Marriage Preparation and Documents
Officiating Priest or Deacon
Dear Friends of Fordham,
Congratulations on your engagement! We are happy that you have chosen to celebrate your Catholic wedding at our landmark Fordham University Church.
The information contained in this booklet is designed to assist you in your marriage preparations. Since the University Church is not a parish church, wedding preparations are somewhat different from those in a traditional parish. The Rose Hill campus is located within the boundaries of the parish of Our Lady of Mercy on Marion Avenue, where your sacramental marriage will be registered.
Choosing to have your wedding at the University Church signifies that Fordham holds a special place in your heart. We want to help you in your plans to make your wedding as beautiful, memorable, and uncomplicated a celebration as possible. This will require your assurance to adhere to the guidelines in the booklet. We ask that you cooperate with us so that your family and friends may happily witness your deeply personal commitment to each other.
The Office of Campus Ministry at Rose Hill is the department at Fordham University that handles marriage arrangements for the University Church. For reservations and all other matters concerning marriages here, pleasecontact us at 718-817-4539 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ourbest wishes and prayers as you begin preparations for your Catholic marriage at the Fordham University Church, and may God bless you both at this important time in your life.
In the Lord,
The Rev. Philip A. Florio, S.J.
Assistant Vice President, Campus Ministry
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SCHEDULING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY
In keeping with the norms of the New York Archdiocese regarding where sacramentalmarriages may be celebrated, the Fordham University Churchis permitted, by exception, to celebrate weddings only “if one of the parties is a current student, graduate, staff or faculty member” of Fordham University (or Fordham Prep) and with the consent of the couple’s home parish(es). You must schedule your marriage with the Office of Campus Ministry. We recommend that this be done at least a year or more in advance of the proposed day Marriages are scheduled in the church on Saturdays and Sundays (not Fridays, due to rehearsals) around liturgical celebrations and other University events. Because of University needs, some weekend dates are not available. The following times are available:
Saturdays: Noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Sundays: 2 p.m.
Marriages may not be scheduled on major holy days, particularly on Christmas or Easter, or during Holy Week. We are also unable to schedule marriage ceremonies during certain vacation periods.
Please call 718-817-4539 to schedule a date and time with Campus Ministry. Then obtain a reservation form on our website, fordham.edu/cm. Complete and attach a non-refundable deposit of $200 made payable to Campus Ministry and mail to:
Office of Campus Ministry
441 E. Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
The date is confirmed when the non-refundable deposit of $200 and reservation form have been received by the Office of Campus Ministry within two weeks of initial scheduling of the wedding date and time. Once we receive your deposit and reservation form, a marriage packet containing all the necessary information to plan a wedding at the University Church will be sent to you and to the officiating priest or deacon.
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PLANNING THE CEREMONY
We have included a booklet titled Together for Life to help you prepare for your wedding. Many couples have found this publication helpful, not only for planning the wedding liturgy, but also for preparing for their marriage itself. Please spend some time reviewing its contents and choosing the various prayers, readings, and blessings that best reflect your understanding of this important event in your lives. The UniversityChurch sacristan will prepare the church on the day of the wedding at the scheduled time. Normal items used for the wedding liturgy are provided by the church, but items such as floral decorations and aisle carpets are not provided. You must arrange for these items yourselves. For your information, the main aisle is 35 yards in length. There are 13pews from the altar to the break, and then 16 pews to the end of the church.
Weddings are expected to begin at their scheduled time. Two or three weddings may be scheduled for the same day and each wedding is allotted two hours for completion. If your wedding is scheduled for 2 p.m., the church should be clear and ready for your wedding at 1:30 p.m. The bride must be in place and ready to process down the aisle at 2 p.m. The wedding must be completed, including all photography and guests being outside the church, by 3:30 p.m. This allows the next wedding to start atits designated time. Please allow sufficient time to “get to the church on time.” New York traffic, as you know, is always problematic, so please remind your limousine driver, photographer, guests, and members of the wedding party to allow plenty of time to travel to Fordham.
