Holy Matrimony is a covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. It is a sacrament of the church and its rights and responsibilities are significant. This pamphlet is to provide information regarding these rights and responsibilities and to aid in the planning and preparation of your marriage. We hope that your beautiful and meaningful wedding day is just the beginning of a long and ful- filling marriage. We at St Peter’s look forward to sharing and preparing for God’s blessings with you.
Who may be married at St. Peter’s? St Peter’s is not a wedding chapel. It is a parish of the Episcopal Church seeking to instruct and encourage her members in their knowledge and love of the Lord. Because of this, we limit those who may be married at St Peter’s to members and members’ families. Also, Marriage is a sacrament of the Church, therefore at least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian.
Where may the wedding be held?
Marriage is a Sacrament and the support we offer is centrally provided by the worship and life of the parish, weddings should be celebrated only within the sanctuary of the Church building. Weddings planned along a lake, beach or in a private home are not in keeping with the tradition of St Peter’s. Alternate sites for weddings will be considered only in the most extreme circumstances.
When may a couple be married at St. Peter’s?
Weddings generally occur on Saturdays and must not begin any later than 7:00 p.m. Only one wedding may be scheduled on any single day. Such scheduling is done on a first-come-first-served basis. Weddings are not celebrated during the seasons of Lent or Advent save for exceptional circumstances.
A couple should begin planning their wedding preferably no later than a year in advance, seeking to reserve their date on St Peter’s calendar as a priority. Certain preparations must be made between the couple and the priest leading us to encourage St Peter’s be consulted no less than six months in advance of the wedding.
What is expected of the couple in preparing for the Marriage?
Membership in St Peter’s is required, except for those who are immediate family members of St. Peter’s members. St Peter’s is not a wedding chapel and provides for the blessing and celebration of Marriage as a part of its ministry to her members.
Premarital preparation must include counseling and instruction from the priest or a person qualified and acceptable to the priest. The priest will be asking God’s blessing upon the couple and must feel that such a request is a good and honorable one. The priest reserves the right to refuse to bless a marriage at any time, for any significant pastoral reason. Such refusals will be explained and, if suitable redress of the pastoral concerns are met, may be reversed.
If one or both of the couple is divorced, special considerations arise. A period of one year must have passed since the final divorce decree. The original decree must be shown to the priest at the first meeting of the couple with the priest. Permission to perform a second marriage, must be granted by the Bishop. Such permissions take sixty days to receive.
The couple is also expected to abide by certain restrictions and considerations regarding decorations and preparations as listed below.
Schedule of Fees
• Basic Use of the Parish Buildings: $300 Includes the use of the sanctuary, the preparation of the Altar and use of the Guild Room for the Bride and her attendants’ preparation.
• Altar Guild: $75 Includes the preparation of the sanctuary and Altar. A separate check should be made payable to St Peter’s Altar Guild.
• Organist: $150 This includes consultation with the couple on musical choices, practice and preparation, as well as providing music for the service.
• Reception Charge: $250 If the Parish Hall is to be used for the Reception, this charge provides for the additional expense of utilities and cleaning. No hard liquor will be served in the Parish Hall. Beer, wine or champagne are permitted. The premises must be cleared by 11:00 p.m.
• Priest: No specified fee. Priests of the Church cannot charge for providing the Church’s sacraments, yet many feel some type of offering should be made to the priest. Such gifts are usually received and used to offset the costs of the priest’s pastoral ministry. Generally, the amount of such gifts are in the neighborhood of one hundred to two hundred and fifty dollars.
Decorations and Preparations
• Floral decorations are to be sensible and not overdone. St Peter’s has extensive experience with Creative Flowers by Glenn and highly recommends this business for wedding arrangements. Creative Flowers knows the particular needs of St Peter’s and has after hours access to our buildings.
• The use of additional candle stands, furniture, potted plants, etc., particularly those brought from outside the parish, are not allowed.
• Flowers used on the altars are to remain in place for Sunday worship. The Sunday bulletin will read, “The flowers are given in joy and thanksgiving on the occasion of their wedding by Mr and Mrs _______.”
• No glitter, spangles, spray glue, sparklers, or unity candles will be permitted as a part of the service decorations.
• Music must be approved by our Director of Music Ministries, who should be consulted and given first right to provide music for the service. Any other organist or soloist must be approved by the Director of Music Ministries.
• The liturgy for the service will be taken from the Book of Common Prayer. The writing of a couple’s own vows is not practiced at St Peter’s. • Photographs are not allowed during the service. The use of flash photography is strictly prohibited during the service. The use of a single, stationary video camera may be used. It must be discreetly operated from an unobtrusive spot and in place one hour before the service is to begin.
• It is suggested that no more than five attendants each accompany the bride and groom.
• A rehearsal, generally the evening before the wedding, will be led by the priest. Each person participating in the service is expected to attend the rehearsal. The marriage license and Parish Register will be signed at the rehearsal.
• The use of wedding coordinator can alleviate much of the stress of planning for a wedding, but the liturgy of the Marriage is the distinct and sole purview of the Church and the priest celebrating the liturgy.
• Ring Bearers and Flower Girls are permitted but they should be of an age and maturity that will allow them to follow directions and accomplish their task. The presence of the congregation in the pews can often be overwhelming to young children.
•A printed order of the service is highly recommended. The parish will gladly produce such a bulletin. Two weeks notice should be given if the parish is to prepare the bulletin. If the bulletin is to be printed outside the parish office, the priest must proofread the bulletin before it is sent to the printers.
•If Holy Communion is to be celebrated at the wedding all baptized Christians will be invited to receive.