THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONY

Trinity Episcopal Church

125 East Broad Street

Columbus, OH 43215

 

Key contacts:

The Rev. Dr. Stephen H. Applegate, Interim Priest-in-Charge

Ms. Diane Donato, Wedding Coordinator

Mr. Stephen Sollars, Wedding Organist


Contact Diane for inquiries


A Word of Greeting

The clergy and staff of Trinity greet you in joy as you anticipate your wedding day! 

 

We have prepared this information to let you know what we expect from you, and what you can expect from us as we prepare for your wedding day.

 

Certain requirements are determined by:

  •        The laws of the State of Ohio
  •        The canons (laws) of the Episcopal Church
  •        The rubrics (directions) of The Book of Common Prayer
  •        Local customs based upon tradition, beauty and convenience

 

The wedding service in the Episcopal Church is called “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage.”  A wedding is the occasion when the Christian community gathers to celebrate your commitment to one another and to ask God's blessing on your life together.  We are pleased that you wish to celebrate your marriage at Trinity Church.  We want to provide you with information concerning preparation for marriage and planning for the wedding ceremony.  Since each marriage and each wedding is unique, and you will have specific questions and concerns, you are encouraged to speak with the clergy or staff about your particular questions.

 

Although this document contains language that suggests that marriage is between and man and woman (bride and groom, husband and wife), the Episcopal Church, with an estimated 2.3 million members, is open and welcoming of the LGBTQ+ community.  In 2018, The Episcopal Church removed restrictions on same-sex marriage, making it so all couples can wed where they worship. Services have been developed and approved that recognize this change. These services are available to all couples in addition to the service in The Book of Common Prayer.

 

First Steps

Please notify Trinity Church as soon as you know that you wish to get married here.  Please do not publish a date or make any arrangements for a reception, etc. until the date and time are cleared with the Parish Office and one of the clergy has agreed to officiate.  It is never too early to contact the church.

 

Weddings normally take place on Saturdays but may be arranged for other days of the week.  Weddings will be scheduled so that they do not conflict with the worship or program life of the parish. Weddings may not take place during the season of Lent. 

 

Requirements for those who wish to be married in the Episcopal Church

Those who seek to be married must affirm that they intend a life-long commitment to one another.  The two persons being married are required to sign a Declaration of Intention to enter into Christian marriage. Vows are made in the presence of God and within the Christian community. Therefore, it is required that one, at least, of the parties must be a baptized Christian, that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses; and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State of Ohio and the canons of this Church, (The Book of Common Prayer, page 422).

 

If either person has been divorced or has experienced the legal dissolution of a marriage, the couple must meet with the clergy to decide if re-marriage is advisable. If the decision is made to proceed with marriage, the clergy must seek permission from the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio (if a former spouse is still living.)  In order for the priest to ask the Bishop’s consent, at least one of the parties to the proposed marriage must be a member of the Episcopal Church. The priest submits forms, including information from the couple. The procedure for seeking permission for re-marriage takes 60 days, and the wedding may not be announced until the permission of the Bishop has been received.  

 

The date of the proposed wedding must be at least twelve months later than the date of the divorce decree.  It is the Bishop’s policy not to grant consent for third or subsequent marriages. In discussing marriage with any couple, whether re-marriage is involved or not, the priest may advise the couple against marriage and may decline to officiate at the wedding. 

 

The couple is responsible for securing an Ohio marriage license.  A marriage license is valid for sixty days.  A valid marriage license must be presented to the officiating clergy at the rehearsal. A license is available through the Franklin County Probate Court, (614) 525-3108.  There is no waiting period. 

 

Preparation for marriage

The couple will meet for pre-marital conversations with the priest who will officiate at the wedding. These meetings allow the couple to consider and discuss both practical and spiritual aspects of marriage, to understand the significance of the promises they will make, and to build a foundation for their life together. Planning the wedding ceremony is also included. The number of sessions required is at the discretion of the clergy. In exceptional circumstances, such as when the bride and groom live elsewhere, arrangements may be made for some of the counseling sessions to be held online or to have another priest provide the pre-marital counseling. If the pre-marital counseling is provided by another priest, a letter from the counseling clergy, stating that the counseling has been completed, must be presented to Trinity’s clergy before the ceremony.

 

In addition to pre-marital counseling, you will be asked to speak with the Wedding Organist if music will be a part of your wedding ceremony (see below). 

 

The Ceremony

The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church contains the service for The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage (pages 423-432). Wedding ceremonies at Trinity Church follow this service. You should read through the service carefully as you begin to think about your wedding. Many parts of the ceremony, including the vows, are specified by the Prayer Book. Other aspects are variable, including Scripture lessons and customs such as giving away the bride. You may choose to include a celebration of the Holy Eucharist as part of your wedding, but that is not required. Family and friends may read Scripture lessons or lead prayers.  The officiant will review the details of the service with you and guide you in making appropriate choices for your wedding service. 

