Marriage Guidelines For Parishioners

Congratulations to both of you on your decision to marry!  It is a wonderful sign of your whole-hearted commitment to each other and to God. Since marriage is both a sacrament and one of the most important events in your life, proper safeguards are established here at Our Lady of the Mountains prior to setting an official date for your marriage.  First, you must fill out the Wedding Date Registration Form. Also, you must meet with one of our priests or deacons for a pastoral visit and open dialogue about forthcoming plans for marriage.  They will help you with the documentation and catechetical preparation required by the Church. (Please note: a definite date cannot be established if there is need for an annulment of a previous marriage.  In such cases, we must wait until the proper decree is issued by a Diocesan Tribunal and our parish priest has favorably assessed the situation.)

Dates and Times

Weddings at Our Lady of the Mountains are scheduled on Saturday at 2:00 pm.  Weddings at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart are scheduled on Saturdays at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Generally speaking, you and your wedding party, as well as your florist and musicians, will have access to the church or chapel 60 minutes before and 30 minutes after the conclusion of your ceremony. It is very important that your ceremony begin on time.  Failure to do so greatly inconveniences other couples who may have reserved the space or other regularly scheduled parish services.  Confessions are scheduled on Saturday evenings at 4:00pm, so everything must be cleaned up and in order before that time. Please plan accordingly.

Weddings at Our Lady of the Mountains are not scheduled during Lent and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart is available June 1 – September 30 only.  Seating capacity is 550 for Our Lady of the Mountains church, and 115 for Chapel of the Sacred Heart.

Sacramental Guidelines

The Catholic Church requires that certain documentation and catechetical preparation be completed before your wedding date. The priest or deacon who is helping to prepare you for marriage will explain this to you.

Wedding Ceremony

A Catholic wedding is to be held in a Catholic Church or oratory. Weddings in Jackson Hole are held either in Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church or in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, in Grand Teton National Park near Signal Mountain.  You have the option to celebrate the sacrament of matrimony either with a Nuptial Mass or the Rite of Catholic Marriage Outside of Mass.  You should discuss this choice with the priest or deacon who is preparing you for marriage and indicate who will officiate your wedding as well as what ceremony you have chosen on the marriage application.  Please note that a deacon can only celebrate the Rite of Catholic Marriage Outside of Mass, whereas a priest can do either.  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church illustrates, it is more in keeping with the nature of the sacrament to celebrate the Nuptial Mass:

In the Eucharist, the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself forever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up.  It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but “one body” in Christ. (CCC #1621)

Here at Our Lady of the Mountains, the Nuptial Mass will be celebrated by a priest and the Rite of Catholic Marriage Outside of Mass will be witnessed by a deacon.

Donation and Stipend

The rental fee of $100 is for the use of Our Lady of the Mountains church or the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. This fee includes use of the facility for rehearsal as well as your wedding (according to the time limits noted earlier in this document). Please note that this donation is non-refundable, and that musicians, cantors, altar servers, as well as any non-parish personnel (such as wedding consultants or florists), are paid directly by the couple and are not included in the requested donation.  If for any reason the wedding does not take place, a part of the fee will not be refunded.

 It is also customary to give a stipend to the priest or deacon who presides at your wedding.  This stipend is also not included in your requested rental fee and should be given to the priest or deacon at the time of your actual ceremony.  In the event of hardship, the rental fee and stipend can be negotiated with our pastor.

Wedding Rehearsal

The times for wedding rehearsals are 4pm on Friday if your wedding is at 11am on Saturday, and 5pm on Friday if your wedding is at 2pm on Saturday.  Rehearsals for those being married at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart are in the parish hall of Our Lady of the Mountains if one of our priests or deacons is assisting you, but can be held at the chapel if you have your own priest or deacon.  Additional instructions are as follows:

  1. A Wyoming Marriage License can be obtained from any County Clerk in the state of Wyoming and must be brought to the wedding rehearsal.  Here in Jackson, the Teton County Clerk is located in Teton County Administration Building on the corner of Willow and Simpson.  Their office hours are 9am-5pm M-F and their phone number is (307) 733-7733.  The wedding ceremony cannot proceed without a license. After the license is signed, we will mail it back to the Clerk’s office, and mail you any copies that you should have.
  2. Readings must be selected from the Sacred Scriptures.
  3. Total mental awareness is the only way to honor the significance of the vows in marriage and to show mutual respect at the moment the vows are expressed. Since alcohol and drugs decrease mental awareness, use of drugs or alcohol is prohibited before either the rehearsal or wedding.  The only context for marital consent is total consciousness and dignity.

Preferred Wedding Planner

Make sure the persons you employ are familiar with the regulations of the Catholic Church and of our facilities.  All communication concerning the wedding must be done between the couple and the parish office.

Jackson Hole Event Company
Website: jacksonholeeventco.com
Email: jacksonholeeventco@gmail.com
Phone: 307-690-1852

Parker Thomas Events
Website: parkerthomasevents.com
Email: camilleaparker@gmail.com
Phone: 307-690-9404

Music and Musicians

Music is an integral part of your marriage celebration.  There are guidelines for music to be used during your ceremony. These include musical selections, equipment/instruments, musicians’ fees and more.

All music must be coordinated through the Director of Music including the use of outside musicians.  Please contact our Director of Music, Ron Fabry for an appointment as soon as you secure a date for your wedding.

NOTE: Securing a date for your wedding does not automatically secure the services of the organist.

Photographer

An important part of your wedding ceremony is the photographic record of the occasion. The photographer you choose should understand that it is a privilege to join in the celebration.  Please consider reviewing with them the points listed below:

  1. Your photographer should contact the parish office and introduce themselves to receive any additional information regarding the church and restrictions.
  2. They should be appropriately dressed for a wedding.
  3. The click and camera flash can be very distracting and detracting to the ceremony, so they should move as undetected as possible into position for the pictures you have determined are to be taken.
  4. The photo session after the ceremony should be as brief as possible.
  5. If they light the candles, turn on lights, move furniture, or anything else to get the appropriate shots, those things should be returned to the way they found them.
  6. Please ask your photographer to present himself/herself to the priest, deacon, or wedding coordinator at least 15 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Preferred Photographer

Make sure the persons you employ are familiar with the regulations of the Catholic Church and of our facilities.  All communication concerning the wedding must be done between the couple and the parish office.

Florist

Flowers add to the festive air and beauty of a wedding.  The florist you choose to be part of your wedding should understand that it is a privilege to join those who are family and close friends.  Please consider reviewing with them the points listed below:

  1. Your florist should contact the parish office and introduce themselves to receive any additional information regarding the church and restrictions.
  2. Attachment of decorations and flowers to the pews is frequently a challenge, but they must be attached so that the pew or pew finish is not harmed. Tape, tacks or pins of any sort is not allowed because its removal damages the pew finish.
  3. Aisle runners present problems because they may interrupt the procession and present a tripping hazard when people come to receive communion or upon leaving the church. Therefore, no runners are allowed.  Flower petals strewn and down the aisle are not permitted.
  4. Floral arrangements may be placed around the sanctuary but never directly upon the altar.
  5. You may choose to either leave any floral arrangements as a donation to the church or take them with you. Please be sure to have any floral debris cleaned up after your ceremony. If you wish to leave any arrangements please contact the parish office on the Friday before the wedding and let them know.
  6. If the florist supplies candelabra, clear plastic is to be placed under the stand to prevent wax from dripping on the carpet.
  7. Birdseed, rice, or any other material intended to be thrown as the couple exits is not permitted.