Weddings at Saint Denis
Who May Be Married Here
Saint Denis parishioners who have been registered for at least a year may celebrate their wedding in our parish church. Our parishioners’ children who are members of other parishes may also be married in our church. It is a requirement of the Roman Catholic Church that you have not been married before, either in a civil or a church wedding, with your former spouse still living, unless you have received a declaration of nullity or a dissolution of the former union. Many weddings here are ecumenical in that one of the persons is not a Roman Catholic. We welcome ecumenical weddings as long as one of the persons is a practicing Roman Catholic and has been a member of the parish for a year or more, or is the child of our parishioners and fulfills all other requirements as stated above.
One of the priests will give you a wedding application form. When you have received a confirmation letter from the parish, you know your wedding date is on our calendar. Around six months before the wedding we will let you know which clergyman will officiate. You may request a specific priest or deacon. Visiting clergy are very welcome; they should get in touch with the pastor for the necessary delegation at least two months before the date of the wedding. Clergy from other states must be specially licensed in the State of New Hampshire to officiate at weddings.
When you know who is officiating, you should contact that clergyman as soon as possible. He will arrange to meet with you and guide you through the preparation for your wedding. He will begin gathering information for our permanent sacramental records, share the Church’s vision of Matrimony and work with you on the details of the liturgy itself. Our parish uses other Marriage Preparation programs we will be in touch with you about the details.
Along with the clergyman officiating at your wedding, our Music Minister Lisa Willems will meet with you to review the Church’s music for weddings, and guide you in the preparation of a wedding program. Please remember that only sacred music is allowed during church weddings. Please contact Lisa Willems very early in your planning process.
Weddings are scheduled on Saturdays at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm with rehearsals the evening before at 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. Weddings are not scheduled during Advent or Lent, because of the penitential nature of those seasons. Weddings are also not scheduled on Saturdays when there is a Dartmouth home football game, because of the church’s proximity to Memorial Stadium.
It is customary for the couple to provide wedding flowers and these remain in the church over the weekend, reminding the parishioners to pray for the happy couple. When there are two weddings on a Saturday couples often arrange to share the flowers. The church’s vases are used. When the church is decorated for Christmas or Easter, you may not add flowers at the altar.
Additional Guidelines & Information
Unity candles are not used, nor are runners. Tape cannot be applied to the pews, and flower petals, birdseed or any other form of confetti are not strewn inside or out.
On behalf of the whole parish family, I welcome your interest in Saint Denis Catholic Church and pledge our prayers for your happy engagement and holy life.