4. Pray. Pray, pray, pray! This is an exciting time for you all, do not forget to share that joy and excitement with your Creator. You may consider fasting, not to fit into the perfect dress or tux, but to remind yourself of the goodness you have, and will, receive.
Updated & Approved ~ 11/10/2018
Rev. Jeff Shooner