Weddings at St. Andrew's
Below are answers to many questions you may have about a wedding at St. Andrew’s and to acquaint you with our norms. We want this to be your wedding, so please feel free to discuss with the clergy any questions or concerns you might have. To schedule a wedding, please contact Mary Sanders at 816-523-1602 or by email.
What is a Christian marriage?
Christian marriage is a solemn and holy covenant between a couple made in the presence of God. The marriage ceremony is a public ratification of this covenant in the presence of witnesses. When the Church presides at the marriage ceremony, it serves as the witness of the covenant and through its priest bestows blessing on the union, with prayer that the parties concerned may receive grace to fulfill their vows of fidelity and to create a Christian family and home.
The intention of marriage means not only a lifelong relationship of personal commitment; being married also means collaborating with God to create a means to spiritual growth and ministry. The couple intend to nurture each other’s relationship with God and, together, they seek to find ways to support and nurture family and community life. To these ends, a couple seeking marriage come to the Church for counsel and God’s blessing on their union.
Do I have to be a member of St. Andrew's?
At least one person of the couple must be an active, pledging member of record at St. Andrew’s or another Episcopal Church, or he or she must be a close family member of an active, pledging member of record.
What if I have been divorced?
If either party has been divorced, one (1) year must have elapsed prior to marriage at St. Andrew’s. A copy of the last page of all divorce decrees, containing the date of divorce, court, and judge, must be provided for the wedding file. In addition, an application for a judgment of marital status must be filed with the bishop. The bishop requires 30 days to issue a judgment on the application.
Do you require counseling?
The Church requires that there be counseling with clergy prior to marriage.
At St. Andrew’s, counseling is provided during a marriage preparation day that takes place annually in March and August. Couples gather for a full day on Saturday to learn about themselves and about being a couple, and to share fellowship within the Church community.
If you live out of state yet intend to be married at St. Andrew’s, you must engage with your local Episcopal priest who must A) contact the rector of St. Andrew’s to propose the counseling plan and receive authorization to proceed; and B) write a report to the rector, prior to the intended date of marriage, detailing the number of occasions that counseling occurred and recommending that the marriage take place. Secular counseling may also be used to fulfill this requirement.
How much do you charge for a wedding?
The fee for a wedding at St. Andrew’s is $1,500. This fee includes clergy, organist, Altar Guild, sextons, and all other fees. Additional fees will be charged for soloists, musicians, and extra musical rehearsals.
A deposit of $600 is due when you schedule your wedding, and the balance is due 10 days prior to your wedding.
Are there dates that are unavailable?
The Season of Lent is a penitential time. No weddings will be scheduled from Ash Wednesday through Easter Day. Weddings typically are not scheduled on Sundays. Book early to save your date as our calendar fills up fast.
When do we need to obtain a marriage license?
A State of Missouri Marriage License must be delivered to the clergy at the rehearsal. Please allow sufficient time for obtaining the license, bearing in mind state as well as federal holidays.
We are using a wedding program.
Can we use a wedding planner?
Outside wedding consultants are welcome to assist the wedding party, but the clergy assigned to the wedding will direct the wedding rehearsal, the procession, and the service.
What type of music is allowed?
You will need to contact the music director/organist, Thomas Vozzella, via email, to help you select music for your wedding. A list of music will then be sent in response. Please review the music options (title, composers and links to audio files), make your selections, and return them to music director/organist. If you have other requests, send those as well. If we can accommodate those requests, we will.
Music selections other than those recommended will need to be approved by the music director/organist and the clergy.
Because a church wedding is a sacred rite, all music during the liturgy must be sacred in nature, appropriate to the sacrament that is to take place. Popular, secular music or music from the theater is not permitted during the service, prelude (10-15 minutes), or recessional. If there will be a pew dismissal, an additional fee for additional music will be incurred. Additionally, prerecorded music or music from a CD is not permitted.
Do you allow flowers and decorations?
