Information For Weddings

St. Rocco’s Church Johnston, RI – Wedding Guidelines

1) SET THE DATE: Speak to one of the priests 8-12 months before wedding to:

A) Reserve the date and the hour, including rehearsal time.

B) Schedule Marriage Preparation sessions:

  1. Call the Marriage Preparation Office at 278-4576 or check their website at or CEE’s national website at .

N.B. It is required to attend a Sexuality Seminar. This talk focuses on the teaching of the Catholic Church with regard to the gift of human sexuality. Your Marriage Preparation sessions may include this talk. If not, you need to attend a separate talk.

2) ON THE PRACTICAL SIDE: a checklist to help remind you of some things that you will eventually need:

A) For Catholics:

  1. Baptismal Certificate: It must be a newly issued certificate from the Church of your baptism. You do not need to get a certificate if your baptism took place at St. Rocco’s.
  2. First Communion and Confirmation certificates issued from the church where you received these sacraments.

B) For non-Catholics:

  1. Copy of Baptism Certificate, if baptized.
  2. Copy of Birth Certificate.
  3. Complete a “Testimony of Free Status” forms.

C) Marriage Preparation and Sexuality Seminar 

D) Marriage license. A civil marriage license is required before any couple can be married in a Catholic Church.  The license may be obtained at the city or town hall where you live within 90 days of the wedding date.  The license is to be brought to the rehearsal where the officiant and the witnesses will sign it.

*         Marriages in St. Rocco’s Church: You may invite another priest to perform your ceremony at St. Rocco’s and he should conduct the rehearsal. If one party is a member of St. Rocco’s Parish and the marriage will be celebrated at St. Rocco’s, then the marriage preparation is normally done by one of the priests of St. Rocco’s and not the priest officiating.

*        Marriages outside of St. Rocco’s Church: Catholics of Saint Rocco’s Parish who wish to marry in another church are to be prepared by one of the priests of Saint Rocco’s Parish, who will give the permission for the marriage to be celebrated in that church. However, if both parties are Catholic, they may be prepared and celebrate the marriage in either one’s parish church. To be married in a church other than that to which either Catholic party belongs requires the permission of the proper pastor preparing the couple for marriage. Only the Bishop may grant a dispensation for a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic in a non-Catholic ceremony, but these couples must still undergo the usual marriage preparation under the guidance of the Catholic party’s parish priest.

3) CHURCH OFFERING: The Church offering is $400. This money does not go to the priest but to the parish. A check made out to “St. Rocco’s Church” should be given at the rehearsal. Customarily, the best man tips the altar servers, there are usually two servers for the ceremony.

4)  MUSIC: Liturgical Music plays a key role in the Roman Catholic Liturgy; the Nuptial Mass in no exception. The standard music personnel for Wedding Masses are the parish cantor and organist. Experienced musicians, they will aid you in the process of selecting music and offer you the various options available through an in-person consultation. Please formularize yourself with the Rite of Marriage Music Planning Guide located below this tab for further details and options. Please note: should you desire an outside vocalist or organist, he or she would require approval by both the pastor and music director. One would still be obligated to attend a music consultation and compensate the music director who will remain present at the mass regardless of the hired musicians(s). The music department is compensated directly, separate from the church offering, the music director’s (organist bench) fee is $200.00. To begin music planning, please contact the music director, Christopher Caramello at 401-692-5270 or

5) FLOWERS: Flowers add to the beauty of your wedding; outside of the seasons of Advent and Lent, the flowers typically remain in the Church in thanksgiving to God. We have to insist that nothing be taped or tacked to the pews. Use elastic bands or hooks only. Also, we do not approve of the use of candelabra since they drip wax terribly. The aisle for the carpet is 84 feet long.

6) PHOTOGRAPHY: Dignity, common sense and good taste should govern the photographer and/or videographer. We ask that they do not go into the sanctuary (where the altar and the bride and groom are located) to video or take pictures. They must check in with the priest before the wedding ceremony.

7) CIVIL ARRANGEMENTS: The license is obtained from the city or town where either the bride or groom resides. It is valid for 90 days and will be returned to the town hall by the priest. Be sure to bring the license to the wedding rehearsal. The official witnesses need to be at least 18 years old.

8)  REHEARSAL: It is customarily held the evening before the wedding. All members of the wedding party, including readers, should be present and on time because another rehearsal may follow. You should bring to the Rehearsal: License and Church Offering and Organist Fee.