The first step is to contact your parish of baptism and request a currently dated Baptismal certificate for the purposes of marriage. If one is not yet baptized, or baptized in another Christian Tradition, the necessary steps will be discussed at the initial meeting.
Then, please call the parish office at (905) 689-4857 to set up an appointment at least twelve months in advance, and certainly before setting a date. A longer period may be required for various reasons.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE:
A Marriage Preparation program is required. The Marriage Preparation Course is offered by the Family Ministry Office of the Diocese of Hamilton. Please contact the Family Ministry Office of the diocese at (905) 528-7988 for further information, dates, and to register, or go to www.hamiltondiocese.com.
All the wedding party, parents, readers, eucharistic gift bearers should be present for the scheduled rehearsal, on time, and respectably dressed. While this is not a liturgy, those attending should be mindful of the sacred nature of the space.
A marriage license must be secured by the couple and delivered to the Parish Office at least two weeks before the ceremony. It is only valid for a limited time, so don’t apply too early.
MARRIAGES IN OTHER CHURCHES:
If you are registered or reside within the boundaries of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and plan to getting marry in another church (Catholic or otherwise) anywhere in the world, the marriage documentation must be completed here. This parish will get the documentation to the church of the wedding. Well in advance of the wedding date, contact the priest/minister of the Church where you are getting married, to plan your wedding ceremony and set a date for the rehearsal.
It is the couple’s responsibility to help prepare their wedding liturgy with the priest or deacon who will preside. Booklets are available to guide you through the service and assist you with selecting the required readings and prayers. The wedding rehearsal takes place at a convenient time with the presider.
THE BRIDAL/WEDDING PARTY:
It is required to have two witnesses (maid/matron of honour & best man). Additional bridesmaids and groomsmen can be then be chosen, but you are encouraged to keep the wedding party reasonably small.. All, including bride & groom, should be respectfully dressed—shoulders covered, and hemlines below the knee. Please do not change the witnesses at the last minute as that demands a change in documents that have already been prepared.
HONORARIUM AND FEES:
The fee for marriage at St. Thomas’ is $200. This fee is for the use of the Church. The cheque is to be made payable to St. Thomas the Apostle Parish—not to the clergy. There is a $20 honorarium for each of two altar servers, and it is customary to provide an honorarium for the wedding celebrant. All fees and honoraria are to be given to the priest/celebrant before the wedding rehearsal.
FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS:
The responsibility for flowers and other decorations is yours. You are asked to be prudent and exercise restraint. Nothing is to be placed on the altar or impede the sight lines or the flow of ministers. Arrangements should be in place well before the ceremony and should remain in the church bubbles.
CONFETTI / RICE / BIRD SEED: These, and those things similar, are not to be thrown anywhere on the church property.
May be taken as the wedding party enters and leaves the church. During the actual ceremony, pictures and videos may be taken ONLY by authorized photographer from previously assigned areas. The sanctuary (the raised area where the altar and tabernacle are located) is off limits.
From the start of your preparation for marriage, you will want to think about the choice of music for the occasion. Remember that your wedding is a Catholic Liturgy. To avoid disappointment, consult early regarding your choices. Parish musicians are available to provide music for your wedding. It is the responsibility of the couple to arrange for the services of musicians.