The focus of the wedding is to remain at the altar; witnessing the sacramental exchange of wedding vows by the bride and groom. While wedding parties certainly add an element of solemnity and festivity to the occasion, they should not be a distraction from the focus of the wedding. The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, in seeking to preserve the integrity of the wedding liturgy has established certain policies regarding the wedding party.
The following are the policies regarding the wedding party for weddings at the Co-Cathedral. By signing a contract with the Co-Cathedral, all couples give their written acknowledgement and consent to these policies and will be held accountable to them.
1. Brides are to be mindful of the necessary modesty of dress that is appropriate for a sacred place and for sacred worship. Appropriateness for a sacred place is not the same as a reception, party, etc. When selecting the wedding gown and the bridal attendants' gowns, strapless, low cut dresses or sleeveless gowns, while not appropriate, are not prohibited as long as they are worn with a shawl, a bolero or wrap around the shoulders. Failure to wear the necessary cover (including bridesmaids) will result in loss of deposit fee. The cover is not required for the reception; only the wedding. The emphasis is a reverent respect for God, his ministers, and worship.
2. Since the groom and bride are the focus, the number of attendants is to be limited to eight couples or less (preference given to less). Couples should strive for simplicity.
3. Children are always welcome in church, but often times they find it difficult to stay still for long periods of time, or with following directions. Thus, the limit is two children in the wedding party, and the minimum age is a mature five years old. Children must be mature enough to follow directions and maintain appropriate behavior during the nuptials.
4. The Bridal Attendants and Groomsmen are to arrive at the church completely dressed. Only the bride is permitted to use the Bride's Room to dress, not the bridal party.
5. At least two gentlemen, apart from the groomsmen, are to serve as ushers. Their primary duties are to welcome and seat the guests and family members, and to aid in the opening of the doors for the entrance and departure of the guests and liturgical procession. Groomsmen may also help the ushers with the seating of the guests if there is sufficient time.
6. Following the service, the ushers are to ensure that the church and Bride's Room are clean and clear, by picking up any left over worship aids, waste, or other items left by the wedding party and/or guests. Eating is not permitted in the Bridal Room; only water is permitted, however this must be kept to only the absolute minimum. Please remember this room is used for other weddings and church use; be considerate of others.
The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will not be held responsible for any remaining, missing, or lost items from the rehearsal or wedding.