Planning Your Wedding at Christ the King
➔ Setting a Date
➔ Meet the Wedding Guild
➔ Special Arrangements
➔ Marriage Preparation
➔ Planning the Ceremony | Liturgy
➔ Planning the Ceremony | Time
➔ Planning the Ceremony | Music
➔ Planning the Ceremony | Decorations
➔ Planning the Ceremony | Children
➔ Planning the Ceremony | Photography
➔ Planning the Ceremony | Videography
➔ The Dress
➔ Forms and Documents
We offer our congratulations to all anticipating marriage. Marriage is an important sacrament in the Church, and, as such, there are requirements necessary for having a marriage in the Church.
Free to Marry
If one of you was previously married – whether in a Catholic or non-Catholic wedding, civil or non-civil – we can’t begin planning your wedding until it has been annulled.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta requires about six months of approved marriage preparation, including meeting with clergy and a Pre-Cana program.
Setting a Date
We schedule weddings on Saturdays at 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM.
Complete our Wedding Inquiry Questionnaire, which includes your preferred dates. Email Kathleen Swann, our Wedding Scheduler, at email@example.com to receive the form.
Once we’ve confirmed your date is available, pay your wedding fee in full to lock in your date.
Sign and return two forms acknowledging our cancellation and our dress policies.
The wedding party may cancel their wedding date at any time and receive a full, partial, or refund, depending on the time frame. The Cathedral of Christ the King reserves the right to cancel the wedding if the Church or state legal requirements are not met.
See our Fee Schedule to learn about refunds
Meet the Wedding Guild
Weddings at Christ the King are directed by your celebrant and the Wedding Guild. You’re welcome to hire your own wedding consultant, but they are required to abide by Cathedral policies, and operate only under the direction of the officiant and representatives of the Wedding Guild.
Once your wedding has been assigned to a Guild member, they will contact you!
Attending a Wedding Guild Workshop
All brides (and anyone they’d like to bring) are required to attend a Wedding Workshop hosted by the Wedding Guild. They are normally the first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Cathedral. Occasionally these dates change, so we recommend emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm the correct date.
In an interfaith marriage, the Catholic party is required to “make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church” (Code of Canon Law 1125). The spouse of a different faith needs to be clearly informed about that promise.
In addition, a “dispensation” is required from the Archdiocese. The priest or deacon facilitating your marriage preparation/documentation will help you obtain this permission.
Guest Priests or Ministers
Priests from other Catholic parishes are welcome to celebrate your wedding. We’ll need their name and contact information to send them their required paperwork ahead of the wedding. If they are from a parish outside of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, they have to apply to the Archdiocese for permission to celebrate the wedding within six months of the wedding date, and provide us a copy of the letter from their diocese granting those faculties. In an interfaith marriage, the minister of the non-Catholic party may participate in the ceremony, either in the readings and/or giving a blessing. Church law does not permit the priest and minister jointly to ask for and receive the vows, nor does it permit a double recitation of the vows.
Attend one Intro to Marriage class at the Cathedral.
Offered several times monthly, this class, led by one of our deacons, will provide an overview of your marriage preparation. It’s also an opportunity to ask your wedding-related questions.
In consultation with your priest or deacon, you’ll pick from a few options: meeting with a trained sponsor couple, or one of the programs endorsed by the Archdiocese. Don’t register for a program until you’ve spoken with the clergy directing your marriage prep!
Meetings with Clergy
You’ll meet several times with your officiating priest (if he is a priest of the Cathedral) or a deacon (if he is your celebrant, you are marrying elsewhere, or your celebrating priest is a visiting priest living outside the Atlanta area). These meetings are part spiritual preparation, part administrative.
Planning the Ceremony: Liturgy
Selecting a Sacred Space
■ Seats up to 600
■ Ideal for larger weddings
■ Seats 30 and a limited bridal party
■ Ideal for intimate weddings
The chapel does not have an organ or piano. Couples must arrange their own music in collaboration with the celebrant.
Selecting a Liturgy
In your meetings with clergy, you’ll select the most appropriate liturgy and receive a wedding planning guide that will help you select appropriate Scripture, music, and other elements of the ceremony.
Rite of Marriage within Mass
All sacraments, including marriage, are connected to the Paschal Mystery we see in Mass – Christ uniting Himself to His Church as a Groom to His Bride. In a Wedding Mass, the couple are the ministers of the Sacrament. The Priest assists, witnesses, and blessed the marriage.
Rite of Marriage outside of Mass
This Liturgy is shorter. It includes a Liturgy of the Word and homily, but omits Holy Communion.
Planning the Ceremony: Time
With eleven Masses, baptisms, confessions, and up to three weddings each weekend, demand is high for our sacred spaces. Be prepared and have a plan when you arrive!
|Wedding Time||Rehearsal||Wedding Day Arrival||Wedding Day End of Reservation|
|12:00 PM||Friday, 5:15 PM||10:30 AM||1:15 PM|
|2:00 PM||Friday, 6:00 PM||12:30 PM||3:15 PM|
|6:00 PM||Friday, 6:45 PM||4:30 PM||7:15 PM|
Note on Receiving Lines and Guest Books
Because of this narrow timing, we can’t host guest books or receiving lines inside the church or the narthex. Make plans to station these at your reception.
