Congratulations & Welcome
Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting times of your life. We are happy that you have chosen Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church to be a part of your special day. We want to help you plan a wedding ceremony that is spiritual and sacramental in accordance with the Catholic belief that marriage is a lifelong commitment, and that it is a sacrament when it occurs between to Baptized Christians.
We know that weddings can be very stressful, and we do not intend to add any more stress. However, planning for a life-long commitment does. The following guidelines will assist you in preparing for your wedding day and your future life together.
First Time Marriage
Civil Marriage License is required; a valid Marriage License is a legal requirement for marriage in this state and can be obtained at the following places:
- Dade County Court House, 601 N.W. 1st Court, Suite #1900, Miami Florida 33136
- Joseph Caleb Center 5400 NW 22 Avenue Room #205
- Coral Gables District Court 3100 Ponce de Leon
- Miami Beach District Court 1130 Washington Avenue Room #224
- North Dade Justice Center 15555 Biscayne Blvd. Room #100
- South Dade Government Center 10710 SW 211 Street
These offices are open Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The Court requires two pieces of identification, one containing a picture. The fee for the marriage license as of 5/1/2007 is $93.50. When applying for your license, please bring your PRE-CANA Certificate and they will give you a discount of $25.00.
This discount is only available in Miami Dade County.
Do not let the clerk of the court, a notary or judge marry you.
The license must be given to the Coordinator of Weddings six weeks before the wedding. Following the marriage ceremony, the best man and maid of honor sign the license. The wedding coordinator will mail the license to the Clerk of the Court and you will receive a certified copy by mail, usually 4 to 6 weeks after the wedding.
New Baptismal Certificate
It is possible to obtain baptismal certificates from anywhere in the world even from Cuba. Those baptized in Cuba should inform the Coordinator of Weddings of the name of the church, the city and province and the date if possible, of your Baptism. If you have the old certificate, please give us a copy so we can have the Libro and Folio numbers. These numbers speed up the request. We will request an updated copy from Cuba.
A copy of your Confirmation Certificate must be given to the Weddings Coordinator.
Bringing your Civil Marriage into the Sacrament - Required Documents
A copy of your Marriage License, New Baptismal Certificate and Confirmation is needed for you to receive the Sacrament of Marriage.
If either party was previously married
Regardless of whether the marriage(s) took place before a Justice of the Peace, or a member of the clergy of another religious denomination, a Declaration of Nullity needs to be proclaimed by the Catholic Church before it will be able to recognize the marriage you now wish to enter.
Each previous Marriage must be declared null before you can receive your sacraments or convalidate your current marriage through the Catholic church; therefore, you need to provide a New Baptisms certificate, Marriage License and Divorce Decree of [previous marriage] and it must be accompanied with $100 each to the Archdiocese of Miami
Preparing To Receive The Sacrament
The Wedding Coordinator will meet with all couples requesting wedding dates at Our Lady of the Lakes. This meeting will usually take place on a weekday within one month of their filling out the wedding application.
At the time of the interview with the Weddings Coordinator she will discuss the church forms and the Fully Engaged questionnaire administered.
- The "A" form is the Pre-Nuptial Questionnaire and must be signed by the couple.
- The "B" form verifies your freedom to marry and must be signed by two people who are reliable and can attest that there are no physical, psychological or other impediments to your marriage. Usually these witnesses are the parents of the bride and groom.
Fully Engaged is a Catholic catechetical premarital inventory designed to help engaged couples solidify the foundation upon which they, together with Christ, will build their Sacrament of Marriage. Grounded in Church teaching and loaded with catechetical content, this dynamic premarital inventory is a trustworthy guide that meets the real challenges today’s couples face.
You will be given their name and phone number within one week of filling out the questionnaire to set up an appointment to meet with them. You will be required to setup an appointment with them within one month of completing the couples Questionnaire.
The Archdiocese of Miami offers a variety of programs to prepare you for the Sacrament of Marriage. For information on the courses and to register for First Marriages Re-Marriage, Convalidation programs in English and Spanish courses please visit the following WebPages.
- The www.miamiarch.org events calendar under Marriage Preparation or
- Website www.MiamiArch.org/MarriagePrep.
The weekend encounter is designed to help promote a relationship based upon open and honest communication between the two individuals preparing to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony and give them special insights into their future life together. You will be scheduled for the next available date. If you are scheduled for an Encounter and you do not come or call in advance to cancel, your wedding date will be taken off our wedding schedule.
