Weddings

Weddings

Getting Married at Grace Episcopal Church…
Yes! You can.

As a liturgical church in these United States, and part of the world-wide Anglican Communion, there are guidelines, rules, and laws which we must follow - but the short answer is, "Yes, you can be married here.  We would be honored to celebrate and bless your marriage!"

It is a blessing when people begin married life together in the church.  We hope your wedding at Grace will be a meaningful and sacred event that provides a strong spiritual foundation for your life together.  

The decision of the Supreme Court making legal the marriage of same-sex couples allows us to welcome all couples who would like to be married here.  The requirements are the same for all.  Here are some of the things you need to know as you consider whether to be married here.


The preparation and planning for your wedding will be a collaborative effort.  Within the guidelines of our Book of Common Prayer, we seek to make each wedding a blessing experience that reflects who you are, your hopes and anticipations for your life together, and the circle of friends and family who gather to celebrate and support you.

We offer this prayer for you as you prepare for your wedding and marriage:

Gracious God, lover of souls and giver of grace: Be present to this couple as they prepare for the day of their wedding.  Give them wisdom in their shared life and devotion to one another.  Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love for the whole world.  Give them abiding and mutual affection for one another, and inspire them to reach out in love and concern for others.  Grant that their wills may be so informed by your Holy Spirit that they shall continue to grow in love and peace with you and with one another all the days of their life.  Amen

(Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer)

General Information

A wedding at Grace Church is a religious service in the Episcopal tradition.  The priest oversees and directs the wedding ceremony and insures that the prenuptial counseling takes place according to church canon (laws and guidelines).  The congregation participates in the responses in the service.  Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers and other participants in the wedding should be persons who can in good conscience commit themselves to this religious ceremony.

The preparation and planning for your wedding will be a collaborative effort.  Within the guidelines of our Book of Common Prayer, we seek to make each wedding a blessing experience that reflects who you are, your hopes and anticipations for your life together, and the circle of friends and family who gather to celebrate and support you.

It is hoped the couple will worship faithfully at Grace Episcopal Church or at an Episcopal Church in their home community.  It is required that at least one of the couple be a baptized Christian.

Preliminary Arrangements

Please call the Church Office (419-625-6919) to make an appointment with the priest to discuss your plans.  When you call, the Parish Administrator can confirm whether your preferred dates for the ceremony are available.  Every effort will be made to give you your first choice of dates.  Weddings are not scheduled during Lent.

The Canons of the Church require that the clergy be given at least 30 days notice before the wedding is to take place. 

If one or both parties to be married are divorced, it is possible to be married in the church.  However, additional time is required to meet certain criteria -- including consultation with the Bishop of the Diocese.  Therefore, notice of 90 days before the wedding needs to be given. 

Church canon law requires that the priest of Grace Church oversee and conduct the wedding and rehearsal, however, assisting clergy of other denominations are welcome to participate.

Counseling

Pre-nuptial counseling sessions are required by Canon Law well before the wedding.  These sessions (usually six) are designed to discuss the ideals and expectations of marriage as understood by the couple and the Church.  The sessions are conducted in an open, friendly and informal setting and provide a valuable opportunity for the couple to talk about their anticipations both of the day and of married life.

Holy Communion

Many couples desire to begin their life-long union with the reception of Holy Communion. When this is the case, Holy Communion takes place after the consents, the reading of Scripture, the sharing of vows, and the blessing of the marriage.  The newly married couple may present the offerings of bread and wine and are the first to receive.  All who wish to receive Holy Comunion are welcome at God's banquet.  The gathering of the witnessing community in Holy Communion constitutes a wonderful blessing upon the newly married couple and their marriage.

Music

The Music Director and organist of Grace Church is normally required for all weddings in which the organ is to be used.  If other musicians, or a soloist, are desired they must be chosen in consultation with the Music Director of the church.  Music suitable for the liturgy of Holy Matrimony is the anticipated norm. This music may be traditional or contemporary religious hymnody.  All music must be approved by the clergy.

Flowers & Candles

White altar hangings are used for weddings.  Please let the Parish Administrator know which florist is providing the arrangements.  If desired, you may include two flower arrangements to be placed behind the altar.  All flowers (the bride’s and attendants’ bouquets, boutonnieres for the bridegroom, best man and ushers, previously mentioned flower arrangements) should be delivered to the church at least one hour before the wedding. 

Rice or confetti may not be used, although birdseed or bubbles are acceptable. 

Extra candelabra provided by the church may be used at the altar.  We have aisle candles that can be used.  If extra candles are desired, this must be made known to the priest well in advance of the ceremony.

Photographs

Photographs may be taken of the wedding party before and after the service in the church if desired.   In order to avoid disrupting the service, or distracting guests’ attention from the wedding ceremony itself, there are stringent restrictions on where your professional photographer may be during the service itself.  It is important that your photographer and the priest take time to discuss these limitations, boundaries, and restrictions very clearly.

The couple is responsible for informing the photographer of this requirement that the photographer and priest consult together before the service so that everything is clearly understood.  Please inform the Parish Administrator of the photographer’s name (and contact information) as soon as possible.  In addition, ask your photographer to be in touch directly with Grace.

You are encouraged to consult with the photographer well in advance about all that you expect of their work.  It’s advisable to provide a list of the individuals and groups that you want photographed: this saves time on the day of your wedding; makes sure that you get the photos you want; and allows you to enjoy the ceremony and reception to the fullest.

Aisle Runners

Due to safety concerns, aisle runners are not used at Grace Church. 

The Rehearsal

The rehearsal normally takes about 45 minutes, but allow one hour when you are setting your schedule.  Please work with the Parish Administrator to schedule the rehearsal day and time.  All participants must come to the rehearsal. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to make sure that everyone knows the importance of attending this rehearsal, and of arriving on time.  Everyone who has a part in the ceremony (from best man and maid of honor to readers and leaders of prayer) should plan to attend the rehearsal.

Bulletins

We will provide printed bulletins for your wedding if desired.  The purchase of the bulletin cover and any special paper is your responsibility and should be arranged well in advance of the wedding.   We will need to have all the details and the approved final formatting, as well as any special papers, at least three (3) weeks advance of the wedding.  If you wish to include a photograph, please transmit it electronically (graceepiscopal@bex.net).

Wedding Receptions

We would be very glad for you to hold your wedding reception in the Mary Simpson Room.  Please contact the Parish Administrator to work out a suitable contract.

All arrangements, flowers, decorations, refreshments and clean-up are the responsibility of the bride and groom.  If a caterer is used, then the caterer should be in contact with the Parish Administrator at least two weeks before the reception.

We have a seated-at-table capacity of approximately 80 people.

Wedding Fees and License

Check (payable to Grace Episcopal Church) and your marriage license should be brought to the Church Office at least four (4) days before the wedding. 

The Fee for your wedding includes the following people and services

Organist
who will play for the service and help you with music selection, if desired.

Parish Administrator
who is your liaison for the entire planning process, from scheduling to bulletins to flower deliveries.

Sexton
who manages and tends to our physical environment

Priest
includes six (6) sessions of counseling as required by church canon, the rehearsal, and wedding.

Bulletins    
provided all information is in the Parish Administrator’s hands, and the final format has been approved by the couple, no later than three (3) weeks before the wedding. (Eight page limit)

 

Fee Structure:

For members: $800. 

For non-members: $1600.

Or 10% of the combined cost of the Wedding Reception, Clothing, and Flowers - whichever is less.

This may be altered at the priest’s discretion.

 

Revised August 25, 2015

 

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