Sacrament of Matrimony
Christ the King Catholic Church
CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME
Congratulations on your engagement and your decision to get married in the Catholic church. The Sacrament of Marriage is a visible sign of God’s love for the church and is a lasting commitment of a man and a woman to a lifelong partnership based on love and faith. At Christ the King, we are excited to prepare you for the Sacrament of Marriage and a life together with God.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND FEES
Couples must have known each other for at least six months, be at least 18 years of age, and at least one of them must be Catholic. Before requesting a wedding date at Christ the King Church, the bride and/or groom must be registered members of the Church for a minimum of six months, regularly attend Mass, be actively engaged in the Church community and have an established record of contributions by use of our online banking or envelopes systems.
Couples living outside of Christ the King’s boundaries should register in the proper territorial parish where they now live and celebrate their marriage in that Parish. You can visit the Christ the King website, http://www.ctkdallas.org, to determine if you live within the Christ the King boundaries.
Fees of $1,150 are required for a wedding at Christ the King, which includes a $400 church fee, a $400 wedding coordinator fee, and a $350 organist fee. Payments, which can be made by check or cash, are collected by your assigned wedding coordinator.
Additional fees may be required in certain situations, including:
- Large wedding party (more than six attendants on each side)
- Children under the age of four in the wedding and/or more than two children
- Placement and removal of pew markers, rentals, debris or delivery boxes
- Weddings with a very complicated agenda
- Bridal portrait at Christ the King prior to wedding date
- Musicians in addition to the organist
SCHEDULING YOUR WEDDING
To schedule a wedding at Christ the King, contact the Marriage Ministry, Jody and Mike Coffey, at 214-365-1200. Weddings are scheduled on Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, and rehearsals are held on Friday evenings at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm. There is no flexibility on these times due to other regularly scheduled Church events. A wedding date and time can only be reserved after meeting with Jody or Mike Coffey. Couples are encouraged to contact Christ the King one year in advance, but no less than six months, prior to their desired wedding date.
As with most sacraments, the Sacrament of Marriage requires preparation. The marriage preparation process, which focuses on developing the skills necessary for married life, consists of the following steps:
Initial Meeting: During your first meeting with Jody or Mike Coffey, they will review the marriage preparation process, collect some initial information, and determine your freedom to marry.
Pre-nuptial Questionnaire: This form, which is typically completed during the initial meeting, includes general information about the bride and groom, their sacramental history, and an assessment of their freedom to marry.
Freedom to Marry: The bride and the groom must both be free to marry in the Catholic church to schedule their wedding. If either has been previously married, additional steps may be required before proceeding. The bride and groom must each provide a witness that has known them for all or most of their life, typically a parent or sibling, to complete an affidavit that they are free to marry.
Engaged Couple Survey: At the initial meeting, the couple will receive a FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication and Understanding Study) survey, which will provide a current view of their relationship, including areas of strength and opportunities for further growth. Once the survey is completed, the results will be discussed with the couple in the second meeting.
Marriage Preparation Programs: The couple will have an opportunity to participate in our marriage formation day or work with a sponsor couple to prepare for their married life together. The marriage preparation programs cover a variety of topics relevant to a healthy marriage, including family of origin, communication and problem solving, finances, parenting, intimacy and faith.
Baptismal Certificates: The couple should bring copies of their baptismal certificates to the initial meeting. Each Catholic will be required to provide a new baptismal certificate, currently dated within six months of the wedding that includes the seal from the parish of baptism and notations of prior sacraments. Each baptized non-Catholic will be required to provide some proof of their baptism in their ecclesial community.
Celebrant: The couple is responsible for securing a priest or deacon to witness their marriage vows. If you choose a priest or deacon from outside the Diocese of Dallas, a letter of suitability from their superior will be required.
Interfaith Couples: If either the bride or groom is non-Catholic, the Catholic is required to sign a statement promising to practice their religion and to do all in their power to have their children actively raised in the Catholic faith.
YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY
Upon completion of your marriage preparation requirements, a wedding coordinator, either Julie Wargo or Molly Guynn, will be assigned to help you plan your wedding ceremony and rehearsal. The wedding coordinators help the couple plan the liturgy for their wedding, assist with logistics, ensure vendors align with church guidelines, manage the rehearsal, prepare the sanctuary for the wedding, and other support activities.