Natural Family Planning - Another Component Of Catholic Marriage Preparation
NFP Classes which starts with the Marriage Prep Weekend with the option of continuing with a doctor at his office.
A twenty-minute audio-visual introduction to NFP is now available online, provided by the Billings Ovulation Method. Go to our website video library here: www.nfpoutreach.org/library/video-library.htm . It's the first item there.
Take a Natural Family Planning (NPF) Course - www.MiamiArch.org/NFP
This is a great service to couples who are beginning to explore the various natural methods. It explains how any woman can become aware of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms that a woman’s body provides, that tell her when her fertility begins and ends each cycle.
The Billings Method is an extremely effective and a morally good means of spacing pregnancies (99.5+% for postponing pregnancies when the four simple rules are correctly used). It is completely natural and provides an understanding of a woman’s fertility. It fosters collaboration and a shared responsibility.
The Wedding Ceremony
When the groom and bride are both Roman Catholic:
This ceremony takes place at a Nuptial Mass thus providing the opportunity for the newly married couple to share in the one bread and the one cup when they receive the Body and Blood of Christ at Communion.
When either the groom or bride is baptized in a Christian Faith other than Roman Catholic:
This ceremony usually takes place outside of the context of the Mass to prevent any embarrassment resulting from the priest not being able to offer Holy Communion to either the bride or groom. The actual wedding takes place after the Liturgy of the Word and concludes with the Nuptial Blessing and final blessings. The wedding may be celebrated in the context of a Nuptial Mass upon the request of both the bride and the groom and the understanding that only one of them will be able to receive Holy Communion.
When either the bride or groom is not baptized:
The Nuptial Mass is not celebrated. The ceremony includes the Liturgy of the Word, the Exchange of Vows, the Nuptial Blessing and the final Blessing.
Couples are encouraged to take an active role in planning their wedding ceremony. The Coordinator of Weddings will help you plan a meaningful celebration of God’s gift of married love.
In Catholic theology the Sacrament of Matrimony is the only sacrament that lay people administer to each other. The priest or deacon acts as a witness for the church. The priests or deacons of Our Lady of the Lakes will gladly officiate at your ceremony. They will be assigned by the Pastor according to the parish schedule. Priest friends of the family are welcome to concelebrate.
Days And Times Of Weddings
Weddings are scheduled on Fridays or Saturdays at the following times:
Saturday, 12:00pm, 2:00pm and Friday 7:00pm.
Weddings must start on time.
Weddings cannot be scheduled on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation Weddings Dates are available all months except July.
Rehearsal time is 30 minutes it will take place either the Wednesdays or Thursday before wedding ceremony.
Because the church is a sacred place Wedding Planners are not allowed in the church during the rehearsal or the wedding ceremony. The wedding coordinator of the church or the Priest will answer any questions that you have.
Modesty in dress shows a respect for the sacred place and the holiness of the Sacrament. Please be especially careful in choosing the wedding gown and bridal party dresses so that they reflect the sanctity of the church.
Music must be liturgically appropriate. The church organist will help you in the selection of the music. He will be present at the Engaged Encounter and will play a variety of music at that time so you may make your selections. Soloists are permitted to sing during the Nuptial Mass, but only those from Our Lady of the Lakes Music Ministry Program. The organist will help you in making the proper arrangements. The fee for the organist will be $250.00. The fee for a soloist is $150.00.
Flowers are the responsibility of the couple. The church always provides appropriate flower arrangements for the different Liturgical Seasons, so there is no reason to purchase flowers for the sanctuary. Flowers, tulle or ribbons can enhance the center aisle. They should be placed on each pew individually. Please do not tape, glue, wire or tack to the pews. You may use cloth ties or rubber bands. It is not permitted to drape any material from pew to pew.
Please inform your friends and family that there is to be no throwing of rice, birdseed, flower pedals, confetti, bubbles, balloons or letting doves loose after the ceremony on church property. Aisle runners are not permitted in our church.
Photographers and videographers are welcome, but they must not enter the sanctuary, obstruct the flow of the ceremony or the view of the congregation. Floodlights are strictly forbidden. Limited flash pictures are allowed during the ceremony. Videotaping is permitted if it is done with the natural light of the church. Cameras should be battery operated and must remain in a stationary designated place, not blocking the access to the center aisle. The Photographers and videographers can move around in the church only at the beginning when the Procession starts and at the end when the recessional starts.
Once the Mass has Start the photographer and videographers need to be at their designed area and not move until the end.