The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

Immaculate Conception Church, St. Patrick Church, BCCN, Catholic, Butte Montana



Selection of Date and Time

Couples must contact the Parish 6 months before the date of the Wedding per Diocesian Policy.  Saturday Marriages may take place at 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm at the Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick Churches. Evening Marriages on Friday may also be scheduled at both churches between the hours of 4:30 – 7:00 pm with approval by the priest. Selected dates may be scheduled one year prior to the Marriage. Marriages are not scheduled on Sundays, Solemnities, Christmas, Christmas Eve, the Friday or Saturday following Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, during the Season of Lent, the Triduum, Holy Saturday, nor Easter Sunday.


Rehearsals are scheduled on Thursday or Friday at 4:30 or 5:00 pm and normally take about 40 minutes. The entire wedding party must be at the church 10 minutes before the rehearsal starts and the rehearsal will start on time.

Marriage Preparation

The Church takes great care and concern in the preparation of each couple who is preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage.

When a couple becomes engaged, they are encouraged to request the “Blessing of an Engaged Couple”. This is a special occasion for families, who should celebrate it together with prayer, asking God’s blessing that the happiness promised by this engagement will be brought to fulfillment. The church prays that “they will grow in mutual respect and in their love for one another; (and) that through their companionship and prayer together they will prepare themselves rightly and chastely for marriage.” (“Order for the Blessing of an Engaged Couple”). The Blessing takes place during Mass. The couple must contact the parish office to schedule the Blessing.

BCCN offers a series of six classes to assist you as you prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. These sessions, “Theology of the Body, For a Joy Filled Marriage”, are offered twice a year in the Spring & Fall. The other option for Marriage preparation is the “Engaged Encounter Weekend”. All couples must complete one or the other option before the Marriage will take place.

Music for your Marriage

Please contact the parish office for an approved list of musicians and cantors before planning any music.

Music is an essential component in the celebration of marriage, and the participation of the assembly in the music is a necessary expectation. The tests of music chosen are to come chiefly from Scripture and liturgical sources. Music used at liturgy is to be clearly identified as prayer for all who gather and must be integral to the rite it supports. Therefore, many popular songs are inappropriate for use at Catholic marriage liturgy. “Favorite songs” and the like usually are more appropriate at the reception.

A Cantor who sings at regular Sunday Catholic Liturgies is required for the marriage ceremony if there is a full Mass. A Cantor must lead the congregation during the Responsorial Psalm and the parts of the Mass.

The Liturgy

The celebration of marriage in the church is the celebration of a sacred moment in the parish community. The adequate preparation of the marriage liturgy is an important aspect of the celebration of marriage.

The model for the marriage liturgy is the parish Sunday liturgy. Like any Liturgy of the church, it involves full, active and conscience participation of the people in prayer and song. The environment for the marriage liturgy should be simple, attractive and prayerful.

The Liturgy of the Word is centered around the Scripture reading, the sung responsorial psalm, the sung Gospel acclamation and the homily. Scripture readings, responsorial psalm & the Gospel acclamation must be selected from the “Together for Life” booklet that will be provided to you by the parish. The proclamation of the Word of God is a necessary element of the marriage liturgy and so readings from other sources are not used at this time. Readers must be chosen with care. They must be firm believers in the Word of God and be able to read well and with conviction. Preferably they are Lectors or Readers in their own parish.

Order of Worship/Programs

The parish will provide a basic order of worship program for the Faithful attending the Marriage Liturgy for no extra cost. Couples wanting to provide a more detailed order of worship/program may do so at their own cost. The order of worship lists the names of musical selections, acclamations and responses as well as the names of the participants of the Marriage Liturgy. If you wish to provide this service, the Pastoral Associate will assist you with this option and approve your selections. Please note that the parish does not provide this service.

Flowers and Decorations

Our “historic” church buildings are beautiful settings for any Liturgy. Very little is needed to enhance the beauty of these churches. The following guidelines have been provided to help you as you prepare for the celebration of Marriage.

The Altar may not be decorated, nor may things be placed upon or around it, with the exception of a bouquet in front of the Altar. The bouquet must not be taller than the top of the Altar table.

Two flower “standards” are available in the sanctuary for additional floral pieces.

Floral decorations or bows placed on pew ends may not be attached by tape or command strips/hooks. No hurricane lamps or candles are permitted in the aisles. Canopies cannot be constructed over the pews or aisles.

The Unity Candle is not a prescribed element of the Marriage Rite in the Catholic Church and therefore it is not permitted during the Marriage Liturgy/Ceremony.

Large candelabras are not permitted in the sanctuary. Church furnishings and fixtures may not be        re-arranged or removed without consultation and approval of the parish. Seasonal decorations (Advent, Christmas & Easter) may not be removed or changed. Please note that the decorations for Christmas are in the church until the Baptism of the Lord and Easter until Pentecost.

Real flower petals are not allowed. Synthetic flowers petals may be used but must be picked up once the Liturgy has concluded.

Because of safety issues, runners may not be used on the aisles.

Balloons are not appropriate decorations for the church and are better suited for the reception venue.

Dressing Rooms

Both St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception Churches have a room available for the bride and bridesmaids to gather and dress. We are unable to provide changing rooms for the groomsmen and advise that they arrive at the Church already dressed for the celebration. We respectfully request that no food or drink be brought into the Church proper.

Alcohol Beverages

Consumption of alcoholic beverages prior to the Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage is strictly prohibited. It is the responsibility of the couple to inform the wedding party of this regulation and to comply with it. Alcoholic beverages of any kind are not permitted in the Church or on Church property. Any infraction of this policy will result in the automatic forfeiture of the deposit and the expulsion of anyone who is inebriated, including members of the wedding party.