Planning the Ceremony: Music
Since the wedding is a worship service, we can only perform sacred music.
We are glad to assist you in securing cantors, soloists and/or instrumentalists from our pool of professional staff musicians.
We welcome guest vocalists to sing one prelude song. Because we can only perform sacred music, the text of vocal solos must be Scripture or sacred poetry.
Music is not part of the wedding rehearsal, so guest musicians will arrange rehearsal times. Frequent meetings may require an extra fee.
Planning the Ceremony: Decorations
The Cathedral places altar flowers each weekend. These flowers are included in your facility fee for use in your wedding. A bride may not remove the Cathedral’s main altar flowers.
Brides may choose to supplement the Cathedral’s main altar arrangements with additional flowers. Additional flowers may be placed on the side altars, or elsewhere in the sanctuary, as space is available so long as the sanctity of the Cathedral is maintained. Any additional flowers must be approved by the Wedding and Flower Guilds and removed immediately following the ceremony.
Providing Your Color to the Flower Guild
The Flower Guild considers liturgical colors in arranging flowers, but also strives to choose colors compatible with your wedding if possible (challenging when there are three weddings in a day!). The Flower Guild will inquire with you about colors. Respond as soon as possible!
Email the Guild at email@example.com
Unity candles are not permitted.
Attach pew decorations with ribbon, tulle, or other fabric. Pew clips don’t fit on our pews, which are beveled.
To protect our pews, the following items are prohibited:
■ tacks, staples, or other piercing hardware
■ tape, putty, or other adhesives
■ shedding greenery
Wedding parties are responsible for any damage to pews and other furnishings.
Wreaths are permitted on entry doors, provided that tacks, staples, nails, or any material which might harm the door are not used. The Cathedral also prohibits rice, bird seed, confetti, bubbles, sparklers, confetti, or similar materials anywhere on campus.
Make sure to plan for them to be cleaned up after the ceremony!
Other decorations require the approval of the Cathedral Rector and the Wedding Guild, and we reserve the right to have unapproved decorations removed upon request.
Planning the Ceremony: Children
We recommend children participating in the ceremony be at least 4 years old.
The Cathedral doesn’t permit flowers or other objects to be scattered, indoors or outdoors. We also prohibit the bridal party from carrying signs or notices. If you include a flower girl in your wedding party, we recommend giving her a floral bouquet to carry.
You’ll give your rings to the Wedding Guild before the wedding so that they can be placed on the altar to be blessed. If you do include a ring bearer in your bridal party, the rings he carries will be symbolic.
We’ll assign two wedding-trained altar servers to your wedding. You are welcome to invite other altar servers to serve alongside our servers; they must be actively serving at a Catholic parish.
If you want to request specific Cathedral-trained servers or include servers from another parish, contact Elizabeth Buyarski at 404-267-3683 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least 90 days prior to the wedding. She’ll help coordinate their inclusion.
The Cathedral doesn’t have a nursery available during weddings, and because of the Archdiocese’s Safe Environment policies, we can’t provide space for planned or impromptu child care by family or guests. Make sure to communicate this to your guests!
Planning the Ceremony: Photography
Your assigned Wedding Guild volunteer is the photographer’s main point of contact while on campus. They will help direct the photographer. The Bride and Groom are responsible for ensuring their photographer has received a copy of these guidelines and agree to abide by them. We reserve the right to ask any photographer/videographer who violates these rules to correct the violation or to leave the premises. No exceptions will be made.
Before the Ceremony
Notes on Timing
This si the earliest that a wedding party can arrive at the Cathedral
Ushers stationed in the Cathedral
The wedding party reports to staging area
During the Ceremony
Flash photography is not permitted during the ceremony, but can be used for photos after the ceremony.
Photographers should respect the reverence of the ceremony and the sacredness of the church sanctuary. Photographers should dress appropriately for a formal wedding.
After the Ceremony
Because of the high demand for the Cathedral, wedding parties only have 75 minutes after their ceremony start time to complete the ceremony, take photos, and clean up. This time should be used for formal photos of the wedding party and family. Have a shot list and your participants prepared!
The photographer should help the wedding party observe the reverence of the space. Avoid informal or candid photos in the Cathedral. Photos with participants sitting on the altar are not permitted.
Planning the Ceremony: Videography
The Cathedral does not offer videographer services. The Bride and Groom are responsible for ensuring their videographer has received a copy of these guidelines and agree to abide by them. We reserve the right to ask any photographer/videographer who violates these rules to correct the violation or to leave the premises. No exceptions will be made.
All equipment should be set up thirty minutes prior to the ceremony.
Cameras may be stationed:
- in the choir loft,
- in front of the pillars at the front of the church
Your Wedding Guild volunteer can help determine the best positions for your wedding. Do not lay cables across aisles. Equipment may not be pinned, stapled or otherwise affixed to Church walls. If absolutely necessary, stage or gaffer tape may be used.