A late fee has been instituted to remind couples of the importance of maintaining their schedule. We ask that a check for $100 be issued to the Office of Campus Ministry two months prior to the date of the wedding. It should be sent in with the balance of the wedding fee, but must be a separate check. If the bridal procession begins inside the church at its scheduled time, this check will be voided. If the wedding begins more than 10 minutes after its scheduled time, we will have to deposit the late fee. To be clear, the procession must start down the aisle at the scheduled time. Additionally, if the wedding is much later, the check will be deposited and the wedding may have to be shortened to accommodate the next scheduled wedding or liturgy. Please begin at your scheduled time, and be considerate of your guests, your officiant, and our staff, and most importantly, other wedding parties.
Above all, remember that the University Church is a place of worship. We ask that you respect its sacred space.
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Professional photographers should be as inconspicuous as possible throughout the ceremony.Video- taping that requires additional lighting or wiring is not permitted. In most cases, the ordinary light of the church should suffice. Photographers using extra lighting will be asked to remove the equipment. Photographers are not allowed in the sanctuary behind the altar, or on the steps or choir loft. No photographers, professional or amateur, will be permitted to interrupt or delay any part of the ceremony, nor will they be allowed to delay preparations for a subsequent ceremony.
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Floral arrangements and other appointments must work around the furnishings of the University Church. Church furnishings and liturgical decorations are not to be moved. All arrangements for your marriage ceremony must be set one half hour before your ceremony. Such arrangements might include bouquets of flowers, bows for center aisle benches, a runner for the procession, or a “unity candle” on the altar (all provided by you). Torches are not allowed. The University Church is a designated New York City landmark, and as such, we must take special precautions.
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DIRECTIONS AND MAPS
A map with detailed directions on how to reach Fordham’s Rose Hill campus and the University Church will be included in the wedding packet sent from this office. You will need to make additional copies for your guests. We are not able to make copies. Directions may also be obtained from our website, fordham.edu/cm.
The Fordham University Church is not a parish. We do not have a dedicated parking lot adjacent to our church. For both the rehearsal and wedding itself, the security guards at Fordham’s main entrance (off Southern Boulevard, opposite the New York Botanical Garden, GPS address: 2691 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458) will have the bride and groom’s names and will inform your wedding party and guests of the parking arrangements. There is no additional cost for guests to park on campus. Guest parking will be determined that day. In the case of a University event, instructions on parking will be given to you prior to the wedding date. The bride’s limousine will park in front of Martyrs’ Court so that she may walk up the main pathway to the front of the church. Should your guestsneed to park in the main parking garage near the Southern Boulevard entrance, assistance will be provided for persons with mobility issues. Please ask the security guard to call a car to transport any physically challenged guest. Every effort will be made to ensure guest parking for your wedding at University Church is as convenient as possible. Before you hire any buses for your guests, you must speak with Public Safety and Security to ensure the buses can be accommodated (718-817-4080). It is incumbent upon you to review these guidelines, as you will be expected to adhere to them fully.
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Couples should come prepared and on time for the marriage rehearsal, bringing along the readers, gift- bearers, ushers, and anyone else involved in the marriage ceremony. The organist and musicians do not attend wedding rehearsals. The marriage license obtained from the state of New York (obtained within 60 days of the wedding) must also be brought to the rehearsal. You may bring the programs, unity candle, or other items for the ceremony as well and we will lock them in the safe overnight. Rehearsals are usuallyscheduled on the Thursday or Friday before the wedding date at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., or 7 p.m. You may make arrangements for the rehearsal time when you book your wedding or soon thereafter. The time is booked in the order received. A trained student marriage minister will conduct the rehearsal for your wedding party and direct all proceedings on your wedding day. Please respect the authority of the University Church staff and follow these directions. If you have a wedding planner please have them contact us two months prior to the ceremony. It is best if all members of your wedding party and the officiant performing your marriage attend so that all will be comfortable with their respective roles. Make sure to bring your civil marriage license with you to the rehearsal.
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All Roman Catholics being married in the University Church are required to follow the regulations of the Archdiocese of New York regarding marriage. Like the other sacraments of the Church, marriage requires special preparation. Since the University Church is not a parish, your own pastor, or the priest or deacon officiating at your marriage, must assist you in making the appropriate preparations for your marriage. The following is required:
• You must schedule your marriage at least six months
(preferably one year) in advance of the proposed date.
