Wedding Guidelines and Regulations
A wedding is one of the singularly significant events in a person’s life because through it a person is catapulted permanently into a different status of life. For Catholics, this sacred event takes on a unique character in that Marriage is one of the seven Sacraments through which God comes to His people and His people are brought to Him. Additionally, this Sacrament, once coming into being, is indissoluble except by death.
Given the foregoing, the Church treats weddings with the utmost care and respect. All members of the Church are expected to have and to show the same care and respect towards this event. This expectation is especially pertinent to those who are seeking the Sacrament of Marriage.
2) Setting of Date and Time
A) Contacting the parish to reserve the date and time.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans requires that a couple wishing to be married must establish contact with the local parish at least six (6) months before the date of the wedding. Note – this is the minimum requirement and it is intended for weddings without impediments. Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church strongly advises couples intending marriage to contact the parish before booking the wedding reception halls and making other arrangements. Failure to do so may result in not being able to have the wedding on the desired dates.
Contact is established by the parties completing a “Application For Marriage” Form and giving it to our wedding coordinator. You will be assigned a priest or a deacon who will contact you to make arrangements for the marriage preparation meetings. Usually, the assignment to a priest or deacon is by rotation unless a specific priest/deacon is requested.
Please note the following:
The six (6) month requirement begins only at the time of the first meeting.
The date of the wedding cannot be set before the first meeting.
B) Officiant Other than a Priest or a Deacon of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church
The couple intending marriage may request a priest or a deacon other than those assigned at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church; however, the officiant in question must be approved by the pastor. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the officiant to prepare the couple for marriage. Completed paper work must be submitted to Our lady of Prompt Succor Church two (2) weeks before the date of the wedding.
C) Location of Wedding Ceremony
Our priests and deacons only officiate weddings of parishioners within the civil parish of St. Bernard and only in the church unless permission for a wedding outside of the parish church has been granted by the Archbishop of New Orleans. If a couple wishes to contract marriage at a church other than OLPS, the pastor will grant the necessary permission to the couple’s officiant of choice provided that the prospective officiant has the faculty to officiate marriage in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In such a case, the officiant in question is responsible for the marriage preparation.
D) Time of Wedding
Weddings can take place at any time the church is available except Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and all day on Sunday.
3) Wedding Party
In ordinary circumstances, there is no limit to the number who can be part of the wedding party. However, couples who have already contracted a civil marriage and wish to have their marriage validated are to keep the wedding party and extravagance to a minimal. This stands for 50th Wedding Anniversaries, as well.
No child under three (3) years of age is allowed to have an active role in the ceremony (ring bearer, flower, girl, etc.).
4) Wedding Ceremony
The wedding rehearsal is held at the time mutually agreed upon by the couple, the wedding coordinator, and the officiant. Please remind all who attend the rehearsal that they will be in church. Therefore, they are to conduct themselves with due reverence. At no time is eating, drinking or smoking allowed. Alcohol and individuals under the influence are not allowed on our property. Failure to abide by these guidelines will result in the immediate dismissal of offending wedding party member. The wedding coordinator can be contacted at 504-271-3441 with any questions regarding rehearsal.
B) Marriage License
The parties are responsible for obtaining the marriage license from the State. Please note that the marriage license is valid only seventy-two (72) hours and no more than thirty (30) days after issuance. The parties are to give the marriage license to the officiant or the wedding coordinator at the time of the rehearsal.
If any music is going to be used at the wedding ceremony, we suggest that you contact one of the following people, but it is not mandatory that you use them:
Maria Troxclair (pianist/organist)
Lisa DeHarde (cantor)
Randy Rumbelow (pianist/organist)
Adlai DePano (pianist/organist/cantor)
5) Flowers and other Arrangements
Flowers are allowed according to the couple’s choice with the exception of Lent wherein flower arrangements are kept to a minimum. The church’s florist is Mrs. Donna Robin of Brittney Ray’s Bridal Florist at 2108 Paris Road (504-271-9012). Whether or not Donna is the florist for the wedding, the couple is encouraged to consult with her concerning the propriety of flower arrangements.
B) Unity Candles
If the couple wishes to use the Unity candles, they are to provide these candles themselves or make arrangements with their florist. Whomever provides the candle is also responsible for providing protection to the carpet for the burning wax. This is VERY VERY important.
C) Candle-Light Weddings
Candle light weddings are allowed. However, the couple is to make arrangements with their florist to provide the non-drip torches and/or candelabras. IMPORTANT: No candelabras are allowed on the altar.
D) Church Decor
Since Our Lady of Prompt Succor is an active parish, the sanctuary will be decorated according to the liturgical seasons and feasts. These decorations are part of any liturgical celebration and will remain in place for your wedding. Please do NOT ask if they can be moved or taken down. Thank you.
Church Fee - $400.00 all weddings
Half of the fee ($200) is required when the wedding is formally booked. This formal booking is to take place ONLY after the couple has had their first meeting with the assigned clergy and that clergy has given the permission to proceed with the booking of the wedding. The deposit is non-refundable. We accept cash or checks made payable to Our Lady of Prompt Church. The balance is due one month before the date of the wedding. Please note that the fees associated with your music, your flowers or any honorarium offered to the clergy are NOT included in these figures.
F) Altar Server Fee
If the wedding takes place within a Mass, there is a need for two altar servers. The church will provide the altar servers upon request only. The couple is to give each server a stipend of $10.00. The stipend for each altar server is to be placed in an envelope and given to either the officiant or the wedding coordinator at the time of the rehearsal.
If the couple wishes to provide their own servers, these servers must have had experience at serving Mass and must be present at the rehearsal.
G) Honorarium for Officiant
Although it is not required, it is customary to offer an honorarium to the officiant (priest) of the wedding.
Videotaping and still photography are allowed. Photographers and camera person(s) are to meet with the officiant before the wedding. In general, they are to make themselves quiet and inconspicuous during the ceremony. They are also to remain off of the sanctuary with the exception of when the parties receive communion and when they sign the papers. THE TIME LIMIT FOR TAKING PICTURES IN CHURCH AFTER THE WEDDING CEREMONY IS 15 MINUTES.
I) Aisle Runner
We do NOT allow aisle runners.
J) Compliance with Insurance Regulations
Rice, confetti, bubbles, seeds, petals, etc. are NOT allowed inside or outside the church.
For your information, there are 20 pews front to back down the center aisle.
L) Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church reserves the right to alter any of its wedding policies or regulations as deemed necessary.