You may be wondering “what is involved in planning a wedding at the church?” Here you will find all of the information and step-by-step process in what you will need to prepare for your wedding at St. Joseph Parish in Grande Prairie, AB.
1. Booking The Church/ First Interview
A fee of $150.00 is required before the booking is confirmed. This fee is paid at the parish office. The marriage preparation process begins with the booking, and the first interview.
Usually, the church requires at least 8 months to gather all the documents and prepare the couple. A time of discernment and reflection on the meaning of Christian Marriage is always beneficial. (The fee will be refunded if the wedding is cancelled).
Each of you will need to provide proof of baptism from the church where the baptism occurred. Ask them to send a current copy of your baptismal certificate made within the last six months. Non-Catholics should also submit a copy of a baptismal certificate, if possible.
3. Second Interview
A second marriage interview will be done approximately three months prior to your wedding.
4. Choose your Ceremony
You may choose to have a wedding ceremony with or without Mass. A wedding with Mass lasts about one hour; one without Mass is about half an hour in length.
Please note, the church is often used for other purposes immediately after the wedding so the church may not be available for photos. Many couples find a place at the park for photos. In the case of inclement weather you should be ready to find another place for group/family photos.
6. Marriage License
You will need to purchase and submit a marriage license to the parish office about six weeks prior to your marriage date, keeping in mind that the license is valid only 90 days.
7. Bible Readings
Approximately one month before your wedding you will meet with the presiding priest. He will help you to select biblical readings. You will need to ask one of your guest or family members to proclaim the first reading, the second reading and the prayers of the faithful.
8. Sacred Music
In our Catholic tradition, a wedding is a sacred ceremony and so should have religious music performed live (i.e. no pre-recorded music). The most appropriate music comes from the church hymnbook. If there is no Mass, classical music with no lyrics is also acceptable. If Mass is celebrated, the musicians must be able to play and sing the mass parts. If you have questions please speak to the presiding priest.
Music fees are payable to the musicians, depending upon special requests. See below for fees. The following musicians may be available for hire:
($400.00 for cello and piano together)
Brianne St. Hilaire
8. Questions/ Concerns
If you have any questions or please call the church and ask to speak to Darlene Lemay, Karen Backmeyer, or one of the priests at 780-532-2351. We will do all we can to support you. God bless you on your journey!