Planning a marriage

Initial Planning and Meetings

Engaged couples planning to marry here at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish should arrange a meeting with the administrator or his delegate, at least six (6) months prior to your planned wedding date.  A date for your wedding cannot be reserved until the priest meets with the couple to be married. This cannot be done over the phone; nor can it be done by your parents. 

We advise you not to make firm commitments until the date, time and eligibility to be married at Our Lady of the Assumption has been confirmed.  It is important to confirm your wedding date in the church before you secure a deposit on any reception halls.  (We do not charge you for changes, they often do).

Your freedom to marry needs to be determiined by the priest or his delegate before he can confirm a date. If one or both of the parties have had a previous marriage either inside or outside of the church, they are not free to marry in the Catholic Church, until all previous marriages have been declared null by a Catholic Tribunal or have ended with the death of one of the spouses. 

If you would like a family member or friend who is a bishop, priest, or deacon in the Catholic Church to celebrate your wedding, please inform the pastor in your initial meeting.  Any priest or deacon in good standing with his diocese or religious order is welcome to celebrate your wedding.  Priests from out of state need to apply for permission from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  This permission must be sought from the office of the secretary of state.  If either party is non-Catholic, your minister is cordially invited to join us and to participate in your wedding celebration. Any visiting minister is expected to follow all of the guidelines for weddings here at Our Lady of the Assumption.

Marriage Preparation

All couples are required to participate in a Marriage Preparation Program sponsored by the Archdiocese or arranged by your parish priest.  It is your responsibility to arrange your schedule to accommodate the meeting times of the program.  A schedule of the Marriage Preparation Programs sponsored by the Archdiocese can be found at:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that you apply for a marriage license from your local town or city offices.  This license must be presented at your rehearsal.  You are not able to marry at Our Lady of the Assumption without a license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   

Practical Information

Wedding Rehearsal- The parish Wedding Coordinator, Mary Counihan, will meet with the couple two weeks to a month prior to the wedding to set a date and time for the rehearsal and discuss the wedding liturgy. Mary will assist couples in planning, as well as coordinating the rehearsal and will be present at the wedding to assure that things run smoothly. You can call Mary at her cell phone 339-793-0790 to set times and dates or if you have any questions.

Music - is an important part of a wedding celebration.  Only music appropriate to a religious celebration will be allowed at Our Lady of the Assumption.  Popular songs that are not used for worship, even those that have a religious tone, are to be reserved for the reception hall after the ceremony.  The parish music director or organist are the appropriate resource for guidance in choosing wedding music.  Financial arrangements are made directly with the musician.  Please contact our Music Director: Rosemary Madden (781) 820-1023 ( to plan your music.

Outside musicians are subject to the approval of the music ministers or Administrator.  Because compensation for weddings is included as a part of our parish musicians’ income, we require our parish musicians are compensated their regular fee, even in the event that you choose to have outside musicians.  Musicians from outside the parish must be trained church musicians and are required to adhere to the guidelines for music sections at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish that are stated above.

Flowers - are beautiful decorations for your wedding and add beauty to the Church.  The florist is responsible for setting up floral decorations and runners in the Church.

Wedding Times -The following times are available for a wedding at Our Lady of the Assumption parish:          Fridays Afternoon and Evening – not available during Lent

                  Saturdays 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM

                  Sundays 2:00 PM

Lent and Holy Week -Wedding are not normally celebrated during the penitential season of Lent. Weddings in the season of Lent will only be considered under particular pastoral or personal circumstances. In the event of these exceptions, the ceremony and decorations should reflect the penitential season of Lent.  We do not celebrate weddings during Holy Week from the Friday before Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday.

Photographers and Videographers - are expected and appropriate.   The activities of those providing them must also be suitable to the church setting.  Your photographer should consult the celebrant as to any specific restrictions: but, generally, all we ask is that they stay out of the sanctuary area of the church.

Rice, Confetti and Flower Petals - are considered inappropriate at weddings at Our Lady of the Assumption; as they can be and have caused a safety hazard, especially for elderly guests who may have tentative mobility.  These traditions are perhaps better reserved for the reception hall.  We ask that you to inform your wedding party of this stipulation.

Church Donation – It is a long standing practice that a donation be made to the parish on the occasion of a marriage. Our Lady of the Assumption requests a donation of Four Hundred Dollars [$400.00].  This donation is not a fee or personal gift to the priest/deacon, it is an expression of your support for the parish community, which offers its prayers for your support in married life.  If you would like to give an additional honorarium to the priest or deacon celebrant you are welcome to do so. 

Scheduling - Please remember that the weekend schedules at parish incorporate many liturgies and activities that require a commitment of the pastor and deacons that may prevent him from being able to attend your wedding reception.  If you would like him to participate in any way at your reception (blessing or the meal, etc.) please arrange that with him prior to the day of the wedding. 


General Information

Parish Offices:                 (781) 834-6252   
                                     40 Canal Street, Marshfield MA 02050

Parish email          

Fr. Aveni email      

Music Director                Rosemary Madden (781) 820-1023 (

Organist:                       Gale McCarthy      (781) 585-5766 (

Wedding Coordinator      Mary Counihan (339) 793-0790

Number of pews              12

Aisle Length                     46 feet


Church Offering              $400

Organist                         $175

Soloist                            $175

One check to Our Lady of the Assumption $750


Wedding Coordinator

Mary Counihan

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