Congratulations on your Engagement!
God who is love and who created man and woman for love has called them to love. By creating man and woman he called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: “So that they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matthew19:6). God said to them in blessing “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
Before contacting the Parish Centre, please read the information below:
In order to have a wedding at Mary Immaculate Church, Waverley, it is necessary that the marriage should take place according to the rites of the Catholic Church. The requirements of the Catholic Church for the celebration of marriage may differ from those of the civil law. At least one of the parties must be a Catholic, and both bride and groom must be free and capable of marriage as the Church understands it.
Priest or Deacon Celebrant
Weddings are generally celebrated in your own Parish Church to develop contact with your local priest and parish community. You may have a specific reason or connection with our Waverley Parish, but if not, you are welcome to celebrate your wedding Mary Immaculate Church.
It is customary for those from outside the Waverley Parish to supply their own priest celebrant who must possess the faculties of the Archdiocese of Sydney, but if your priest is not available on the day, our Parish Priest may be available. Your officiating priest will guide you through the process of preparation and will be responsible for all the paperwork, both Government and Church.
We ask couples to contact their officiating priest to confirm their availability before booking the wedding date. Please also give the officiating priest or deacon at least 8-10 months’ notice to complete paperwork so there is adequate time for preparation. If you have previously been married, please contact your priest before setting a wedding date. To see if our Parish Priest is available for your wedding, please contact him directly email@example.com.
Offerings for the Priest or Deacon Celebrant
Please be aware that most priests/deacons would dedicate 8 – 10 hours of service to your wedding. An offering for his time and services, in the amount of your choosing, would be appreciated. As a guideline, you may like to consider what the cost would be of a regular civil marriage celebrant.
Please note that this offering is NOT included in the Church booking fee. It is preferred that a donation be given on the day of your wedding to your priest – traditionally this is the best man’s role.
Nuptial Mass or Wedding Ceremony
It is important to carefully plan your wedding ceremony. The way you choose to celebrate should reflect where you are on your own faith journey, for example, it may be an anomaly for a couple to request a Nuptial Mass if both partners seldom attend Mass. The form of the wedding ceremony will be decided in discussion with the celebrant.
Since a wedding (Ceremony or Nuptial Mass) is the official liturgy of the Church, it must be in accord with official rites of the Catholic Church. Therefore, the readings and prayers must be from the official liturgical books.
It is helpful for couples to have printed service booklets to encourage guests to participate in the service. You should be aware that printed material in the booklets should comply with copyright law.
Documentation to your priest
Approximately 8 months before the wedding ceremony, you will need to arrange a meeting with your officiating priest to prepare the documentation for your wedding.
If either of you have been previously married, it is important to meet with your officiating priest as soon as possible to make sure you are clear to go ahead with the marriage. If this is not discussed at the onset of your booking, it may cause a delay in your wedding date being set.
You will need to provide the following:
- Baptism Certificate (issued within a period of six months prior to your first meeting with the priest). Please contact the parish of your baptism to obtain this.
- A full copy of Birth Certificate. A current non-Australian Passport will suffice for those born overseas.
- Certificate from Pre-marriage Catholic Care course.
- If either of you have been previously married, you will need to show evidence of an annulment.
Other Marriage forms will be completed in consultation with the priest or deacon.
Pre-Marriage Education Courses
It is expected that any couple intending to marry will participate in one of the Pre-Marriage Courses offered in the Archdiocese of Sydney and run by CatholicCare. These courses are run either in the group or face-to-face format, on weeknights and some weekends. CatholicCare invites you to spend some time building or strengthening the foundations for your married life. You can choose between 2 different courses, suited to your individual needs:
Becoming One:– a group-based marriage preparation course.
Intimate 2:- three face-to-face sessions with a marriage and relationship educator suited to mature-age couples, couples with children and couples who have previously been married.
