Here comes the bride, all dressed in . . . maroon? When you’re a diehard ram who just can’t get enough of Fordham’s beautiful campus why not choose it as your wedding location? Here’s what you need to know about getting married at Rose Hill’s University Church.
Make sure you meet the criteria
Aside from a love of Fordham’s beautiful campus there are a few requirements for having a wedding at University Church.
According to the Office of Campus Ministry’s Weddings at the University Church guidebook, “In keeping with the norms of the New York Archdiocese regarding where sacramental marriages may be celebrated, the Fordham University Church is permitted, by exception, to celebrate weddings only ‘if one of the parties is a current student, graduate, staff or faculty member’ of Fordham (or Fordham Prep) and with the consent of the couple’s home parish(es).”
If everything checks out, it’s time to book a date.
According to Rev. Mark Zittle, O. Carm, the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry for Faith Formation and Sacraments, about fifty weddings happen in the University Church each year.
“We are not a parish,” says Zittle, “so we follow the guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese of New York. The Archdiocese of New York and most Catholic Dioceses require that weddings be scheduled a minimum of six months in advance. That said, we schedule weddings sometimes a year and a half to two years in advance and that becomes a challenge because of all of the competing calendars here at the University—Spring Weekend, Family Weekend, Homecoming, those types of things.”
Weddings take place up to four times in one weekend, scheduled for 12pm, 2pm and 4pm on available Saturdays as well as 2pm on Sundays.
Select your priest
“When a couple requests to have their Catholic wedding ceremony in the University Church since we are not a parish they are required to have a priest or deacon who will accompany them doing the preparation, submitting all the documentation, baptismal certificates, if any special dispensations are required by cannon law prior to the marriage they would have to submit those by getting the civil marriage license,” says Zittle. “All that documentation needs to be submitted by the priest or the deacon who is going to officiate the wedding to our office in Campus Ministry prior to the wedding day.”
On rehearsal day a marriage minister walks through with the couple on how the ceremony will go so that preparations can be made with the sacristan for the marriage ceremony.
Know the music you want
Not exactly sure what music is right for you and your soon-to-be spouse? Attend a Wedding Music Night to hear performances of the approved sacred musical texts that can be performed during weddings at Fordham.
Fordham has a select few approved musicians—an organist, six vocalists, a trumpeter, two flautists and a violinist—to choose from for the big day. Arrangements can also be made for harpists or a string quartet as well as for the University Liturgical Choir per its availability during the academic year.
Be timely the day of your wedding
When getting the wedding party ready it is important to remember that you may not be the first, or last wedding or event happening that day.
“The most stressful part about being a wedding coordinator is lining up the wedding party just before the wedding begins,” says student wedding coordinator Rebecca Curland, FCRH ’15. “It’s generally a little chaotic getting the entire wedding party (especially when they are large) to stay in one spot while making sure the guests are seated at the same time. However, once the wedding begins, the chaos immediately ends and you can feel everyone’s excitement.”
A wedding rehearsal is scheduled with the wedding party the Thursday or Friday night before the ceremony.
Fordham’s Campus Ministry staff is always available to help not only leading up to the wedding, but the day of the wedding as well. Student wedding coordinators are on hand all day to make sure weddings go off without a hitch.
“As a Wedding Coordinator at Fordham, I am basically there to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day of the wedding and that everyone is comfortable,” says Abigail Wilson, FCRH ’15. “On the rehearsal day I am there to meet the wedding party and the priest and guide them through a run through of the wedding in a timely way. The goal in the rehearsal is that everyone is comfortable and on the same page, and understands what will happen and what they need to do and when. On the wedding day itself, I am there early to set up and am available for everything from helping the groomsmen with boutonnieres, to a last minute steaming of the bride’s dress, to seating people as they come in.”
Most importantly, enjoy your day! This is the day that will be replacing your Fordham graduation as the best day of your life. Enjoy the moment and what it means for your blessed future together.
For all things Fordham weddings visit https://www.fordham.edu/info/20094/campus_ministry, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Campus Ministry office at 718-817-4501.