Praise God! Alleluia! Blessings be to you who are reading this because you are considering a wedding at St. James! You are already set upon a holy adventure because where there is love, there is God. There are many places to have your wedding – in a beautiful garden, your family home, or on a mountain top. Choosing to be married in the church is not just choosing a lovely setting or choosing to carry on a family tradition. Planning a Christian marriage brings with it the beliefs that God is a part of your relationship and that you need God’s grace to strengthen your life together. A couple should not choose to be married in the Church if they cannot accept the commitments of Christian marriage.
Frequently asked questions
Who may be married at St. James?
To be married in the Episcopal Church, at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian having an affiliation with St. James and worshipping here regularly. If the parties are members of another Episcopal parish and want to be married at St. James for family or geographical reasons, they may do so with the consent and support of their home parish. If the parties are not Episcopalians, they may begin preparation to join the church as they also plan their wedding.
How are wedding arrangements made?
When may weddings be scheduled?
The canons of the Church require that at least thirty days' notice be given to the clergy prior to the wedding, but thirty days is almost never enough to make suitable preparations for marriage.Weddings are not held during Lent, and there are no weddings during Holy Week, on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Sunday weddings are permitted only for very specific reasons.
What choices of the wedding service are possible?
The wedding liturgy is commonly the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage found in The Book of Common Prayer. Each couple will be asked to choose the Scripture and any other readings, the music, the nuptial blessing, and other details that will mark the service as their own. Friends or family may read the Scripture lessons. Couples desiring to write their own liturgies must follow the Order for Marriage found in the Prayer Book. Leaflets containing the liturgy will be prepared by the Parish Office for the congregation.
Who may officiate at a wedding?
Parish clergy are the usual officiants at weddings at St. James. When clergy from outside the parish are to be involved in the service, it is appropriate that they be invited by the Rector.
What music may be used?
The parish organist, Blake Hansen, plays for all weddings.Music for the ceremony must be selected in consultation with him and with the Rector. Soloists and other instrumentalists must rehearse with the organist before the day of the service and must provide their own music with a copy for the organist.Any music used in connection with a wedding should be suitable for a church service, as distinguished from a social gathering. Music that does not fit the nature of the ceremony is better used at the wedding reception.The words of anthems (this includes solos) are to be from the Holy Scripture, The Book of Common Prayer, or from texts congruent with them. (BCP p. 14)
What about flowers for the service?
The time of flower deliveries can be coordinated with the parish administrator. Church vases may be used. Flowers should conform to what would normally be utilized for Sunday worship. behind the altar only.
What are the restrictions on photography?
A wedding is a sacred and solemn event that should not be disrupted by photography. During the wedding itself, photography is allowed only during the processional and recessional. A stationary video camera may be used at any time if it is not intrusive. Posed photographs may be taken in the church for 15 minutes after the service. The couple should make these policies known to the photographer.
When should we arrive for the wedding?
Ushers arrive 30 minutes before the service; the groom and best man arrive 15 minutes before the service; bridesmaids, flower girls, ring bearers and parents at least 10 minutes before the service; the bride and presenter of the bride may arrive 5 minutes before the service. If the wedding party has not arrived at the church 15 minutes after the scheduled time of the ceremony, the wedding may be canceled. All arrangements should be made with the clergy well in advance of the day of the wedding.