Weddings & Marriage Preparation
Weddings are a special time for the bride and groom, for their families and friends, and for our parish community. You want your wedding to be pleasing in all of its arrangements. This brochure is meant to help you as you plan the celebration of the sacrament of marriage.
Couples are asked to make arrangements for their wedding at least four months in advance of the date on which they hope to celebrate their wedding. Couples are asked to meet with the parish priest or the wedding team to discuss marriage plans and reserve the date and time for the sacramental celebration.
Scheduling the time of the celebration
Weddings are usually scheduled on Saturdays from 11:00 through 3:00 PM. (To allow sufficient time for the 5:00 PM Parish Mass, the church and parking lot need to be cleared by 4:30 PM.) Weddings are not scheduled on Sundays. There are some times in the church year, namely Advent and Lent, when the liturgical calendar discourages or prohibits the celebration of weddings. We highly recommend that during these seasons no extra decorations be brought into the church.
Specifically marriage preparation consists of two parts:
- Attendance at one of the various marriage preparation programs offered by the Cana
Conference and approved by the Archdiocese of Chicago: The Pre-Cana onferences are conducted to assure the proper knowledge and understanding of the nature, privileges and obligations of marriage. After attending the Conference, you will be given a card of attendance to return to your parish.
Normally, an engaged couple will meet at least four times with their priest or team for the following:
- Meet priest and officially reserve the church. At this time a folder with wedding planning information will be given.
- Focus session with the Deacon couples to be completed as soon as possible.
- The Pre-Nuptial questionnaire is completed and all necessary documents are reviewed.
- Plans for the ceremony itself are completed. These appointments should be done as early as possible.
Photography & Videotaping
Couples will be given a policy sheet to pass on to your photographer when you meet with them. During the ceremony or Mass only non-flash pictures may be taken by the professional photographer from the place indicated on the direction sheet. Photographers may not enter the sanctuary areas during the celebration. After the celebration the church will be open for the taking of pictures, however, you must be finished and out of church within a half hour of the next scheduled service. (i.e. a 3:00 PM wedding needs to be out of the church by 4:30 PM) Services include the parish Mass and other weddings.
Video equipment (without light bars) may be set up so that they do not interfere with the sacredness of your celebration. Your photographer is a professional and is used to these policies.
Environmnet of the worship space
We ask your kind consideration and courtesy in requesting that guests refrain from throwing rice, confetti or bird seed.
When you meet with your florist to plan the wedding flowers please keep the following guidelines in mind:
Flowers are welcomed to decorate the worship space. If there are seasonal decorations (Christmas, Thanks-giving, etc.) please work with what is already in the church. We will not move our decorations for the wedding flowers.
With the exception of the Unity Candle, no other candles may be brought into the church for your celebration.
Ribbons may be placed on the pews, however we ask that tape not be used as that takes off the finish on the pews. Rubber bands or florist hangers are permissible.
If you plan to use a runner for the wedding party, the length of our aisle is 130’. Again, this should be attached with a minimum use of tape so that it is easy to remove at the end of your wedding.
Documents needed for meeting
The prospective bride and groom each must obtain:
- A recent baptismal certificate issued by the church of baptism dated within six months of the wedding date.
- A confirmation certificate if it’s not recorded on your baptismal record
- Two affidavits attesting to freedom and intent to marry - filled out by the priest and two people who have been close to the bride and groom since the bride and groom were twelve years of age - e.g. parents.
The ministers for the celebration
In the Roman Catholic tradition, the bride and groom minister the sacrament of marriage to one another: a priest and at least two witnesses are required to be present.
Couples are asked to meet with the music minister to plan music. A copy of the parish policy on wedding music will be given to you at your first meeting with the priest/wedding team.
When you meet with the priest/wedding team you will discuss options for the ceremony. To help you with these decisions here is some background:
It is most fitting for practicing Catholics that the marriage vows be exchanged at Mass and that the Holy Eucharist be received under both species by the couple. A ceremony is preferred in the instance that one party is not a practicing Catholic or a non-baptized Christian. This should be discussed with the priest/marriage team! The officiating priest will help the couple to select appropriate sacred readings for the Mass.
Rehearsal time is to be arranged by the officiating priest, very often on the eve of the wedding date.
Confessions may be made available after the practice.
One week before wedding bring to rectory
- 1. Mass/Ceremony information sheet
- 2. Church fee: the usual marriage offering for St. Bruno Church is $500 for parishioners; $600 for non-parishioners
- 3. Organist/Cantor fee(s). *
- 4. Marriage license.
If you do not have members of the family serving as altar servers, St. Bruno Altar servers will be happy to assist at the Wedding Ceremony. It is customary for the groom or best man to give each altar server a monetary gift.
If you wish to use the Unity Candle, you must obtain your own from the florist or a Religious Goods bookstore.
* The fee(s) for the music minister will be discussed with that person and is based on the number of musicians involved and the number of hours in preparation for the wedding or necessary consultation.