Weddings at St. Andrew's
Welcome to St. Andrew’s, Denver. Thank you for your interest in the possibility of a wedding here. This is a significant and special time in your life, and we hope to be of service to you, and offer you the best of our tradition and community. So we ask that you read our policies and requirements carefully before you finalize your plans.
St. Andrew’s has a long-standing commitment to marriage equality and we welcome inquiries from same gender couples as well as a man and a woman seeking marriage. All traditional weddings at St. Andrew’s, without exception, are performed by an Episcopal priest and are in accordance with the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer in every particular, including the suggested readings from Holy Scripture and the form of the marriage vows. The rite “I Will Bless You, and You Will Be a Blessing” at which an Episcopal priest presides, is the form to be used by same gender couples, and may be used by a man and woman as well. Scripture readings for each service normally come from the NRSV translation of the Bible.
A marriage at St. Andrew’s usually includes the celebration of holy communion. On occasion, a member of the clergy of another denomination or faith tradition may be invited by the Rector to take part in the service. Family members and friends will normally be invited to take part in the service as readers, members of the wedding party, and occasionally as acolytes or in some other capacity.
Your initial conversation with the Rector should take at least 60 days before the proposed wedding date. No weddings are scheduled until after this initial meeting. Pre-marital counseling is required in the Episcopal Church, and you need to allow time for 3-4 sessions with a marriage and family counselor, in addition to meetings with the celebrant. If either of the couple has been divorced, you must complete an application for remarriage and submit this to your priest, who must forward it to the bishop for approval 30 days prior to the proposed wedding date.
Weddings at St. Andrew’s are usually on Saturdays between 10 am and 4 pm, though other days may be requested. The date is scheduled in consultation with the officiating priest, and the parish administrator, who keeps the church calendar. Weddings are not normally scheduled in Lent.
A fee schedule and additional policies are included here; please review them carefully. Our policies have been developed over decades of experience and reflect not only our traditions, but our sense of what makes a wedding joyful, beautiful, and comfortable for you and your guests. You may ask about the possibility of changes, but you should expect that there will be no exceptions to these policies.
Most important, we ask you to consider what Christian marriage means. Our theology, reflected in the words of the marriage service, is that marriage is a sacrament, an outward sign of inward grace. We say that it is intended by God for the couple’s mutual joy, and we believe that the couple enter into a sacred covenant when they marry each other. We expect that if you are planning a “church wedding,” you do so because you are seeking God’s help and blessing in your marriage, and that you either are now or have some intention of becoming members of a church.
If you already have another church community, we believe that is the place where you should be married. Our expectations are not meant to exclude anyone from the benefit of God’s blessings on their union. Rather, we value marriage highly and want to honor not only our own requirements but those of other traditions. If you are an active member of another faith tradition, the Rector will explore with you your reasons for inquiring about marriage in the Episcopal Church. If you are a member of another Episcopal Church, the Rector will contact your parish before scheduling your wedding at St. Andrew’s.
If you have no church home and are interested in the support of a community of faith, we will be happy to talk with you about our community and our ministries, the Episcopal Church, and the ways by which we incorporate new members. We believe a faith community can offer real help as you enter into the joys and challenges of marriage and family life.
Those being married within the Episcopal Church are required to have several hours of pre-marital counseling. It is intended as a guide for couples in examining the issues of marriage and assistance in vital communication between the two now, and for years to come. At St. Andrew’s, this process takes place with a professional marriage and family therapist recommended by the Rector. The couple assumes all financial responsibility for these sessions. The professional therapist will make a recommendation to the Rector when the sessions, normally 3 to 4 hours, are complete.
In addition to the sessions with the professional counselor, the couple can expect three meetings with the Rector: an initial meeting, at the end of which the Rector will give permission to schedule the wedding, a meeting not less than 30 days before the wedding, at which the service will be planned, and a final meeting the week of the wedding. All of these meetings will usually take place during normal business hours. The couple should also expect to meet with the choirmaster, and with the Altar Guild representative.
If you are interested in proceeding with your inquiry about marriage at St. Andrew’s, here are a few more policies to consider:
Music for the service is always sacred in character and performed live. There is no recorded music. All musical arrangements are made through the Choirmaster.
Floral arrangements are used on the shelf behind the altar or in the flower stands we provide at the bottom of the steps. Flowers or other decorations on the pews or other parts of the church must be cleared with both the Rector and the Altar Guild. Please tell your florist that all flowers, including those carried or worn by the wedding party, should be delivered to the church at a time designated by the parish administrator or the Altar Guild.
Photographers are encouraged to take most of their photographs an hour before the ceremony. They may also take photographs of members of the wedding party as they enter and leave the church. Flash photographs are not allowed during the sacrament itself, and the photographer may not take a position in the sanctuary or between the wedding party and the congregation. We can re-create particular moments from the sacrament in the half hour allowed for photographs after the ceremony. This time limit must be strictly observed in order to allow the altar guild attendants and the sexton to complete their duties in a timely fashion and prepare for worship on Sunday. The Celebrant will want to meet the photographer before the wedding in order to review these guidelines.
Candles for the ceremony are provided by the church. There will be 6 candlesticks on the shelf behind the altar and one at either end of the altar. We do not use a “unity candle” in an Episcopal ceremony.
If you have engaged a Wedding Coordinator to handle some of your arrangements, that person is welcome at St. Andrew’s as an observer. The wedding rehearsal will be run by the celebrant with the assistance of the Altar Guild.
A Service Leaflet including the entire ceremony and the names of the wedding party will be prepared by St. Andrew’s and is included in the wedding fee. This leaflet will help your guests to participate in the service, and is a good memento to send to those who cannot attend.
A Wedding Rehearsal is usually held the Friday evening prior to the ceremony at 4 pm and lasts an hour. Rehearsals begin promptly at 4 and we expect the bride and bridegroom, as well as the entire wedding party, readers, and parents, to be punctual. Musicians do not normally attend the rehearsal.
There may not be any time more joyous, and at the same time, more stressful than the period before a wedding. We know that you will give much thoughtful planning, expense, and a considerable emotional investment, in order to make this sacrament beautiful, reverent, and meaningful. We have these policies, not to put obstacles in your way, but because we want the very same thing for your wedding that you do.
If, after reading the above information and checking the following fees, you wish to be married at St. Andrew’s, please telephone the church office, 303-296-1712 to make an appointment with the Rector. Your wedding will not be scheduled until after this meeting. We hope we will be able to serve you.
Wedding Fees at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Member is defined as “regularly attending, contributing communicant for 6 months.” Members are not charged for use of the building. The fees cover the altar guild, acolyte, and service leaflet, and cleaning services, costs not covered by the budget.
Active Communicant within the Episcopal $400.00
Diocese of Colorado (see policies)
Non-members will also be charged $300.00 for use of the reception hall following the wedding. We do not provide catering or food service, so such arrangements must be made with a private firm. All receptions must end by 7 pm.
Music arrangements are made through our choirmaster, Timothy Krueger, firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-296-1712. He will be happy to make musical suggestions, knows what music is both permissible and appropriate for the sacred occasion, makes arrangements for the organist, or for vocalists and/or other musician(s) when desired. Music fees are as follows:
Additional Musicians and Soloists $75.00 per musician
Musical Arrangements $75.00
A donation of $250.00 to the discretionary fund of the celebrant, and $100.00 to that of an assisting clergyperson is suggested. Discretionary funds enable the clergyperson to assist those in need and are never for personal use. Any additional honoraria to the clergy are at your discretion.
All fees must be paid 15 days before the wedding.