Couples contemplating marriage should contact our parish office as soon as they decide to marry and speak with a priest or deacon to begin their preparation and schedule the wedding date. Couples should plan to begin the necessary paperwork with a priest or deacon at least six months prior to the planned wedding date.
St. Helen Catholic Church Marriage Guidelines
I. Initial Arrangements – Please call for an appointment with a Priest/Deacon as soon as possible after becoming engaged. This is to allow sufficient time to carry out the various steps of the marriage preparation beginning with this interview with the Priest/Deacon. At this interview, you will be asked to register for Fully Engaged, and complete certain forms for marriage. The Priest/Deacon will also schedule a second appointment with you.
II. Marriage Preparation Class – St. Helen Parish provides a local Marriage Preparation Class for the convenience of the couples. The class is an opportunity for couples contemplating marriage to meet and reflect on personalities, role expectations, communication, finances, sexuality, parenthood, and their upcoming wedding ceremony.
St. Helen offers 1:1 mentoring through the process of Fully Engaged and Witness to Love. You will be instructed at your first meeting with the priest or deacon on how to begin the mentoring process. Mentoring typically takes 6 months to complete.
There is no on site registration for this program. You may choose any parish that meets your schedule. DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BROCHURE. Online registration is available by visiting the Diocese of Palm Beach website: Marriage Preparation Registration
III. Scheduling – Wedding ceremonies may be scheduled on Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, or 2:00 p.m. Weddings may also be scheduled on weekday evenings at times that do not conflict with other parish activities.
IV. Paperwork – The following paperwork is necessary before marriage can occur in the Catholic Church. A copy of the Baptismal Record for each baptized person – one issued within the last six months for each Catholic party. Widows and widowers will need to produce a Death Certificate for the previous spouse. A marriage license is an absolute requirement for marriage in this state. For information on this, contact the County Clerk at 772-567-8000. If a previous marriage has occurred with either partner, a Divorce Decree must be submitted as well.
V. Rehearsal – The Priest/Deacon assisting you will suggest a time for rehearsal. The wedding party and all who participate in the ceremony are to attend. Please remember to bring the marriage license and church/music fees, along with the booklet “Together for Life” to the rehearsal.
VI. Music – All music for the wedding ceremony is to be arranged through Dolores Mark, Director of Music, 772-562-2029. Please call for an appointment after your first meeting with the Priest/Deacon. The Music Director must approve the music request and selections. Secular music is fine for the reception but normally only liturgical music is appropriate for a Church wedding. Outside singers and musicians are also to be approved, as well as rehearsals with the accompanist. Fees for the organist, vocalist, and other instrumentalists will be discussed during the appointment with the Music Director and will be due at the second or final meeting with the Priest/Deacon. Checks to pay the fees are to be made payable to the Music Director, vocalist or instrumentalist, accordingly.
VII. Flowers – Flowers are the responsibility of the couple. All questions regarding flowers and notice of your wedding flower arrangements must be directed to Karen Egan, 772-567-5660 prior to ordering any floral arrangements. Flowers, ribbons, and candles that are used on the pews must be secured with rubber bands and cloth ties. Tape, glue, or wire may damage the wood finish. White runners for the center aisle are available through your florist.
VIII. Photos – Professional photographers and other desiring pictures are welcome, but they are to consult the Priest/Deacon before the ceremony. Photographers are not to disturb or impede the ceremony. Photos taken after the ceremony are to be completed a one-half hour before the next ceremony.
IX. Fees – The fee for your wedding preparation and the celebration of your wedding is $350.00 for registered, active and contributing parishioners. It is $500.00 for others who wish to use the church. A recommended gratuity to the altar servers of $10.00 per server, if their services are required. All fees are to be paid at the time of the second meeting with the Priest/Deacon.
- It is extremely important that the rehearsal and wedding begin on time. Please be early, or at least on time.
- Please refrain from throwing rice, flower petals, birdseed, confetti, etc., on the church property.
- There are no dressing room facilities for the wedding party.
- Any deviations from the traditional ceremony should be discussed with the Priest/Deacon well in advance of the rehearsal
St. Helen Parish Office 772-567-5129