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St. Stephen’s Solar

Weddings

St. Stephen’s Church is committed to making your wedding a significant Christian experience.  Your coming marriage has required many hours of careful and thoughtful preparations, and it is now important to do some serious thinking about the wedding service itself. We at St. Stephen’s sincerely hope your wedding and marriage will be all that you hope for and we want to help make it special for you in every way we can. While your wedding is a time of excitement and joy, it is, above all, a sacred occasion and we believe that your joy can only be enhanced if the religious nature of the service remains paramount.

The first step in arranging for a wedding will be for the bride and groom to meet with a member of the Clergy.  No wedding can be scheduled at St. Stephen’s before approval of the Clergy is obtained.

Below, we have outlined our Church procedures and specific information that will help you plan your wedding at St. Stephen’s.

Procedure

1. Make an appointment with the clergy.  254-3770

a. Set and obtain approval of the Clergy for the time and date of the wedding and rehearsal.

b. Unless there is some compelling reason to the contrary, weddings will not be scheduled during Lent.  (The date of Lent depends on Easter)

c. While we occasionally permit other Clergy to share in the service, we do not generally make our Church available for services in which our Clergy do not participate. Permission must be obtained from the Clergy in advance.

d. In accordance with the Canons, at least one of the parties to be married must be a baptized Christian.

e.  If either of the parties to be married has been previously married and divorced, the permission of the Bishop for the remarriage is required.  To obtain the permission of the Bishop, a signed consent from the Clergy of St. Stephen’s, including a copy of the final divorce decree, must be given to the Bishop 30 days before the wedding date.

2. Make an appointment with the Wedding coordinator @ 254-3770 ext. 10
The Wedding Coordinator will talk with you about all arrangements for the service, including flowers and photographers.  St. Stephen’s Church provides a Wedding Directress to assist with your service; no fee is charged.  She is extremely well versed in all the necessary rules, regulations and specifics involved in any wedding ceremony performed at this Church. No outside Wedding Directress or consultants are permitted to participate in these procedures. The Directress will be present at both the rehearsal and the service.

3.  Contact the Music Minister.
Please consult with the Minister of Music very early in your planning so that appropriate music can be selected well in advance and arrangements for a soloist, if you desire, can be discussed.

4. Set up your premarital Christian counseling
Because Christian marriage is a lifelong commitment of love and trust, we believe it requires proper preparation.  The Clergy will have discussed various options of Christian Counseling open   to the Bride and Groom.

Specific Information

Flowers
If your wedding is scheduled on or near Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter you are required to use the flower arrangements which will already be in place in the Church for these celebrations rather than arrangements of your own choosing.

For weddings we use the festive white hanging on the Altar.  It is to be understood that the flowers will be left for the Sunday services to the Glory of God, and in celebration of your marriage.

Pew candelabra can be mounted on the pews in the center aisle.  There are 12 total, 6 on each side placed every 3rd or 4th pew.  Ribbons and/or flowers may be placed thereon.

While flowers only may be mounted on the ends of the pews, this can only be done in a manner which will not mar or damage the pews.

Photography
Since Christian marriage is a sacrament of the Church, please talk with the Clergy and Wedding coordinator about photography in the church.

Video
Video taping or cassette recordings may be used after consulting with the Clergy and Wedding Coordinator concerning positioning of the equipment.  One video camera is allowed, mounted on a tripod, outside the doorway to the sanctuary.  We do not allow photographers or equipment of any kind within the enclosure of the sanctuary.

Music
The sacredness of the occasion should be the primary consideration in choosing the music. All decisions about the music must be discussed and approved by the officiating Priest and the Minister of Music.  This means that some types of music which may be appropriate before the   service or at the reception cannot be incorporated into the service itself.

The organist will gladly meet with you to discuss various types of music, after you and the Priest have planned the order of service.

Arrangements for a soloist during a service must also be carefully discussed and planned with the organist, particularly rehearsal plans.  There is an additional fee payable to the organist for arranging a soloist.

The presence of the organist at the rehearsal is subject to an additional charge and must also be prearranged.

Rehearsal
All weddings require a rehearsal, even the simplest ones. The rehearsal eases the stress for the wedding party and helps to insure a smooth service. For this reason, all persons having any part in the wedding (the couple, best man and matron/maid of honor, ushers and bridesmaids, readers, et al.) are to be at the church promptly at the time set for the rehearsal. The rehearsal will not begin until all persons are present.

Other Wedding Details

  • The throwing of rice, bird seed, confetti, flower petals, etc. is prohibited at the Church.  Please be sure that well meaning friends know of this rule.
  • The use of isle runners is prohibited.
  • NO alcoholic beverages of any kind are permitted in the Church or the rooms made available for the use of the bridal party.
  • The Wedding Director will be present at the rehearsal and the wedding.
  • St. Stephen’s is a no-smoking campus. There is no smoking in the buildings, on the grounds or in the parking lots.
  • Bring your marriage license to the rehearsal.
  • Programs for weddings are not supplied by St. Stephen’s.
  • St. Stephen’s church capacity is 350 people

Fees

The fee for your marriage comes under one of the two following categories:

Non Parishioners $2,000.00   ($1,700 for the church & $300 for the organist)

The church fee covers the use of the Sanctuary, including the Brides’ Room, the Altar Guild and the Custodian. The fee includes pre-marital counseling sessions with the Priest; however, it  does not  include an Honorarium for the Priest; this is traditionally the responsibility of the groom.

The organist fee covers the organist time and talent during the wedding.  Rehearsals with soloist will be subject to an extra fee.

Communicants in good standing *   $1,000.00  ($700 for the church & $300 for the organist)

The church fee covers the use of the Sanctuary, including the Brides’ Room, the Altar Guild and the Custodian.  The fee includes pre-marital counseling sessions with the Priest; however, it  does not  include an Honorarium for the Priest; this is traditionally the responsibility of the groom.

The organist fee covers the organist time and talent during the wedding.  Rehearsals with soloist will be subject to an extra fee.

* Communicants in Good Standing are sometimes described as those people who are current & contributing Members at St. Stephen’s.  In determining who is Communicant in Good Standing at St. Stephen’s Church, we adhere strictly to the definition in the Canons of the Church:

Title 1, Canon 17, Sec. 3:  All Communicants of this Church who for the previous year (an uninterrupted twelve months) have been faithful in corporate worship, unless for good cause prevented, and have been faithful in working, praying and giving* for the spread of the Kingdom of God, are to be considered communicants in good standing.

* “giving” in this context means a regular consistent pattern of giving, such as an annual pledge.

Payment

You can send one check for the full amount of the wedding fee to the Church Office after you have met with the clergy and your wedding date in on the church calendar:

No date can be officially confirmed until you have made contact with the Clergy and have sent in your payment.