• You must arrange for a priest or deacon to preside at
your marriage since we are not a parish (Fordham
University does not recommend or supply priests).
• Contact the parish of the bride (or the parish of the
groom if the bride is not Roman Catholic) and obtain
permission for the wedding to take place at Fordham
University by having the pastor complete the
“Permission to Marry” form included in your packet.
• Complete all documents (see below) required for a
Roman Catholic marriage. This is to be done with the
assistance of the priest or deacon who is to officiate at
• Complete a marriage preparation program, e.g.,
Pre-Cana Conference, Pre-Marriage Preparation,
Engaged Encounter, etc. A list of such programs offered
by the Archdiocese of New York can be found on their
website (ny-archdiocese.org), but you may choose to
attend any authorized program in another city or diocese
according to your convenience. However, you must
obtain a certificate of participation and send it to the
Office of Campus Ministry. All of these documents
must be submitted to our office at least two months
before the scheduled date of your marriage.
The Archdiocese of New York requires the following in order to have a Roman Catholic marriage at the Fordham University Church. You are responsible for obtaining the documents. Each, with the exception of the civil marriage license, must be completed and returned to the Office of Campus Ministry at least two months before the scheduled date of the ceremony. Even if the priest or deacon who is to officiate at your wedding is the one who helps you prepare and assemble these documents, he must send them to our office at least two months prior to the wedding, as we must insure that the marriage may be performed.
• An updated Baptismal Certificate for both the bride and
groom. This certificate must be secured not more than
six months prior to the wedding and can be obtained by
calling or writing the parish of your baptism. It must be
stamped with the seal of the parish and dated within six
months of the wedding. If you are a baptized non-
Catholic and a certificate can be obtained, please do so.
• Catholics must obtain updated First Communion and
Confirmation data from the parish where the sacraments
were celebrated which show the date of reception of
these sacraments. They are required for marriage at our
church. The date must be on Church stationery and
stamped with the seal of the parish.
• If there has been a previous marriage, a death certificate
or a “Declaration of Nullity” must be obtained.
• If either of you is under 21 years of age, a letter from a
pastor, parentor other relative stating that you are “free
to marry” must be obtained.
• A letter from the bride’s pastor (or, if the bride isnot
Roman Catholic, from the groom’s pastor) giving
permission for the wedding to take place at the
Fordham University Church. A “Permission to Marry”
form has been included in this packet.
• A civil marriage license, which should be brought to the
rehearsal. The marriage license must be obtained from
the State of New York within 60 days prior to the
• A Pre-Nuptial Investigation form completed by the
priest or deacon officiating at the marriage or by your
parish priest. We will send this form to the officiating
priest or deacon. This form must be returned to the
Office of Campus Ministry when completed, but no
later than two months before the date of the marriage.
• A certificate, or its copy, stating that you both have
attended a marriage preparation program. Participation
in such a program is required, and information
concerning program availability within the Archdiocese
of New York can be obtained directly from the
Archdiocese of New York by calling 212-371-1000
or through their website at ny-archdiocese.org.
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OFFICIATING PRIEST OR DEACON
Each marriage is unique. Some marriages may require additional attention by the engaged couple and whoever is preparing both parties to celebrate this sacrament. We strongly recommend that you contact your pastor, or the priest or deacon who is to officiate at your wedding, as soon as possible to discuss with him your plans for marriage. It is the sole responsibility of this priest or deacon to assist you in gathering the required documents and to assume other responsibilities as well. Besides helping you to complete the Pre-Nuptial Investigation form provided by the Office of Campus Ministry, if he is also to officiate at your wedding, he should:
• Obtain and complete, in case of a planned marriage of
mixed religion, a dispensation form or, if you require
additional information regarding annulments, the
necessary dispensations from:
Archdiocese of New York
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10002
Please notify our office in advance if any of these conditions apply.
• Obtain civil registration to conduct a wedding in the City
of New York. This is extremely important. The easiest
way to register is through the Chancery Office, which
can be reached at the same address or phone number
as the Marriage Tribunal. If the officiant has previously
conducted a wedding in the City of New York, he
should already be registered.
• Assist you both in planning the marriage liturgy, using the
booklet Together for Life (Champlin), which is
supplied by the Office of Campus Ministry.
