Planning a wedding is a joyful undertaking, and we are delighted that you are interested in being married in Grace Church. The Episcopal Church takes marriage very seriously: it is a sacramental rite in which two people “enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.” (Book of Common Prayer, p.861)
A wedding is a sacred service, and at Grace Church all weddings are done according to the rite prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer (1979) or the approved Episcopal liturgy for same-sex marriage, with appropriate dignity and order. All marriages are performed by the clergy of Grace Church, occasionally assisted by another member of the clergy (Episcopal, or of another denomination or faith), at the Rector’s discretion. No weddings are permitted at Grace Church during the penitential season of Lent.
It is not necessary to be an Episcopalian to be married at Grace Church, but at least one of the persons must be a baptized Christian. Episcopal canon law requires a minimum of thirty days between the official declaration to the Church of intent to marry and the wedding. If one or both of the persons is divorced, the clergy must obtain the permission of the Bishop of Newark in order to perform the marriage. If there has been more than one divorce for either of the persons, the Bishop may request a personal interview with the couple.
Premarital counseling is required of all couples married at Grace Church. In some cases, the counseling will be done by the clergy person who is to preside at the marriage; in other cases the couple will be referred to the Grace Counseling Center. If the couple do not both reside in the Madison area, counseling elsewhere can be arranged.
Music for the service is chosen by the couple in consultation with the Grace Church organist, who will normally play for all weddings and will arrange for soloists and instrumentalists as desired. Any unusual musical requests must be submitted to the Rector for approval. Non-sacred music should be reserved for the wedding reception.
One of the parish halls may be used for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Arrangements should be made at the time the wedding and rehearsal dates are placed on the church calendar.
A Communicant of Grace Church is one who worships regularly at Grace, has received Communion here at least three times in the past year, and has contributed to general parish support in the past year in an amount at least equal to the church and clergy fees charged to non-parishioners ($1200 – $1500, depending upon whether the clergy perform the premarital counseling). If at least one member of the couple, or the parents of one member, fit this definition, the “Communicant rate” applies. If the required contribution has not been received y the church one month prior to the wedding, the rule for non-members applies.
Fees for Weddings
Standard Fees (for both communicant and non-members)
Organist fee: $350
For the organist (music consultation, rehearsal and wedding).
If there is special music, an extra rehearsal with soloists, or more than one consultation, this is increased to $425. If an outside organist is requested and the Grace Church organist would have been available to play, the basic music fee must still be paid.
Soloist(s): fees vary and should be paid directly to them. Our music director will arrange and advise.
Sexton’s fee: $200
Communicants: no fee
Payable at the time the wedding date is placed on the church calendar; applied to other fees owed at the time of the wedding; fully refundable up until six months before the wedding date if the wedding is cancelled.
Use of Church
Communicants: no fee
Use of window candles for communicant and non-member: $100
Standard Format: Free
8.5 x 11 paper, folded and booklet-stapled to make a booklet. Services include basic design, printing and folding only. Collating or attachment of decorations such as ribbons not included. White and ivory paper are available. If another color is desired, it must be provided by the bride and groom.
Communicant: no fee
It is traditional for the couple to give the priest an honorarium. The size and nature of the wedding, other fees, and the amount of time required of the clergy should be taken into account when determining the amount. (The fees charged to non-communicants can be used as a guideline.) The couple should consult with the clergy person about how to make out an honorarium check.
Non-member: If the clergy person does the premarital counseling: $700.
If the counseling is done at an approved site: $400.
Note: If an unusual amount of time in preparation is required (additional counseling sessions, coordination with other clergy, extra correspondence, etc.) the amount of the fee will be adjusted accordingly.