Planning Meeting: Once your wedding coordinator has been assigned, the following items need to be emailed to the coordinator. After these items have been received, a planning meeting will be scheduled.
- Complete list of names of those in wedding party and other VIPs (parents, grandparents, readers, ushers, etc.)
- List of vendors with contact information (photographer, videographer, florist, etc.)
- Reading selections from the Together for Life book. The book, which will be provided to you during your marriage preparation process, contains a list of readings, prayers and blessings to help you plan the liturgy for your nuptial ceremony. Please reference the worksheet in the back, and send the alphanumeric selections only (e.g. A2, B5, C3).
- All fees will be collected by your coordinator following your planning discussion.
Ceremony: The wedding ceremony is an act of worship and holy event, where the couple exchanges vows before witnesses in the community of the church.
- It is imperative that weddings begin on time and are considerate of all concerned.
- The couple has two options for their ceremony. The Sacrament of Marriage can be celebrated with or without a Nuptial Mass. Weddings with a Nuptial Mass last about twenty more minutes, depending on the number of guests receiving Holy Communion.
- The unity candle tradition is offered at Christ the King as an optional component to your ceremony. If you choose to include it, the church will provide the stand and candles.
- The Presentation to Mary is another option to consider for your ceremony. Your coordinator can provide additional details if you are interested.
Children: A flower girl and/or ring bearer is permitted in your ceremony if they are at least four years old. They must be able to walk down the aisle unaccompanied and conduct themselves in an orderly fashion. If the child’s parents are in the wedding ceremony and not able to accompany them, we ask that you select a person to be responsible for the child prior to going down the aisle, to sit with them during the ceremony and after the wedding during photos.
Readers: If you would like family or friends to participate in the ceremony, you can choose to have up to four people be readers, and they are not required to be Catholic.
Rehearsal: Rehearsals are held on Friday evenings at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm, last about 45 minutes, and are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis when the wedding date is selected. With two rehearsals scheduled in an evening, each must start on time. Rehearsals will be conducted by your assigned Christ the King wedding coordinator in partnership with the presiding priest/deacon. Any outside wedding planners and vendors are subordinate to our wedding coordinator. Be sure to bring your marriage license to the rehearsal.
Reverence: The church is the house of God, and everyone is welcome. We require that proper decorum, dress and conduct be maintained at all times. Food, drinks, smoking, and gum chewing is not permitted in the sanctuary.
Flowers and Decorations: If you choose to have floral decorations as part of your ceremony, usually two arrangements are placed on the back altar, one on either side of the Tabernacle.
- Floral arrangements are not placed on the front altar or in front of the Tabernacle.
- Easter and Christmas flowers installed by the church may not be removed.
- Aisle floral arrangements (pew markers) may be used if they are tied with a ribbon or clipped on. There are 29 pews on each side with the first and last indented.
- Two weddings on the same day may share altar flowers, if mutually desired. Your wedding coordinator can help with this arrangement.
- You may choose to take or leave your altar flowers after your ceremony.
- Rental or disposable items brought by your florist (boxes, pew décor, candelabra, pedestals, urns, etc.) must be removed as soon as photographs are completed.
The following are not permitted at Christ the King:
- Flower petals, real or artificial, dropped by the flower girl
- Aisle runners, aisle cloth, aisle candles or hurricane vases
- Decorations on the walls or altar rails (exception: remembrance candle)
- Ribbon/fabric attached or draped from pew to pew
- Carpentry of any kind, glue, nails, pins, tacks or tape to attach decorations
- Birdseed, rice, confetti, doves, balloons or any other send-off items
Music: The music should reflect the Christian joy of your sacred day and enhance the natural flow of the wedding ceremony. Following your wedding planning discussion with Julie or Molly, please reach out to Thom Pavlechko, Music Director/Organist, to schedule your music planning meeting.
- The organ is already assigned to your wedding and included in the fees. The required organist fee is due even if you choose not to use the organ.
- Other musicians and/or vocalists may be organized by the Music Director.
