We hope that the time of preparation for your wedding is joyful and as
stress-free as possible. These guidelines offer couples an overview
of what marriage and a wedding ceremony in an Episcopal Church entails
and of what our own church’s particular policies and procedures are.
Historic Emmanuel Church is a simple and beautiful brick building built in
1842. It seats a maximum of 125 persons and is fully heated and
air-conditioned. By prior arrangement, rooms in the Parish House next door
may be used by the bridal party for dressing prior to the wedding.
Weddings at Emmanuel
The Episcopal Church treats the marriage ceremony as a worship service that
praises and thanks God for all the blessings of this life. Thus, planning a
wedding should be regarded as planning a worship service. Though not
always necessarily the celebrant, the Rector is in charge of all weddings
celebrated at Emmanuel Church. Participation of other clergy from another
church, denomination or faith needs to be discussed with the Rector during
the first meeting with the couple. The liturgy for the Celebration and Blessing
of a Marriage in The Book of Common Prayer (pages 423-432) includes
scripture readings, prayers, and the exchange of vows. The use of friends or
relatives as readers, the inclusion of personal expressions, and the choice of scriptural readings allow each couple to personalize the service according to their wishes. The service may also include a homily and celebration of Holy Eucharist, if desired.
Definition of Christian Marriage
Marriage is both a legal and a spiritual union. The priest acts as an agent of the state and signs the marriage license. Christian marriage is also a sacramental relationship, lifelong in intention. In the marriage ceremony, the priest pronounces God’s blessing upon the couple’s love and life together. It is the Church’s hope that Christian marriage begins and matures within the context of a Christian community; and, indeed, one reason it exists is for the benefit of the Christian community. Couples requesting a marriage ceremony at Emmanuel Church are invited to attend worship services before and during the time of preparation for the marriage.
Requirements of the Canons of the Episcopal Church
At least one member of the couple needs to be baptized.
The authorized liturgies of the Episcopal Church are to be used.
A minimum of thirty (30) days notice of the marriage needs to be given; sixty (60) days under special circumstances.
Premarital counseling with the Rector (3-6 sessions) is required.
Fees and Other Requirements
A fee of $1,000 for use of the church by non-members is due and payable at or before the wedding rehearsal date. An additional fee of $250 is paid directly to the organist. The Parish Hall may also be rented for the reception for an additional fee of $1,000.
There is no fee required by the Rector for officiating at the marriage ceremony. However, it is customary to make a donation to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, which is used for providing emergency financial assistance to those in need in our community.
If agreed to by the Rector, an outside facilitator/wedding planner may be part of the rehearsal and ceremony.
Photography is permitted before and after but not during the service. A video recording is permitted as long as the camera is mounted on a tripod and not moved during the service.
For additional information
We look forward to sharing our historic tradition and church with you. If we can facilitate your making this important choice or answer questions, please email or call the church office at 540-687-6297.