Wedding Preparation Guidelines
The choice of celebrant is entirely yours. You may use the priests of the parish or you are welcome to bring in your own celebrant. A visiting priest from outside our Diocese is responsible for contacting his Diocese and providing a letter to our Diocese of Grand Rapids stating that he is in good standing from that Diocese. The priests at St. Alphonsus would be more than happy to be the celebrant at your wedding.
The exchange of vows as you ‘write and seal’ your covenant with each other may take place in the context of the celebration of the Eucharist or within a Scripture Ceremony. In the case of one of the parties not being Catholic, the Eucharistic celebration may appear to be exclusive.
Traditionally, two Catholics make their wedding covenant with each other in the context of the celebration of the Eucharist, but may also do so at a Scripture Ceremony.
The choice of either option is up to you and should be discussed with your celebrant.
A wedding coordinator will contact you prior to your wedding date. It is the obligation of the wedding coordinators to take you through the “ins and outs” of your wedding here at St. Alphonsus.
A Wedding Seminar on the first weekend in February or November to review these guidelines as well as an overview of your wedding is required.
Church and Environment
Decorate with flowers as you wish, but they are not permitted on the altar table. Real rose petals may not be used as they can discolor the carpet, but the use of imitation rose petals is acceptable.
Candles may not be used, with the exception of altar candles.
If using a unity candle, only non-drip candles may be used as to protect our carpet.
Tie-on decorations may be used on the pews. Tape, wire, or glue may not be used.
Please do not remove any decorations that are already in place.
Keep in mind the liturgical season in which you will be married (i.e. Advent, Christmas, Easter).
**Aisle runners are not permitted at St. Alphonsus.
No Rice, balloons or birdseed.
Liturgical services (morning funerals, baptisms) take precedence.
You must adhere to the time listed below.
Time of wedding will be arranged with your celebrant.
Rehearsal and arrival times at church should be arranged with your Wedding Coordinator.
If your wedding is at 11:00 a.m., the church is available from 9:30 until 12:30.
If your wedding is at 2:00 p.m., the church is available from 12:30-3:30.
Saturday confessions begin at 3:30 p.m. in the church.
The stipend for a wedding for parishioners is $500 and for non parishioners is $1,000, payable to St. Alphonsus Church. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is to be made within one week after your date has been set with the balance due prior to your wedding. Please note your wedding date on all checks. This amount covers marriage manuals, the services of the coordinator, maintenance of the church, and utilities. This stipend does not include the fees for musicians or a gratuity for priests.
The Music Director fee is $150 and includes cantoring or if you have another person cantor that fee will be determined. If you have any questions regarding music at St. Alphonsus, please contact the parish Music Director Carol Fedewa at 616-913-4408 or email@example.com Stipends for outside musicians may vary from the fee listed above.
Bridal Dressing Room
St. Alphonsus offers a room in the back of the church for the Bride and Bridesmaids. Restrooms are next to this room. Groomsmen will need to come dressed for the wedding but will have a room at the front of the church to assemble while the guests are being seated.
Pictures may be taken before, during and after the ceremony. Please ask the wedding coordinator to adjust the lights in the church. Photographers must adhere to the time line for the wedding. Photographers should limit movement during the ceremony and avoid encroachment of the altar area.
Alcoholic beverages or food are not allowed in the church.
We do not currently have a drinking fountain in the church and recommend bringing bottled water.
Smoking is not permitted.