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Good marriage preparation takes time and effort.  Arrangements for your wedding in the church are to be made no less than six months in advance of a suggested wedding date.

The Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church presumes that a Catholic be married in his/her own parish church.  Accordingly, it is our policy that at least one of the parties to be married should be a member of St. Charles Borromeo Church.

Couples are expected to contact one of the priests or deacon at least six months prior to the date of marriage. The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is celebrated on Fridays at 6:30pm, and Saturdays at 10:30am, 12:00 noon, and 1:30pm.

Marriage Guidelines

Preparation for Marriage & Your Wedding at St. Charles Borromeo 

Congratulations and best wishes to you as you prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Our Pastor, deacon, and staff of St. Charles Borromeo Parish are pleased to be of service and to assist you during this time of God’s special grace for engaged couples. 

The celebration of Christian marriage in the presence of the Church’s minister and community is a manifestation of God’s own love for us and the love that a man and woman have for each other.  We come together at the wedding ceremony to seek God’s blessings upon you as a couple as we witness your promises of unity, fidelity, and unqualified love. 

Obviously, the details of the wedding are only a part of preparation for marriage. 

These Marriage Guidelines for St. Charles Borromeo Parish are designed to answer some practical and specific questions which many engaged couples have concerning the wedding itself.  In the pastoral care and preparation for marriage, these Guidelines will also enable discussion time to emphasize more clearly the values and attitudes essential to a lifetime vocation. 

Couples contemplating  marriage should carefully study and discuss the Pastoral Letter on Marriage of Archbishop Harry Flynn.

General Guidelines for the Celebration of Marriage

Marriage Preparation 
1.  Good marriage preparation takes time and effort.  Arrangements for your wedding in the Church are to be made no less than six months in advance of a suggested wedding date. 
2.  As indicated by the Minnesota Bishops, it is not advisable to set a wedding date until the completion of the Premarital Inventory or FOCCUS. 
3.  Customary times for weddings are Friday evenings at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 1:30pm.  Weddings may be scheduled at other times  if there is no conflict of schedule in the church. 
4.  Adequate marriage preparation includes : 
  • Engaged couples meet with the priest or deacon to complete a pre-marriage  inventory, as well as  discuss  subjects  including marriage as a Sacrament and Catholic teaching on human sexuality. 
  • The Archdiocesan Retreat for the Engaged is required.
  • Engaged couples meet with married couples from St. Charles Borromeo Parish who serve as mentor couples in the areas of responsibility, communication, sexuality, and finance.  Call Gayle Prola at 612-787-1150 to begin registration for these home visits.
  • Classes in Natural Family Planning (NFP) are required  by the Archbishop.
5.  The priest or deacon will complete the necessary documentation with the couple. 
  • (Form I)  The testimony from  the groom and the bride is documented.
  • (Form II) Further testimony will be required from someone close to you (preferably parents) if you are not well known by the priest or deacon.
  • A recent baptismal certificate must be obtained from your Church of Baptism, dated after  marriage preparation has begun.
  • An interfaith marriage will need  the permission of the Bishop.  The Catholic party will need to sign a consent form agreeing to raise, educate, and baptize the children in the Catholic faith.

Requirements of the State of Minnesota
A marriage license from the State of Minnesota is required.  Prior to applying for the marriage license, request  the “Reduced  Fee Educators Statement” from the priest or deacon to qualify for the State of Minnesota marriage license discount.  Once applied for, there is a five-day waiting period.  The license is then valid for six months.  Please bring the license to the Parish Office at least one week prior to the wedding date.

The fees for the celebration of your marriage at St. Charles Borromeo Church are:

  • Parish:  $600 (includes  the  use of  church facilities and instructional materials, and also the services of the organist and vocalist)
  • A clergy stipend is suggested as a token of appreciation, but is not required.
  • Altar Servers:  $10 each (bring on the day of the wedding)

Please bring the parish fees in an envelope to the Parish Office when you bring in the marriage license.  Diane Vnak is the Director of Music and the principal vocalist.  All arrangements for music or guest musicians must be approved by the music director in advance.  Additional fees will apply for rehearsals or additional musicians.

Rehearsal Procedure
A rehearsal is necessary before a wedding if it is to be celebrated with dignity and in good taste.  This will be scheduled with the priest or deacon with whom you are making your wedding arrangements.  All those in the wedding party including readers and gift bearers (if there will be a Mass) should be present.  In addition to the Marriage Rite itself, we will show you the bridal room and take care of any practical problems to ensure an orderly celebration of your  wedding.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered following the rehearsal whenever a priest is available.  The typical rehearsal length is 30-60 minutes.

Wedding Liturgy
1.  In preparing for your  wedding liturgy,  several options are available for your selection.  These will be discussed with you on your  final meeting with the priest or deacon.  
2.  The Sacrament of Matrimony is normally celebrated within Mass for marriages between Catholics.  A couple entering an interfaith marriage will usually not have their wedding liturgy within  Mass.
3.  The Catholic Church does not allow intercommunion with members of other Christian communities.  Only practicing Catholics who are properly disposed may receive Holy Communion at Mass.
4.  The wedding Mass or liturgy does not fulfill the Sunday Mass obligation.  We remind you to make plans for the Sunday liturgy following your  Saturday wedding.
5.  Because music is an integral part of the Sacred Liturgy, the parish retains the right to be selective in this matter.  We have an exceptional record of fine music and qualified musicians in the parish and we wish to continue that tradition.  Only Church music will be permitted; no show tunes, etc.  All arrangements for music are to be made with the music director, Diane Vnak, dvnak@stchb.org.
6.  Expenses for floral  decorations, aisle cloth  (length of aisle is 120 feet) and unity candle and stand are to be arranged by the couple.  We ask that the flowers be left in the church after the ceremony.  NO tape, glue, wire, tacks, or other tools potentially harmful to furniture may be used on the pews.
7.  All attire selected  for the wedding ceremony is to reflect the solemn occasion of the marriage liturgy and the sacred space of the church as God’s dwelling.  The wedding party, gift bearers and lectors should respect the modesty of the human body, wearing what is customarily considered suitable for Sunday Mass.  For example, plunging necklines, mini-skirts, bare shoulders, backless dresses, high slits or open waistlines are not appropriate for the House of the Lord.  If necessary, a cover-up accessory should be selected.
8.  Pictures in the Church are allowed  during the wedding provided  the photographer uses time exposures, acts with dignity and is discreet.  Flash pictures are allowed during the processional and the recessional.  Flash pictures are NOT allowed during the wedding liturgy.  Access to the church for pictures is ordinarily 2 1/2 hours  prior to the wedding providing there is no conflict of scheduling the church.  Pictures must be completed by 1/2 hour before the wedding begins.  Additional pictures may be taken after  the wedding.  However, for Saturday afternoon weddings, picture taking must be completed by 3:00pm because of Confessions and Mass preparations.
9. You may bring food and beverages for the bridal party for consumption during the picture taking.  Please restrict this to the bride’s room and groom’s room.  Any food and beverages brought in must be removed after the wedding.  Use of illicit drugs or alcoholic beverages of any kind are strictly prohibited, and if present, may be grounds for canceling the wedding.  If there will be a Mass, please remember to observe the one-hour fast before Communion.
10.  We ask that no rice, confetti, bird seed or similar material be thrown on Church property.
11.  The best man and maid/matron of honor may not  leave the parish property until they have signed the marriage certificate.
12.  Please designate someone to go through the church and bride’s room after the wedding to remove any materials left behind.

Parish Registration
Be sure that you register in a parish as husband and wife soon after your wedding day.

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