Weddings are a special time of joy and promise for a bride and
groom, their families and friends, and in an indirect way, for
the entire parish community. Indeed, our faith tells us that
in the reception of matrimony, where the bride and groom are
themselves ministers of the sacrament, it is a privileged and
grace-filled time. It is a time which foreshadows the great
Marriage Feast of the Lord Jesus Christ to us His people in
the Resurrection and eternal life.
In view of this religious significance and lifelong importance,
it stands to reason that the celebration of marriage must be
entered into with prayerful planning. Therefore, it is in a
spirit of joyful anticipation and responsible preparation that
these directives have been developed to guide and direct couples
in solemnizing their marriages at St. Charles Borromeo Parish.
A man and a woman who celebrate their wedding at St. Charles
will appreciate that marriage is a sacred event – and
is a gift from God - and requires a life-long commitment to
each other in union with God. Some degree of religious commitment
by the couple is essential for a wedding to takes place at St.
Preference for wedding dates is given to couples who demonstrate
a faith commitment and who are registered or whose parents are
registered members of St. Charles Parish for at least one year.
Couples from outside the parish may contact the pastor and request
a wedding date. Confirmation of date and time will be made upon
the pastor’s determination of the faith commitment of
the couple and the availability of the Church.
Please contact the Parish Office 12-6 months before your desired
wedding date. Contact with the Church a year in advance is highly
recommended since most venues for wedding receptions in the
area require such notification for booking. COUPLES SHOULD NEVER
CONFIRM THEIR WEDDING RECEPTION PLANS WITH ANY VENUE BEFORE
CONFIRMATION OF DATE AND TIME WITH THE CHURCH!
REQUIREMENTS FOR MARRIAGE PREPARATION AT ST. CHARLES BORROMEO CHURCH
1. The prospective bride and groom
must meet with Fr. Dennis (Pastor) 12-6 months prior to the contemplated
date of marriage. The date of the wedding is usually confirmed at this
meeting. PLEASE do not make any definite plans with a reception hall until
your wedding date is confirmed by the pastor.
2. At the next appointment, couples will be asked to fill out the Pre-Nuptial
Questionnaire. This includes biographical information as well as the intended
spouses' testimony, under oath, concerning their intentions to enter into
Christian Marriage according to the teaching of the Church. At this same
meeting the couple will be administered a couples’ communication
instrument to measure their understanding surrounding marriage and its
commitments. At a follow-up meeting, the couple will meet with a trained
couple to discuss the results.
3. The couple must also attend an approved marriage prep program with
other couples and trained couple facilitators - either an "Engaged
Encounter Weekend" or the local deanery "Toward Marriage Program"
- application brochures will be made available.
4. The couple will meet with the clergy/celebrant to plan the wedding
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR MARRIAGE PREPARATION OUTSIDE ST. CHARLES
If, for convenience sake, you choose to be prepared by a priest or deacon
outside St. Charles Parish, a letter from the preparing priest or deacon
must be sent to the Pastor as soon as possible after the initial contact
with the Pastor of St. Charles Church. The letter from the preparing priest
or deacon should state that he will gather the necessary documents and
conduct the necessary marriage preparation as outlined in this policy.
1. If the bride and/or groom have not been baptized in St. Charles Borromeo
Church, they must obtain from their churches of baptism a recent copy
(issued within six months of the time presented) of their Certificate
2. In the case of a previous marriage on the part of either party, documents
must be presented that assure the freedom of one or both parties to marry
in the Catholic Church - i.e. Decree of Annulment.
3. A CIVIL MARRIAGE LICENSE (cost $50.00) must be obtained from any City
or Town Hall in the State
of New Hampshire (licenses in the State of NH are valid for 90 days
from the date of issuance) - no blood tests are required in NH. The minister
of marriage must have in his possession a civil wedding license at the
time of the wedding. Couples must make the license available to the minister
of marriage at the wedding rehearsal (usually the night before the wedding).
No marriage may legally take place without a civil marriage license.
TIME & PLACE
Weddings are reserved on the basis of the criteria above by the Pastor.
All marriages at St. Charles Borromeo will take place INSIDE THE CHURCH.
Weddings are celebrated on Friday afternoon or evening, and Saturdays
between 9 AM and 2 PM. In unusual circumstances, a Sunday afternoon ceremony
(no Mass is permitted other than Sunday Mass) may be permitted. Please
consult with Fr. Dennis.