The following guidelines for floral and decoration arrangements must be honored:
- Flowers may be placed on the gradine (shelf behind the altar), the credence shelves to the left and right of the gradine, or to the sides of the altar. Flowers may not be placed on the altar itself.
- Because the flowers are to be left at the altar for the Sunday worship services (notice of the marriage will be printed in the Sunday bulletin), the florist is responsible for obtaining the vase liners from the Church ahead of time.
- No decorations other than flowers are permitted inside the altar rail. You may arrange for whatever flowers, greenery, ribbons, etc. you like in the rest of the nave.
- Typically, the Altar Guild places and removes flowers behind the altar rail.
- The couple is responsible for cleaning up all the decorations outside the altar rail immediately following the liturgy. This is not a responsibility of the sexton or the Altar Guild. Check with your florist. An additional fee may be charged if the parish staff or sexton needs to provide extra cleaning in any area of the church after the wedding.
- You may attach floral arrangements or bows to the ends of the pews or to the sconces. However, please do not use any kind of tape since it leaves marks.
- During seasons such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, the Church is to remain decorated with the seasonal flowers and arrangements; therefore, if a wedding is scheduled during these times, no special wedding flowers will be permitted.
What about candles?
The Church has four options for candles. You may choose any or all of the options:
- Gradine Candles — two 7-branch brass candelabra, typically placed on the gradine (shelf) behind high altar.
- Standing Candles — two 5 ft. high, 7-branch candelabra that stand on the floor on either side of high altar.
- Eucharistic Candles — two pillar candles used on the altar when there is Communion at the wedding.
- Wrought iron sconces — 12 sets of sconces, each with five candles, located on the pillars in the nave. The sconces may be decorated.
- Unity candles are not part of the marriage liturgy in the Episcopal Church and are therefore not permitted.
Are there rules about photography?
In order not to distract from the wedding and the solemnity and beauty of the worship, flash photography is not permitted during the service. The service begins when the wedding party walks down the aisle.
Photography (without flash) is allowed during the service only from the following locations:
- Behind the pews at the back of the church
- From the side chapel behind the pillars
- From the columbarium behind the pillars
- From the doorways at the altar rail
Photographers may not come into the center aisle of the nave to take pictures of the bride coming down the aisle. Flash pictures may be taken from the end of the aisle as the couple leave the Nave. Flash pictures may be taken in the chancel up to 30 minutes prior to the wedding and 15 minutes after the ceremony is finished and the guests have left. If requested, the clergy will be glad to participate in the reconstruction of any part of the ceremony for photographic purposes.
No one is permitted behind the altar rail at any time except clergy, acolytes, and Altar Guild members. Rearrangement of altar flowers and candelabra for photographic purposes is not permitted.
The Church will be opened two hours prior to the wedding by the sexton assigned to the wedding. The Altar Guild will arrive one hour and 15 minutes prior to the wedding in order for the altar to be ready for photographs one hour prior to the service. The Altar Guild will leave the flowers and candles on the altar for 20 minutes after the guests leave for additional photographs.
The Jewell Room is an ideal setting for wedding photographs. We suggest that the photographer and the couple agree on the arrangements in advance. No furniture is to be moved under any circumstance.
We want our friends/family to read Scripture
It is very appropriate to ask family members or friends to read lessons at the service. The reader should be someone who can read Scripture clearly and one for whom it has meaning in faith. Readers normally sit in the chancel, behind the lectern, and come to the lectern to read the lesson. The reader should attend the rehearsal.
Are we able to get ready for the wedding at the church?
The couple and their attendants may dress at the church. The church will be open for two hours before the wedding to provide ample time for dressing and taking pictures.
Can our guests throw rice, birdseed, or confetti?
No, we do NOT allow for throwing of any rice, birdseed or confetti in the church or on the church grounds.
Flower petals are permitted.
Is alcohol permitted?
No, please inform your wedding party and guests that no alcoholic beverages are allowed on church property at any time during the rehearsal or the wedding. This includes the parking lot!
We want you to enjoy your special day, but please ensure that all members of the wedding party avoid alcohol consumption prior to the liturgy.