The Sacrament of Matrimony at The Church of Saint Agnes

The Sacrament of Matrimony is a blessed occasion in the life of a couple and in the life of the Church.  The Church of Saint Agnes makes every effort to treat this sacrament with dignity and respect when preparing couples for Matrimony, as well as the wedding itself.  Those desiring to be married at Saint Agnes are normally expected to be fully registered and active members of the parish for six (6) months prior to making the request for marriage. Alumni of Saint Agnes School are also allowed to be married at the Church of Saint Agnes.  Any requests for exceptions to this policy must be made directly to the pastor. 

 Marriage Preparation Checklist

Couples preparing for marriage with its life-long commitment must clearly understand what they are undertaking.  The following checklist contains all the requirements to prepare for marriage at the Church of Saint Agnes.

___ Pay a $250 fee to reserve the wedding date.  

___ If not a parishioner, pay an additional $200 fee for the use of the church at the first marriage preparation meeting. 

___ Pay the $150 wedding coordinator fee at the second marriage preparation meeting.

___ Pay the $150 organist fee at the third marriage preparation meeting.

___ Pay the $150 soloist fee (if used) at the fourth marriage preparation meeting.

___ If your marriage preparation is NOT being done by a member of Saint Agnes clergy, an alternate payment schedule must be approved by the Pastor of Saint Agnes. 

___ Sign the “Agreement between the Wedding Couple and the Church of Saint Agnes” attached to this document.

___ Archdiocesan questionnaire filled out by priest with any necessary requests for dispensation.

___ Complete 4 marriage preparation meetings with a priest covering the Theology of Marriage and various advice ordered toward a happy and holy marriage.

___ Completion of an approved pre-marriage inventory.

___ Attendance at an approved Archdiocesan pre-marriage retreat.

___ Participation in an approved set of courses on Natural Family Planning (one possibility is offered at Saint Agnes) and give the priest the completion certificate.

___ Provide certified copies of proof of Baptism from the church of Baptism for the ___ Bride and ___ Groom.

___ Provide marriage license at the wedding rehearsal.

___ Work with the Wedding Coordinator to plan the wedding ceremony and schedule the rehearsal.

___ Contact Director of Sacred Music to plan the music.

 

Practical Arrangements for the Wedding

Setting a Date

Please contact the Parish Office at 651-925-8800 or office@churchofsaintagnes.org to begin the scheduling process. 

Your request for marriage and to reserve the date and time for the wedding on the parish calendar should be at least six (6) months before the date and time you want.  Exceptions to this policy are approved by the pastor.  Evening marriages may be scheduled on Fridays at 3:00 pm, 5:15 pm, or 6:00 pm.  On Saturdays, weddings are normally scheduled at either 10:00 am or 2:00 pm.  Weddings may not be scheduled at times or in places that interfere with regular parish functions. No marriages are allowed on holydays and are not celebrated during the seasons of Advent and Lent.  A $250 deposit is required to reserve the church for a particular date.

In the event that you need to reschedule your planned date, you should be aware that if you reschedule within 6 months of the original date, you may be asked to pay an additional $250 deposit to secure the new date. 

Wedding Coordinator

A wedding coordinator assists couples through the process of making arrangements at the Church, both in terms of the rehearsal as well as the day of the wedding.  All couples are to work with Mrs. Catherine Turner with regard to all these practical arrangements.  She may be reached via email at Catherine.joyce.turner@gmail.com. Mrs. Turner’s fee is $150 (non-negotiable) and is paid by a check written to her at the second marriage preparation meeting.

Bride’s Room

A Bride’s Room is available for dressing and preparations from 2 hours before the ceremony until 1 hour after the ceremony*.  Please consult the following chart for the specific timing:

Friday, 6:00 pm wedding:         Bride’s Room and church available from 4 pm – 8 pm. 

Saturday, 10:00 am wedding*:  Bride’s Room and church available from 8 am – 1 pm. 