• Assist you in completing the Pre-Nuptial Investigation
form (Campus Ministry will send the form to the priest
• Obtain delegation from the pastor of Our Lady of
Mercy, which is Fordham University’sparish. A letter to
the Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy is included in the
officiant’s packet. Please address correspondence to:
Our Lady of Mercy Church
2496 Marion Avenue
Bronx, NY 10458
The pastor will contact the officiant directly to grant delegation.
• Attend the wedding rehearsal. While Fordham’s
marriage minister will conduct the rehearsal, the
presence of the officiant helps to ensure a trouble-free
ceremony at the actual wedding.
• Complete and sign the civil marriage license on the day
of the wedding. The completed license will be mailed to
the City Clerk’s Office by the Office of Campus
Ministry after making copies for our files. The Office of
Campus Ministry will also register the marriage at Our
Lady of Mercy parish andsend the couple a marriage
certificate. All documents will be filed at Our Lady of
Mercy. If information is needed in the future, please
contact Our Lady of Mercy directly.
A copy of the booklet Weddings at the University Church will also be sent to the priest or deacon whom you have asked to be the officiant at your marriage.
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MUSIC GUIDELINES FOR WEDDINGS
It is the Officeof Campus Ministry’s intent to provide you with music that is beautiful, spiritually uplifting, liturgically appropriate, and upholds the integrity and quality of liturgical music at Fordham University Church. Please keep this in mind as you plan your ceremony.
CONTACT THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Robert Minotti, director of music at Fordham University Church, is your primary contact regarding music for your wedding. Please contact him before you contact any other musicians or make any definite music selections.
Please contact the music office to make an appointment to attend either a wedding music night, held periodically throughout the year or an individual appointment with the director of music. Please be sure to bring this brochure with you to the meeting. You can contact Mr. Minotti at 718-817-4504 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Contact Mr. Minotti about four months prior to your wedding.
POLICY CONCERNING MUSICIANS
To ensure that the music at your wedding is of the highest possible quality there are several regulations we ask you to follow:
Guest organists are not allowed. In general, the director of music serves as organist for weddings at Fordham University Church. In the event that he is unable to serve at your wedding, a qualified and University-approved substitute will be provided to replace him.
VOCALISTS, CANTORS, INSTRUMENTALISTS
Cantors and instrumentalists listed in this brochure are the designated musicians for weddings at Fordham University Church. Guest musicians are permitted to add solos at the Prelude, the Preparation of Gifts, and at Communion.
However, these musicians must:
• be trained and experienced musicians comfortable
performing in public.
• be able to arrive one hour prior to the ceremony with
any solos prepared and comfortable with only a brief
rehearsal. That is the only rehearsal time available
for the guest musician and the organist.
• be able to provide the organist with a copy of any solos
in the key to be performed.
Please note that if you choose to use a guest musician(s), an additional $100 will be added to the organist’s fee. The organist and musicians do not attend wedding rehearsals.
STARTING TIME OF YOUR WEDDING AND PRELUDE MUSIC
As stated throughout this brochure, your wedding is expected to start on time. Prelude music will begin 10 minutes before the scheduled starting time of your ceremony. Please note that the organist is not responsible to continue prelude music after the scheduled start of the ceremony.
All musicians must be paid prior to the start of the ceremony. All fees are made payable to the individual in the form of cash or check and are due at the Office of Campus Ministry no later than one month before the wedding.
POLICY CONCERNING LITURGICAL MUSIC
Your wedding is a liturgy of the church; therefore, all musical texts must be sacred. Texts should be drawn from scripture or have religious themes. Certain parts for the Wedding Mass should be sung; particularly, the Psalm after the First Reading, Acclamation before the Gospel, and the Eucharistic Prayer Acclamations. Cantors are available to help encourage your guests to participate in this music.
LIST OF MUSICIANS AND CURRENT FEES*
Please note that you are required to contact any musicians you wish to have at your ceremony.
ORGANIST AND DIRECTOR OF MUSIC ($300)
Arrangements for harp, violin, or string quartet are also available. Contact the director of music for more information.
During the academic year the University Liturgical Choir is available for weddings. The fee is a donation of $400 to their budget. (This fee does not include fees for any soloists or instrumentalists.)