I apologize to everyone for the delay, a lot of time went by without replies, so I just figured that no one was looking for information.
@SweetBug: It is certainly not a requirement. You must have witnesses, but that’s all. The way you describe it… must be cultural.
@odelly: When to pay the deacon: you can ask him if he has a preference, but there’s certainly no “rule.” If it were me, I would give it to the best man and have him give the gift right before the ceremony.
“Is $100 enough?”
$100 sounds just fine.
“Do I need to invite him to the rehearsal dinner, the reception, both?”
No, and, in fact, he’s likely to decline it unless he knows you well.
I would still give him an invite to the rehearsal dinner, anyway.. just to be polite.
But an invite to the reception is not necessary nor expected unless you know him.
“Does he bring his wife?”
Use the same etiquette you would in any other situation: if someone is married and you invite them, you pretty much have to invite their spouse as well.
“Will there be altar servers at my ceremony if we are not having any communion? How many? Do I tip them? How much?”
I don’t see why there would be, no, I highly doubt it. If there are, a small but sensible (~$20-ish) tip would be OK.
“When do I bring flowers to Mary?”
I presume you’re talking about doing this during the ceremony. Presumably this would occur after the exchange of vows, etc. Ask the Deacon, though.