We are pleased that you want to celebrate your marriage in St. John’s Church. We welcome the opportunity to support you in your commitment to each other, and hope that your wedding will strengthen an already existing relationship with our parish, or begin one that will become a long-term friendship with this Christian community. If you are not regularly worshipping with us, we invite you to do so at one of our Sunday services.
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage from the Book of Common Prayer is a service of worship. Marriage celebrations conform to the rubrics, canons and customary liturgical practices that help to shape all of our worship. Each congregation has guidelines and requirements that help express the reverence, solemnity and joy of these celebrations. There are also practical rules and regulations that reflect the limitations of space and that respect the need for volunteer and professional staff support for such occasions. The guidelines which follow are designed to maintain the dignity of the service and help us all work together to make the service an uplifting experience for all.
- One of the parties must be a baptized member of St. John’s Church.
- By canon, at least thirty days notice must be given before the date of the marriage.
- Pre-marital instruction takes place with the officiating priest and with a licensed counselor.
- A license from the State of Florida must be obtained.
- If one or both of the parties have been divorced, the Bishop must consent to the solemnization of the marriage.
- Contact the parish offices to reserve the date for the service.
- Make an appointment with the Rector to discuss the details of the service, including the selection of the officiating priest.
- After meeting with the Rector, schedule meetings with the wedding coordinator and the organist.
- The Organist and Director of Music is responsible for all music at weddings.
- The organist for all weddings is the Organist of St. John’s Church or one of the Assistant Organists.
- The music for the service reflects the character of the music normally used at worship in St. John’s Church. Secular music is not appropriate.
- Additional musicians may be engaged, and the choir may participate if desired and if they are available. A rehearsal with the organist is required for any additional musicians. An additional fee is required for the participation of the choir.
- When the date of the service is placed on the calendar, the organist will be notified. The couple should arrange for an appointment with the organist as early as possible.
- Flowers may be placed at the altar. They may be purchased from and arranged by the florist, or purchased and arranged by a member of the St. John’s Altar Guild. Certain size and height limits apply, so the details need to be worked out with the wedding coordinator.
- Flowers remain at the altar after the service for use on Sunday, and are later taken to the sick and homebound.
- Appropriate decorations and flowers may be used in the nave with the express consent and approval of the Rector. They must be removed following the ceremony.
Photographs and Videotaping
- At the beginning of the service, one photograph with flash may be taken as the bride enters the church and a second one as the couple processes down the aisle at the end of the service. During the service, photos may be taken from the rear of the church provided that only a silent, digital camera is used. Cameras that emit noise may not be used. The photographer is to remain stationary at the back of the church, behind the last pew.
- Photos may be taken after the service for a period of thirty minutes. Photographs may also be taken on the grounds outside the church before the service.
- Photographers are not to go behind the altar rail or rearrange furniture.
- Photographers are to consult with the officiant and wedding guild member before the service, and may not be in the back of the church while guests are arriving.
- Videotaping is permitted using a camera placed at the baptismal font or in a transept behind the wall out of view, and they must use the natural light of the building. Floodlights, roving cameras or cameras placed in other locations are not allowed. Only battery-operated video cameras may be used because of the dearth of electrical outlets in the church.
- Members of the congregation are not permitted to use any kind of photographic equipment during the service, including their cell phones. The couple is to advise their family and friends of this policy, and a notice will be placed in the wedding program.
- Weddings may be scheduled no earlier than 11:00 a.m. and no later than 6:30 p.m.
- The bride and her attendants may dress in the Lowry Room.
- The groom and his attendants may wait in the church nursery.
- The church buildings will be opened and available one hour before the service begins.
- We ask that guests and the wedding party plan to leave the church grounds 45 minutes after the service is concluded.
- Alcoholic beverages are not to be brought to the church or consumed before the rehearsal or marriage service.
- Throwing of rice, birdseed, confetti, or any other material is not permitted inside or outside the church.
- Flowers or flower petals may not be scattered in the church.
- Aisle runners are not used in St. John’s Church.
- It is expected that the service will begin on time. Wedding Guild volunteers will assist with the seating of family members and with the procession to maintain the schedule.
- At least two ushers should be appointed for the seating of guests and distribute programs. The ushers must attend the rehearsal.
- The wedding party will process in and out of the church in a single file line and are not paired.
- Children should be under adult supervision at all times at the rehearsal and at the wedding.
- Participants in the service and others may not gather informally in the church before the service begins. All members of the congregation should be encouraged to take their seats quietly prior to the service, mindful of their surroundings and the dignity of the service of which they are about to be a part. The time for conversation and celebration is after the service has concluded.
- Because the cost of a wedding in St. John’s Church will vary depending upon the particulars of each service, no set fee is published. In general, however, wedding costs will include an off-duty police officer for traffic control, an organist, a sexton, a licensed pre-marital counselor, a printed program, and certain administrative costs. Other expenses may include a gift to the church and the cost of additional musicians (including an additional fee for the organist when extra rehearsal time is required). Please remember that money never stands in the way of anyone availing himself or herself of the life and ministry of the Church. If the Rector determines that the customary fees for a wedding in St. John’s Church are prohibitive, an adjustment can be made.