- Only traditional wedding music, sacred music and classical music are allowed. All music and performers must be approved by the Music Director.
- The Music Director and musicians do not attend the rehearsal.
Photography, Videography, and Lighting: Christ the King recognizes the value of wedding photographs and videos as a lasting remembrance of your most special day, and we expect photographers and videographers to abide by the following rules:
- Flash photos may be taken until the bride and groom reach the altar and again when they are leaving the altar. No flash photography is permitted during the ceremony by photographers or guests.
- Lighting in the sanctuary is preset and effective for photography and videography.
- Photographers are not permitted in the center aisle during the procession.
- The ceremony may be videotaped, but without special lighting or cables between cameras or distracting movement. No sound board is available.
- To avoid distraction, photographers who wish to change position during the ceremony must use the side exits and not go up and down the inside church aisles.
- Photographers are asked to silence their cameras to avoid noise and distraction.
- Check with the organist prior to setup in the loft.
- Photos must be completed within 20 minutes following the ceremony. We encourage taking as many photos as possible prior to the ceremony using an organized shot list.
- In respect for the sacredness of the space, we ask photographers to use an appropriate voice tone/volume and dress accordingly.
Cultural Wedding Customs: We respect and welcome cultural customs from different backgrounds if they do not violate the guidelines for appropriate decorum in a sacred space. While they add a personal touch, they may increase the duration and cost of the ceremony. If you decide to include one or more of these into your wedding, let your wedding coordinator know during the planning discussion, so approval from Fr. Lackland can be confirmed.
Candles: The candle arrangement on the altar is not to be disturbed. You may discuss the option to have a candelabra with your wedding coordinator. For safety reasons and due to the fire code, no aisle candles are allowed.
Programs: Many couples choose to have a wedding program, which also serves as a worship aid to enable guests to participate in responses. Programs are optional and not provided by Christ the King.
Dressing Areas: A spacious room is available for the bridal party. It is recommended that the bride bring her dress and veil with her when she arrives for the wedding, and the bridal party come dressed. No dresses will be received at the rectory or by the wedding coordinator, and items may not be left unattended in the bride’s room. We have a locking closet available for your personal valuables during the ceremony. Personal belongings must be removed from the bride’s room immediately after the ceremony. Unfortunately, a dedicated groom’s room is not available. Groomsmen should arrive dressed for the wedding. They can wait in the vesting sacristy, the courtyard or the back vestibule prior to the start of the ceremony.
Lost and Found: In the event items are left behind, please check with your coordinator or call the church office. Christ the King is not responsible for damage or theft of any items left at the church, although we will make reasonable efforts to ensure lost items, if found, be stored in a secure location until returned to their rightful owners.
Other Guidelines: Christ the King does not allow for a receiving line or staged departure. While animals are especially loved at Christ the King, only service animals are allowed.
MARRIAGE LICENSE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS
A marriage license for a wedding in the state of Texas may be obtained from any license office in the state, which are typically issued and filed at the county level. A few important things to remember:
- A Texas marriage license may be obtained no sooner than 90 days before the ceremony and has a required 72 hour waiting period after issuing the license.
- Marriage applications may be started online. Once the application is submitted, the applicants must go to the County Clerk’s office to complete the process, including proof of age and identity (passport, driver’s license, birth certificate) and payment.
- It is important that the name you use when filling out the application match exactly to the name on your form of identity.
- In Dallas County, the current fee for a license is $81. To reduce the cost, you can show them your Twogether in Texas documentation, which you will receive when you complete your marriage preparation program.
- It is against the law in the State of Texas for a priest/deacon to perform the ceremony without a valid marriage license. The marriage license must be given to the priest/deacon performing the ceremony at the rehearsal. After the wedding, the license will be signed by the priest/deacon and sent to the County Office for recording. Once recorded (usually takes 2-3 months), an official copy will be mailed by the County Office to the couple.
WELCOME TO CHRIST THE KING!
We wish you a lifetime of happiness as you live out the Sacrament of Marriage and make God visible to others through the gift of a faithful, Christ-centered married life. We hope that participation in a Catholic church will be a part of your new relationship together, and we welcome you to become involved in our parish family.