2305 N. Williston Road, SC 29506
May 01, 2017
The officiating priest must be an Episcopal or Lutheran ordained priest. An assisting Episcopal, Lutheran or other Christian denominational priest, who has been approved by the vestry, may be allowed. In some cases, the vestry may seek qualification of the officiating priest from the Diocesan Office. However, approval of the officiating priest and an assisting priest is the sole right and responsibility of the vestry.
It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to submit their preferred selection for priest and, if desired, assisting priest to the vestry at the time of their request for marriage at Christ Church. If the couple has no selection, the vestry may provide a list of qualified priests for their consideration.
This policy complies with the Bi-Laws of Christ Church.
Who May be Married at Christ Church
To be married at Christ Church, the bride or groom must have been, for at least one year, a member in good standing of the parish, or the child or grandchild of a member in good standing of the parish for at least one year. The vestry may, for pastoral reasons, consider requests from non-compliant couples to be married at Christ Church, but if the wedding is allowed, a non-compliant fee of $1,000 will be assessed. The vestry will consider couples who are non-compliant only if either the bride or the groom is a member in good standing of another Episcopal parish.
The vestry may also consider couples to be married at Christ Church who are not specifically allowed as above. In those cases, the couples must appear, either personally, or by designate, before the vestry to request a wedding. As with non-compliant couples as above, couples approved for marriage at Christ Church as a result of a special request will be assessed the $1,000 non-compliant fee. In all cases as described above, final approval for marriage at Christ Church is the sole responsibility of the vestry.
First Contact and Request for Wedding
The bride or groom must contact the Christ Church secretary directly to request the wedding and set a date. This must be accomplished by face-to-face contact. During the contact, the secretary will provide the bride or groom with a copy of the Christ Church INTERIM WEDDING POLICY. A consultation with the officiating priest and the Altar Guild is necessary before any plans are made.
Setting the Date
Title I, Canon 18, requires pre-marital instruction for couples to be married. Before making any plans for marriage and setting the date, the couple must have a preliminary interview with the officiating priest.
This preliminary interview must take place before the wedding date is set. In some cases, after the initial interview, arrangements may be made for a couple either residing out of state or excessively distant from Christ Church to receive instructions from an Episcopal or approved Lutheran priest near their residence. Alternatively, the couple may receive instructions from persons known by the vestry to be competent and responsible. After the initial interview with the officiating priest, approval for instruction either from a non-officiating distant Episcopal priest or from a qualified layperson is the sole right and responsibility of the vestry. Once the initial interview and schedule for instruction has been established, the vestry will set the wedding date.
The Rector or his designate must approve all wedding music. The church organist will be asked first to provide the music. If he or she declines, the parties must provide the vestry approved musician(s) and/or instrument(s). Use of recorded music is not allowed. All wedding music will conform to the Canons of the Episcopal Church as interpreted by the officiating priest and the church organist.
The South Carolina marriage license should be obtained from any state marriage license office well in advance of the proposed wedding. Couples must apply together; there is a 24-hour waiting period before the license may be picked up. Be sure to obtain your license in plenty of time, and bring all three copies to the rehearsal.
The church provides white hangings on the altar, reading desk, pulpit, etc. for weddings. No other hangings may be used.
Once the date is set, contact the parish secretary to arrange for a discussion with the Altar Guild. Flowers used on Christ Churchs altar may be ordered by, and may only be arranged by, a member of the Altar Guild. Only the two brass vases may be used. No additional floral arrangements, potted plants, etc. will be allowed. A ribbon-type bouquet arrangement may be placed on pews to mark the family seating areas.
The regular branched candelabras used behind the altar are the only ones used for weddings, unless there is to be a celebration of Holy Communion at the wedding. Except for the Eucharistic candles, no other candles may be used anywhere in the church.
A needlepoint kneeling cushion will be provided for the bride and groom to kneel on at the altar rail.
Normally, the officiating priest and the organist will meet with the bride and groom and members of the wedding party for a rehearsal the evening prior to the wedding. The officiating priest will conduct the rehearsal and arrange placement of all participants. Do not employ a wedding director for this task. Do ask a friend or family member to come to the rehearsal and the wedding to act as a starter, whose job will be to signal the organist when the procession is ready and to start the participants down the aisle as rehearsed. Please, bring the marriage license to the rehearsal! Signing of the license and the parish register will take place then.
Before the rehearsal, determine where you would like family members and close friends to be seated. Also, decide which family members (traditionally, mothers and grandmothers) will be escorted to their pews after the general seating ends and just before the procession begins. Assign a groomsman to escort each of the mothers and grandmothers in before the wedding and out at the conclusion of the service.
The use of very young children as flower girls or ring bearers often seems like a good idea, but frequently proves to be a problem, with children refusing to perform as required. Be sure the children you invite to participate are able to do their part.
No still picture taking (with or without flash) is allowed inside the church once the wedding procession has begun. One unobtrusively located camera may be used to tape the ceremony. Please, consult an Altar Guild member. No extra lighting is to be used. The wedding party may be posed in the church after the service. Please, inform professional photographers of those policies. It would be helpful if you would tell your family and friends, respectfully, not to take photos during the ceremony. All pre-wedding photos should be completed at least one hour before the wedding.
Normally, members of the wedding party will find it more convenient to dress at home. The Parish Hall may be used for final preparations or for waiting in inclement weather.
Wine may be served during functions in the Parish Hall. Mixed drinks with hard liquor are not allowed.
Holy Communion may be celebrated as part of the wedding service. If Communion is desired, please, discuss this with the officiating priest during premarital instruction.
If the assistance of a minister other than a member of Christ Churchs staff is desired, please, inform the officiating priest during premarital instruction. Non-Episcopal ministers and Episcopal clergy from outside the Diocese of South Carolina must receive approval from our bishop.
Parish Hall Reception
- To be determined -
It is advisable to have law enforcement for wedding traffic control. Since there is no lighting in the parking lot on the north side of the Parish Hall, all vehicles must be out of that parking lot before dark.
Because most weddings are performed on Saturday and the regular church services are Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m., all buildings must be left in a neat condition. No exceptions will be made for late Saturday evening weddings. Flowers may be left on the retable for the Sunday service.
Any extraordinary cleanups or other restoration will be billed to the responsible party.
No furniture in the church may be moved. The sound system cannot be disturbed.
No rice, birdseed, etc. is to be thrown anywhere on church property.
Two weeks prior to the wedding , mail one check made out to Christ Church for the above fees.
A Clergy Honorarium, traditionally the responsibility of the groom, may be mailed with the church check two weeks prior to the wedding, or may be given to the officiating priest(s) at the rehearsal. Travel mileage expense reimbursement is expected. Overnight accommodations should also be provided for the officiating priest if necessary, or if requested by the priest.