Celebrating Your Wedding at Saint Thomas Aquinas

Holy Mother Church provides a beautiful and holy setting for your wedding. While the Rite of Marriage can take place either within or outside the context of the Mass, we encourage you to be married within a Mass, especially if both parties are Catholic. The celebration of the Eucharist reflects the spiritual union of Jesus Christ and emphasizes the vital presence of God in the couple's life. The preist/deacon will discuss these options with you.

Below you will find important information regarding logistics and church policies. Please share pertinent details with all those participating in your wedding, including the florist and photographer.

Wedding and Rehersal Times

Marriages are celebrated in the church on Saturdays at the following times: Noon and 2:30pm. If necessary, weddings may take place on other weekdays or times as our schedule allows.

On the day of your wedding, the church and outside grounds will be available to you according to the following schedule:

  • Noon Wedding: Church is available beginning at 11am until 1:30pm.
  • 2:30pm Wedding: Church is available beginning at 1:30pm until 4pm.

Because more than one liturgy may be scheduled at our church on your wedding day, these times must be followed to allow ample preparation for each bridal party.

Wedding rehersals last approximately one hour and are held on Friday evenings at 5pm and 6pm. All attendant should attend and plan to arrive 15 minutes early, as the rehearsals will begin promptly at the designated time.

Flowers and Decorations

  • Flowers may be placed on the right and left sides of the tabernacle. Some couples also place an arrangement at the entrance of the Church and/or before the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. Ribbons and/or flowers for the pews may be used, but they cannot be taped or glued. Thy must be placed in holders provided by your florist.
  • Some couples choose to have a candlelight ceremony with candles down the main aisle of the church. We have 12 candleabras for rent at a cost of $100.
  • Rice, confetti, birdseed, flower petals, etc. may not be used in or around the Church.

Of Special Note

  • A dressing room is available for the bride and her attendants one hour prior to the wedding. However, this room is not locked, and we advise you to remove any valuables, including purses, before the ceremony begins.
  • Please be considerate of the bridal party that will use the dressing room after you and remove all floral boxes and personal items. It is important that the room be clean.
  • The groom and his attendants should arrive in their wedding attire as we do not have a men's dressing room.

Church Etiquette

We ask that you acknowledge and respect the sacredness of the parish campus before, during, and after your rehearsal and liturgy. Therefore, we request the following:

  • There is NO consumption of alcoholic beverages, including champagne, in any rooms in the church or on the church campus. Additionally, there is no food or smoking permitted in the Church.
  • All members of the bridal party should honor the significance of the occasion and not be intoxicated when they arrive for the rehearsal and/or liturgy. Importantly, a bride or groom who is inebriated can jeopardize the validity of the marriage vows. For this reason, we reserve the right to cancel the rehearsal and/or liturgy at the discretion of the priest/deacon, who is personally prohibited from witnessing a wedding he is not morally sure of.
  • Bridal gowns and attendant's dresses should be appropriate for church with no cleavage showing and shoulders covered.
  • Photographers and videographers should exercise discretion when approaching the sanctuary. The priest/deacon will meet with them a few minutes before your liturgy to review this matter.

Fees and Suggested Donations

The fee for the use of the church and outside grounds is FREE for registered parishioners and $200 for non-parishioners. 

Typically couples being married at St. Thomas are required to use our parish Wedding Director, whose fee is $150. If you use a wedding planner, that person will need to meet and work with our director.  

Our Director of Sacred Music is here to help you choose beautiful and appropriate sacred music for your wedding. Please note that the Director of Sacred Music is contracted to play all weddings at St. Thomas. His fee is $200 to play the organ and $250 to both play the organ and sing, payable in advance of the wedding date. This includes a wedding music meeting with the couple. Additional rehearsals and weddings with expanded resources (i.e. choirs, instrumental ensembles etc.) will involve additional fees to be negotiated with the Director of Sacred Music.

Substitute Organists:

The Director of Sacred Music must approve of any substitute organist/vocalist/instrumentalist as well as the choices of sacred music. Please note that in keeping with common professional practice (American Guild of Organists [AGO] guidelines), the Director of Sacred Music enjoys “first refusal” of all weddings - this meaning that even if a substitute organist is chosen, the Director of Sacred Music still receives his regular fee ($200).

Traditionally, a donation is made at the time of the wedding to the priest/deacon who prepares you for marriage and performs the liturgy.  The Best Man customarily gives a tip to the altar servers (if you choose to use them). 

 
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