Their courses are run either in the group, with online video conferencing or face-to-face format, on weeknights and some weekends. Evidence that you have completed one of these courses will be required before your marriage. Please arrange dates as soon as possible. A copy of their course schedule is available on their website https://www.catholiccare.org/ or below.
CatholicCare Sydney – Ph: (02) 9509 1234 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookings for Weddings
A tentative booking can be made by completing this Wedding Application Form then returning it with full payment of church donation within 60 days. A proposed time and date should be checked with the your officiating priest and Parish secretary as soon as possible before booking. The date and time will be confirmed via receipt once the donation and form has been provided. In case of cancellation 50% of the total amount of the fee will be retained if a booking is cancelled with less than 3 months’ notice.
Mary Immaculate Church is available for weddings on:
- Saturdays starting any time between 11:30am to 2:00pm.
- Sundays starting any time from 12:00pm – 2.00pm (provided no baptisms are scheduled)
- Weekdays may be celebrated after 12:00pm to 2:00pm.
Click here to download – Wedding Booking Form
Please note: The latest time to have a wedding is 2:30pm as we have our evening mass at 5:00pm and the Church needs to be vacated by 4:00pm.
Church Booking Donation
Cleaning, along with the supply of Church and Altar requisites are a significant cost to the Waverley Parish. To assist with the recovery of these costs a donation is asked to confirm your booking.
Reminder – this booking fee is NOT the same and does not include the donation to your officiating priest/deacon. An offering to your priest of your choosing is customary and would be greatly appreciated on the day of your wedding.
Fees for Weddings: (this is separate from donation to priest).
- $500 for a Weekday/Saturday Wedding
- $700 for a Sunday Wedding
There are three ways you can pay this donation:
- To pay via direct transfer: Name: Catholic Development Fund | BSB: 062-784 | Acc: 100 00 1470. If it allows, please enter your “Surname Wedding Fee” as the description and notify once transfer made
- Click BPoint to pay donation for church: BPoint for Waverley Parish. (Biller Code 1949254)
- To pay by cash: please arrange a time with the Parish Secretary to drop the donation off during business hours on (02) 9369 9399 or email: email@example.com
It is customary that two offerings be made one for the Parish (wedding gratuity) and a second for the celebrant who will conduct your service (this is normally given on the day).
The booking donation above will entitle you to a one-hour rehearsal closer to your wedding day. If you wish to use the church for a wedding rehearsal, please make your booking as soon as possible or at least two (2) months before your wedding day. Rehearsals can be scheduled on a weeknight or Saturday day if there are no other events in the church. This rehearsal time should allow for all the participants to attend at the one time i.e., wedding party, musicians, sound people etc. A maximum of one (1) hour is allocated for rehearsals and must be completed by 7:30pm. Extra rehearsal times are charged at $100 an hour. A rehearsal may not be necessary as it may be sufficient to “talk through” the ceremony with your celebrant.
Music for your Ceremony
A wedding is a religious celebration so it is appropriate that your choice of music reflects this and acknowledges the presence and worship of God. The distinction between sacred and secular music is not always clear, but these few hints may help.
- Try choosing music based on religious texts, eg, scripture, psalms etc.
- Avoid songs or music associated with films, stage, pop songs, etc.
- Consider playing any secular music at the wedding reception.
The Church has a CD player which connects with our Church audio system and available free of charge. There is also a projector system that can play a presentation of photos through your laptop.
We also have a Bluetooth system and WIFI that allows you to play music from your iPad or tablet which connects with our Church audio system.
The Organ: The Church organ is uniquely designed to fill these spaces adequately and the Church organists are professional musicians who are experts at providing appropriate liturgical music.
You must contact our Church Organist if you wish to use the organ.
Kurt Ison – Ph: 9798 9579 or mobile: 0430 372 990 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to use another organist other than Kurt Ison, you will need to apply for permission from him. He, along with the Parish Priest, will decide according to their proven competency as an organist and qualifications. Fees for organists and vocalists are to be arranged with them.
