Marriage Guidelines

Marriage as Sacrament

Congratulations on making this important decision!  Every Christian is called to reveal Jesus’ love and presence among us, and the celebration of your marriage in the Catholic Church calls you to be a visible sign of Christ’s love to the world!

With this in mind, and in order that your marriage may be truly fulfilling and sacred, the following guidelines are offered by your faith family of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.  After carefully reading this information, please call the parish office to schedule an appointment with either Father George or myself.  At that time, we will further explain the process to you.  We look forward to working with you.

Father Eric Peters


Marriage Guidelines

The couple who plans to exchange vows in the Church should be registered and regularly practicing members of a parish.  The initial contact should be done at least six (6) months in advance of the proposed wedding date.  This time is essential for scheduling and marriage preparation, which includes the Pre-Marital Inventory (PMI), a readiness assessment questionnaire given to every couple as required by the diocese.  Please note that your wedding date cannot be put on the calendar until the PMI has been completed.

Please contact Dan O’Hara, our Music Director, at least three months before your wedding date.  He will work with you and the priest/celebrant to plan a beautiful wedding based on the Church’s standards for music and liturgical celebrations.

Photographs/videos may be taken; however, flash photography is not permitted during the marriage ceremony. The photographer must set up in one place and work in such a way as to not disturb the congregation or the priest/celebrant.  The photographer may not enter the sanctuary or be on the sanctuary steps at any time during the celebration.  The photographer and bridal party have a half hour to complete any pictures taken after the ceremony has ended.  Please have the photographer contact the priest/celebrant before the day of the wedding.

For insurance reasons we cannot permit the use of aisle runners, arches, throwing flower petals in the aisle and throwing rice or birdseed inside or outside of the church, as these can cause people to slide, trip and fall.

We have candles in our sanctuary, therefore no other candles are needed.  If a Unity Candle is desired, please speak with JoAnn McVeigh, our Parish Sacristan.  Bows and/or ribbons may be tied to the pews.  If tape is used, it needs to be blue painter’s tape.

If you would like, you may leave any of your flowers in the church for the weekend masses.   Please inform the florist that the church will be open ninety minutes before the wedding starts.

It is the responsibility of the wedding party to remove anything that has been brought into the Church, except the flowers, so that it will be ready for our Masses later that day.

Immediately after the ceremony, the official witnesses (best man and maid of honor) should go to the sacristy with the priest/celebrant to sign the marriage license.  After recording the marriage in the parish records, the license will then be sent to the County Courthouse for final processing.  A Church Certificate of Marriage will also be given to the couple.

The fee for registered regularly-practicing and tithing members of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church is $400.00.  The fee for those who are non-registered at the time of inquiry is $600.00.  Please make your check payable to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, and deliver or mail it to the parish office before the day of the rehearsal.

Again, congratulations on your great love for each other and your desire to marry in the Catholic Church.  It will be our pleasure and honor to assist you and to be a part of your special day!


St. Thomas Aquinas (727) 372-8600
Father Eric Peters Extension 114
Father George Varkey Extension 130
Deacon Melvin Dunphy Extension 143
Music:  Dan O’Hara Extension 128
Sacristan: JoAnn McVeigh Extension 129
Secretary: Kate Moschitto Extension 113

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