Congratulations on your intention to join yourselves as spouses in the Holy Sacrament of Marriage. As you prepare to share your vows in the presence of God and His church, their parish community is eager to assist you in whatever ways you may need.
Flowers and Decorations
Flowers are optional. Our churches are beautiful as they are. However, should you want flowers in the church, please keep these guidelines in mind:
- No flowers or centerpieces may be placed on the altar.
- Flower arrangements may be placed on either side of the tabernacle, or ambo (where the reader stands). Other appropriate locations that work well (depending on the church site) may be approved by the Director of Music and Liturgy in advance.
- Pew bows or flowers may be used. They must be tied or clipped on the pew end – NO tape, tacks or staples are permitted!
- If a wedding candle is used (not necessary) it is the responsibility of the couple. The church does not supply the candle or the stands.
- No guest books are allowed in church, please save those for the reception.
- NOTHING may be thrown in aisle (flower petals – fresh or silk) or outside of the church (rice, birdseed, balloons, bubbles or releasing of birds).
- No decorations outside of the church are permitted! This includes handrails or wreaths on the doors of the church – inside or outside.
It is most important to note that our parish environment has various seasonal decorations. These decorations cannot be disturbed to satisfy the varying tastes of individual couples. Please convey this information to your photographer as well.
Weddings scheduled for 10:00 AM have use of the church, parking lot and parish grounds from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Weddings scheduled for 12:00 Noon have use of the church, parking lot and parish grounds from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Weddings scheduled for 2:00 PM have use of the church, parking lot and parish grounds from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Photographers and bridal parties are asked to abide by these times to allow everyone to have an enjoyable day.
Aisle Runners, Etc.
Aisle runners are NOT to be used because of safety concerns and are not necessary for the liturgical celebration. The use of flower petals, silk or fresh, tossed in the aisle is not allowed.
If bows are to be used on the pews, it is a good idea to use them at regular intervals along the entire length of the aisles, enhancing the whole worship space and the assembly which fills it. Pew bows can be tied, or you may use a floral clip. No tape of any kind is allowed. No hurricane lamps or votive candles are permitted on the pews.
Outside of church, we ask you to inform everyone to refrain from throwing rice, confetti, bird seed, flower petals, (including silk flowers), either within or outside the church. This is done out of courtesy to all parishioners and neighbors. It causes unnecessary cleanup and more importantly, it can be very dangerous.
Readers and Readings
The priest may proclaim all the scripture readings, but it is preferable that you ask friends or relatives to read the Old Testament, New Testament and Petitions (or Prayers of the Faithful), provided you can be assured they will do well.
The priest (or deacon) alone is to proclaim the Gospel.
Readers do not have to be of the Catholic faith, though they are to be a church-going Christian who regularly hears the Word of God. Suggested Scripture readings may be found on this website under “Readings & Petitions.” You are to select one reading from each section; Old Testament Reading, New Testament Reading, Gospel Reading and Petitions (or Prayers of the Faithful).
The time of your wedding rehearsal should be scheduled with your priest. Please do this early in the process of planning your wedding. Everyone involved in the service is expected to be at the rehearsal (except musicians). Please tell all attending the rehearsal to be at church 15 minutes before rehearsal. Rehearsals last about 1 hour. Please bring the following to the rehearsal:
- Marriage license, the wedding can not take place without this
- Fees; One check made out to the parish where your wedding will take place (ie.Three Holy Women Parish) for$550; if one of the priests from the parish is not the presiding priest, the fee is $475. Checks for other musicians (if used)
- Orders of Worship (programs)
- Unity candles (if used); memorial pictures (if used)
Ushers and Clean-Up
Take time to select two or more responsible people who will act as your ushers. The ushers can escort people to their pews, hand out the Orders of Worship and when the ceremony is over, they may assist in ushering your guests from the church. The presiding priest will review the usher’s duties with them on the day of the wedding.
Please ask them also to pick up empty flower boxes and Orders of Worship and dispose of them, as well as remove other things left behind in the pews or other areas of church, including the vestibules and bride’s room.
The $550 check you bring to the rehearsal includes the use of the church and the fees for the parish priest, organist/pianist, cantor and sacristan. If you have a priest from outside of our parishes the fee is $475. It is your responsibility to compensate your guest priest.
If you choose to use other instrumentalists from the parish, those fees are separate and also due at the rehearsal. Individual checks should be written out to each additional musician. Names of these musicians will be provided so the checks can be written in advance. If you have questions contact the Director of Music and Liturgy.
The musicians for the wedding are customarily the parish Director of Music and Liturgy and a parish cantor. If you choose to involve other musicians, through personal or family relationship – or desire additional instrumentalists, all arrangements are to be made through the Director of Music and Liturgy before any commitments are made with other musicians at least 6 months in advance.
If you have a priest or clergyman that you would like to be a part of your ceremony, please make arrangements with the parish priest you are working with regarding this request. Also, please take note of the following information:
- Please clarify with our priests whether the visiting clergy will be doing your preparation work or if you will be doing the work through one of our parishes. This includes paperwork, FOCCUS couple and Enrichment Conference.
- A priest requesting to preside at your wedding who resides outside the Archdiocese of Milwaukee needs to present a “Testimonial for Suitability for Ministry” from his Bishop or religious superior to the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. This must be done before the priest can be given delegation to officiate at your wedding.
- The stipend to the parish if the visiting priest is presiding is $475 with the check written out to the parish where your wedding will take place (ie. Three Holy Women Parish). The couple is responsible for paying the $75 priest stipend directly to the visiting priest.
835 N. Milwaukee Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202