Decorating the Church:
- Only live flowers may be used (no artificial) and only live flowers in the style of floral decorations normally used in the Church may be used. Please take your floral decoratioins with you when the wedding is over.
- Pew bows may be used, and must be attached without tape, tacks, or anything which will change or harm the wooden pews.
- A Unity Candle is permitted, and, if you wish, you may use our Unity Candle holder at no additional charge. If your florist provides the holder, please be sure that plastic is used under the holder. You will need to provide the Unity Candle and the two taper candles, which normally come in a set. Please bring the Unity Candle and the tapers to your rehearsal.
- Aisle cloths and arches are not permitted; however, the Church’s aisle candles may be used. Bird seed, rice, and flower petals are never permitted inside or outside the Church.
Photography and Videography:
- Flash pictures are not allowed and minimal movement of the photographer and videographer must never distract from the liturgy.
- The photographer and videographer are never allowed behind the altar rail.
- Permission for an unattended camera may only be given by the celebrant.
- After the ceremony, group pictures at the altar are permitted. Please inform your photographer that pictures after the ceremony must be completed in 20 minutes.
- Before any ceremony begins, the photographer and videographer must identify themselves to the St. Thomas Aquinas Wedding Coordinator and, if necessary, to the celebrant.
Professional Wedding Coordinators:
- Professional wedding coordinators must understand that they have no role in the direction of the wedding rehearsal or the wedding liturgy.
- If you choose to have a Coordinator at the rehearsal or wedding, please have them identify themselves to the St. Thomas Aquinas wedding coordinator who will answer any of their questions. Under no circumstances are they permitted in the sacristy.
Dressing at the Church:
- The St. Margaret Room is the Bride's Room and functions as a dressing room for the bride and female members of the wedding party. It is available to the Bridal Party two hours prior to the scheduled time of the wedding. So, for a 12:30 PM wedding, it is available at 10:00 AM. For a 6:30 PM wedding, it is available at 4:00 PM (keeping in mind that the 4 PM Saturday Mass may make parking problematic).
- There is no such facility for the gentlemen, who must arrive at the Church already dressed. They may quietly await the beginning of the liturgy in the sacristy (the vesting room of the clergy).
- Anything such as water bottles, snacks, clothes bags, etc. brought into either of these spaces must be removed and the rooms must be left clean after the wedding.
Matters of Dress & Modesty in Women's Wedding Attire
- Please remember that a wedding is a celebration of the sacrament, an act of Divine Worship and the church is the home of that worship.
- The dress of members of the wedding party must therefore be appropriate. For women, strapless or sleeveless gowns or dresses which are respectable, decent, and modest for use at Church may be chosen.
- Those whose dress exposes inappropriate tattoos or body art should cover these with makeup or another article of clothing, e.g., a shrug.
Programs for the Wedding:
- Many couples find it helpful to have a program for the ceremony to assist the guests.
- If you decide to have a program, please include the following disclaimer at the beginning of your program:
“We welcome you as guests in this house of God and we request that you keep a respectful quiet before, during, and after the ceremony. Please turn off all cell phones and pagers. Thank You.”
- If you are having a Mass, please include the following disclaimer in your program at the appropriate time for Communion:
“Although only practicing Catholics may come forward to receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, members of other faiths and denominations are invited to pray in their places in spiritual communion with the Lord. Please pray for mutual respect among the diverse peoples of the world and for the eventual unity of all who believe in Jesus Christ according to His mind and heart.”
Food and Drink Before the Wedding:
- Occasionally, brides, grooms, and attendants request permission for light food or snacks before the weddings. As long as this request is made and approved in advance by the priest or deacon, this request is customarily acceptable. Catholics who plan to receive Communion at a Nuptial Mass are reminded of the 1 hour fast required before receiving the Eucharist.
- The room must be left clean, however. If non- alcoholic beverages or light snacks are brought into the brides room or into the sacristy, they should be carefully consumed and the waste materials thrown away and unused items must be removed.
- Under no circumstances are alcoholic beverages ever appropriate. Their consumption will result in the immediate termination of the wedding.
Reception and Rehearsal Dinner Facilities:
- St. Anne's Hall and its surrounding rooms are very suitable for wedding rehearsal dinners and small receptions.
- You are welcome to view them by arranging a visit with Mr. James Taylor at the parish office at 214-821-3360 for information and reservations.