Congratulations on the decision to celebrate a commitment of life with each other in the Sacrament of Marriage. Weddings are a special time of joy and promise for you, your families and the entire parish community. Above and beyond the legality of marriage, it is understandable that celebrating this sacrament in a faith context and church setting must be entered into with prayerful planning. As a Christian community, we want to provide you with the direction necessary to help you attain your goal ... not only a wonderful wedding day, but a happy and fulfilling life long sacramental marriage. Therefore these policies have been prepared in order to help you solemnize your marriage at Immaculate Conception. If you have any question after reading the information below please call the Parish Office at 603-888-0321 or use the contact form and we will be happy to assist you.
Either the bride or the groom must be a registered, practicing member of the parish. By Canon Law, non-registered Catholic bridal parties must obtain a "letter of permission" from their own parish, or must register with Immaculate Conception for the celebration of a wedding. There is an additional fee for non-registered or newly registered members seeking to celebrate a marriage in the parish.
1. The bride and groom meet with the parish priest or deacon at least six months before the intended wedding date;
2. With the priest or deacon, the couple completes the Pre-Nuptial questionnaire which includes testimony of their intention to enter into a Christian Marriage according to the teaching of the Church; and that,
3. The Catholic parties, either the bride and/or groom, must attend Mass in a Catholic Church regularly.
4. The engage couple must complete all components of the Marriage Preparation Process as outlined below.
Our Wedding Preparation Program is administered in accordance with the guidelines of the Catholic Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire and includes the following:
1. Initial Meeting with our Pastor or Associate Pastor
2. Completion of the FOCCUS Questionnaire (a marriage preparation and discussion tool)
3. Review of the FOCCUS results with a trained facilitator(s) - this could be the Priest, the Pastoral Associate or a married couple.
4. Attend one Marriage Preparation Seminar (i.e., the Engaged Couple Seminar, Engaged Encounter Weekend or another approved marriage seminar/retreat),
5. Completion of the Pre-Nuptial Questionnaire which includes testimony of the intention to enter into a Christian Marriage according to the teaching of the Catholic Church
6. Meet with your officiant (the priest or deacon) to plan the actual ceremony.
1. A newly issued copy (no more than six months old) of your baptismal certificate, obtained directly from the church of baptism. Both the Catholic and non-Catholic parties need this documentation where baptism has been celebrated.
2. In the case of a second marriage, please advise the priest or deacon of this reality. Proof of the previous marriage and legal divorce are needed. This applies to either party, Catholic or non-Catholic.
In many cases an Annulment will be required when a previous marriage has been celebrated. The Formal Decree of Nullity is needed prior to establishing a confirmed wedding date. The priest or deacon will assist you in determining if such a decree is needed.
4. Finally, a Civil License must be obtained. You both must be present to apply for the license. No blood test is required in NH. The license is valid for 90 days. You may drop your license off at the Parish Office anytime prior to the wedding, but no later than the time of the rehearsal.
The date & times are available on a first-come, first-reserved basis.
Friday Evening Weddings: Depending on availablility, times for a Friday evening wedding ceremony are from 5:00PM to 7:00PM.
Saturday Evening Weddings: Depending on availability, times for a Saturday ceremony are as early as desired to as late as 2:00PM for a Full Mass, and, 2:30PM for a Scripture Service. If an evening wedding is desired, 7:00PM or later may also be available. Saturday ceremony times are limited due to our weekly Confession and Mass schedule.
Sunday Weddings: Because of our regular Mass schedule, Sunday weddings are not available.
Please Note: Some dates during the year, though no weddings are previously scheduled, may not be available because of civic holiday observances or other parish activities. By tradition, weddings are not typically celebrated during Lent (Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday).
If there is more than one wedding scheduled for the same day, a minimum of a
2-hour interval is required between weddings.
All marriages between two Catholics that are in a position to celebrate and receive Eucharist can take place in the context of Mass. When one person of the couple is not Catholic and would therefore be unable to receive Communion, the marriage is celebrated within the context of a Liturgy of the Word (i.e., a Scripture Service). Discussion about whether a Liturgy of the Word or Celebration of Eucharist should take place with the priest at your initial meeting.
As a safety precaution, aisle runners are not permitted. The aisle in our church is carpeted so a runner is not needed.
