Weddings at Saint Elizabeth Church are ordinarily celebrated for parishioners only. Therefore, you are expected to be a
registered member of Saint Elizabeth Church. More importantly, you are expected to attend Mass at Saint Elizabeth
Church regularly. If you or your fiance believe that you may have difficulty meeting this expectation, please
consult with the priest.
At this time, Saturday weddings are ordinarily scheduled for 1:00pm or 3:00pm only. As of November 29, 2014, Saturday weddings will ordinarily be scheduled for 12:30pm or 2:30pm only. Weddings may also be scheduled on Friday afternoons or evenings when the
parish and liturgical calendars allow. Due to the parish schedule, weddings are ordinarily not scheduled on Sundays.
All parishioners who are going to be married here at St. Elizabeth's are asked to make an offering of $400.00. An initial deposit of $200.00, which is for the support of the parish, is required at the time that the wedding date is booked. In the event that your plans change, and the parish is notified in a timely manner, the deposit will be refunded at 100%. The additional $200.00, which is the fee for the Music Director, is due on or before the date of the rehearsal.
If in the rare event that the parish schedule should allow for the celebration of a wedding for non-parishioners, an offering of $700.00 would be asked of the couple. (i.e., $500.00 for the support of the parish and $200.00 for the music director). An initial deposit of $350.00 would be required at the time that the wedding date is booked. The additional fee of $350.00 would be due on or before the date of the rehearsal. Again, if a couple's plans should change, and the parish is notified in a timely manner, the deposit would be refunded at 100%.
Records and Paperwork
Catholics must obtain a recent copy of their baptismal record, as well as records of their First Communion and
Confirmation (original copies of baptismal records are not accepted). These records must be obtained from the
church or churches where the sacraments were received. Non-Catholics must provide a copy of their birth certificate
and call upon two witnesses, preferably close relatives, to testify under oath that they are free to marry according
to the laws of the church.
All couples preparing for the sacrament of marriage within the Diocese of Providence must complete a pre-marriage
preparation program called the Pre-Cana program. This program is to be arranged with the diocesan Marriage Preparation
Office and should be done so as soon as possible. Your certificate of completion, which will be given to you at the
end of the course, should be sent to the priest upon your receipt of it.
You and your fiance must apply for a valid Rhode Island state marriage license within 90 days of the wedding.
Click here to see "Marriage Requirements in the State
of Rhode Island" for details on the state's license application process. The license should be delivered to the
priest handling the marriage at least one week prior to the wedding. No priest has the legal authority to marry a
couple that has not obtained a valid marriage license.
Church and civil laws require that two people serve as official witnesses of your wedding. These witnesses can be
any two people who attend your wedding, and not necessarily the Maid of Honor and Best Man. Rhode Island law requires
that witnesses be at least 18 years of age.
If you choose to hire a "wedding planner," or if you designate someone to coordinate your wedding plans, please know
that he or she has no authority to make any decisions in regard to the liturgical celebration of your wedding. All
aspects of the wedding rehearsal and the wedding are directed solely by the priest.
The plans for your ceremony are made only by you, your fiance and the priest who will preside at the wedding. Parents,
friends, or other parties may not schedule weddings, or make any arrangements with the priest on your behalf.
Your wedding rite will take place either within the celebration of Mass or outside of Mass during a Liturgy of the
Word celebration. If the bride and groom are both Catholic, then the wedding normally takes place during the celebration
of Mass. While it is presumed that a wedding between two Catholics who are in a position to celebrate and receive the
Eucharist will take place within the celebration of Mass, you may choose to celebrate your wedding outside of Mass.
Since the wedding ceremony should be a sign of all that unites the bridal couple, when one member of the couple is
not a Catholic, and would therefore be unable to receive Communion, the wedding is celebrated during a Liturgy of
the Word celebration instead of a Mass.
The use of wedding programs is strongly discouraged. The attention of your guests should be focused on you and the
celebration, not on a piece of paper. If you do plan to use programs for your guests, please consult with the priest
handling your wedding prior to printing them. The program must be approved before it can be distributed in church.
Sacred music is used at the wedding ceremony because it reflects the sanctity of the event. All of the selections you
choose for your wedding must respect and serve the worship and prayer that is being celebrated. Therefore, it is
important to have musicians who are familiar with Catholic Mass and liturgy, sacred music, and the musical instruments
in the church.
Vocal soloists are respected and accepted, but they should not exclude or replace the musical participation of the
assembly. Those invited to the wedding become a worshiping assembly joining the couple in praising God and celebrating
this sacred event. The music also reflects the purpose of various parts of the wedding liturgy. While we prefer that you
use the parish director of music, under exceptional circumstances, a guest soloist or instrumentalist who is familiar with the Roman Catholic Liturgy, perhaps a friend or family member,
may participate in the wedding music. Please be advised that if you choose not to use the parish's music director, you will still be required to pay a "bench-fee" of $200.00. The use of recorded music is prohibited.
