The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures and spiritual attitudes

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1603)

The very first miracle that Jesus performed was at a marriage feast in Cana. The Church sees this as a confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the importance that marriage is a visible sign of Christ’s presence.

We read in the book of Genesis that a man will leave his father and be joined to his wife, and that the two persons will become one flesh. The letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians reiterates this and also points out that the love of a man and woman is a reflection of the love of Christ and His Church.

Wedding Protocol/Information

St. Mary’s Parish welcomes you and asks that persons involved in wedding festivities respect this Holy and Sacred Place. Weddings take place in the main church under the auspices of the Diocese of Gaylord; therefore it is a liturgy of the Catholic Church. We will make every effort to accommodate special requests; however, we must adhere to the guidelines set by the Worship Office of the Diocese. For your convenience, the following are the guidelines for all weddings that are celebrated at St. Mary of the Assumption in Charlevoix, Michigan.

Who may celebrate their wedding at St. Mary of the Assumption

  • Parishioners will be given priority over non-parishioners.
  • One of the parties must be a practicing Catholic.
  • Children or grandchildren of active parishioners are also qualified to be married at the parish as parishioners.

Date and Time of Ceremony

Arrangements must be made at least 6 months in advance. A formal meeting with the priest is required. Please arrange a wedding date prior to arranging for a reception site. Times available for the Wedding on a Saturday is 10am to 1:00pm. No weddings permitted on Sundays. No weddings permitted on Friday evenings when another Church event is scheduled on Saturday.

Choosing a Presider

The parish priest will preside at all weddings for full or part-time parishioners. Non-parishioners will need to provide a guest priest. The priest must provide a letter in good standing from his Diocesan Bishop submitted to the Diocesan office prior to the service. The address is listed below.

Non-parishioners please contact the parish prior to booking any reception facilities.

Marriage Preparation

Those living outside the Diocese of Gaylord must fulfill all requirements of marriage prep required in the diocese in which they are living. Marriage papers and forms are then forwarded from your parish office to your Diocesan offices and then to:

The Diocese of Gaylord Tribunal Office at 611 W. North St., Gaylord, MI 49735.

  • All couples are obligated to participate in marriage preparation at least 6 months prior to the wedding.
  • The Diocese of Gaylord offers marriage prep classes twice a year. Information can be found on the Diocese of Gaylord website.
  • A recent copy of sacramental records is to be supplied in the marriage file going to the Diocesan Tribunal office.
  • Baptized Christians (non-Catholics) must supply a copy of their baptismal record in the marriage file also.

Liturgy Planning

  • All details of your wedding liturgy are subject to the approval of the priest.
  • Lectors must be practicing Catholics, if you have a Mass.
  • Eucharistic Ministers must be practicing Catholics. 2-3 Eucharistic ministers for a Mass.
  • 2-3 altar servers are optional; please let the pastor know if you would like servers (a small monetary gift is appreciated for each server).
  • The Unity Candle is not part of the Catholic Ritual of Marriage.
  • Nothing in the church environment or sanctuary is to be removed or modified as it reflects the liturgical season of the Church year.

Wedding Rehearsal

The day and time of the wedding rehearsal will be at a mutually agreeable date and time. Typically this is held on a Thursday or Friday.

Bride Dressing Room

A room is provided for the bride and her attendants in the school building.

Groom’s Dressing Room

The Genesis room behind the sanctuary in the Church is available for the groom.

Rice, Confetti, Rose Petals and Animals

Throwing of rice, petals, birdseed, confetti or similar items is prohibited due to maintenance reasons. “Only those animals (leader dogs) needed for the blind or handicapped”

Alcohol Beverages

Alcohol is not allowed in the church or school areas during rehearsal or prior to the wedding ceremony.


Sanctuary flowers are allowed, as well, garland or pew ribbons. However, no petals or flowers of any kind may be strewn anywhere in the church. Flowers to Mary are optional.


  • All equipment is to be placed so as not to obstruct the view of the congregation.
  • The Photographer/Videographer must not interrupt the progress of the entrance procession.
  • Discretion must be exercised so that the wedding liturgy is not interrupted.
  • Photos are not permitted during the homily or the period following the Presentation of the Gifts until the distribution of Communion begins.
  • Videographers must take a stationary position outside the sanctuary (altar area).

The time for pictures to end by 3:00pm and that the wedding party needs to leave the church by 3:30pm for the Rosary and Mass.

Monetary Gift

confirmed date for your wedding ceremony is only accepted after the approval of the parish priest and a 50% deposit received by the parish office.

Prior to the wedding date, the balance of your monetary gift is to be given to the Parish.

Non-parishioners: $500.00
Registered Parishioners: $200.00

Ceremony Length

Full Wedding Ceremony is approximately 1 hour.
Rite of Marriage outside of Mass lasts about 35 minutes.
All wedding participants must exit the premises by 3:00 pm in preparation for Mass.

Please contact the parish office at 231-547-6652.