The Christian Church views marriage as a symbol and an expression of the love between Christ and his Church; a symbol and expression of how two people can love and live together. We want people not just to be married, but to be part of a joyous and growing experience of love, mutual support and encouragement. The relationship to the parish community and premarital consultation are considered to be integral steps in Christian marriage.The priest officiates and solemnizes the marriage, blessing the union of husband and wife in the name of Christ and on behalf of God’s Church. As a marriage is part of the life of the Christian community, the wedding service takes place in the Church. Services outside the church are performed at the discretion of the minister. The community of All Saints’ Church is pleased to be a part of the Celebration and Blessing of your marriage. Please be assured of our prayers for you as you prepare to take this next step in your life together. To inquire about a wedding at All Saints’ please call the parish office.
Weddings at All Saints’ are carried out in accordance with the directions set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Newark which the Church is affiliated with. Those directions include:
Notification: The intention of the parties to enter into marriage shall be made known to the clergy person at least 30 days before the service. Weddings are placed on the parish calendar only after consultation with the clergy. At All Saints’ Church arrangements should be made three to twelve months in advance. The date with the Church must be secured before a deposit is placed for a reception location.
The Marriage Service: The service will be conducted in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer. The rector or parish clergy designated by the rector officiates at the service. Please speak to the rector if you would like another Episcopal priest, an ordained minister of any Christian denomination or other faith to assist during the service.
Instruction: Premarital instruction and preparation is required. Normally this will involve three to four sessions. It is the couple’s responsibility to call for an appointment with the clergy six months in advance of the wedding date.
Baptism: At least one of the persons to be married must be a baptized Christian.
Declaration of Intention: The couple to be married will sign the Declaration of Intention, a statement outlining what Christian marriage entails. The priest may decline to solemnize any marriage.
Remarriage after Divorce The Church holds marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife. We also recognize that even the best of intentions and commitments do not always enable one to live out that commitment. The Church’s regulations with regard to divorce are intended to be helpful and supportive to the genuine establishment of a new marriage, as well as faithful to the responsibilities of the old one. They are intended to be pastoral, rather than punitive.
If either one or both,of the persons to be married is divorced, the clergy should be contacted at least 90 days before the anticipated marriage. The canons require that:
Photography A wedding is a service of worship in which the focus is on God and the couple who are taking vows in God’s presence. Our policy regarding photography reflects the nature of the event. Photos or videos by the wedding guests during the service are not allowed. A professional photographer may take pictures during the procession using flash. During the service photos may be taken only from the rear of the Church and only using available natural light.
A stationary video camera may be set up in the side pews, near the baptismal font. At no time will a photographer or videographer be allowed inside the altar rail, be in the aisle or be moving during the service. The clergy are happy to re-stage any photos after the service. The couple must have their photographer sign a “Photography Policy Contract” with the Church.
Music is often an integral and joyful part of a wedding service. It must be consistent with the Christian nature of the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage and determined in consultation with the Director of Music and the priest. Congregational hymns are always appropriate and provide the guests an opportunity to participate in the service. Normally the parish organist plays for the parish weddings. She should be consulted two months before the service. If desired it is possible to engage the services of a soloist - either vocal or instrumental. This also is under the direction of the Director of Music. An appointment for a music consultation may be made by calling Alison Siener Brown.
Decorations Altar flowers and other decorations must fit within the decor of the Church. Existing Church decorations or furnishings may not be removed. Two arrangements of fresh cut flowers may be displayed at the altar. Pew bows or bouquets must be attached in a manner that will not leave marks (i.e. tape, glue, nails, etc.). Floral arrangements may also be placed in the bell tower entrance and in the narthex (vestibule). Altar flowers remain at the Church for the following Sunday services or for distribution to the sick. The couple will be remembered by name in the Prayers of the People at all services the following Sunday.
The unity candle is not part of the Episcopal liturgy. The Paschal Candle (used at baptisms and funerals and throughout the Easter season) may be lighted in memory of a departed family member. The Church seats up to 210 people comfortably. Rice, flower petals or birdseed may not be thrown inside or outside the Church. Aisle runners are not allowed.
Bulletins A service bulletin is the responsibility of the couple getting married and should be planned in consultation with the priest. Sample bulletins are available from the parish office. The office staff can produce a wedding bulletin for a fee of $100.
Attire Wedding clothing for the bridal party should be selected keeping in mind the spiritual nature of the service. A room is available on the Church grounds for the bride and her party to dress.
The Rehearsal A rehearsal is necessary and is conducted by the clergy with the assistance of a member of the Church’s Altar Guild. Usually held on the eve of the wedding day, all those participating in the service (including readers, parents and grandparents) should be present. Wedding rehearsals will start on time and last up to one and a half hours. A member of the Altar Guild of All Saints’ will be present at both the rehearsal and the wedding to assist the priest in coordinating the events. Wedding consultants have no role in either the rehearsal or the service.
License A valid New Jersey marriage license should be obtained from the municipality where you reside. It should be brought to the Church rehearsal so that it can be signed by the priest and witnesses. The officiant will file the license within a week of the marriage date. After which, you may apply to obtain certified copies of your marriage license at the Long Hill Township Municipal Building at the Registrar's office.