The couple must consult personally with the clergy before a
date and time for the service can be set. Except within extreme circumstances,
this consultation must take place at least six months before the proposed
union. This date and time are subject to the clergy person’s satisfaction about
the proposed ceremony at the completion of the required relationship counseling
as well as the availability of the clergy.
Only one union is performed on any given day. There are no
exceptions. All wedding ceremonies will be held on-site unless otherwise
approved by the Rector.
Required for Holy
Saint Peter's will perform a wedding for anyone, provided
one of the partners is a baptized Christian.
Holy Union of One Who Has Been Divorced
Application must be
made to the Bishop of Delaware for permission to enter into a Holy union in the
Church and by the clergy. The divorce must be completed at least one year old
before such permission is granted. Additional prep time is necessary.
Counseling and the Service
The clergy designated to celebrate the union is responsible
for and in charge of the required relationship counseling and ceremony. It is
his/her prerogative to invite other clergy to assist in the ceremony. In this
parish, the form for the liturgy is available from the office and is according
to the use of The Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. The ceremony includes the celebration
of Holy Eucharist. It is the norm for the service to take place at Saint
Peter’s. Wedding coordinators are Not permitted.
The organ is played by the parish organist for all unions in
this parish, or if unavailable he will find someone to substitute in his place.
The music for the ceremony and the use and selection of vocalists and other
musicians must be planned and approved by the parish organist. There is a set
fee for the organist. An additional fee will be applied at the organist’s discretion
where there are additional musicians and soloist rehearsals.
Service leaflets are designed by the church and printed by
St. Peter’s for distribution to those attending the service. The clergy member
performing the service will work with the couple to determine what Scripture
lessons and music will be listed. All information should be completed and
submitted two weeks prior to the ceremony to ensure timely completion of the
The rector has the
final say on the use and placement of flowers for the ceremony. Arrangements
may be placed on a table in the Narthex, on the shelf behind the Altar, on two
pedestals and on the floor in front of the Altar. Flowers should be tasteful
and should not be higher than the cross behind the Altar. If decorations are
used on the ends of the pews you must provide your own clips and they must be
removed following the service. If you would like to leave flowers in the church
for the Sunday services in honor of your ceremony, arrangements must be made
with the church office in advance. For safety reasons we do not use a white
runner in the church.
The rehearsal is an important part of the wedding process
and is under the direction of the clergy. It will be held at a time and date
approved by the clergy. Those persons who are to be present and participate
are: the couple, the maid/matron/gentleman of honor and/or the best man/woman,
the attendants for the bride and groom, and other persons involved in the
ceremony. Please do not bring an outside consultant to the rehearsal or to the
church to assist with the ceremony. The design of the ceremony is reserved for
the clergy and the couple only and must be in compliance with the Canons of the
Church. The Marriage License must be brought to the Church Office one week
before the rehearsal.
are required to meet with the clergy in advance of the service for instruction.
Guests are asked not to take flash pictures or videos during the ceremony. This
should be made clear to all who are invited to the ceremony. Pictures of the
couple and their attendants may be taken in the church for one hour following
A video of the
ceremony may be made with the following restrictions:
a) The video
camera must be set on a tripod and capable of being turned on and left running
during the ceremony.
b) Placement of
the video camera is either in the back of the church or in the pulpit.
lighting to that already provided in the church is prohibited.
d) A mobile video
cameraperson is expressly prohibited. There are no exceptions.
Receiving guests is
more properly the function of the reception. The size of the narthex is small
and should be taken into consideration. If the couple choose to have a
receiving line at the church please do not use confetti, rice, flower petals or
birdseed either inside the church or outside the church. The use of small bells
or the blowing of bubbles is an alternative.
It is your
responsibility to appoint one or two persons who will be responsible for all
personal property, including, but not limited to, clothing, purses, cameras,
and makeup cases. This person shall be introduced to the clergy before the
Use of Alcoholic Beverages
are not permitted on Saint Peter’s Church property. Diocesan Guidelines state
that no alcoholic beverages are permitted at events which take place in parish
facilities that are not sponsored by a parish group. Wedding rehearsals and
ceremonies are included in this category.
There are certain
established fees as well as fees for optional services. The expectation is that
these fees will be paid when the date of the proposed ceremony is reserved.
There is a suggested fee given to the rector and not required except in the
a) The rector is
performing the ceremony for another clergy person.
b) The clergy performing the ceremony is doing so in the
place of the rector. All offerings received by the rector will go into the
"Rector’s Discretionary Fund” and be used at his/her discretion for the
ministry of Saint Peter’s Church. [See Fee schedule below.]
The clergy person consulting with a couple will normally
officiate at the union ceremony. However, he/she may request another clergy
person to officiate if circumstances dictate.
A couple who wishes to enter into a Holy union at Saint
Peter’s may be required to meet a counseling professional. The cost of this
service is about $100.00/hr. The purpose of this meeting is to further assist
the couple as they make a lifelong commitment to one another. Topics such as communication,
finances, conflict resolution, in the context of a relationship and other
important subjects are discussed. An appointment will be arranged through the