 

Order of Service or Program

An order of service allows those attending the wedding to follow and participate in the ceremony. Producing the order of service is the responsibility of the bride and groom. Before the final printing of the program, the officiant must review the order of service.  Finished copies of the order of service should be brought to the church at the time of the rehearsal. Trinity has several examples of Orders of Service used in the past to help guide you.

 

Flowers

Choosing flowers for your wedding will enhance the celebration and complement the beauty of the church itself. Speak with the Wedding Coordinator if you have any questions regarding floral arrangements. It is expected that you will provide flower arrangements for the high altar and that these arrangements will remain in the church for the following Sunday's worship services.  A prayer of thanksgiving will be included in those services celebrating your involvement in our congregation.

 

If aisle candles are used (see fees below), modest decorations may be attached to the wrought-iron candle stands.  The florist, or a member of the wedding party, is responsible for removing the decorations from the candle stands after the ceremony. Decorative candles other than those provided by Trinity Church are not permitted. Unity candles are not a part of the Episcopal tradition.

 

For safety reasons, aisle runners are not permitted at Trinity Church.  

 

Photography

Photographs and videos provide meaningful keepsakes of your wedding day. Trinity Church requests that any photographer or videographer contracted for a wedding in the church plan to speak with the officiating clergy prior to the wedding. Clergy can be contacted either directly by phone or email, or at the rehearsal or in the parish library one half hour prior to worship on the day of the wedding.  

 

The clergy will be available for brief photographs with the wedding couple immediately following worship on the wedding day.

 

We ask that persons attending the wedding refrain from taking personal photographs during worship. Flash pictures may be taken as the wedding party enters.  FLASH PICTURES ARE FORBIDDEN DURING THE SERVICE. The priest reserves the right to stop the service and request that guests refrain from taking pictures.

 

The church will be open one hour prior to the ceremony. Many couples use this time for family and wedding party picture taking.  The church will remain open for one hour following the service for additional photographs.  Please keep to this time restriction out of respect for church staff and volunteers.

 

Videotaping is allowed; however, no special lighting may be used, and the camera must remain in a stationary position in the balcony or other inconspicuous location.  Other cameras cannot be used nor can cables be run across the church floors.

 

It is highly recommended that your videographer visit the church well in advance of the wedding day to avoid any misunderstandings and to become familiar with the space.

 

The Rehearsal

A wedding rehearsal is required.  Participants in the ceremony need preparation for the various roles they must carry out. A rehearsal helps make the participants more comfortable, and ensures that the ceremony will proceed smoothly and with dignity.  The rehearsal normally takes place the evening before the wedding, although on occasion it may need to be held at another time.  The rehearsal normally takes an hour. The rehearsal time should be scheduled with the wedding coordinator.  

 

The bridal party may arrive up to two hours prior to the ceremony for the purpose of last-minute preparations, pre-wedding photographs, etc. The Bride's Room will be made available for the bride, her attendants, and her immediate family. The women of the bridal party may dress at the church.

 

Planning for music during the ceremony

Music selections must be appropriate for Christian worship within the tradition of the Episcopal Church. The primary instrument to be used in the wedding is the organ.  However, soloists or instrumentalists could be accompanied on either the piano or the organ, as stylistically appropriate, and at the discretion of the musician. Trinity’s Wedding Organist will play for the service.  The organist can also make arrangements for vocal soloists or instrumentalists. Couples sometimes have relatives or friends who wish to sing or play at their weddings. Including family members or friends is always possible but should be discussed with the organist as early as possible in the planning process. The Wedding Coordinator will be happy to connect you with our musician.

 

Other considerations

Any arrangements concerning the use of outside clergy must be made through Trinity’s clergy and will be in conformance with the policies of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio.

 

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on church premises. The priest reserves the right to cancel a rehearsal or wedding ceremony if any member of the wedding party appears to be inebriated.

 

Smoking is not permitted on church premises.

 

Rice, birdseed, confetti, balloons, and flower petals may not be thrown or released.

 

Fees for the wedding

The fee for the communicants in good standing of Trinity Church, regular worshipers who are also on record as contributors to the church, is $800. This fee covers the cost for the wedding coordinator, the organist, the sexton, a donation into the Rector's discretionary fund, as well as other incidental expenses.  


The fee for all other persons is $1,600. In addition to the expenses listed above, this includes a fee for the use of the church and an honorarium which is deposited in the discretionary fund of the officiating priest.  

 

There are additional costs for optional services, if desired.  These fees apply to all weddings at Trinity Church: 

 

          - Vocalists and/or Trumpeter - additional fee TBD

          - Aisle Candles $20 per stand

          - Payment in full is due 30 days before the ceremony.

          - Checks should be made payable to "Trinity Episcopal Church."

 

After the wedding

The Christian community promises to support you in your marriage.  We hope that your relationship to Trinity Church will continue and that you will find spiritual growth and sustenance here.  Please remember that clergy are available for "post-marital" counseling as well, to help you live out the vows that you make on your wedding day.  

 

May the Grace and Peace of God be yours always.