The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage
AT ST. ANDREW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is not only a joyous occasion for the couple (two people seeking the blessing of God on their union) and their families and friends, but also for the Christian Community and Clergy called to preside.
It is understood in the Episcopal Church as an extension of one’s commitment to the Mission and Ministry of the Church as promised in our Baptismal Covenant. Therefore, more is involved in choosing to be married in the Church than merely a beautiful setting. You are choosing to be married under the auspices and guidelines of the Church. The Clergy of St. Andrew’s is authorized by the Bishop of Ohio to perform same-sex marriages and use a Marriage Service designed for such marriages.
Who may be married at St. Andrew’s?
Because marriage happens in the context of community, everyone seeking to be married at St. Andrew’s is invited to be a part of this community of faith. Membership is not required but the couple is encouraged to attend worship and to serve in the community.
If you wish to be married at St. Andrew’s, contact the Rector as soon as possible for an initial discussion. In the Episcopal Church, at least one of the couple must be baptized. There must be two witnesses present. Also, marriage preparation meetings are required, and are usually done with the Rector. If either party is divorced, the Rector must ask for and receive written permission from the Bishop of Ohio to perform the wedding at least 30 days prior to the ceremony. Regular attendance at church before the wedding is an expectation. You will be asked to sign a “Declaration of Intention” to the effect that you subscribe to the teachings of the Church on marriage and intend it to be a lifelong relationship.
Please note: The Rector must first agree to do the wedding. Then we will set a convenient date on the Church calendar. Please do not reserve a hall and/or order invitations before you have spoken with the Rector.
Clergy: payable to St. Andrew’s with a memo for Rector’s Discretionary Fund is deeply appreciated. Suggestion: $100-$200.
St. Andrew’s: $200 payable to St. Andrew’s with a memo for Operating Expenses. These fees are waived for current members who are faithful in their attendance and financial support of the parish.
It is customary but not necessary that the Eucharist (Communion) be offered. All are welcome to receive. (You do not need to be Episcopalian to receive in the Episcopal Church.)
There will be a rehearsal before the service, under the direction of the clergy with the assistance of the Altar Guild. Members of the Altar Guild are on hand at the rehearsal and the day of the wedding to assist the clergy and the families with details.
Please apply for and receive your marriage license before the rehearsal and plan on bringing it to the rehearsal.
Please contact St. Andrew’s Music Director as soon as you have set a date. You will need to determine if she is available for the rehearsal and wedding. She will also guide you in selecting music. If there are soloists or instrumentalists, she will need to rehearse and coordinate with them.
In the Episcopal Church, a wedding is, above all, a worship service done to the glory of God. With this in mind, secular music is not appropriate. This includes Wagner’s Wedding March from a secular opera. Secular music does not fit the important nature of the ceremony and is more appropriately utilized at the reception. The Rector makes final decisions about the appropriateness of music for weddings.
The fee for the Music Director is $150. Please take into consideration if there are extra rehearsals with soloists/instrumentalists in addition to the rehearsal and wedding. The expectation is that the St. Andrew’s organist will play at all weddings at St. Andrew’s unless she is unavailable. If you desire to have someone else play (e.g. a friend of the family), such arrangements must be made with the Rector and Organist’s permission and she still receives the normal fee. Please make the check payable to the Music Director.
The wedding party usually works with a florist for the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. Please contact Altar Guild Flower Coordinator to discuss the flowers for the altar. After a conversation about color and flower preference, the flowers for the high altar are either ordered by the bride through her florist or ordered and arranged by St. Andrew’s Altar Guild. If the latter option is used, the wedding party pays the Altar Guild for the altar flowers (Fifty dollars is the usual cost, but it could be more if special flowers are used. Please clarify the cost with the Altar Guild Coordinator before the wedding.) The altar flowers are normally left in the church for the following Sunday’s services. A note in the Sunday Bulletin will indicate the flowers are given in thanksgiving for the marriage of the couple. The couple may also take the flowers, but this needs to be made clear in advance so the church has other flowers for Sunday.
Please make sure St. Andrew’s is aware of when the flowers are being delivered and someone is available to receive them.
The candles on the altars are provided by St. Andrew’s. If you wish extra candles, the church has aisle candle holders, but we don’t have candelabras. If you want candelabras, you must rent them from a wedding supply service. If you use any extra candles, please let the Altar Guild Coordinator know and she will purchase the appropriate candles if your florist does not plan to bring them. Please clarify with her the cost for extra candles.
We do not use Unity Candles at St. Andrew’s. If you want one, please consider using it at the reception (perhaps to announce the start of dinner).
Ribbons and aisle runners
If you wish to use a center aisle runner, please arrange that with your florist or wedding supply service. Our aisle is 59 feet long. If you wish to use ribbons (for pews or aisle candles), please check with the Altar Guild Coordinator. These may be available through the church or provided by the wedding party. There are 14 pews on each side of the main aisle.
Please make check for flowers and candles to St. Andrew’s with a memo Altar Guild-Wedding.
St. Andrew’s has a sexton or housekeeper. Over and above her regular hours, she will open the doors, turn on the lights, clean the church, and lock the doors for your rehearsal and wedding. If you would like to dress at the church, she will prepare the dressing space. Suggested fee for her services is $75. If you plan to have the rehearsal dinner and/or reception at the church, she will clean the space before the event and set up and take down tables and chairs. We do not have a catering service at the church, so you are responsible for decorations, food, serving and clean up. The clean up you are responsible for includes cleaning all dishes, trash, spills, counter tops, table tops. Please place all dirty trash bags in the dumpster we share with the Methodist Church on Holly Lane. Also, please remove all decorations and tape/adhesives used. The additional Housekeeper fee, if you have your rehearsal dinner or reception here, is $75 (per event). Please make the check payable to the sexton.
We encourage you to have photographs taken of your wedding ceremony. The professional photographer should talk with the Rector upon arrival at the church. Because a wedding is first of all a worship service, flash photography or any distracting movement on the part of photographers is not permitted during the service. Please plan to take most of your photos before or after the service. Clergy are happy to stay and stage pictures as needed. Videos of weddings are permitted if there are no lights and if the camera remains in one, unobtrusive place throughout the service. If you plan to take photographs in the worship space after the service, please do so as soon as possible so the Altar Guild and Housekeeper may finish the work of preparing the church for the next service. If the wedding takes place on a Saturday during the summer, be aware that we usually have a service at 5:00pm and you will need to be out of the space by 4:30pm so there is time to prepare for that service.
Contracting photographic work is up to the couple.
Thank you for your cooperation with these guidelines. We look forward to sharing this joyful occasion with you. Please contact the office for contact information for the people currently in place. Fees should be paid by the time of the rehearsal and may be adjusted when circumstances necessitate.