Congratulations on your engagement! A wedding in church celebrates not only your love for one another, but also celebrates God's love living within you, revealed in a new and deeper way through the sacrament of matrimony. We at Assumption are here to welcome you and assist you as you prepare for your wedding and for your life together as husband and wife.
Photo credit: John Zich/zrWeddings.com
Who can be married at Assumption?: It is not necessary to be a registered member of the parish to be married at Assumption. However, at least one party must be a baptized Catholic. If either party has been married before (either in a civil or religious ceremony) a priest must be consulted before any arrangements can be made.
What do I do first?: To initiate the process, call our parish secretary Wanda West (312-644-0036) between 9:00 and 5:00 weekdays. She will inform you of available dates and will send you additional wedding information. To allow adequate time for the preparation process, weddings must be scheduled at least six months in advance.
When do weddings take place at Assumption?: Our regular times for weddings are at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm on Saturdays. Weddings may also be scheduled on Friday afternoons at 4:00pm and (with certain liturgical restrictions) at 3:00pm Sunday afternoons. No weddings take place during Lent, the forty days before Easter. Rehearsals are normally the evening before the wedding.
How much does it cost?: The usual donation is $900.00 for Friday and Saturday weddings and $1100.00 for Sunday weddings. There is a $200.00 reservation fee, which is part of the $900.00. The reservation fee is due in the parish office 10 days after the wedding date has been arranged. If the reservation fee is not received, then the date will be released to other parties. If the reservation is cancelled within 30 days, the $200.00 will be refunded. Fees for the cantor and musicians are extra.
What else do we have to do?: Five or six months before your wedding, one of our parish priests will contact you to begin the preparation process. Preparation involves taking and reviewing the FOCCUS marriage preparation inventory, attending one of the Archdiocesan marriage preparation programs (either a full day on Saturday or an equivalent experience), completing a pre-nuptial form, and choosing the scriptures and prayers for the ceremony. Each Catholic party must provide a baptismal certificate issued by the church of his or her baptism during the past six months. Other baptized Christians must also show proof of baptism. Affidavits affirming each person?s freedom to marry may also be required. A wedding license from Cook County issued within the previous sixty days should be presented to the priest at the rehearsal.
Are there any special rules when a Catholic marries a non-Catholic?: Out of hospitality to the large number of non-Catholics likely to be present, the vows normally take place within a Liturgy of the Word (a ceremony that takes about 40 minutes) rather than at a Wedding Mass (which takes about an hour). However, as long as the non-Catholic party has been baptized, a Wedding Mass is permitted. The Catholic party is asked to sign a statement affirming his or her intention to remain a Catholic and to have children baptized and raised Catholic.
What if I have a family friend whom I'd like to perform the wedding?: Visiting priests and deacons are most welcome to officiate at weddings at Assumption. The visitor should send a letter of intent committing himself to be at the rehearsal and at the wedding. If the priest or deacon is also taking care of the preparation, then all documents relative to the marriage should be at Assumption one month before the wedding. A priest or deacon coming from outside the Archdiocese of Chicago must also provide the Archdiocese with a letter from his bishop or religious superior affirming that he is a minister in good standing.
What about music at the wedding?: Our parish musicians and cantors provide the music for all weddings. Couples are asked to contact the parish music coordinator (312-644-0036, ext 31) three months before the wedding. The coordinator will aid you in choosing suitable music for the wedding liturgy and will also make any arrangements for additional instrumentalists if they are desired. Couples are required to consult with the coordinator before making any musical plans or arrangements. The coordinator must approve all music and musicians selected for you ceremony. Outside musicians are not permitted without prior approval from the coordinator. Recorded music is not permitted.
What should I tell my photographer and videographer?: Photographers and videographers may set up their equipment 30 minutes before the wedding. They may not interfere with the wedding procession or wedding liturgy, nor may they enter the sanctuary portion of the church at any time. Video cameras are to be situated in one place (either at the side or the rear of the church) for the entire ceremony. There are also restrictions on where photographers may stand. Still photographs may be taken in the body of the church for fifteen minutes after the ceremony, provided that the ceremony begins on time.
How big is Assumption Church?: The church aisle is 70 feet long. There are 17 rows of pews. The church seats a maximum of 350 people.
Do you have a Bride?s Room?: Assumption does not have a Bride?s Room, so it is best for the Bride to arrive and wait in the car until the time of the wedding. There is a washroom in the rear of the church.
What kinds of decorations are permitted?: Floral arrangements may be placed in the sanctuary area. Flowers should be delivered about one half hour before the wedding. No candles, hurricane lamps, trellises or canopies are allowed in the aisles or outside the church. It is not permitted to have flower petals strewn in the aisle; and, because of safety considerations, rice, birdseed, confetti, balloons, bubbles, doves and other winged creatures are not permitted either inside or in front of the church. If the ceremony includes the lighting of a unity candle, the couple must provide the candles. Aisle runners are strongly discouraged.
(Photo credit: John Zich / zrWeddings.com)