Weddings at Fordham | Marriage Information
Scheduling Your Marriage
The Fordham Univeristy Church is only available for the celebration of sacramental Catholic weddings.
In keeping with the norms of the New York Archdiocese regarding where sacramental marriages may be celebrated, the Fordham University Church is permitted, by exception, to celebrate weddings only "if one of the parties (must be the bride or the groom) is a current student, staff, faculty member, or alumnus" of Fordham University (or Fordham Prep) and with the consent of the couple’s home parish(es).
You must schedule your marriage in the University Church with the Office of Campus Ministry (718) 817-4539. 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. We only book a year or two in advance, there are many available dates, and there is no waiting list at this time. The following times are available for weddings:
Saturdays: 12 Noon, 2 PM and 4 PM
Sundays: 2 PM (academic year) and 12 Noon (summer months)
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 our Wedding Coordinator. Then obtain a reservation form (see above link). Complete and attach a non-refundable deposit of $200 made payable to: Campus Ministry and mail to: Fordham University, Office of Campus Ministry, 441 E. Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458.
A date is reserved for a wedding only when the non-refundable deposit of $200 and reservation form have been received by Campus Ministry within two weeks of initial scheduling of the wedding date and time. Upon receipt of the fee and form, a marriage packet containing all the necessary information to plan a wedding at the University Church will be sent to you and the officiating priest or deacon. The total fee for weddings in 2014 and 2015 is $900.
Rehearsals are usually scheduled the Friday before the wedding date at 5:00, 6:00, or 7:00 pm. You may make arrangements for the rehearsal time when you book your wedding or soon thereafter. Times are scheduled in order of when the call is received. Our marriage student minister will conduct the rehearsal for your wedding party and it is best if all members of your wedding party and the priest performing your marriage attend. Make sure to bring your civil marriage license with you for your rehearsal (must be obtained in New York State within sixty days of your wedding date).
Planning the Ceremony
We have included a booklet entitled 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. Complete the pull-out form at the end and send it to the priest or deacon officiating at your wedding so that he might prepare for the ceremony accordingly.
The University Church 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 13 pews from the altar to the break, and then 16 pews to the end of the church.
The use of any type of alcoholic beverage in or near the church is inappropriate and is not permitted. Please respect the sacredness of the church and your ceremony.
For safety reasons, we cannot allow rice, confetti, bird seed, flower petals, potpouri, pennies, etc., to be thrown inside or outside of the church. Bubbles or bells are permitted outside of the church.
Weddings are expected to begin at their scheduled times. Two or three weddings may be scheduled for the same day and each weddingis allotted two hours for completion. If your wedding is scheduled for 2 PM, the church should be clear and ready for your wedding at 1:30 PM. The bride must be in place and ready to process down the aisle at 2 PM. And the wedding must be completed, including all photography and guests being outside the church, by 3:30 PM. This allows the next wedding to start at its designated time. Please allow sufficient time to "get (you) 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 gently of the importance of maintaining their schedule. We ask that a check for $100 be issued to 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 wedding begins at its scheduled time, this check will be voided. If the wedding begins more than ten minutes after its scheduled time, we will have to deposit the late fee. To be clear, the bride 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. This will also deprive you of the opportunity to greet your guests on the entry platform, or to take pictures in the church. We certainly do not want to have to take these measures, so 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.
Music and Musicians
The music for your marriage ceremony must be planned with the assistance of the Director of Liturgical Music at the Fordham University Church.
The Director, Mr. Robert Minotti, can be contacted by phone at (718) 817-4504 or via email at email@example.com. The brochure, Music Guidelines for Weddings at Fordham University Church is included in this information packet and contains detailed information concerning musicians and appropriate music. It can also be viewed in PDF format at: www.fordham.edu/campus_ministry.
Please note that the musicians listed in the brochure are the designated musicians for weddings in the University Church. Guest musicians are allowed only on a limited basis and only with prior approval of the Director of Liturgical Music. The use of the University Church organ is limited to members of the music staff. Guest organists are not allowed.
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 University Church should suffice. Photographers using extra lighting will be asked to remove the equipment. Photographers are not allowed in the sanctuary behind the altar.
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.
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 within an hour before and removed soon after your ceremony. Such arrangements might include bouquets of flowers, bows for center aisle benches, a runner for the processions, a "Unity Candle" on the altar (all provided by you). Torches or candles are not allowed. The University Church is a designated New York City landmark and as such, we must take special precautions.
Directions, Maps, and Parking
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 cannot make additional copies. Directions may also be obtained from our website. For GPS purposes, please use 2691 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458 to direct your guests to our main security gate.
For both the rehearsal and the wedding itself, the security guards at Fordham’s Main Entrance (off Southern Boulevard, opposite the New York Botanical Garden) will have your names and will inform your wedding party and guests of the parking arrangements. Normally we are able to use the Fordham Prep parking lot, directly opposite the church. There is no additional cost for guests to park on campus. The bride’s limosine will park in front of Martyrs’ Court so that she may walk up the main pathway to the front of the church.
