Catholic Weddings

Wedding Frustrations/Vent

So I kind of had a melt down last night and I am really hoping that you ladies will tell me we have still have time and it is going to work out.

So we are 53 days away from the wedding and I have yet to confirm that we have an organist. We have been trying to get a hold of the church organist (which we were told we are required to use) for about four weeks now and I am just super frustrated and I have this big fear that she won't be able to come and we won't have any music. Plus we are getting married not where we live so I can't go talk to anyone in person.

So first I booked the church about a year out and was given all the paper work to fill out as we got closer to the wedding and was told to just contact the organist closer to the date. The church we are getting married at requires that we use their organist and we consult with them about hiring any other musicians. I knew this no big deal. So when I try to call this person about 3 months before the wedding (maybe I waited too long?) to work out details and try to plan the ceremony music the line is disconnected. I call back the wedding coordinators at the church (who are only in the office Tues and Thurs from 10am-3pm, I know they are volunteers and I really appreciate what they do but this can make it hard to get questions answered). So they tell me that the organist I was given the contact information for has passed away, but they have a new person that will be playing the organ for weddings. So I was instructed to send the wedding coordinator an e-mail with my information and she will pass it along to the organist. I do this and wait a week, haven't heard anything.

Call the church back the next Tuesday and ask for the organists phone number so we can call her directly, they gave it to us but said good luck she is hard to get a hold of. We have been calling her directly for about two weeks (left two voice mails) and still no word. FMIL who lives where we are getting married is willing to go try and meet with the organist in person (I was told from the wedding coordinator she prefers to meet with brides after mass), but FMIL cannot go for another 2 weekends. FI is calling the church today to try and set up a meeting with his mom and the organist and try to confirm that someone will definitely be there to play organ, but I am so anxious about this. I don't know what kind of back up plan there is this close to the wedding. Also we were really hoping that the church could recommend a cantor since they have final say over all musicians anyway, but I don't know how we are going to find someone with this short of notice.

So if anyone has any encouragement or advice for finding a cantor in the St. Louis area with 53 days to go it would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Wedding Frustrations/Vent

  • About a month before our wedding, the music director finally returned my calls to tell me he had good news & bad news.  The good news was he found a replacement, the bad news is he was moving out of state  (like 5 states away) the week before our wedding.  I called the new person right away- and left messages- and e-mailed daily- and didn't hear back for two weeks!!   With two weeks to go- he said he thought the wedding was the NEXT summer, so he didn't understand why I was freaking out!!   We also found a cantor within a week of the wedding, and all music was finalized 4 days before the wedding & programs printed 3 days before the wedding.     Yes it's frustrating,  it will work out!  The music & the mass were the first things we planned... and the last to be finalized.   It turned out beautifully & the only minor hiccup was that he played the organ instead of the piano for the "mass parts," despite me beginning every form of communication with "we only want piano, not the organ" (and I really really really do not like organs- I get migraines from them). We also had a guitarist & a fiddle player (for all but the "mass parts" & Communion song).  

    Don't freak out!  You still have plenty of time!!  I would call again- and stress that you are planning from a distance and would like to meet with her as soon as you can (or as soon as your FMIL can). 
    BabyFruit Ticker Anniversary
  • isnt Agape in the St. Louis area?  maybe she knows some people?
  • The day of my wedding we found out that the music director had forgotten that I'd arranged for one of my bridesmaids to cantor and that he'd agreed to show up early and practice with her.  When we finally got ahold of him (an hour before the ceremony was to start), he hadn't even showered yet.  And he was mad because he insisted I never told him (I have emails that show otherwise, but whatever).  Fortunately my friend is a pro and did a great job.  The only "hiccup" I remember was that at one point when we were all asked to stand (I don't even remember what part of the ceremony it was), I looked to the back and saw the music director frantically waving his arms.  Apparently he wanted the bridesmaid to move over to the harp, but we were right in the middle of a blessing and she kind of couldn't go anywhere.  No one noticed except the WP, though, and even then not all of them.

    Bottom line: you will have a musician, even if they make you want to tear your hair out leading up.  I'll ditto what Ellen said.  Call, email (I was told calling our music director was futile and that he only responded to emails), whatever you need to do to get ahold of someone and make sure they know you're OOT.  Once I got ahold of the music director, I was actually able to handle everything via email.  I've still never actually met him!

    There are several regs here from St. Louis, so hopefully one of them will chime in!
  • Tami87Tami87 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Thanks ladies. I am feeling a little better about things after FI called the church again yesterday. It turns out the lady we have been trying to call does not play organ but is the music director and is who we need to talk to about all our music selections and she does cantor, so hopefully she is available for our date or can suggest someone else who is. The woman at the church promissed she would have her call FI so we will see. Good news is they assured us that there is an organist scheduled for our wedding that they will provide, so that made me feel way better.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_wedding-frustrationsvent?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d6d6c9a2-eb20-4728-9b94-cbdd8149f618Post:cbedd085-e5da-47b2-b1ca-07a0d251cb9b">Re: Wedding Frustrations/Vent</a>:
    [QUOTE]isnt Agape in the St. Louis area?  maybe she knows some people?
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    I think she sings herself actually...maybe she can do it!! Haha
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  • You're in St. Louis? 'DC" is on the icon. 

    I know plenty of people in St. Louis. (Don't wanna get a "vendor" issue going here). 

    Tami, if you need some help, send me a PM.
  • Tami87Tami87 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Agape - PM sent thank you.

    And yes I am now living in DC but grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City and met FI at Kansas State. So we decided to have the wedding in St. Louis (FI's hometown) because all his family is there and my family is spread across the country (my parents are now in North Carolina). It seemed like a good central location where the least amount of people had to travel or could at least have the option of driving.
  • This must be a norm for Catholic churches. I was given the number of our church organist and when I called all she did was mark the date, and tell me to call her back 2 weeks before. I'd like to have everything I possibly can done at that point! I suppose if the last thing I have to do at the 2 weeks mark is print some programs, I shouldn't complain, but I fully get where you are coming from. Does the church have music during any of the weekly masses? I know it's very last minute but tonight is the vigil Mass for tomorrow's Ascension. Could your FMIL go tonight or tomorrow? I've been to other Masses during days of obligation and our organist is always at those. I don't know if that's true everywhere, but you may get lucky.
  • Tami87Tami87 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    agape - pm back

    Thanks for the suggestions but as for showing up at other masses, I don't think that is going to work. I am getting married at the Shrine of St. Joseph so it isn't actually a parish. They only have one Sunday mass at 11am and only have daily mass on the first Friday of each month.

    We decided to get married at the Shrine of St. Joseph instead of a parish because it was easier with us not being members of any church in St. Louis. Also, FI wanted the priest he had growing up to officiate who has since moved from his parents parish and the Shrine of St. Joseph encouraged us to bring in a priest where as at FI's parents church we would have had more difficulties.
  • Ascension is moved to Sunday in St. Louis anyway. 

    I've played the shrine before. However, I think they charge you for the use of the organist whether you use them or not at the Shrine. It may be different if the guy has passed away.
  • Tami87Tami87 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Yes they do charge me for the organist regardless if I use them. So FI talked to the shrine yesterday and we were told we are guaranteed an organist and it will probably be Father Larry but we still need to coordinate with the music director to plan the ceremony music. I have no idea if she will also be the cantor for our wedding or not because she hasn't returned any of my phone calls. So I was looking into other options of hiring someone to just sing with organ accompaniment in case the music director cannot. I feel like I can't really make any decisions until I talk to the music director though, so I am really hoping that she will get back to us soon.
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