YOUR MARRIAGE IS HOLY
The wedding you are now beginning to plan is, in the view of the Catholic Church, a significant religious event. This is true not only for you as the Bridal Couple, but also for the entire parish community. Your wedding will engage the assembled community in celebrating your love as it is consecrated and sealed in the Rites of the Church. Before God’s altar, the priest/deacon and the Church, you will be pledging your love to each other in the bond of life-long fidelity. This is the beginning of your journey together through life in Matrimony.
Your wedding is a religious experience for both you and the Church. It is important from the very early stages of wedding preparation to focus as much attention on the details of the marriage ceremony in the Church as on other important aspects of your wedding day. The entire Parish Wedding Team is available to assist you in the preparations for the wedding: Priest, Deacon, Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Music Coordinator and the Evenings for the Engaged Team. The wedding team is primarily concerned with helping you to view the wedding as a religious event and as a life-long commitment to one another. It will help you to create a wedding liturgy that will be both joyful and dignified and that will speak clearly to the assembly of the religious nature of the worship.
This booklet is a guide to prepare for your wedding. It contains policies and procedures of the Catholic Church in general and our Parish in particular.
THE ENGAGEMENT AND INITIAL PREPARATION
Congratulations! The Catholic Community of Pleasanton rejoices with you in your marriage engagement.
As soon as possible after announcing the engagement, call the Rectory at (925) 846-4489 and arrange an appointment with one of the priests or deacons. Do this before you set a wedding date! This must be done at least six months before the wedding. At this first interview, the priest or deacon will advise you that certain documents must be obtained for both bride and groom.
It is also at this first interview with the priest or deacon that a definite date will be arranged and the program for Marriage Preparation will be discussed. Come prepared to ask the priest or deacon any questions you might have about the preparation.
PLACE AND TIME OF WEDDING
There are two facilities available for weddings in the Catholic Community of Pleasanton:
St. Augustine Church on Bernal Avenue and St. Elizabeth Seton Church and Chapel on Stoneridge Drive.
The times for weddings at St. Augustine are between 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM on Saturdays.
The times for weddings at St. Elizabeth Seton are between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM on Saturdays (weddings after 3:30 PM are without a Mass).
Smaller weddings, around 100 guests or less, are best held in St. Elizabeth Seton Chapel for a more intimate setting.
Weddings may not take place in any other location than these three.
You are to take part in both the Preparation Programs described below.
Focus and Evaluation before The Evenings for the Engaged. Evenings for the Engaged - This program consists of six sessions, each lasting approximately 2½ hours. The meetings are held in the homes of married couples who are parishioners of The Catholic Community of Pleasanton. Together with four or five other engaged couples you will explore and share important topics for married life. There is a $100.00 charge for this program. The priest/deacon will give you a form signed by him to send to the coordinators.
Evenings for the Engaged Team contact:
Mark and Jill Buck
Weekend Program - Please call the Rectory office for appointment at (925) 846-4489.
A note for very young couples getting married at The Catholic Community of Pleasanton: In addition to the above regulations and procedures, the Diocese of Oakland has a special marriage preparation program for anyone who has not reached his/her 20th birthday by the date of the wedding. If this requirement applies to you, please speak with your priest/deacon.
PLANNING THE WEDDING LITURGY
Although these months before the wedding are very busy for you and your families, it is important to reflect on what kind of wedding ceremony you want. It should be your wedding (not some other one that you attended) and you have to plan it your way. You should meet with the Wedding Coordinators to plan your wedding liturgy at least 4 weeks before the wedding. Do not hand over your wedding to others to plan. It is your wedding day. You are the ones who can personalize it so that the whole liturgy speaks of who you are and what your relationship means to each other.
Before you meet with your wedding coordinator, you have to complete your own work in the Marriage Ceremony book. Your priest/deacon will assist you.
The Wedding Coordinators will help you plan your wedding within the guidelines established in the Parish. Please check with the coordinators about questions you may have regarding the ceremony.
Be sure to discuss with the Wedding Coordinator any special plans you might have for your wedding. If you make no requests, he/she will presume you want to follow the usual procedures.
Your Wedding Coordinator will call you between 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding to arrange a meeting and finalize your ceremony.