Saturday, 2:00 pm wedding**:  Bride’s Room and church available from 12 pm – 4 pm. 

*Please note that, however unlikely and exceedingly rare, a funeral Mass may need to be performed on a Saturday on which a wedding is already scheduled.  In that event, Saint Agnes will communicate with the wedding couple to coordinate when they can access the church for their wedding. 

**Please note that in the very rare case that two Saturday weddings are scheduled, the wedding coordinator will work with both bridal couples to coordinate times that the Bride’s Room and church are available for each wedding party. 

The Church of Saint Agnes is not responsible for any articles left there during the service or afterwards.  The room must be left in order and all boxes and papers picked up.  Simple food and beverages will be allowed in the Bride’s Room before the ceremony provided that provisions are made for its immediate cleanup before leaving the premises.  Small containers of bottled water are allowed in church for those who may need them, especially during the summer. 

Flowers

Flowers for the church and an aisle carpet are optional.  Flower delivery and set up can be done during the rehearsal or two hours before the start of the ceremony the day of the wedding. 

The length of the aisle is 132 feet.  Flowers that are put on the altar are to be left on the altar, but the aisle carpet must be removed promptly.  It is far more common at Saint Agnes to present flowers to the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary than to make use of a Unity Candle, but either custom is an option.  Couples purchase their own Unity Candle if that is their preference. 

Music

All musical selections, guest singers and musicians are under the direct supervision of Mrs. Mary LeVoir, Director of Sacred Music and organist of the Church of Saint Agnes.  Mrs. LeVoir’s sound judgment will ensure a wedding that is both beautiful and sacred in its selections of music.  She acts as organist for all weddings are Saint Agnes.  The fee for Mrs. LeVoir is $150.00 and is NOT included in the fee to use the church.  It is a separate payment due at the third marriage preparation meeting. She may be reached at 612-781-8068, or at levoirs@usfamily.net

The pipe organ has pride of place at Saint Agnes.  Other instruments employed for weddings include:  strings, oboes, trumpet and other orchestral instruments.  Guitars and electronic instruments are not used for weddings are Saint Agnes.  Secular/Pop music, even if it is meaningful to the couple, is not appropriate during the Sacred Liturgy and is best left for the reception.  Saint Agnes has several soloists at its disposal.  The fee for a soloist is $150 and is paid by check at the fourth marriage preparation meeting.   

Photographs

Photography is allowed to begin 2 hours before the ceremony until 1 hour after the ceremony.

Photographs during the ceremony are permitted only if taken without flash.  Posed pictures may be taken before and after the ceremony if they do not interfere with another function in the church.  The reverence for the House of God is to be observed in all ways – no loud talking or laughter, moving of furniture or prolonged burning of candles.  The Wedding Coordinator will assist your photographer with the appropriate placement. 

Rice/Confetti is Forbidden

Throwing rice or confetti anywhere on church premises is forbidden.  Please inform your guests of this in advance.  All clean-up is the responsibility of the wedding party. If violated, a bill for clean up will be sent to the bridal couple. 

Reception/Bridal Shower Facilities

At this time, Saint Agnes does not offer any of its facilities for rent to host bridal showers.  Saint Agnes does allow Friday evening wedding receptions in Schuler Hall if external caterers are used.  Details around cost and scheduling should be discussed with the priest.

Fees*

Parishioner:       

·    $250 to secure a date and use the church due before or at the first marriage preparation meeting.  A wedding date cannot be guaranteed until the $250 is received.

·    $150 check made out to Catherine Turner (required wedding coordinator) due at the second marriage preparation meeting.  This check is held until after the wedding day.

·    $150 check made out to Mary LeVoir (required organist) due at the third marriage preparation meeting.  This check is held until after the wedding day. 

·    $150 soloist fee due at the fourth marriage preparation meeting.  Saint Agnes has multiple soloists at our disposal if one is desired for your wedding.  This check is held until after the wedding day.

