Getting Married in the Cathedral

From the Cathedral Rector, Monsignor Anthony Mancini

 

Dear Engaged Couple:

 

I am happy that you have chosen the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul for your wedding. I hope that our beautiful Cathedral will provide a holy and meaningful setting for the sacred ceremony of your marriage. Your wedding day is a very solemn occasion. When you recite your vows before God and the community of faith, you are entering into a covenant of love not only with each other, but also with Jesus Christ and your Church community. You are proclaiming publicly that He will be the Lord of your life together, and His love will be the model of your own love for one another.

 

There is a procedure to be followed, which this special page on our Cathedral website will outline. We ask you to read this carefully, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us. May your wedding at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul be one of the happiest and most beaufiful memories of your life.

 

Schedule and Pricing

 

You are asked to contact the Cathedral Rector at least one year in advance of the date on which you wish to marry. This requirement is vitally important in order to ensure that the date you are requesting is available. It will also provide sufficient time to prepare spiritually for this vast change in your lives. Wedding dates will be scheduled only after the priest or deacon has met with both of you, received the necessary documents from you (such as a new copy of your baptismal record, letter of freedom to marry), and arranged for your participation in the marriage instruction programs. You should secure a date with the Cathedral before making commitments with caterers, a reception hall, and so forth.

 

Weddings are usually scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays, although they may also be scheduled on weekdays. Please understand that there may be other ceremonies following yours, so the Cathedral and parking lot must be clear no more than ninety minutes after the ceremony is scheduled to begin. Because of these and other time contstraints, it is of the utmost importance that your ceremony begins on time. Be forewarned, if you are late the priest may start the ceremony without you, or he may cut out parts of the ceremony. Please, save everybody embarrassment, and be on time!

 

The fee assigned to your wedding helps defray the costs for the Cathedral, the sacristan, the custodians, the business office, as well as the cost of utilities, such as heat, air conditioning, and electricity. A non-refundable deposit of $150 is expected at the time of booking of your wedding.

 

Policies and Procedures
 
Counseling
 
All couples being married at the Cathedral must participate in pre-marital counseling. This is normally done through the Diocese of Providence. Details of marriage preparation through the Diocese of Providence may be found here. You may also contact the Cathedral office at (401) 331-2434.
 
Wedding Service
 
The ceremony we provide is both joyful and reverent as befits this important step in your lives. Several options within the wedding service can be discussed with the officiating priest. Examples of such options include: family members or friends may give one of the readings, or prayers of the faithful. Family members or friends may present the offertory gifts. All options must be discussed with and approved by the officiating priest. Due to time constraints, there are to be no receiving lines at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.
 
Flowers and Decorations
 
The following policies regarding the use of flowers and other decorations in the Cathedral are based on safety, common sense, and courtesy, with the goal of preserving the inherent beauty of the sanctuary, and promoting the sacred service that we consider each wedding ceremony to be. We ask that wedding parties and their florists keep these guidelines in mind when planning for floral arrangements.
 
Placement of Flowers and Decorations
 
Floral arrangements may not be placed on the altar or in any areas where accessibility is required. Several options for placements of flowers include: in front of the main altar, on the high mass altar, or in front of the pulpit. Feel free to ask any Cathedral staff member for assistance with floral arrangment placement. Please note that nothing may be placed on the floor of the Cathedral; including runners, flower petals (real or silk), or any other items. For safety reasons the aisles must remain clear at all times.
 
Unity Candle
 
The use of a unity candle as part of the wedding ceremony is permitted with the celebrant's approval. It must be provided by you or your florist and be placed on the table that the Cathedral will provide in the sanctuary in front of the pulpit. The florist must protect all surfaces from wax.
 
Pews
 
Pew markers such as bows or candles (which must be enclosed in glass) are permitted and must be attached with a floral/pew clip over the top of the pew, or tied on to the pew with a ribbon. No pins, nails, tape, glue or other adhesives are permitted.
 
Removal of Flowers and Decorations
 
All items brought in by the florist, decorator, or wedding party must be removed immediately following the post-wedding photographs. The Cathedral is not responsible for items not removed, and has no place to store them. The florist is accountable for any damage to the Cathedral. Floral arrangements from your wedding may also be donated to the Cathedral for use in our Sunday worship services.
 
Hazardous Items
 
Anything deemed to be a hazard to the wedding party, their guests, or the Cathedral environment may not be used either inside or outside of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. The tossing of rice or birdseed, as well as releasing balloons or birds, is not permitted.
 
Photography and Videography
 
Weddings can be held in a variety of settings, but the choice of the Cathedral has some distinct implications. We consider the ceremony to be a sacred service where the bride and groom pledge themselves to one another in the presence of God. Our policies regarding photography and videography -- both amateur and professional -- emerge from this conviction. The bride and groom are required to read these policies and to provide a written copy to their photographer and videographer. Any questions may be directed to the Cathedral staff.
 