Rubber bands or craft wires work best for pew bows but double stick adhesive tapes can also be used.
It is customary to leave the flowers from your wedding at the Church to provide the whole parish community the opportunity to share in the celebration of your wedding. No flower petals, rice, bird seed or confetti is to be thrown in or around the church. Please be sure to inform your guests.
If a couple would like to invite another priest or deacon from outside the parish to preside at their ceremony, they are most welcomed. It is presumed that the visiting celebrant will adhere to the customs of the parish, and will be present for the wedding rehearsal. If the visiting celebrant is from out of state, he must obtain the written permission from the Secretary of State of New Hampshire to preside over the witness of vows.
In the past, well meaning photographers and videographers (professional or otherwise) have caused great distraction during the wedding ceremony for both the couple and their guests. Please inform your photographer or videographer that no flash, strobe or floodlights are allowed during the ceremony, and that they should consult with the presider before the ceremony begins.
The rehearsal is usually scheduled for the evening before the wedding and normally is a half hour in length. Because more than one rehearsal may be scheduled on a given evening, it is important that everyone arrive on time.
RESERVATION FEE (This fee differs depending on parishioner status):
A $150 Reservation Fee is required for couples who meet the following 3 criteria:
1.) Themselves (or their parents), are current, registered members of the parish;
2.) Themselves (or their parents), are current regular contributors of record; AND
3.) Support the parish life through involvement in parish ministry, are asked a nominal reservation fee of $150.00.*
A $500 Reservation Fee is required for couples who are any one of the following:
1.) Non-registered, or newly registered members**
2.) Parishioners who do not normally attend, or
3.) Parishioner who are not financial contributors of record, are asked a church reservation fee of $500.00.*
Note: A wedding date and time is not secured until the reservation fee has been paid. A date can be tentatively held for up to 2 weeks. If payment is not received with that timeframe, the date will be released and made available to others.
* Reservation Fees are non-refundable, as they make the date and time unavailable to another couple who might seek that same date or time.
** A couple who has been registered with the parish for 6 months or less is considered a Newly Registered Parishioner.
Travis Catello is our parish organist. He can be reached at by phone at 603.888.0321, ext. 232 or by email . It is presumed that he will be the organist/musician at all weddings at Immaculate Conception. The fee for his service is $150.00 made payable directly to the parish and due 4 weeks before your wedding. This fee is not part of the reservation fee.
A couple wishing to use the services of an alternate musician must notify the parish office a minimum of 3 months prior to the wedding date, otherwise the couple is responsible for the $150 fee (even if the service is not used). All other musicians must be approved by the celebrant in advance.
Soloists (and all other musicians) are contracted and paid directly. If you would like assistance in choosing a soloist (or any other musician), please contact Travis Catello.
WEDDING COORDINATOR FEE:
Our parish Wedding Coordinator will assist in arranging all aspects of your wedding ceremony. She leads the rehearsal the evening before and is present the day of your wedding to ensure everything operates smoothly. The Wedding Coordinator will help you work out all the logistical details surrounding the day (i.e., bridal procession options, flowers, pew bows, photographers, etc.). The fee for the Wedding Coordinator is $150 made payable directly to the parish and due 4 weeks before your wedding. This fee is not part of the reservation fee and is not optional. Our current Wedding Coordinator is Suzan Corwin. She can be contacted by email using our contact form.
Any personal offerings, gifts or stipends for the priest or deacon that performs you ceremony or servers who assist at your wedding, are at teh discression of the couple. It is recommended that any such gratuity be brought to the rehearsal with the other items you plan to use as part of your ceremony.
We have an excellent parish organist and soloist who will work directly with you for music at your wedding because of the sacredness of the event and their particular expertise in celebrating the Liturgy and Sacrament of Marriage, we highly recommend their services be the ones used. Their fees are discussed above. (Please note that the option of pre-recorded music is not available for use during the ceremony.) Appropriate music selections for the ceremony must be approved in advance, keeping in mind the sacredness of the celebration.
Please click here to assist you in planning your wedding music.
Finally, our thanks to you!
Thank you for taking the time to review our wedding policy. There will more than likely be questions that were not answered here. Please feel free to contact us at the Parish Business Office at 888-0321. Again, congratulations on your wedding plans, and our prayers and best wishes to you for your future! (This policy is subject to change. The most current policy is available at the parish office.)