Picture this: It’s a Saturday evening. The stars are shining brightly. The candles are glowing. The dancing waters of the Fountains at SLU are twinkling and you are getting married at 7:00 p.m. in one of the premiere Catholic Churches in St. Louis, then moving effortlessly into a sumptuous wedding reception in the same location. All of this – the College Church and the Xavier Grand Ballroom – for a flat $2000. Russo’s Gourmet Catering will complete the details with your hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, and wedding cake for their affordable package price. Friday evenings are even better with a package offering of the Church and Ballroom for a total $1600. Put yourself in the picture by calling Ruth Cochran at 314-977-7303. Prices are good for wedding/reception combos through December 2014.
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about weddings at College Church.
Who may be Married at the College Church?
Any baptized Roman Catholic may marry at St. Francis Xavier Church with an ordained priest or deacon to witness the Sacrament of Marriage. The priest will be responsible to guide you through appropriate marriage preparation, complete the necessary diocesan paperwork and submit it all to the College Church in advance of your wedding.
What are the times and pricing for weddings at the College Church?
The times for Saturday weddings are 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Saturday weddings for dates between six and twelve months from booking will cost $900, and beyond 12 months will cost $1200 for 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. time slots. Premium pricing ($1500) applies to 2:00 p.m. weddings being scheduled beyond 12 months. All weddings for 2016 will be $1500 at this point. Friday weddings can book based on availability, keeping in mind that many Saturday weddings schedule their rehearsals on Friday evenings. Friday weddings cost $800, with rehearsals on Thursday or Wednesday prior.
Is there Handicap Access at the College Church?
There is a drop-off area in the front of church next to the ramp that leads to the lower level where there is an elevator to take you directly to the vestibule level. Persons with walkers, wheel chairs, crutches -- anyone with ambulatory impediments -- may find the ramp and elevator a convenience at the southeast corner of the church.
If we bring our own priest, how does he know where things are?
We provide for you a Coordinator who will meet you the evening of the rehearsal, ideally about 10 minutes before your start time, to go over your plans for the placement of individuals and flow of the wedding. She will familiarize your priest or deacon with our practices here, deferring to his preferences if that should be the case. She will get out all the books, candle stands, items needed for Mass, vestments and microphones. She will also give all participants their proper cues as to start times the day of the wedding. She will take the payments for your musicians to disperse them after the wedding, and she will make sure your marriage license is signed and mailed to the appropriate office of record. Your priest or deacon and YOU will be in great hands!
What is the Dress Code at the College Church?
We have no dress code other than your good taste.
Where do you park?
We are extremely limited on parking, having no lot of our own. The University comes to our aid by offering unlimited parking in the Laclede or Compton Garages for a flat rate of $150, allowing your guests complimentary parking for the rehearsal and wedding. The parking meters on Lindell are monitored on Fridays and Saturdays until 7:00 p.m. Six quarters will give you 2 hours on a meter. (Parking tickets are $10 when issued.)
When can Photos be taken?
Casual photos may be taken in the dressing areas or outside the church before the wedding. Portrait shots must be taken after the wedding. (Your contracted time includes a 30-minute portrait session following the wedding.) Your ushers will be instructed on crowd control to free you for this photo opportunity.
What about Music at the College Church?
Since your wedding is a liturgical, sacramental celebration, all music before, during, and after the wedding must be approved for use at liturgical services. The College Church follows guidelines that are congruent with those of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Also because of the liturgical nature of your wedding, a College Church pianist and cantor are required for every wedding. We can also advise you of additional instrumental options, such as trumpet, violin, flute, brass, or string ensembles, and we can book these professional musicians for your wedding. Please do not hire musicians before consulting our parish musician, Sue Martin. Please contact her at 314-977-7313 or at email@example.com to inquire about musician fees or other music questions.
What about Flowers, Decorations, and Candles?
Flowers: You may not drop, sprinkle or throw flower petals (neither silk nor fresh) or birdseed inside or outside of church due to liability and the absence of custodians on weekends. Think “B”: bubbles, balloons, butterflies or birds…things that go up. You may not place flowers on the actual Altar table, but it is acceptable to place arrangements anywhere one may walk, e.g. the steps to the platform, or on the floor in front of the altar, the ambo or the cantor stand, etc. Flowers or bows may be attached to pew ends with RUBBER BANDS OR RIBBONS only -- no wires or tape.
Plan to take all your flowers with you. We will discard them after your wedding if they are left in the church. Order them with your reception in mind, that they may do dual duty.
Decorations/Runners: Runners can come from the florist. Our aisle is 100 feet long. Due to the slick surface of the hardwood floors, many synthetic runners prove to be hazardous. You may wish to consider this in your plans and discuss with your provider. If you decide to use a runner you must also sign a waiver that will be held in your file, releasing the church from liability should anyone fall and injure themselves with the runner. You or your florists are permitted to decorate one hour before the scheduled start of the wedding. Deliveries may be made only on the day of the wedding and must be received by your personal representative. College Church staff cannot accept deliveries.
Candles: The only candles permitted in the church are the 4 stationary pillar candles on the altar platform and the 2 tapers and central candle of a Unity Candle set. (We have a brass stand for the Unity Candle. You need to bring your own candle set.) You may not have candles down the aisle or carry lighted candles.
Do you have a smaller space for weddings than the Main Church?
Located on the lower level of the church, the Chapel of Our Lady offers an intimate setting for smaller weddings. The chapel seats 110 and has it own lobby and exterior entrance. The Chapel is available for weddings at almost any time, as it is used only for the daily Masses at 7:15 a.m., Noon and 5:15 p.m., and the Saturday 7:15 a.m. and Noon Mass. The charge for using the Chapel for a wedding is $350. As with the Main Church weddings, the marriage couple is responsible for contacting a priest to witness their marriage in the Chapel of Our Lady.
Do you recommend anyplace nearby where we can hold our Reception or Rehearsal Dinner?
As a matter of fact, the College Church is sitting on top of one of the loveliest ballrooms in the city – the Xavier Grand Ballroom. Catered exclusively by Russos Gourmet Catering, the Xavier Grand Ballroom is a stunning location for your wedding reception or rehearsal dinner, offering you and your guests the finest in food, beverages and service that money can buy, at prices that will astound you. Call Russos at 427-6771 or visit them at Russosgourmet.com for a sample of their wedding packages. The Ballroom is scheduled and paid through the College Church. Russos' per-person pricing will include the dinner, a 4-hour open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres for the first half hour, all white linens and skirts on all tables, centerpieces on all tables, the china, silver and glassware, the wait staff, and the wedding cake. You may enlist the entertainment of your choice. The Ballroom and the restrooms are fully handicap accessible. Come by for a site visit and you will be sold! Room rates vary with the season, but you will surely find them affordable!