Planning for your Wedding

Confirming the Date of Your Wedding

Under most circumstances, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati requires a six-month preparation period for all marriages.

The first step in the marriage preparation process is to speak with the pastor or a member of the pastoral staff at Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish to discern your readiness to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Catholic Church.

Once this preliminary step has been accomplished, contact our Wedding Coordinator to reserve your chosen date on our calendar. It is necessary to confirm the date within thirty (30) days by submitting the required paperwork as instructed by the Coordinator. If the date and time is not confirmed within this time period, it is presumed that the date and/or time are not needed, and your names will be removed from our calendar. We will make an effort to contact you before cancelling a date.

Who can be married at Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish?

Registered members and non-members of Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish may be married here if both are free to marry and at least one party is a practicing Catholic. Since sacraments are normally celebrated in a catholic person’s home parish, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati requires that non-member Catholics obtain a letter of permission from the pastor of the parish where you are registered (independently of your parents) in order to marry at Holy Cross – Immaculata.

Couples who wish to be married at Holy Cross – Immaculata should contact the parish office no less than six months and ordinarily not more than 16 months before the proposed date.

If either party in any way participated in a prior marriage, a decree of nullity (Annulment) must be provided, demonstrating that the person is free to marry. Church Law is clear in this matter. No wedding date can be set until the annulment has been secured. Please keep in mind, an annulment is sometimes required, even if neither of the parties involved in the first marriage were not catholic. The priest or deacon can explain this further.

Sometimes a dispensation is required. (For example, if one of the parties has not been baptized, a dispensation is required.) The priest or deacon who will be the Presider at your wedding will inform you if a dispensation is necessary.

Mt Adams is one of the most unique and historical neighborhoods in Cincinnati. Sometimes, however, the charm of this neighborhood presents challenges, especially in terms of parking and competition with parades, art shows, and other events. We will inform you of any events we know of that will be taking place on the day you plan to schedule your wedding.

The Monastery Event Center in Mt Adams is a very popular venue for wedding receptions, and many events are scheduled far in advance. If you are considering that location or other reception centers that book well in advance, please contact our pastor. He will work with you to begin the necessary preparation if you want to secure our church for your wedding.

Wedding Fees

We will gladly set up a no interest payment plan for wedding fees. The fees you pay to Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish include the following:

  • The use of the church
  • Marriage Liturgy Coordinator
  • Wedding Coordinator
  • Parking Attendant
  • Use of the Parish Center prior to the ceremony
  • FOCCUS Inventory
  • Professional Keyboard Accompanist
  • Professional Cantor

The description of the role and duties of these professionals or services is explained in detail throughout this handbook. Fees are ordinarily nonrefundable; however, a wedding date can be rescheduled.

Not included in the fees paid to Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish include the following:

  • Registration fee for the Pre-Cana Workshop & the Natural Family Workshop
  • Stipend or Honorarium for the Priest or Deacon Presider
  • Stipend for the Acolyte or Server

Scheduling a Wedding Date & Time

The Rite of Matrimony permits weddings on any day of the year except Holy Thursday, Good Friday & Holy Saturday. Due to the parish schedule for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist and because of the high demand for weddings at Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish, we have specific times set on Saturdays. Information for Friday and Saturday weddings follows.

Friday: Normally we do not have events scheduled in the church on Friday evenings, so there is more flexibility in scheduling the wedding time. We will not schedule any other events in our facilities once you schedule your wedding. Please be aware that the parking lot gates are locked Friday evening and do not open until Saturday morning. Please inform your guess of this parking restriction. Cars need to be removed from the lot 45 minutes after the wedding ceremony.

Saturday 10:30: The staging time for your wedding can be discussed with the Wedding Coordinator. If another wedding is scheduled at 1:30, your wedding party and all guests will need to depart the church and the parking lot by noon. This minimizes the possibility of your guests being inconvenienced by the arrival of the next wedding party.