- Roving cameras, including drones, are not permitted. Cameras must be stationary.
- It is not possible to connect to the Cathedral sound system. Wireless microphones may be placed on the bride and groom.
- Floodlights and supplemental lighting are not permitted during the ceremony.
Great sensitivity is required in choosing your wedding dress. It should match the sanctity of the sacrament you are about to receive. Dresses for the bride and her party have to cover your chest, shoulders and lower back.
For strapless dresses, you’ll need to wear an opaque shawl or bolero for the ceremony. You may remove this for your pictures after the wedding. Veils are not required and are not sufficient enough to be considered as the covering for your shoulders or back.
If you arrive with a dress deemed inappropriate by these guidelines, we may require you to wear a covering provided by the church. You will want your appearance to be exactly as planned; if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of your dress, please make arrangements for this situation before arrival.
Not sure about a dress? Send questions or pictures to Kathleen Swann at email@example.com.
Smoking is not permitted in any building on campus.
Alcohol cannot be brought to or consumed on the Cathedral campus at the rehearsal, before the ceremony, at the ceremony, or after the ceremony.
Wedding participants must arrive for and participate in the ceremony in a sober state! In the event there is a question about the sobriety of the party, the celebrant may refuse to perform the ceremony, or ask the member in question to leave the premises.
Celebratory items on campus, including confetti, bird seed, rice, or bubbles, are not permitted.
Forms and Documents
|Form||Get it from||Submit it to||Due Date||Notes|
|Baptismal Certificate||The church of your baptism within six months of your wedding date||The priest or deacon directing your marriage preparation||Within six months before your wedding date||Catholics need a new copy of their baptismal certificate from the parish of their baptism, noting all Sacraments received. If the Bride or Groom was baptized in another faith, and later was received into the Catholic Church, we need a copy of his/her Profession of Faith, with notations. Non-Catholics must provide evidence of baptism (e.g, a certificate/letter from the church’s secretary, or a signed affidavit by a witness to the baptism).|
|Affidavit for Freedom to Marry||Your first meeting with priest/deacon||The priest or deacon celebrating your wedding||As soon as possible||The bride and groom each need two Affidavits completed on their behalf. Affidavits are completed by relatives or friends who attest that each of the espoused is free to marry. These forms must be either notarized by a Notary Public, signed in the presence of a clergy member of the pastoral staff, or in the presence of their own priest or deacon. Please do not turn in Affidavits without one of these forms of witness.|
|Archdiocesan Bride and Groom Questionnaires||Your first meeting with priest/deacon||Completed at a marriage prep meeting||As soon as possible||These forms are signed and witnessed to certify that the information is correct.|
|Forms for Specific Occasions|
|Dispensation Form||This form is required for weddings between a Catholic or a non-Catholic, or if the ceremony is conducted by a non-Catholic minister or civil official. This form is obtained by the clergy directing your marriage preparation.|
|Letter of Permission from Pastor||This form is required if either party is a Catholic registered at another parish. Their pastor will provide a letter approving the marriage outside the registered party’s home parish.|
|Final Decree of Annulment||Prior to scheduling your wedding||If either party has been married before and the marriage resulted in a divorce, evidence of an annulment will be required. For those who have already obtained an annulment, a copy of the Final Decree is required; if an annulment is required but not yet obtained, the Priest or Deacon can assist with this process.|
|Form||Get it from||Submit it to||Due Date||Notes|
|Civil Marriage License||Your county probate court:|
|The priest or deacon celebrating your wedding||At least one week before your wedding||The Wedding cannot be conducted without the marriage license! It is illegal in Georgia for a clergy member to officiate at a marriage unless the license is in hand. Assurances that the license has been issued are not sufficient. |
The Cathedral staff will mail the certificate to the county the Monday after your wedding. To obtain an official copy of your marriage license, please contact the county of issuance (the county may require a fee).
|Death Certificate||If either party has been married before and the marriage ended due to the death of a spouse, a copy of the death certificate will be required.|
|Full payment is due when you make your reservation||This fee covers the use of the Sanctuary for the ceremony and for the rehearsal, as well as the Bride’s Room, the Groom’s Waiting Area, flowers, and the services of the Wedding Guild.|
|Full payment is due when you make your reservation||This fee covers the use of the Chapel for the ceremony and rehearsal. It does not include the Bride’s Room, the Groom’s Waiting Area, organ/piano, flowers, or the services of the Wedding Guild.|
|Officiant||$350 (recommended)||It is customary for the couple to provide an honorarium to the priest or deacon officiating. The amount is a matter of personal discretion and should reflect your sincere appreciation.|
|Music||$450+||Varies||A bench fee of $450 is paid to the organist, and other additional fees may arise, depending on the number of musicians included in your wedding, the number of rehearsals required, and other factors.|
|Altar Servers||$20 cash/server||Rehearsal|
In the event of a wedding cancellation, the party who paid the fee will be refunded based on when they canceled:
|Nine months or earlier prior||100% of the fee|
|Six-nine months prior||%50 of the fee|
|Zero-six months prior||0% of the fee|