The Wedding Ceremony

The couple must obtain a civil license from the State of Maryland and present this to the celebrant the one week before the ceremony. The license may be obtained at the Marriage License Bureau, Rockville, MD, Monday through Friday.

Vows, Readings and Prayers: The Rite of Marriage presents several options for the form of the vows to be exchanged, as well as readings and prayers. The priest will present the couple with a booklet of these options.

Marriage Ceremony Items

Music

Little Flower’s organist, Jonathan Hellerman, will arrange for the music performed at the wedding ceremony, and is under exclusive contract as organist for all weddings. The couple should contact him two months in advance of the wedding. Jonathan Hellerman will guide and assist in the selection of music that is appropriate for the ceremony. If the wedding takes place within a Mass then there must also be a cantor (solo singer) to lead the sung parts of Mass. The organist will arrange for one of Little Flower's cantors to sing, as needed, for an additional fee. The organist also arranges for additional vocalists or instruments for the ceremony if the couple so desires.

Readers

Family and friends of the bride and groom may participate in the wedding ceremony as readers. When you are considering your choice of readers, please choose those who appreciate the religious nature of the reading. They should know what they are reading and know how to read it for the dignity and beauty of your wedding. Readers are expected to participate in the wedding rehearsal.

Wedding Mass or Ceremony

When two Catholics are married, a Mass is encouraged. The Eucharist is the wedding banquet between Christ and His Church, and marriage is a sacrament because it is a symbol of this union between Christ and the Church. Whether there is celebration of Mass for a couple of mixed religions should be discussed between the priest and the couple.

Date and Time

Weddings at Little Flower are scheduled on Saturdays at 10:00 am and between the hours of 1:30 and 2:30 pm, or 6:30 pm.

Excessive Spending

Weddings are festive occasions and should be celebrated properly, but lavish spending, not in keeping with Christian simplicity, is not appropriate.

Fees and Offering to the Church

  1. An offering to the parish is appreciated and should be in direct proportion to the money spent on the rest of the ceremony and reception. It is an expression of gratitude for God's blessings and a material sign of support for the parish. The offering is for the parish and should be given to the priest one week prior to the wedding.
  2. Parish secretary Patty Whitty will serve as the wedding coordinator for the service. The coordinator's fee is $200, and should be given with all other fees to the priest one week prior to the wedding.
  3. The organist fee is $250.00 and should be made payable to the organist, Jonathan Hellerman, and given to him at least one week prior to the wedding. The cantor fee is $200, and also should be provided one week prior to the wedding. Other music fees (for additional musicians) should be given to the organist at least one week prior to the wedding and made payable to the appropriate person(s).

Programs

If the couple wishes to print a program for the wedding ceremony, a draft of the program must be faxed to Little Flower wedding coordinator at 301-320-4541 before printing. A sample wedding program with appropriate format may be obtained from the wedding coordinator. If the wedding takes place within a Mass, the Guidelines for Receiving Communion must be printed in the program.

Photographs

Photographers may take pictures during the ceremony, but they must be discreet and unobtrusive. They may not enter the sanctuary or place recording equipment there. After the ceremony they may take pictures inside the church so they should keep picture-taking during the ceremony to a minimum. Flash pictures may be taken from the rear of the church during the processions but not during the ceremony. After the wedding, there will be approximately 30 minutes for pictures.

Flowers

Please consult with the wedding coordinator for the proper flower arrangements and florists.

Rehearsal

The rehearsal usually takes place the afternoon or evening before the wedding. The time should be arranged with the priest well in advance. It is imperative that the wedding party be on time as there are sometimes other rehearsals scheduled for the same evening. The rehearsal will usually be limited to 60 minutes. The celebrant will conduct the rehearsal with the assistance of the wedding coordinator. If others are present in the church besides the wedding party, they are asked to remain respectfully seated during the rehearsal. Readers are expected to participate in the wedding rehearsal.

Dressing Rooms

There are no dressing rooms in the church. The rectory is not available to the wedding party or guests for such purposes.

Ushers

Ushers should be present in the church at least 30 minutes before the wedding to seat guests. They should remain after the ceremony to see if they can be of help to the celebrant in restoring the church to good order. For example, they should be available to remove empty boxes and ribbons, and personal articles left by guests in the pews.

Confetti

The use of confetti, flower petals (real or artificial), rice or birdseed on church property is not permitted at Little Flower.