·    $10 cash fee per server, each in a separate envelope brought to the wedding rehearsal.

Non-Parishioner:            

·    $250 deposit to secure a date.  A wedding date cannot be guaranteed until the $250 is received.

·    $200 due at the first marriage preparation meeting for the use of the church.

·    $150 check made out to Catherine Turner (required wedding coordinator) due at the second marriage preparation meeting.  This check is held until after the wedding day.

·    $150 check made out to Mary LeVoir (required organist) due at the third marriage preparation meeting.  This check is held until after the wedding day. 

·    $150 soloist fee due at the fourth marriage preparation meeting.  Saint Agnes has multiple soloists at our disposal if one is desired for your wedding.  This check is held until after the wedding day.

·    $10 cash fee per server, each in a separate envelope brought to the wedding rehearsal.

* If your marriage preparation is NOT being done by a member of Saint Agnes clergy, an alternate payment schedule must be approved by the Pastor of Saint Agnes. 

 

Wedding Party/Family/Friends/Other Clergy Participation in the Wedding Ceremony

Friends and/or relatives who are practicing Catholics or are of another Christian denomination may be invited to serve as a lector by reading from Sacred Scripture, provided that they would be comfortable performing this public role.  Visiting Catholic priests or deacons must provide a Letter of Suitability from their home parish to the Chancery of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  Clergy who are not of the Catholic Faith may participate, also in accordance with the Church’s directives. 

Wedding Rehearsals

The date and time of the wedding rehearsal should be arranged with the Wedding Coordinator who will work with the Parish Office to make sure it is recorded on the parish calendar.  The attending priest may be available for Confessions before or after the rehearsal by special request.  The Wedding License must be presented to the priest or wedding coordinator by the time of the wedding rehearsal at the latest, preferably sooner. 

Required Modesty in Wedding Dress and Behavior

A wedding is an act of spiritual worship and the celebration of a sacrament.  Any actions unbecoming this sacred character must be avoided at the church and at all other times.  Proper dress, both at the wedding and the rehearsal, must be in accordance with Christian modesty.  Special care must be taken that all members of the bridal party dress fittingly both at the wedding and at the rehearsal and observe proper decorum within the church.  A proper reverence for the House of God and the sacredness of the Sacrament of Matrimony demand a dignified conduct from all.

The bride should make certain that her dress and the dresses of all female members of the wedding party are designed in keeping with the parameters of Christian modesty.  This means that low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage are to be avoided.  It is required that strapless dresses are covered with a shawl or bolero jacket.  In the event that this is not observed, Saint Agnes reserves the right to provide wedding shawls on the day of the wedding. 

More Questions?

Any other questions you may have can be answered by calling the parish office at 651-925-8800 or the priest preparing them for marriage.  We stand ready at Saint Agnes to assist you in your preparation for a beautiful wedding day and a fruitful, faith-filled marriage.  In order to schedule an appointment with the priest to begin your preparation, please contact the parish office at the number above and they will have the priest contact you. 

Agreement between the Wedding Couple and The Church of Saint Agnes

We have read and understand the Wedding Guidelines for The Church of Saint Agnes.  We have discussed the questions we had at sought clarification.  We will abide by these requirements as the best way to ensure a dignified celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, one that is respectful of the fact that this is a Sacrament and a public liturgy of the Catholic Church. 

Bride

Name:  ______________________________________________

Phone: ______________________________________________

Email:    _____________________________________________

Signature: _______________________     Date:     __________

Groom

Name:  ______________________________________________

Phone: ______________________________________________

Email:    _____________________________________________

Signature: _______________________     Date:     __________

The Church of Saint Agnes will do all possible to ensure a joyous and prayerful celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Regular meetings will be held to ensure that the couple is properly prepared for a fruitful and faithful marriage through the gift of the sacramental graces of God. 

Name:  ___________________________ Date:     ______________