"Marriage is rooted in the paschal mystery of Christ.  The conjugal union between a baptized man and woman, entered into validly, is a Sacrament.  By this Sacrament, a man and woman are joined as one, becoming an image of the union of Christ with His Church."

Dear Friends in Christ

You are about to enter a union which is most sacred and most serious, a union which was established by God.  It is a beautiful tribute to your strong faith in each other and in God, that you are so willing to enter into this covenant of married love.  Henceforth, you belong entirely to each other; one in mind, in heart, and in affections.  Whatever sacrifices you must make to preserve this covenant, make them with a generous heart.  Only love can make it joy!



I.     Once you have set the date for your wedding, please consult the Parish before making changes in date, time, etc.

  • A Mass is celebrated at marriage when the bride and groom are practicing Catholics.  Others are usually married at a ceremony that does not include Mass.
  • For your marriage you will need recent certificates of your Baptism, and Confirmation.  The baptismal certificate must have been issued by the Parish within the past 3 months.  Old baptismal certificates may not be presented.  If you have received any of these sacraments at St. Joseph Parish, we will look up the records here and you will not need formal certificates.
  • The offering for the wedding is $600.  This includes the fee for the organist and cantor.

II.     It is essential that you register for the marriage preparation program here at St. Joseph Church by calling the Parish Center Office at 860-583-1369,   between the hours of 8:30am and 4:00pm.

  • Be punctual and faithful to the meeting times for your marriage preparation sessions.   If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, be certain to set a new one.

III.    Guidelines

  • If there will be a photographer or video technician at your ceremony, please have him or her stop to speak with the priest before the ceremony begins.  We have a few rules for them to follow.  If you choose to have the sacrament videotaped, the video camera cannot include lights and must be placed in one spot for the entire ceremony.  The operator must contact the priest in advance for more details.
  • The throwing of rice/confetti & rose petals, or the use of bubbles, etc., is prohibited within or outside the church.
  • If the marriage is scheduled during the Easter Season (from Easter Sunday and fifty days following to Pentecost Sunday) the church will have an abundance of flowers.  Please speak with the priest witnessing your vows on flowers to purchase.
  • The drinking of alcoholic beverage at church before or after a wedding is not permitted.  Drinking before the ceremony breaks the Eucharistic fast.  Please speak to your limo driver to have champagne after you have left church grounds.
  • It is the responsibility of the couple to contact the Parish Director of Music, Mrs. Jean Degan at 860-583-1369.
  • We will schedule a time for your rehearsal. Please inform the members of your wedding party to be on time.  All those directly involved in the ceremony need to be present for the rehearsal.  The wedding rehearsal is not the time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).  You and the members of your wedding party should go to Confession during the time scheduled in your churches, sometime before the rehearsal, so as to prepare to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord.
  • Before the rehearsal date, present to the priest the offering for the wedding, the marriage license issued by the City of Bristol, and the order of service from which has been filled in with the selections you have made for your ceremony.  The Bristol City Hall will be happy to provide you with information concerning the civil requirements for the marriage license.  State law forbids a priest to witness a marriage unless he has the required license.


  • F.A.C.E.T. (Foundations Applied Conversations & Education Tool)
  • Every couple will be assigned a mentor couple from St. Joseph Parish
  • Attend an engaged Couples Conference.  Listing of dates and locations are found on the Archdiocese Website https://archdioceseofhartford.org  Ministries tab, and the click on office of family life.