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Weddings

Things you need to know if you are planning a wedding at St Mary of the Angels Basilica:

When may Marriages be Celebrated?

Marriages are normally celebrated at St Mary's Basilica on a Saturday at 2.00pm and 4.00pm. They are not celebrated on Sundays and not on the following days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, between Christmas and New Year, and on days when the Basilica has been reserved for other Parish functions.

Documents Required

Both Bride and Groom must obtain the following documents so that the marriage papers can be prepared by your Celebrant:

Government Requirements

1 - Notice of intended marriage: Usually the Celebrant for your wedding will help you complete this Form. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to arrange for another Celebrant to do this. The form is to be signed by both parties, at least two months prior to the wedding.

2 - Birth certificate or current passport: Both parties require an official certificate showing the date and place of their birth and the registration number. If necessary, a Birth Certificate can be obtained from a Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Persons born in Australia require a birth certificate, persons born outside Australia may use their passport.

3 - Declaration of freedom to marry: This must be signed before the Celebrant prior to the wedding, normally a few days before the marriage.

Church Requirements

1 - Baptism certificates: If both parties are baptized they will both require a Baptism Certificate. For a marriage to proceed at St Mary's Basilica, at least one of the parties must be a baptised (Roman) Catholic.

2 - Pre-nuptial enquiry form: This will be filled in with the priest who is preparing the couple for their marriage.

3 - Application for a dispensation: This will be required when one of the parties is not a Catholic. The priest preparing the couple for their wedding will prepare and handle the necessary application.

4 - Marriage preparation program: Such programs are run by Catholic Care. The priest helping the couple plan their wedding will provide information about these.

Parish Arrangements

1 - Booking the Basilica: This should be done well ahead of the planned wedding. You have a better chance of securing your preferred date and time if you make your booking early.

2 - Fee for use of the Basilica: From February 1st 2021 the fee for weddings at St Mary’s Basilica will be $1,500.

A deposit of $500 needs to be made before the booking can be confirmed. The balance is due three months before the wedding.  $250 of the above is not refundable in the event of a cancellation.

3 - Celebrant: You are very welcome to have a priest other than one from St Mary's officiate at your marriage. If you would like a priest from St Mary's to be the celebrant please request this by email to either the parish priest, Fr Jim Clarke, at frj@stmarysgeelong.com.au, or the Assistant Parish Priest, Fr Joseph Panackal, at j.panackal@stmarysgeelong.com.au.

4 - Nuptial Mass or Ceremony?: The type of church ceremony is decided upon by the Bride and Groom in consultation with the Celebrant. The Bride and Groom will be given the opportunity to choose Scripture Readings and Prayers as part of the ceremony.

5 - Wedding Booklets: St Mary's Parish does not offer a printing service, but is happy to recommend Pamela Cowdery (Confetti and Candles) on 0414 839 611. Booklet covers are also available. This booklet provision service is at an extra cost to you.

6 - Rehearsal: Not required as there is no need.

7 - Flowers: Flowers in the Basilica are included in the fee. If you wish to add extras please contact the Parish Office for permission - this is at your own cost. Ribbons on the pews are also included unless you wish to supply your own; if so, again contact the Parish Office to arrange.

8 - Music: The choice of music for your wedding should be in keeping with the sacred nature of the ceremony.  It is best to check your choice of music with the Celebrant before you have finalised your selection with your musicians.

The Basilica has a CD and tape player, input for mp3, and a great sound system. Or you can arrange for the Church organist to play at your wedding: Frank De Rosso (our Official Parish Organist), phone: 0431 060 240

Or there are vocalists available to sing at your Wedding: eg. Rebecca Hay (Official Parish Vocalist): contact the Parish Office: 03 5222 1977

Check with the Celebrant/Parish Office if you wish to involve other musicians or singers. Payment for organists, singers and other musicians is arranged directly with them at an extra cost to you.

9 - Photographs, Videos and Lighting: The taking of photographs and the use of a video camera is acceptable but it is requested that the photographers and camera operators are kept to the side of the sanctuary and Altar (raised, carpeted area) and do not interfere with the ceremony or distract the participants. Photographers should be discreet and speak with the celebrant before the ceremony. Booking these photographers and videographers come at an extra cost to you.

10 - Confetti: Please advise your guests (when sending out invitations) that confetti, rice, rose petals or anything similar, should not be thrown in or around the Basilica or in the grounds. We want you to have a clean and tidy Basilica, but we also want the same for other couples and the Sunday congregations whose support keeps the Basilica operating. Bubbles are allowed outside in the grounds of the Basilica, not inside the building.

11 - Basilica Grounds: The parish gardeners endeavour to keep the Basilica grounds in good condition. We ask that you ensure that your guests do not park cars on the lawns.

12 - Smoking / Alcohol: Smoking and consumption of alcohol in the Basilica grounds is not permitted. We ask that you advise your wedding party, family, friends, photographers and car drivers of this matter before the wedding day.

If you would like any other information about weddings at St Mary's Basilica, please contact Anna Demetriou, in the Parish Office at (03) 5222 1977 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday, or by email at AnnaMarieD@stmarysgeelong.com.au.