  • No photographer or videographer is allowed on the floor of the sanctuary or in the sacristy during any part of the service.
  • Please limit flash photos during the ceremony (as not to cause a distraction).
  • Flash photographs are allowed before and after the ceremony.
  • Photographers will have limited access to the balcony. They must make a request to the security guard prior to the service beginning.
  • The operator is asked to limit movement during the ceremony, except in the balcony, as not to cause a distraction.
  • Photographs of the wedding party may be taken after the wedding ceremony, if time is available.
 
Failure to comply with these policies may result in the ceremony being interrupted, and/or a request for the disruptive party to leave.
 
Rehearsal
 
You need to notify all members of the wedding party of the date and time of the rehearsal. One hour is set aside for your rehearsal, which will be conducted by a Cathedral staff member. The rehearsal is vital to ensure that the ceremony goes smoothly. It is crucial that the entire wedding party be present and on time. We urge you to plan to arrive 15 minutes early as well. If an outside wedding planner is involved, that person is required to attend the rehearsal as well. Each person with a role in the wedding is needed at the rehearsal.
 
Music
 
The sacred nature of Christian marriage must be reflected in the music you choose as a part of your wedding service. The music should be both joyful and worshipful. The texts of any special music you select need to express more than the love of one person for another, just as Christian marriage involves more than the affirmation of human love. In keeping with our Christian understanding of marriage, the music must be scriptural, or be prayerful. From prelude to postlude, music needs to be dignified and worshipful.
 
The Cathedral organist is expected to play for all weddings, and our soloist must be used as well. You may speak to the Cathedral Rector about additional instrumentalists. Employing instrumentalists expands choices of processional music. Please plan to meet with the musician at least 8 to 10 weeks prior to the wedding.
 
License
 
We recommend you begin arranging for your license at least one month before the wedding. Please bring the license to the wedding rehearsal. Without the license in hand, the wedding can not be held.

Building Access
 
The Cathedral will be open one (1) hour prior to the scheduled wedding time. Please arrange with your florist, photographer, and/or videographer to arrive accordingly. All items must be removed immediately following the conclusion of the wedding service.

Ushers

All ushers should arrive ready for duty at least thirty (30) minutes prior to the wedding, or at the designated time for photographs to be taken prior to the ceremony. It is good custom for the usher to precede those being ushered, rather than to have the lady take his arm. However, you may choose whatever custom you desire. It is not necessary to ask those entering if they are "friends of the bride" or "friends of the groom." The night of rehearsal, ushers will be instructed to watch to the best of their ability to see that there are an even number of guests on each side of the Cathedral. There are places designated for the immediate members of the families, but for all others, there is no special "side."
 
Participants
 
Thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled wedding time, the bride and all attendants, the groom, best man, and groomsmen must be in their reserved area(s) for the start of the ceremony. Twenty (20) minutes prior to the start of the service, the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom will be asked to wait in the narthex (foyer area) for seating or further instruction. We kindly request that children participating in the wedding service be at least five (5) years old. Only the bride, groom. maid of honor, best man, and and clergy go inside the chancel (altar) area for the remainder of the service. The remaining attendants stand where rehearsed.
 
Please be sure that the wedding party arrives on time as there may be other services that immediacely follow at the Cathedral.

It is imperative that the wedding service begin on time.

Smoking/Substance Abuse

No smoking is allowed in the Cathedral or on Cathedral grounds.

No alcoholic beverages and/or illegal drugs are permitted anywhere on Cathedral grounds. In addition, there is to be no alcohol/illegal drugs consumption prior to your rehearsal or wedding service. A member of the wedding party will be excused from participation if alcohol or drugs are detected on the person prior to the wedding service. The wedding will be canceled immediately when alcohol or illegal drugs are detected on the bride or groom prior to the wedding service.

Responsibilities

The bride and groom are responsible for seeing that all members of the wedding party and any outside contracted persons are aware of these policies. Any Cathedral property damaged or destroyed becomes the full replacement responsibility of the bride and groom. The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and its staff reserve the right to modify these policies. at any time.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the Cathedral office at (401) 331-2434 or contact us here.
Handicapped Parking Entrance to the Cathedral
 
Please note that parking for the Handicapped entrance to the Cathedral is located on the east side of the building. Please refer to the map on the right for details on how to access the Handicapped entrance. Do not turn on Fenner Street. Instead proceed on Broad Street to the other side of the Cathedral and turn onto the Jackson Walkway and proceed to the east side of the Cathedral. Handicapped parking signs are clearly indicated.