Wedding Information

The Sacrament of Matrimony is a living reflection of God's love. You, as the bride and groom mirror that image of love to all God's people as you live out this Christian vocation. Couples preparing for this vocation need a clear vision of the Sacrament of Matrimony in their lives as Christian spouses, and an orientation regarding the principal areas of family life.

We are happy to cooperate with you in the Church celebration of your wedding. We believe as you undoubtedly do, that God has a very important part in the lives of married couples, and therefore it is of the utmost worth to begin your married life with His solemn blessing.

There are three areas of sensitivity and responsibility to every wedding-- the Spiritual, the Civil and the Social. The Spiritual, the Sacramental Celebration of Matrimony is our primary concern. We reserve that to plan with you as the bride and groom. The Civil we leave to you and the State of Illinois for the license and its requirements. The Social is a continuation of the celebration, and we leave that part to you, your family and friends.

Here are some basic guidelines to help you prepare for your ceremony.

PREPARATIONS: Couples desiring to be married in the church community must notify the parish priest at least nine months in advance of the proposed wedding date. This notification should precede any definite arrangements concerning the date and place of the wedding reception. This longer period is to allow for sufficient time for proper assessment and adequate pre-marriage instruction and preparation.

Diocesan policy requires that engaged couples participate in a Pre-Marriage program especially designed to provide proper instructions toward an adequate understanding of Matrimony.  You will receive a brochure listing acceptable methods of this preparation and a certificate of completion is required.

CEREMONY:  The Sacrament of Matrimony is a celebration of the sacred covenant between the bride and groom. The atmosphere is one of prayer and joy. The nature of the ceremony requires the deepest reverence and respect. The wedding party is limited to a total of six attendants to include the two witnesses.  Two children, over age five, are also welcome.  Please convey to the wedding party members: the wedding party conducts themselves as gentlemen and ladies before, during, and after the wedding rehearsal and the wedding ceremony. The conduct of the wedding party sets the example for the guests, too.

PROMPTNESS:  This is the indicated good taste for both the rehearsal and the ceremony. We arrange our schedules for weddings in such a way as to give each wedding sufficient time and avoid conflict with already recurring church events. While a wedding coordinator might help you in your planning, their suggestions are inappropriate during the rehearsal, before or during the wedding.

PICTURES:  A good photographer is present in the church without attracting attention and certainly without disturbing the religious ceremony. The photographer/videographer for your wedding will meet with the clergy sometime before the ceremony. A stationary video camera is acceptable when placed at the rear of the sanctuary.

MUSIC:  Good music nourishes faith and reflects the sacred and solemn character of the event. An important part of the planning for your wedding is the selection of appropriate and beautiful music. It should be a prayerful and meaningful celebration.  All music is coordinated with our Director of Music Ministries, John Kennedy at (217) 483-3772.   Other musicians are welcome, but Mr Kennedy will be present for the ceremony.

Suggested stipends are as follows:

    John Kennedy:  $175.00
    Additional instrumentalists: individual financial arrangements 

    Clergy:  $100.00 suggested, but actual free-will offering
    Church: $250.00
General Information:

  1. For marriage at St. Joseph the Worker in Chatham, Illinois at least one party must be a practicing Catholic, and both must be canonically free to marry (never married civilly, in Church or common law). Normally the marriage takes place in the church of the bride and the Catholic Rite of Marriage is celebrated. One of the parish clergy must be contacted at least 9 months prior to a proposed wedding date. This is universal Canon Law and diocesan policy.


  1. Current parishioners have the right to the use of the services of parish clergy for their weddings. A parishioner is defined as someone who is actively registered, attending services here, and regularly using envelopes for at least a year prior to the ceremony. (Prior membership is not a consideration.) Outside Catholic clergy in good standing are not only permitted but encouraged to celebrate at the couple's invitation. Non-Catholic clergy of the bride or groom are welcome and encouraged to participate. Specific requests for which of our parish clergy preside will try to be accommodated, but cannot be guaranteed.

These guidelines are subject to change.


 Wedding Agreement

Acknowledgement of Agreement for Use of St. Joseph the Worker Church, Chatham, IL.

Contact:  The bride and/or groom contact the church for any wedding information.  Please have all others (parents of bride/groom, family members, friends) contact the bride or groom with any concerns. The Church office hours are M-F, 8:30am-4:00pm. The office is closed on weekends.

Times: You are allotted three (3) hours on your wedding day for the preparation, ceremony and photographs and one (1) hour for the rehearsal during the preceding Friday.  The single wedding slot on Saturday is at 1:00 pm.  The church opens at 11:30pm and all wedding actions are complete by 3:00pm.  The rehearsal is scheduled at 5:00pm on the Friday before the ceremony.  Please be prompt at all times.

Decorations: You are allowed to tastefully decorate our church for your wedding; however, nothing is attached to any church furniture using glue, nails, thumb tacks or any marring fastening device. (Bows may be attached to the pews using elastic or a similar material). You may place flowers on the sanctuary floor at your discretion. The use of altar pillars, arches or aisle runners are not permitted and all decorations are removed after the wedding. We do not throw rice, birdseed or flower petals in the aisle or outside the church. The release of balloons, butterflies or doves is not permitted. Sanctuary furnishing or environment is not moved.

Waiting Area:  St. Joseph the Worker Church provides a convenient, climate controlled waiting area prior to the ceremony, but does not provide a dressing area—please arrive at the Church dressed for your ceremony.  A covered portico is available for arrival/departure during inclement weather. 

Food & Drink:   Please arrive at the Church for your ceremony nourished and hydrated.  The church does not allow food carried onto the premises.  Bottled water is permitted, except in the sanctuary.  No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the premises, including alcohol in the limousine.

After the service:  Plan and reserve your receiving line and guest book signing for your reception.

 In all instances, the decision of the pastor is final.

 We acknowledge the receipt of this letter and agree to abide by its terms:

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Bride                                                                              Groom


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Priest Celebrant                                             Date