Weddings at Grace ChurchTo begin with … Congratulations! You would not be making this inquiry were you not in the midst of planning for the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and seeking God’s continued blessing on your relationship. This is an extraordinary time in your life, and we are privileged to be considered as part of your planning process.
Here are a few common questions.
Please also read the more detailed information on the pages that follow.
- Can receptions be held at the church?
We will consider use of the Newton Room for receptions on a case-by-case basis.
- What about flowers and additional church decoration?
Flower arrangements, supplied by you, and are limited to two arrangements on the shelf behind the altar. See below for more information.
- What about music for our wedding?
Keeping in mind that the ceremony is a sacrament of the church, you will work with the Officiating Priest and Organist to choose music that is both appropriate and meaningful.
- What about the liturgy of the ceremony itself?
Our work in crafting the text and flow of the ceremony will begin with “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage,” found in the Book of Common Prayer starting on page 423.
- What about rehearsals?
Rehearsals are usually held the night before the wedding itself, around 5:00 p.m.
- What is the cost?
The cost will be determined based upon the needs of the event and determined by Father Mac.
- Great! What’s the first step?
Call the church office at 707-963-4157 to make an appointment with Father Mac.
Or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior Marriages, Licenses, etc.
If either the bride or groom has been married before, the Officiating Priest must obtain permission for the marriage 90 days in advance. The Officiating Priest will go over licenses and other requirements during the initial meeting.
Planning the Date and Time of Service
- The date will be chosen and confirmed only after your initial meeting with the Officiating Priest. The longer the lead time, the more flexibility we will have in setting the date and time.
- Rehearsals usually take place at 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to the wedding. You will schedule the rehearsal and wedding dates and times in consultation with the Officiating Priest.
- As you plan, please consider that you probably need to arrive up to one hour before the service and stay for up to 30 minutes afterward. We ask that you take responsibilityfor seeing that both the rehearsal and wedding start times are adhered to. We often have other services and activities scheduled within a reasonable time after your wedding.
Use of the Newton room for receptions will be considered by the Officiating Priest on a case-bycase basis.
The consumption of alcohol is not permitted on church grounds prior to the ceremony and is not permitted at any time within the church building (except for communion).
- The music for the service is ultimately at the discretion of the Officiating Priest in consultation with the Organist.
- A wedding in the church is primarily a worship service. Because of the sacred nature the Marriage Rite, music within the sacred repertoire is most appropriate. Repertoire outside this scope might better serve as part of the reception.
Photography and Video
- In general, we work to maintain a joyful and worshipful atmosphere in the wedding service. Good professional photographers understand this and will agree to minimize distractions and respect the sacred nature of the building and ceremony.
- The best time to photograph wedding participants is before or after the service. We can schedule time for this to be done.
- No flash photographs may be taken once the service begins, not even by the professional photographer. During the service, the designated photographer may take available-light photographs with a quiet shutter from a predetermined, fixed location.
- Videotaping is permitted under the same guidelines: using available light, from a predetermined, fixed location.
Flowers and Decorations
- Two floral arrangements are permitted on the two re-tables behind the altar. For proper scale and freedom of movement, these arrangements must not exceed 36 inches in height (including vases) and 24 inches in width. (4 feet x 3 feet)
- It is very important that your florist be in touch with the Grace Wedding Coordinator to arrange a definite time to deliver and place the arrangements.
- We would ask that flowers be left for the sunday services (celebration of your marriage will be acknowledged).
- No decorations may be put at the ends of pews, attached or on the floor.
- Nothing may be attached in any way to any part of the church or church grounds; gluing, wiring, nailing and tying are not allowed.
- We feel that the sanctuary has a warmth, beauty and spirituality all its own, and it is perfectly appropriate to choose not to have flowers at all.
We provide altar candles, which will be lit for the service. If you wish to include a “unity” candle, you must supply it. No other candles are permitted.
The church is cleaned and vacuumed before each wedding. We prohibit the use of aisle runners for safety reasons.
Throwing of Rice, Birdseed, Confetti, etc. We prohibit the throwing of rice, birdseed, flower petals, confetti, bubbles – anything – inside or outside the church. A flower girl strewing flower petals during the procession is acceptable.
The Service Bulletin
It is up to you to provide a bulletin for your wedding service.
A small bride’s room is located in the church building, and is available before, during and after the service.
The church comfortably holds about 250 guests.
Clergy of other parishes or traditions are welcome to assist in the service – at the invitation of, and after consultation with, the Officiating Priest.
Outside Wedding Coordinators
Wedding coordinators other than the Grace Wedding Coordinator are invited to help at all stages of planning, but may only do so in consultation with the Officiating Priest and Grace Wedding Coordinator. It must be understood that the Grace Wedding Coordinator is in charge of the rehearsal and wedding once they reach church property, and that matters related to the ceremony fall under the authority of the Officiating Priest.
At the Rehearsal
- The rehearsal is conducted by the Grace Wedding Coordinator.
- Rehearsals usually take place at 5:00 p.m. on the day before the wedding, unless arranged otherwise with the Grace Wedding Coordinator. Please ensure that all participants arrive promptly.
- Participants should not consume alcohol before the rehearsal.
- We want the rehearsal to be relaxing and reduce anxiety, so please come prepared to walk through the service and honor the solemn yet joyful mood of the event. On the Day of the Wedding The wedding party should plan to arrive one hour before the ceremony. The ushers should be in place one-half hour before the service. A good rule of thumb is to have one usher for every 50 guests. Relax and enjoy the fruit of your careful and thoughtful planning!
Fr. William McIlmoyl, 707-963-4157
Jo Bollen, 707-963-4157