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Rite of Marriage

St. Margaret of Cortona Church


Marriage is one of the most significant events in your lives. We hope that your wedding in St. Margaret of Cortona Church will be a happy and grace filled beginning of your journey together.  As over the next several months you will be very busy preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony, the following basic guidelines will help to answer some of the questions that may arise during your preparation.  Please feel free to make notes regarding your specific questions and contact Fr. Jeff Rimelspach to schedule the first of your preparation meetings.


Wedding Guidelines  (These Guidelines are in addition to GUIDELINES FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE dated 9/1/09.  In the event of a conflict between these two documents, the document dated 9/1/09 will control).


Priest Witnesses

All weddings are officially witnessed and the ceremony celebrated by the Pastor of St. Margaret of Cortona Church. Should the couple have a close family friend or member of the family who is a priest, he may celebrate the wedding himself or he may concelebrate with the Pastor.  Any special arrangements in this regard must be discussed with the Pastor at the time the wedding is scheduled.


Marriage Instruction

At the initial appointment with your presiding priest and/or deacon, you will discuss all the necessary procedures and appointments to be included in your wedding preparation.


Wedding Times

Weddings at St. Margaret of Cortona are typically held on Saturdays at any time before 1:30 p.m or after 6:00 p.m.  In the rare instance that a funeral is to be held on the day of a scheduled wedding, every effort will be made to ensure that neither service is compromised.  No weddings are scheduled on Sundays, Holidays or Holy Days of obligation and are discouraged during Lent.  If a Lenten wedding is scheduled, they are to be planned in accord with the spirit of that season.


Wedding Rehearsal

Your rehearsal will be held the evening before your wedding, typically at 6:00 p.m. or earlier.  This time will be scheduled at the time your wedding date and time are secured.  Please let your wedding party know the exact time and location of your rehearsal as it is important that your rehearsal begins on time.

Please note:  it is important that you bring your wedding license to the wedding rehearsal.  Marriage licenses in Franklin County, Ohio, may be obtained from the Franklin County Probate Court, Marriage Licensing Department, 373 S. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43062.  You may obtain their days/hours of operation, along with any requirements for obtaining your marriage license, by calling 462-3898.  


Baptismal Record

Catholic person(s) must present a baptismal record obtained from the church of baptism issued within six months of the marriage date. Non-Catholics do not have to provide a certificate but should have information on the place and date of their baptism if at all possible.


Use of the Church

Please note that the use of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited inside the Church or on the Church grounds. Socializing around the church and on the church grounds at rehearsal time or on the day of the wedding should reflect the seriousness of the ceremony and the sacredness of the place.

All cellular phones and pagers should be either turned off or set to silent settings during the ceremony.  Please advise your wedding party and family of this as ringing cell phones and beeping pagers will certainly detract from the tasteful celebration of your wedding day.

No food or drink is permitted inside the church building.

Our church building is entirely smoke free.  Please respect the proper disposal of cigarettes, etc., outside of the church as well.

Please refrain from the practice of tossing confetti, rice, and birdseed or flower petals inside and outside of the church building.  Helium balloons may be released outside of the church.  You may also utilize bubbles or bells outside of the church building.


Bridal Party Accommodations

There is a large room with bathroom facilities in the lower level of the rectory. The bride and bridesmaids may dress there if they wish. The groom and groomsmen usually come prepared for the ceremony. If they need to dress at the Church, they should make special arrangements with the priest at or before rehearsal time.  Please ensure that these areas are cleaned and restored to their original condition upon leaving the Church.  Also, it is recommended that all personal items be removed from these areas prior to the ceremony beginning.  


Unity Candle

In the Catholic Sacrament of Marriage, there is no need for the use of the unity candle as the sign of your unity is found in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, along with the vows you will take and the rings you will exchange.  When the Sacrament of Marriage is celebrated outside of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the vows you take and the rings you exchange remain the symbols of unity. You may wish to use a unity candle at the reception as part of the grace before meals.



The Church does not supply flowers, however you are free to enjoy whatever flowers are in the Church at the time of your marriage. Nothing is to be placed on the altar or removed from the altar (e.g. altar cloths).  Flowers may be placed around the altar or to the sides of the altar.  Prior to moving anything in the church, the bride and groom should discuss their intentions with the Pastor. If the couple would like to leave the flowers as an offering to the church for Sunday Liturgy, they are most welcome to do so. This gift certainly would be appreciated.

Please refrain from throwing or dropping rice, rose petals, confetti or any type of seeds inside or outside of the Church. The use of an aisle runner or aisle cloth, for safety reasons, is prohibited. 



Please advise your photographers and/or videographers of the following:

Pictures may be taken before and during the ceremony as long as the presence of the photographer and/or videographer does not impede the dignity of the celebration of the Sacrament in any way.  They must remain outside the sanctuary and be seated and quiet during the Scripter readings and the homily.  Flash photography during the ceremony is also prohibited, with the single exception of the bridal procession into the church.  All photographers and their equipment must be removed 90 minutes after the scheduled beginning of the wedding ceremony.



St. Margaret's does not provide servers for weddings. If the couple has friends or relatives who would like to serve, they are most welcome to do so. The priest should know this at rehearsal time.


Lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

If the bride and groom would like to select friends and family to serve as lector(s) during their wedding ceremony or wedding Mass, they may do so.  Please provide your readers with copies of their readings prior to the wedding rehearsal so they may have ample time to review.  It is not normally necessary to have extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist unless the wedding is exceptionally large.



*  Please note that all arrangements for weddings must be made directly with the bride and/or groom.  This is to avoid any confusion or

misunderstandings that might arise during the course of making such arrangements.  No exceptions can be made and your understanding

and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

* All music will be provided by St. Margaret of Cortona Musicians, as facilitated by Director of Music (Christopher Walsh).  Any additional musicians

must be approved by Mr. Walsh prior to being hired for the day.  No exceptions will be made in this regard.  Keep in mind that any outside

musicians must be very familiar with the Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony and, if necessary, the Catholic Mass.  No training will be given to

musicians who are not otherwise experienced in this area.

* Brides and Grooms must contact Mr. Walsh at least within thirty (30) days of scheduling their wedding to begin the planning of their music.

*  Only liturgically appropriate music will be permitted.  This includes prelude music as well as music during the liturgy itself.  If you have

questions as to what “liturgically appropriate” means, please don’t hesitate to ask Mr. Walsh.

*  All fees for music will be negotiated directly with the musicians themselves and will not be quoted through any other source.

*  It is not necessary for musicians to attend the wedding rehearsal as the rehearsal is designed for the Bride, Groom and Bridal party to

familiarize themselves with their surroundings.  The musicians will be coordinated and rehearsed at another time.

*  No pre-recorded music will be permitted.

*  Selecting the music for one’s wedding should be one of the easiest tasks a Bride and Groom should undertake as St. Margaret’s has

qualified and experienced musicians as resources. 

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