Wedding Flowers

We are honored to celebrate this important moment for engaged couples and their families as they enter into Holy Matrimony! Please review the information below to assist in your planning

The historic nature of the Basilica and the number and variety of liturgies in addition to weddings necessitates planning.  To ensure that the altar is beautifully and appropriately decorated for multiple celebrations each week, the Mary Martha Guild coordinates the floral designs for all liturgies.  The Guild works to honor the color and types of floral arrangements requested within the norms provided for the liturgical season and all wedding and memorial requests for the same day. Weddings taking place on weekends during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter as well as feast days require special planning.   Please consult the Guild or the priest preparing you for additional considerations for your special date!

Floral arrangements in the sanctuary are prepared by the parish’s florist only. Because these flowers are pious gifts in honor of Our Lord, they are not removed after the wedding.  Personal flowers (flowers for the bride and groom’s parties, devotional bouquet to St. Mary, pew markers, and any other decorations approved for use by the Guild) are prepared by the engaged couple’s personal florist, and with the exception of a devotional bouquet to St. Mary, are removed by the couple immediately after the wedding.

While a contribution to the sanctuary flowers is not a requirement to be married at Saint Mary, contributions typically accompany requests for certain colors or types of flowers to be present in the arrangements. All contributions are acknowledged in the bulletin unless requested otherwise. Contributions are always greatly appreciated as they help the parish with the cost of providing flowers to beautify the liturgy.

To get started coordinating altar flowers for your wedding:

  • Please ensure you review the parish Wedding Guidelines sections on decorations. You can request a copy of the guidelines from the parish office.
  • If you already have floral ideas and would like to request similar flowers for the church sanctuary:
    • Fill out the online floral contribution form located on the Floral Contributions Page at least three months in advance of your wedding.
    • A member of the Mary Martha Guild will contact you to confirm your preferences for color and/or type of flowers for the arrangements and to coordinate with you should there be other contributions for the same weekend or other floral requirements based on the liturgical calendar
    • Please note that the amounts per arrangement listed on the Floral Contribution Form are the suggested contributions which cover the cost of the arrangements. Contributions of any amount are welcomed!
    • After confirming your floral plans with the Mary Martha Guild, forward your contribution via Faith Direct or check to the parish.
  • If you don’t have floral ideas yet:
    •  Email the Mary Martha Guild at  A guild member will contact you to help get you started.

Design Considerations – Please review the Wedding Guidelines for details regarding flowers and decorations to celebrate your wedding.  The most frequently requested decorations are described below:

Sanctuary flowers:  Floral designs adorn the Basilica sanctuary each day of the liturgical year except during Lent.  The basic design used during Ordinary Time is two urn arrangements placed on the shelves on either side of the sanctuary.  During the seasons of Christmas, Easter and other solemn feasts days additional flowers are placed at the Altar of Reposition (behind the candles) and at the statues of St. Mary, St Joseph and the Sacred Heart. Please consult the Guild regarding the appropriate quantity of flowers for your wedding.

*Note: weddings are a feast, even when celebrated during Lent!  Flowers are permitted for these weddings, but must be removed following the wedding. Contact the Guild for assistance in planning these flowers which can then be used at your reception.

Pew markers: The parish has ribbon bow pew markers available for use at your wedding.  Your assigned wedding coordinator will help you determine the number you need based on the size of your wedding.  You are also welcome to use your personal florist to design other pew markers for your wedding.  Markers must be attached with plastic clips or other fasteners that will not damage the pews.  Please ensure you arrange for a member of your wedding party to remove personal pew markers following the wedding. Couples typically reuse them at their reception to decorate tables for guest books, grooms cake, etc.

Marian Devotions: Couples with a devotion to Our Lady may choose to place flowers at her statue during their wedding.  These flowers are prepared by the couple’s personal florist and can be of any flowers that reflect their personal gift.  Unlike other personal flowers, this devotional gift remains in the sanctuary after the wedding.  To support this gift, the Guild will place a white alabaster vase at the statue to receive the bouquet.   If you plan to order a bouquet for the Blessed Mother a vase will be placed out for your use. The bouquet should designed to be 12-14 inches in height with bound stems up to 1.5 inches in diameter to fit the vase.

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