Some specific notes about weddings
here at Our Lady of the Lake …

Catholic weddings are sacramental celebrations of our faith, so of course we presume that at least one of those being married is a currently practicing (weekend church going) member of our parish. Having been brought to church or religious education as a child, even at this parish, is good background information but it does not substitute for an adult decision to continue to practice one’s faith. Also, we need to make sure that the church is available for the weddings of those who are active members. Saturday weddings need to be at 2:00 PM. This allows us to have a funeral in the morning if necessary while still allowing enough time for the church to be cleaned up well before confessions begin at 4:00 PM. Weddings on other days of the week may be scheduled at more varied times. Weddings are not scheduled during Advent and Lent because of the seasons’ penitential spirit (and church décor).

By common agreement all of the Catholic parishes in the state of Michigan require AT LEAST six months be available for a period of marriage preparation. (Some dioceses require more.) We schedule weddings for parishioners on a first come basis, so make sure that you confirm your wedding date with the parish before making contracts with caterers or halls. If you are both practicing Catholics you may have a Mass with your wedding. If one of you is a member of some other denomination, please know that your own minister is most welcome to participate in the ceremony as well. No wedding date is confirmed before the couple meets with Fr. Mike.

Music: Carol McAndrew (X119), is the minister of music and should be contacted at least three (3) months prior to the wedding. She is the one responsible for insuring that the musical selections are appropriate for a Catholic sacramental celebration. She can also inform you about the fees for musicians and cantors as well as the arrangements to be made for guest musicians or canters to be included.

Wedding Coordinator:  Mary Ann Hensley is the Wedding Coordinator. She is the person who will help prepare the wedding liturgy, direct the rehearsal and be your site coordinator for the day of the wedding. You will need to contact her at least six (6) weeks in advance of your wedding date to get all the planning started. The stipend for her services is $150.

Decorations: Flowers are not to be placed on the altar. Flowers left for the parish after the wedding are appreciated and will probably be used in the decoration of the church for the weekend, but they do belong to you and may be taken after the ceremony without embarrassment or explanation. Silk flowers must not be placed near open flames. Aisle runners are discouraged. Sanctuary furniture is not to be moved. You should not plan on throwing rice, bird seed, flower petals, etc. There should be no balloons inside the church. Food and beverages (including chewing gum and water bottles) should not be brought into the church. Limited snacks may be brought into the Bride’s room and Library, but the wedding party is responsible for cleaning up and disposing trash into the trash containers in the room.

Photographs: To better maintain an atmosphere of solemn prayer, only ONE designated photographer is permitted to take flash pictures during the ceremony. They may not stop or interrupt the ceremony in progress. They should plan on being packed up and out of the church by 3:30 PM for Saturday weddings.

Church Stipends: The parish asks for $250 OR 10% of the total spent on flowers and pictures, whichever is less. The marriage license and stipends for the parish, music and wedding coordinator should be brought to the church office at least one week prior to the wedding.