ST. MARY’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
For Engaged Couples – Preparing for Marriage – Congratulations! We are so pleased you have decided to marry in the Catholic Church. The following timeline is provided to help you navigate the year long marriage preparation process. To ensure that each couple married in the Catholic Church receives proper preparation for their future life together all parishes in the STATE OF NEW JERSEY follow the PASTORAL POLICIES AND GUIDELINES FOR MARRIAGE PREPARATION FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN NEW JERSEY. You must be a parishioner or have a connection such as parents, grandparents, etc.
STAGE I – Introduction & Orientation –
By 12 Months before Wedding
Call the Rectory office at 609-298-0261 and speak to the wedding coordinator who will take some basic information from you and pass it on to either the priest or deacon handling this and they will call you to schedule your first appointment.
Meet with Priest or Deacon to begin marriage preparation and set date for wedding.
Register for one of the following marriage preparation workshops:
- **Pre-Cana – the cost for parish Pre-Cana conferences is $115.00 per couple; $150.00 per couple for diocesan conferences
- **Engaged Encounter – Cost per couple $395.00
- **To Trust Again – Couples for whom either party has a prior marriage must attend the TO TRUST AGAIN REMARRIAGE WORKSHOP in lieu of Pre-Cana. Cost $150.00 per couple.
Please note that you must have your initial meeting with your priest or deacon before registering for a marriage preparation workshop or setting a wedding date. On line website registration will be given.
By 9 months Before Wedding
**Take the FOCCUS pre-martial inventory. FOCCUS is a tool to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship
- Attend the required Marriage Preparation workshop.
- Meet again with priest or deacon to discuss the marriage preparation workshop .
- Begin planning for wedding liturgy.
- One month before wedding call the city clerk in the municipality where you reside for appointment to apply for your marriage license, the fee charged and if they require you to bring one or two witnesses.
- Marriage license and church fees submitted 5 days before the wedding!
CHURCH DOCUMENTS NEEDED
You should be prepared to present the following documents to your parish priest or deacon during your sessions:
- Certificate of Baptism; a recently issued copy dated no earlier than 6 months prior to the wedding date with a raised seal. (available from the parish of Baptism)
- Certificate of First Communion.
- Certificate of Confirmation.
- A letter of testimony indicating one’s freedom to marry may be requested.
- Certificate of valid completion of a marriage formation program.
- If a person has been previously married, even if not celebrated before a Catholic priest or deacon. he or she must present an annulment decree or the death certificate of the former spouse, before the clergy can set a date.
- NON-CATHOLIC: Certificate of Baptism if baptized
- Additional documents may be needed in special cases
- Registered parishioners $250.00. Please send $100 as soon as possible to hold the wedding date.
- Non-parishioners with registered family ties to St. Mary’s $350.00.
- An additional fee of $100.00 if the marriage is to be performed by a visiting priest or deacon who requests that St. Mary’s clergy complete the marriage preparation process and wedding rehearsal. This fee is in addition to the church fee.
- Altar servers stipend of $10.00 each is to be paid directly to the servers on the day of the wedding.
- Positively no rice, birdseed or confetti is to thrown inside or outside the church. We suggest bubbles or bells. We request a rice deposit of $100.00 (separate check marked so in the memo section) at the same time as the deposit which will be refundable provided there is no clean up required after the wedding. (We do not have maintenance staff on the weekends or after 2pm on weekdays.)
- Flowers and decorations: Select the florist of your choice. Decorations must keep with the nature of the sacrament, but may be limited due to the liturgical season.
- No tape of any type may be used to secure decorations. Use elastic bands on the pews.
- No runners are allowed.
- Altar Servers: The church provides them or you can select your own. Please discuss this with the priest or deacon so they can advise the Rectory Office.
Please call the Music Coordinator Alfonso Gonzalez at (609) 222-2335.
**You are responsible for the organist/singer scheduling and payment. You may select your own musicians/singers if you desire but must call our Music Coordinator as well.
Videos and Photographs are allowed during the wedding.
If you would like to have family and friends see the marriage over the internet, simply have them go to our website: www.mmotcp.org, go to the bottom of the front page and under “Other Things” select “St. Mary Church Live Stream“. They will be able to see the wedding live.
Validation of a civil ceremony:
- Civil marriage license issued at wedding
- Catholics: Copies of sacraments received
- Non-Catholic: Deacon or Priest will advise
- Deacon or Priest will help couple complete the diocese paper work
- Upon receipt of approval apply for a remarriage certificate issued by the city clerk in the municipality couple reside.
- A small intimate wedding ceremony is performed in our beautiful chapel with the witnesses and a small group of family if desired.
- Fee $100.00
ANY QUESTIONS, OR TO REGISTER FOR A WEDDING, PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTORY OFFICE AT 609-298-0261