We are thrilled that you're considering St. Patrick Church for your wedding ceremony. Please review the information below, and contact us when you're ready to schedule your wedding.
Couples planning to marry should contact the parish priest at least six months prior to the wedding date. No wedding date will be confirmed until the couple has met with the priest. He will assist the couple with their marriage preparation.
Guidelines for a wedding at St. Patrick Church
The Sacramental aspect of Marriage and the exchange of vows by the couple are the most significant aspects of the marriage celebration and planning. All elements of the ceremony must reflect the distinctive quality of Christian faith and also give witness to our secular culture that this couple is truly special, different, set apart.
These guidelines been prepared to assist you in planning and celebrating your wedding at St. Patrick’s. You will also receive a copy of Fr. Joseph Champlin’s “Together for Life” and a pamphlet entitled “Guidelines for Wedding Music” published by the Diocese of Youngstown. This literature, together with the help of one of the staff from Saint Patrick’s and the Director of Music, should enable you to prepare a wedding ceremony that is meaningful, prayerful and beautiful.
1. The first step is to schedule an appointment with the parish priest so your
wedding date can be set and the marriage preparation process may begin. No other plans or reservations should be made before this.
2. Weddings may be celebrated any day of the week except Sundays and Holydays. Saturday weddings may be scheduled at 11:00am and 2:00pm.
3. There is a six-month preparation period for all marriages in the Diocese of
Youngstown. This is a diocesan regulation and must be observed.
4. Lent is considered a “closed time” at St. Patrick Parish. Weddings are not celebrated during this penitential season.
5. Catholic parties must provide a newly issued baptismal certificate.
6. No marriage may be planned if there is a previous marriage to be annulled.
7. The Catholic Church recognizes marriages between non-Catholic couples as valid
marriages. Therefore even non -Catholics are required to have previous marriages annulled before marriage in the Catholic Church.
8. The priest will administer a Marriage Evaluation Questionnaire to all couples.
9. All couples are required to enter into a pre-marriage program. It may be:
A) Being assigned to a parish Sponsor Couple OR
B) Attending a Marriage Encounter weekend OR
C) Entering into a program in another Diocese (for the convenience of those who do not live in Youngstown.
10. Non-Catholic parties are not required to join the Catholic Church or to sign any
promises. However, the Catholic party is required to be a practicing Catholic and
promise to raise children as Catholics.
1. The Sacrament of Marriage may be celebrated in two ways:
A) Catholic Marriage within Mass
B) Catholic Marriage ceremony without Mass
2. When a Catholic and a non-Catholic are marrying it is suggested that the marriage ceremony take place outside of Mass in order to make the experience more prayerful for ALL present.
3. According to present Church guidelines, non-Catholics may not participate in the
reception of Communion. With assistance from the priest, the couple’s decision
whether or not to have a Mass at their interfaith marriage should be guided by
sensitivity and mutual understanding. Ministers and rabbis are welcome to participate in your interfaith wedding ceremony.
4. Each couple will receive a booklet to help with the preparation of the ceremony.
5. The ceremony is planned collaboratively between the couple, the priest and the parish music director.
6. Your families and friends have an important role in your wedding celebration.
Their support is shown by their active participation in the prayers and responses. You may decide to have a booklet printed to encourage this participation. The reading of the Scripture lessons, the presentation of the gifts for the Eucharist, etc. The best man and maid or matron of honor should be practicing Christians.
Church Fees / Expenses
1. Couples are asked to make a donation of $250.00 to “St. Patrick Church”, which will include the following: a donation to the Preservation Fund, security, sacristan fee, servers’ fee, and the FOCCUS workbook. Payment should be made one month before the wedding. Music fees are separate.
2. A honorarium / gift should be given to the priest / deacon celebrant of the wedding.
On occasion couples who do not belong to St. Patrick’s ask to use the church for their wedding. This request is honored when the following conditions are adhered to:
a) Written permission from the pastor of the bride and groom is presented to allow the couple to be married outside their home parish.
b) The date and time in question are available.
c) An additional $150.00 fee is paid to “St. Patrick’s Preservation Fund.”
d) St. Patrick’s Music Director is contacted to plan the wedding.
e) All couples are required to follow these guidelines.
1. After your initial appointment with the priest, you will be directed to contact our parish Music Directors, Kris Harper or Jim Johnston, to plan and discuss the music for your wedding. Kris can be reached at 330-540-8589 or email@example.com, and Jim at 330-398-0457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Our parish Music Directors are responsible for all weddings held at St. Patrick Church. Guest musicians are welcome, but must have final approval by
the music director you have consulted. It is expected that the musicians/soloists be musically proficient. The music directors can guide you in selecting professional musicians. If you choose to bring in another organist/pianist to do the whole service, you are still obligated to pay the required fee to Kris Harper.
$150.00 – Kris Harper: Includes vocals, organ and / or piano, one meeting with the bride and groom to select music, and one rehearsal with other musicians. Additional rehearsal time will be billed to the bride and groom at a rate of $50 an hour. Payment must be made one week in advance.
$100.00 - Jim Johnston: Jim sings and plays the guitar. If you want the organ for the processional and recessional (optional) the fee is $75.00 made payable to Kris Harper.
3. It is the intent of the music directors to make your wedding as sacred as possible; therefore, all music must be appropriate for a worship service. The
music directors have a wide repertoire of appropriate musical pieces and will be happy to either select or help you in selecting the music.
Flowers / Church Decorations
1. Church floral decorations are to be arranged with a florist by the couple. If another wedding is taking place on the same day, you may wish to share the floral expense.
2. Given another wedding and / or a funeral liturgy, the church sacristan will open the church 90 minutes prior to the scheduled wedding time.
3. Candlelight ceremonies are permitted with the candles fastened on the ends of some of the pews in the main aisle. St. Patrick rents out such candle
stands at an additional / optional cost of $100.00, which includes stands and candles.
4. Florists should be reminded that the pews are not to be marred in any way. Also, floor and furniture protection MUST be provided for any candle
arrangements. Florists are responsible for cleanup and any damage to church property.
5. Church furnishings in the sanctuary are not to be moved for flower decorations or for pictures after the ceremony.
6. The bridal cloth for the main aisle is to be provided by the florist. The aisle is 96 feet long.
1. Rehearsals are held the evening before the wedding. They last approximately one hour. Punctuality is appreciated since there may be more than one
rehearsal that evening. All people involved in the wedding should be present for the rehearsal.
2. Rice, birdseed, balloons and bubbles are not to be used at weddings at St. Patrick’s because this custom is based on an ancient pagan tradition, which
has no place in a Christian setting. It should be noted that the use of rice can cause a person to slip and fall, makes clean up difficult, and is a waste of
food. Balloons are environmentally unsafe.
3. Flower petals are not permitted in church.
4. Wedding consultants are restricted to all church policies as described.
5. Photographers should use good judgment when taking pictures during the ceremony. They are not to distract people from a prayerful celebration of
the wedding. Videos and still photographers ARE NOT permitted in the sanctuary or main aisle during the wedding ceremony.
6. Pictures may be taken in the church sanctuary after the wedding. This should be as brief as possible in order to avoid conflicts with other scheduled
services. Multiple photographers and / or camcorders (used by relatives or friends) are unnecessary.
We hope that many of your questions about your wedding at Saint Patrick’s have been answered. It is the hope of the staff that your wedding day be memorable, a truly religious celebration of the sacrament of your married life and love.