Couples should come prepared and on time for the marriage rehearsal, bringing along the readers, gift-bearers, ushers, wedding coordinators, and anyone else involved in the marriage ceremony. Additionally, 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 it in the safe overnight.
Rehearsals are usually scheduled on the Thursday or Friday before the wedding date at 5 PM, 6 PM, or 7 PM. 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. 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, and as noted above, BE ON TIME. Rehearsals are given a 45-minute time slot and no longer. Therefore, rehearsals that begin late will be shortened. For example, a rehearsal beginning 15 minutes late will last only 30 minutes; rehearsals beginning 30 minutes late will last only 15 minutes. No rehearsal will begin until ALL members of the wedding party are present.
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:
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 listed below. 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 should still send them to our office at least two months prior to the wedding, as we must insure that the marriage may be performed.)
- 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 we are unable to recommend or supply a priest for you. (You can invite the priest from your home parish, or a friend or family member, or faculty member).
- 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 form, "Permission to Marry" (included in your packet).
- Complete all documents (see pages 7-8) required for a Roman Catholic marriage. This is to be done with the assistance of the pastor or priest or deacon who is to officiate at your wedding. All these documents must be submitted to our office at least two months before the scheduled date of your marriage.
- Complete a marriage preparation program, e.g., Pre-Cana Conference, Pre-Marriage Preparation, Engaged Encounter, Day for the Engaged, etc. We have enclosed a list of such programs offered by the Archdiocese of New York (www.ny-archdiocese.org), together with a registration form, but you may choose to attend any authorized program in another city or diocese according to your convience. However, you must obtain a certificate of participation and send it to Campus Ministry.
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.
- 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.
- The Fordham University Church, in compliance with the expectations of the Archdiocese of New York, requires that both the bride and the groom must receive both the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation prior to the Sacrament of Matrimony. Catholics must obtain First Communion and Confirmation data, from the parish where the sacraments were celebrated and the date of the reception of these sacraments. 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 twenty-one years of age, a letter from a pastor, parent, or other relative stating that you are "free to marry" must be obtained.
- A letter from the bride’s pastor (or, if the bride is not Roman Catholic, from the groom’s pastor) giving permission for the wedding to take place at the Fordham University Church. ("Permission to Marry" form 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 marriage.
- A Pre-Nuptial Investigation form completed by the priest or deacon officiating at the marriage or by your parish priest. (We will send it to the officiating priest or deacon. This form must be returned to 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 is enclosed in the marriage packet supplied by this office. You may also obtain information directly from the Archdiocese of New York by calling (212) 371-1000 or through their website at www.ny-archdiocese.org.
We rely upon this priest ordeacon 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 Minsitry, 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 additionalinformation regarding annulments, the necessary dispensations from:
Archdiocese of New York
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10002
For Your Information
We provide the sacristan and marriage minister, but you are responsible for any monetary stipends provided to other persons, including the priest, organist, and musicians. Please be courteous, prepare their stipends ahead of time, and perhaps distribute the stipends before the ceremony so that they will not be forgotten.
- 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 PNI to the priest or deacon).
- Obtain delegation from the pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, which is Fordham University’s parish. A letter to the Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy is included in your packet. Please address correspondence to:
Pastor Our Lady of Mercy Church
2496 Marion Avenue
Bronx, NY 10458
Telephone: (718) 933-4400
- The pastor will contact youdirectly 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 theday of the wedding, but do not mail. Give the completedlicense to the Office of Campus Ministry which, after making copies for our files, will mail the completedlicense to the City Clerk’s Office. The Office of Campus Ministry will also register the marriage at Our Lady of Mercy parish and send 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 this booklet, Marriage at Fordham University Church, will also be sent to the priest or deacon whom you have asked to be the officiant at your marriage.
Wedding Coordinators-If you are using a wedding coordinator to plan your wedding, they should attend your rehearsal so that they will understand our guidelines and expectations and to limit confusion the day of your wedding.
Catholic marriages, duly recorded with all pertinent documents, will be formally registered at Our Lady of Mercy parish which is our parish. In the future, if you should require any documentation regarding your wedding, please contact the parish directly.
Our Lady of Mercy ChurchImportant Addresses and Telephone Numbers
The registration of Catholic marriages (along with all documents) will take place at the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, 2496 Marion Avenue, The Bronx 10458. This is the parish in which the University is located. In the future, if you need any documentation, please contact the parish directly (718) 933-4400.
2496 Marion Avenue
Bronx, NY 10458
The telephone number for the University Church Sacristy is (718) 817-3215. Use this number on the day of the marriage since the offices of Campus Ministry will most likely be closed that day.
If you have any questions, please contact us at:
- Fordham University
- Office of Campus Ministry
- McGinley Center 102
- Bronx, New York 10458
- Main Office Telephone: (718) 817-4501
- University Church: (718) 817-3215
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org