When one of the couple is of another religion or when the couple is non-practicing,
the marriage ceremony will be celebrated within a Service of the Word
of God (NO MASS). The teachings of the Church on Christian Worship recommend
that weddings not be celebrated during the Lenten Season (Ash Wednesday
to Easter Sunday) due to the special penitential character of that time
in the life of the Church.
After your first meeting with the priest and when your date has been confirmed
by the priest, it is your responsibility to immediately call Mr. Kevin
Chamberlain (366-2335), our Parish Music Director and organist to reserve
the time with him. It is the responsibility of the organist and a trained
parish cantor to play and sing at all weddings. If you choose a relative
or friend to sing or play for your wedding, all music must be approved
by the Director of Music and, under the terms of his employment agreement,
his fee is not waived. The Director will also discuss all planning meetings,
rehearsal and the wedding itself. The Director can assist you if you wish
to have a solo instrument (trumpet, flute, violin, etc…). Recorded
(taped/CD) music is never allowed!
It is very important that florists phone in arrangements about the delivery
of flowers. The Church is locked and the security system is armed and
the gate may be shut when there is no one in the Church. Flowers or candles
may never be placed on the altar. Ordinarily, one or two baskets are used
to adorn the altar and/or the podium. No flower petals, rice, confetti
or bird seed may be thrown in or around the Church.
St. Charles Church is completely accessible to the handicapped.
Rest rooms are located in the narthex (entryway) of the Church for the
convenience of our guests.
* At the directive of our Diocesan Risk Management Department, aisle runners
(white carpets) are not permitted in our Church.
* If pew bows are used, they should tied with ribbon or specially covered
wire (NO TAPE) that will not scratch or ruin the church furniture. For
your information, there are 15 pews on both sides of the center aisle.
It is the responsibility of the couple to see that their decorations are
properly in place for their wedding and taken down after the wedding.
Visiting Catholic clergy (priests or deacons) who are family friends/relatives,
in good standing with the Catholic Church, are most welcomed to witness
marriages in the parish. It is expected that the visiting celebrant will
adhere to the regulations of the Diocese of Manchester and the policies
and customs of our parish. The celebrant MUST agree to be present for
the wedding rehearsal. Celebrants who reside out of the State of New Hampshire
must obtain permission from the New Hampshire Secretary of State.
The rehearsal is usually scheduled for the day before the wedding. It
normally takes 30 - 60 minutes. Please schedule rehearsal parties AFTER
the rehearsal. To waste no one's time, it is important that everyone should
be on time.
Photographers/Videographers are asked to introduce themselves to the celebrant
of the marriage prior to the wedding ceremony and are asked to be cooperative
with the policies of the parish. At no time is the photographer/videographer
permitted in the sanctuary area of the Church to photograph or video couples
during their ceremony. We urge couples to take formal wedding pictures
on another site - not in Church after the ceremony.
The Parish Hall is not available for wedding receptions.
Hall is not available for bridal preparations before the wedding.
The customary donation for weddings for registered parishioners
for at least one year at St. Charles Borromeo Church is $475.00 which
is payable at the rehearsal. This includes: Organist - $175, Soloist -
$100, Church - $200. Please make check payable to: St. Charles Borromeo
The donation for weddings for unregistered couples at St. Charles
Borromeo Church is $675.00 which is payable at the rehearsal. This includes:
Organist - $175, Soloist - $100, Church - $400. Please make check payable
to: St. Charles Borromeo Church.
In all cases, the donation to the Church does not include a stipend for
the priest/celebrant. If you wish to give a stipend to the priest or deacon/celebrant,
please present the stipend in cash or make the check payable to him personally.
CHURCH AS A SACRED SPACE
While in the Church for the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony, all wedding
parties and their guests are expected to honor the dignity of the sacred
place that is a church building. Eating or drinking (except water if necessary)
is not permitted in Church.
Please make sure that everything that is brought to Church is removed
after the ceremony, i.e. programs, flower boxes, flowers, pew bows, etc.
If you have additional questions or concerns,
please contact Fr. Dennis at any time prior to the wedding ceremony at
is our privilege to have been requested to be a part of your Wedding.
May God Bless and Keep You in His Love.