The director of music provides music for parish weddings. The priest arranging your wedding will put you in touch with
him so that you can discuss the music for your wedding; he will be happy to assist you in appropriate planning and
Flowers add to the festive nature of your wedding ceremony. All flower arrangements that you use in the sanctuary at your wedding
are to be left in the church after your ceremony as a sign of your gratitude to God and to signify that your wedding
is connected to the liturgical life of Saint Elizabeth Parish. Flowers for your reception should be ordered separately,
as they are not used in the church. With that said, if you are thinking about the possibility of removing any of the flowers that are going to be used to decorate the sanctuary during the celebration of your wedding ceremony, for use later in the evening at your reception, you are encouraged to prayerfully consider not having the flowers delivered to the church at all.
It is never acceptable to place any objects on the altar table such as candles, plants or flowers.
Please inform your florist that the use of any kind of tape on the church pews is not permitted.
The use of an aisle runner is strongly discouraged. Guests wearing high heels puncture and tear runners because the
church's aisle is carpeted. Also, older guests have been known to trip over the edge of runners as they exit pews at
Communion time and at the end of the ceremony.
The recording of your wedding ceremony through the use of photography or videotape must respect the sacred nature of
the liturgy and must not be a distraction to you, your bridal party, your guests, or the priest. Please tell your
photographers to consult with the priest before the ceremony so they know what is allowed. It is extremely important
for us to maintain reverence and respect for you and this sacred ritual.
Photographers may take pictures of the wedding, but they may not enter the marble sanctuary area. Also, no pictures
are to be taken during the homily or during Communion, and the photographer may not take pictures of your guests during
the ceremony - those pictures are to be reserved for the reception.
Video cameras must be positioned on a tripod and remain in a stationary position throughout the ceremony. They may be
set up in either or both of the seating areas located on the left and right sides of the marble sanctuary. We recognize
that the camera may have to be moved to record the procession.
Photographs may be taken in the church after the ceremony, but only if there is sufficient time to do so before the
next scheduled function.
Given the adequacy of the church's own lighting, flash photography is not necessary, however it is permitted during
times when photographs are allowed.
Please inform your limousine service provider that serving champagne or other alcoholic beverages outside
the church is strictly prohibited.
It is extremely important that both the wedding rehearsal and ceremony begin promptly on time. It is not acceptable
for the bridal party to arrive late. There is no reason why your ceremony should not begin at the time you and your
fiance have chosen. Courtesy to your guests, the tight schedule of clergy, and the use of parish facilities for
subsequent services demand attention to this matter. Late starting times may result in an abbreviated Liturgy of
the Word service.
We ask that you choose ushers to greet your guests and to consider having your guests seated anywhere in the church,
rather than being selective by sitting on the bride's or groom's "side." Your guests come to your wedding to celebrate
you as a couple and should not have to make a decision about whose "side" they will sit on. Ushers should not lead
guests to pews toward the back of the church.
If your wedding will take place within the celebration of Mass, you may choose two people to bring up the
bread and wine during the Preparation of the Gifts and Altar.
Please consult with the priest as to whom you will choose to read during your ceremony. Readers should be well-spoken
and able to read loudly and clearly in front of the congregation. Readings are chosen from the selections available
to you from the priest. Secular readings or poems are not appropriate for the wedding ceremony and are best suited
for your reception.
Ring bearers and flower girls are a welcome and beautiful addition to many weddings. However, to avoid embarrassments
and disruptions of the ceremony, any children who take part in the procession must be at least 5 years old, or be
accompanied by an adult. No wagons, carriages, or strollers may be used in procession.
The lighting of a "unity candle" is not a part of the Rite of Marriage. Wedding rings are the traditional and perfect
expression of nuptial unity. If you have purchased a unity candle, or if you receive one as a gift, consider lighting
it at your wedding reception.
Parishioners work hard to keep the church and its grounds clean. We will do everything possible to make sure that
the church is clean for your wedding. Help us to offer the same benefit to those who will come to the church for
worship after your ceremony. Please designate someone who will be attending your wedding to spend some time in the
church immediately following your ceremony to ensure that nothing is left behind, and that the church is in order.
All items that you bring (flower or tux wrappers, pins, programs, boxes, bags, etc.) are to be taken with you when
you leave. Because of maintenance considerations, no rice, bird seed, or confetti is to be thrown either inside or
outside of the church. Animals, birds, insects or other objects may not be released on the premises.
Please inform your guests that proper dress and appropriate behavior is expected at all times on church grounds.
Anyone who appears to be under the influence of alcohol - at the rehearsal or the wedding - will be asked to leave
If for any reason you must postpone or cancel your wedding, or, if your telephone number or address changes before
your wedding, please notify a parish priest as soon as possible.