For couples planning a Catholic wedding

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Catholic wedding decorations

If you choose to bring in decorations for the church, follow these two guidelines:

  • Keep the focus on the wedding liturgy. The prayers of the Church for your marriage are the key element in your wedding; you don't want to distract from the words and actions of the liturgy with decorations that block the assembly's view or get in the way of people involved in the wedding. Decorations should never be placed on the altar.
  • Respect the church environment. Most parishes carefully plan the "environment" of their worship space, following guidelines established by the Vatican and the national or regional bishops' conference. Your parish may have banners, flowers, statues, candles, or artwork already in place; these should not be altered or moved without permission from someone in the parish. In most parishes, the environment changes according to the seasons of the liturgical year; ask parish staff how the church is likely to be decorated at the time of your wedding. Finally, check with the parish before taping bows or other decorations on pews or walls, as the tape may damage the wood.

Some couples save money on decorations by planning their wedding to coincide with a time or season when the church will receive some "extra" decoration. Many parishes are beautifully decorated during the Easter season, for instance, as well as during the week or so following Christmas. Your parish may plan special decorations for other times of the year as well.

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