Alternatively, you can use the electric keyboard or grand piano at the front of the church after consulting with the Parish Priest.
As a matter of courtesy to your guests & priest and in consideration for other events that may follow in the Church, it is necessary that the bride arrive at the Church ready to process down the aisle at your allocated time. The Bridegroom should arrive at least 40 mins before the start of the ceremony to meet with the priest and ensure everything has been set up correctly.
The use of confetti, rice, bubbles or flower petals etc. is NOT permitted within the Church or on the property. (Printing this on the wedding invitation can be a good idea.)
Flowers & Pew Decorations
You may decorate the pews for the wedding. Although, we do ask that they are removed after the ceremony. Please no Blu tack, sticky tape or thumbtacks. Flowers in the church are welcome, and you may choose to donate them to the church – we love flowers here! But please, no flower petals on the carpet.
Decorative candles other than marriage candles are NOT permitted in the Church. If you intend to have one wedding candle, a dish must be provided to prevent dripping of wax onto the carpet and pews.
Photography & Video
Please tell photographers to speak with the celebrant on the day of the wedding to discuss what is permitted, especially when Video Cameras are being used.
You may wish to convey the following instructions to them before your wedding:
- No additional lighting may be used
- Photographers must NOT move around the church during the ceremony, nor are they permitted to walk onto the sanctuary area.
- Please remind Photographers they are in a sacred space and the ceremony is a sacred celebration.
Parking is limited on the grounds and therefore the 3 spaces at the front of the church should be reserved for the wedding cars. All wedding patrons are requested to park in the council car park or on the street and are not to park on the lawn or in the Church driveway. Please note Waverley Council are very strict regarding their parking laws, so please advise the guests to comply when parking on the day. Public transport is the best option.
After the Wedding
Please ensure that the church is left in the same condition in which it was found. This means removing all decorations, rubbish, booklets and returning any furniture to its original location. The reason for this is a Mass will often follow your wedding and it is the priest that is left to clean any mess that is left behind!
You will appreciate that the health and welfare of all Parishioners needs to be considered at this time and there are government regulations with which we must comply. In order to be compliant with our COVID safety plan the following additional requirements are currently in place:
- Mary Immaculate Church has a maximum capacity of 120 people in total, inclusive of bridal party and photographer (s) based on a 4sqm rule.
- The names and contact details (including at minimum a phone number) of all attending must be recorded using the QR Codes provided. Seating arrangements may not be changed (i.e. – only ever second pew may be used).
- If a nuptial wedding is to be celebrated Holy Communion must be distributed in line with our COVID-19 safety plan.
Refreshments (after the ceremony) – depending on COVID-19 Restrictions
Food & drinks are not allowed in the Church during the ceremony. If you require to use the grassed area outside the Church after your ceremony to provide light refreshments, a fee of $100 per hour must be donated to the Church. It is your responsibility that all rubbish is removed from the grounds. The use of the grounds outside the Church must be approved by the Parish Centre when booking your wedding.
The Parish Hall is available for hire for no more than 50 people should you wish to provide light refreshments indoors. Please contact the Parish Secretary to arrange this.
What to do next
You are encouraged to obtain a copy of the booklet When We Marry – a practical planning guide for couples from Pauline Book & Media, located at 150 Castlereagh St, Sydney – Tel: 9264 8630.
Once you have decided on your wedding date, contact the Parish Centre to confirm the date is available and complete the Booking Form along with your donation (all links above) . Forms can be dropped off to the Parish Centre – 45a Victoria Street, Waverley NSW 2024, posted to PO Box 577, Waverley NSW 2024 or emailed to the Parish Secretary.
Parish Priest: Fr Bernie Thomas OFM
Ph: (02) 9369 9328 or Email: email@example.com
Parish Secretary: Carla Korkor
Phone: (02) 9369 9399
Office Hours: 9:30am – 2:30pm Tuesday to Friday