Because your wedding ceremony is going to be one of the most important religious events of your lives, it is important also that the music you select is appropriate for a religious celebration in the Church. All couples marrying at The Catholic Community of Pleasanton are required to meet with the Wedding Music Coordinator to develop a music program for your wedding. Musicians and vocalist are to be paid directly.
The community of family and friends are not mere spectators but active participants in the wedding liturgy. It is important to help the assembly of loved ones gathered to find that voice of prayer and worship. The word liturgy is translated from the ancient Greek as “the work of the people”. As a couple your participation in prayers and singing can do a great deal to help all gathered to be active.
If you are having a Nuptial Mass, you must use our musicians and vocalists. The vocalist/cantor serves a key role within the liturgy in both singing parts of the liturgy particular to this ministry and in helping to lead the assembly in participation. Other musicians can be used for weddings without a Mass, with special permission of the Director of Music.
Wedding Music Coordinator
Cyndi Guerzon | 925-570-4826 | email@example.com
Flowers are a very important factor in planning a beautiful wedding ceremony. They are also expensive. Therefore, in an effort to economize without diminishing beauty, be sure to contact the Wedding Coordinator to see if you can cooperate with other weddings scheduled the same day. Displays may be taken for the receptions. If you intend to leave the flowers in the Church, please leave a message at the Liturgy number (925) 474-2785.
Courtesy demands that boxes, bows, ribbons, etc., be removed from the Church before the wedding party leaves for the reception. The Church is thus clean and ready for the next wedding.
Nothing is to be taped to the pews -- neither flowers, nor ribbons, bows, etc. Pipe cleaners not wire should be used to make bows. This will protect the pews from scratches.
Candlelight Weddings are not allowed in the Sanctuary.
No aisle runners are permitted in either Church or Chapel.
CHILDREN IN WEDDINGS
If you wish to have young children participate in your wedding ceremony as flower girl’s and/or symbolic ring bearers, they must be at least five years of age and well-behaved. They will sit with relatives during the actual wedding ceremony. Only two (2) or three (3) flower girls and/or ring bearers will be allowed in the wedding procession.
PHOTOGRAPHS & PHOTOGRAPHERS
Photographers may take whatever pictures they wish as the wedding procession is taking place and as the Bride and Groom leave the sanctuary after the wedding ceremony. However, no pictures are to be taken during the wedding except from the back of the Church, without flash and without excessive distracting movement.
Video Cameras are to be placed in a stationary position as directed by the wedding coordinators and/or the presider at the wedding and are not to be moved during the ceremony at all. No special lights are to be used or mics placed on the groom or anywhere in the sanctuary. Photographers should be appropriately dressed for a church wedding.
The wedding party may return to the Church after the ceremony for some posed pictures (15 minutes only). Please inform photographers of this requirement.
Please make sure family and guests know that cell phones may not be used for photos once the liturgy begins. This is a distraction.
THE WEDDING REHEARSAL
Usually, the Wedding Coordinators conduct the rehearsal. Most rehearsals are held on the Friday evening before a Saturday wedding, although it can be any night of the week. Please be on time for your rehearsal as another bridal party might be booked following yours. Rehearsals time to be determined by all parties involved.
Please bring the following to the wedding rehearsal:
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
The groom’s party should be in Church no later than one hour before the time of the wedding in order to usher guests to the seats. The bridal party should arrive thirty minutes before and may use the Cry Room at St. Augustine if they wish or Room A at St. Elizabeth Seton prior to the procession.
Please ask the Maid of Honor and Best Man to see the presider in order to sign the Marriage License right after the wedding ceremony. They are the official witnesses to the wedding.
Please do not move furniture in any of the facilities including the contents/donations of the St. Mary’s and/or St. Vincent de Paul’s bins.
Rice, confetti, birdseed, etc. are not to be thrown in front of the church or on the premises. It is very dangerous for our older parishioners.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WEDDING PARTY TO LEAVE THE CHURCH AND THE PREMISES IN A CLEAN AND ORDERLY CONDITION.
The Catholic Community of Pleasanton
St. Augustine Church
3999 Bernal Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
4001 Stoneridge Drive
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Faith Formation Office
3999 Bernal Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566
"To know Christ better,
live as He calls us to live,
and make Him better known."
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