Saturday 1:30: If there is a morning wedding, the church will be available at noon for any required venue staging. If there is no morning wedding, we will inform you when the church and parish center will be open. Your wedding party, all guests and all cars must depart the premises by 3:15. No vehicles may be left in the parking lot after this time because we need the parking spaces for the 4:00 Mass. Please, please cooperate with us in this matter!

Saturday 6:00: Please keep in mind that we have a 4:00 Mass on Saturdays. Therefore, your wedding party and guests will not be able to park in our lot until 5:15. It may be more convenient to hire a shuttle service for the bride and bridesmaids if you plan to use the parish center before the ceremony. Please be aware that the parking lot gates are locked on Saturday evenings and do not open until Sunday morning. Vehicles may not be left in the lot overnight. Please inform your guests of this parking restriction.

Pre-Cana Preparation Requirements

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati requires that all engaged couples participate in an approved marriage preparation program. Our pastor or pastoral minister will give you the information and options available within the archdiocese. If you live outside the archdiocese, check with the staff at your home parish or home diocese about programs provided in your geographical area.

The priest or deacon who is officiating at your wedding is responsible to ensure that you complete all steps of preparation for your marriage. But please remember, it is the couple’s final responsibility to complete the required preparation programs and submit all necessary documents.

Standard requirements include for all dioceses within the United States include:

  • A recently issued Baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptized.
    • A completed M-1 Questionnaire.
    • Completed and reviewed FOCCUS communication inventory.
    • Pre-Cana Workshop – with certificate.

The Presider, Officiant or Celebrant

Registered members of our parish may ask our pastor or one of the deacons affiliated with our parish to preside at their wedding, or they may ask another priest or deacon to officiate as long as they are in good standing in their diocese. Couples who are not members of Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish will need to arrange to have a priest or deacon officiate at your wedding. You may contact our pastor or one of the deacons that are members of our staff, but please be aware that their schedules are demanding and therefore we cannot guarantee that they will be available. It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to obtain the celebrant for their wedding. The priest or deacon should be confirmed prior to booking the wedding. Securing a priest or deacon should be the priority in the wedding planning.

The fees you pay to Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish do not include an honorarium for the priest or deacon who will officiate at your wedding ceremony. It may be the case that the priest or deacon is offering his services as a gift because he is a friend. If this is not the case, it is proper etiquette to compensate these professionals for the time they spent helping you plan your wedding and officiating at the ceremony. It is recommended that the Best Man give the honorarium to the Presider at the rehearsal if the bride and groom have not done so previously.

The form, Sacrament of Matrimony Celebrant Agreement must be completed by the Presider and returned to Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish as soon as possible. If they are not part of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, they will have to provide a copy of a Letter of Faculties from their diocese as well as proof of a license to solemnize marriages in Ohio. The chosen priest or deacon is expected to conduct and provide all required instructions for marriage preparation and obtain any permissions, dispensations, etc. as well as to complete the marriage preparation documents for permanent archiving at Holy Cross – Immaculata Parish. Please keep in mind that a priest or deacon are the only persons permitted to officiate at Catholic weddings. Therefore, arrangements with your celebrant should be made as soon as possible.

If you are completing your marriage preparation outside the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the priest, deacon or pastoral minister who has accepted this responsibility must complete the file and submit it to the local diocese. That diocese will review and endorse the completeness of your marriage file and will then send it to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who will, in turn, forward it to our parish where the records will be stored.

If you are completing your marriage preparation out of state, please try to arrange for everything to be completed as soon as possible to avoid any delays. Your wedding ceremony cannot take place unless the file is complete.

It is your ultimate responsibility to track your marriage file. A checklist of all the things that are required is printed on the back cover of this booklet. Monitor the status of your file throughout the process. Specifically, know when the file is sent to your local diocese and verify that it was received. Follow up to confirm that your file was sent to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and verify that they have received your file. In doing so you will avoid a situation where the file may be lost in the mail.

Please be advised that Canon Law is clear on this issue:
No marriage file, no wedding ceremony – No exceptions!

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