Care of the Buildings

St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception Churches are a holy place of prayer and therefore must be regarded as such. With this in mind, a prayerful atmosphere is expected during the rehearsal, prior to the Marriage Liturgy and after the Liturgy. Please assign one or more of the wedding party to clean up the dressing area, vestibule and pews following the Marriage in preparation for the next Liturgy. Please note that the use of rice, confetti, birdseed, flowers is considered a safety hazard and is not permitted.


The fees specified for your Marriage Liturgy help defray the cost of the services of the Parish Staff as well as the expense of maintaining the facilities, lighting, utilities, etc. Couples often ask whether it is appropriate to make a monetary gift to the Priest who celebrate their Marriage. It is certainly customary and many couples find this a good way to express their thanks, although it is not required.

There are three fee schedules at St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception Church: $350.00 for registered parishioners who are contributing to the church (either by time or treasure), $700.00 for registered non-contributing parishioners and $1000.00 for non-parishioners. To be classified as a registered, contributing member of the parish you must have been registered and contributing for at least one year prior to scheduling the date of the wedding. A parish staff member will help you determine your status should there be any questions. A save the date deposit of $100.00 is due when you come in to schedule the date (this will be applied to the final amount due). A refundable $250.00 cleaning deposit is required for all Marriage celebrations whether you are a parishioner or not. All fees must be paid in two full weeks before the ceremony.

The refund will be returned within 30 days assuming you have complied with all of the policies and procedures, including the paying of the fees according to your agreement, maintaining the churches so that they are clean and observing the no alcohol policy.

Please note the payment fees is not considered paying for the Sacrament or renting of the Church building for the celebration of the Sacrament. The fees are to offset the rising costs of maintaining the church buildings and to cover the costs associated with the parish staff who assist the couple.

Photography for the Marriage Ceremony

The church is available for photographs 1 hour prior to the ceremony and 1/2 hour after the ceremony.

Please have your photographer contact the parish office 1 week prior to the Marriage Liturgy to speak with staff about proper procedures regarding the church & liturgy.


Diocese of Helena                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Suitable Place for Wedding                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Approved by Bishop George Leo Thomas                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Interim Revision effective June 1, 2015

The understanding of the Church is that the parish Church is the appropriate place for the celebration of marriage involving a Catholic party (whether this celebration is a wedding or a convalidation). However, there may be circumstances for which permission may be requested to utilize another “suitable place.” This document guides requests for such permission – which must always be requested in writing on a particular case basis.

Fundamental: The nature of the place needs to be consistent with a religious celebration.

♦ The following are considered suitable places for which permission may be sought. This is not an exhaustive list – there may be other places for which a request for “suitability” may be made. The “Rite for celebrating marriage outside of Mass” or the “Rite for celebrating marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person” (from the Rite of Marriage) is used in these circumstances. The guidelines of Sing to the Lord are to be followed.

♦ Certain non-denominational chapels (such as Soldier’s Chapel at Big Sky – which also requires permission and delegation from St. Joseph Mission, Big Sky; and St. Timothy Chapel at Georgetown Lake – which also requires permission and delegation from the Anaconda Catholic Community).

♦ A non-Catholic Church building (when this is a Catholic wedding ceremony: the priest/deacon presides, uses the Catholic Rite for marriage outside of Mass or for a Catholic and an unbaptized person, receives vows, etc.)

♦ Appropriate outdoor sites, providing there is an approved indoor location available, in light of the temperamental weather in Montana.

♦The following are examples of places which are not suitable for the celebration of a wedding. This is not an exhaustive list.

♦ The Our Lady of the Rockies statute near Butte; a former Catholic Church that no longer belongs to the Diocese; or the premises of Legendary Lodge.

♦ Any place where alcohol is served as a matter of course (such as night clubs, bars, casinos, dining establishments, and the like).

Procedure to Obtain Permission: The priest/deacon who will officiate or the parish priest/administrator requests the permission in writing (usually directed to the Vicar for Canonical Services). The request includes: a letter from the couple making the request and giving reasons for it; a letter from the priest or deacon who will officiate outlining th pastoral reasons for the request, assuring that quality marriage preparation is being given, and making a recommendation regarding whether to grant the request; and a letter from the parish priest/administrator indication concurrence with the request and giving permission/delegation for the wedding to take place in that parish. The suitable place permission will be granted or denied in writing and this letter along with a copy of the request should be included in the pre-nuptial file.

St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception Parishes

Outdoor Wedding Policy

St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception Parishes strictly adhere to the Diocese of Helena Policy on a Suitable Place for a Wedding. In addition to the policy of the Diocese of Helena the polices and guidelines for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in the Parishes of St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception in Butte, Montana will be followed.

If a couple has requested to be married in an outdoor ceremony, permission from the Diocese, Parish and Parish in which the venue is located must be obtained. Ultimately, permission must be granted by the Diocese of Helena before the Wedding Ceremony can take place.

Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies can take place at the following times in Butte Silver Bow County 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. Any venue outside of Silver Bow County (St. Timothy Chapel, etc.) can take place at 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. The Rehearsal will be scheduled at 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. on Thursday or Friday.


The Our Lady of the Rockies Chapel, the former St. Lawrence and St. Mary Churches and any venue where alcohol is served as a matter of course (such as night clubs, bars, casinos, dining establishments and the like) are not suitable sites and permission will not be granted.


Outdoor Wedding Fee Schedule

$100.00 Save the Date Deposit (will be applied to the fee)

$500.00 Wedding Ceremony Fee for venues* located in Butte Silver Bow County

$700.00 Wedding Ceremony Fee for venues* located outside of Butte Silver Bow County

**This fee is the parish fee and doesn’t pay for or include a venue fee. Couples are responsible for all venue fees)