THE SACRAMENT of MARRIAGE
Wedding Policy for St. Ann’s Episcopal Church
Congratulations on your engagement. This is a very exciting time in your lives and we at Saint Ann’s are pleased that you are considering a church wedding. Before deciding, you should know how the church views marriage and what the requirements are. The clergy would always be glad to meet you and talk with you about marriage. Please read the following wedding policy carefully, and to continue the discussion about being married at Saint Ann’s please call the church office (631-589-6522) to schedule an appointment with one of the clergy.
The Church views Holy Matrimony as a sacrament, because you are asking God’s blessing upon your marriage. By being married in the church, you are also choosing to be part of a community of faith that will support and nurture you in your married life. To that end, we ask that all couples wishing to be married at St. Ann’s will become active members of the church (this normally means regular weekly attendance).
The permission of the parish clergy is required for every wedding at St. Ann’s.
Persons being married in St. Ann’s Episcopal Church must meet the requirements of the Canons of the Episcopal Church and the Laws of the State of New York.
The wedding ceremony will follow the service in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church (1979), or the “Witness and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” (the service used for same-sex marriages). No other forms of ceremony may be used.
Canon Law of the Episcopal Church requires the couple wishing to be married to enter into pre-marital counseling with the clergy performing the ceremony. (Should the couple live out of town, appropriate arrangements should be made, for example, they may have another Episcopal priest do the pre-marital counseling and write a letter of recommendation to the St. Ann’s clergy performing the ceremony. Alternatively, the sessions could be arranged over the internet, using a program such as Skype or Zoom.)
- In the event either party has been previously married, the permission of the Bishop of Long Island is required. In such cases, a meeting with the clergy who will perform the ceremony and the bishop’s written permission are required before any wedding arrangements are made.
There are certain seasons of the church year that are inappropriate for a wedding. Lent (period before Easter) and Advent (period before Christmas), are periods of preparation and penance in the life of the Church, during which weddings will not be allowed.
It is the responsibility of the couple marrying to obtain a valid New York State Marriage License. To obtain this license, please call the Islip Town Clerk at 631-224-5490 or the Brookhaven Town Clerk at 631-655-7828. The license may not be used until 24 hours after it has been obtained and is valid for 60 days from the date of filing. Please note: If the license has not been given to the clergyperson taking the service, there can be no wedding. You should bring the license to the wedding rehearsal.
Photographs and Videos
The clergy or church office will be glad to provide you with a copy of our leaflet Photography and Videography at Weddings in St Ann’s Church. This contains guidance for wedding photographers, so that they can capture the joy of the occasion without disruption to the service.
Wedding music at St. Ann’s should be sacred in nature, meaning your selections should come from the vast collection of classical music which was written specifically for use in the church. Vocal music should draw its text from either the Bible or the Hymnal 1982.
You should contact our Minister of Music (Kathy Senese) via the Church Office at least two months before your wedding date and arrange a meeting to discuss the music for your wedding. The Minister of Music and the Rector will need to approve all music.
Flowers and Decorations
You are welcome to purchase your own floral arrangements from the florist of your choice. (The church flowers on Sundays are supplied by the Bayport Flower House, who are familiar with the church, and what works well there.) We suggest two arrangements be placed behind the altar. Pew bows and small pew flowers are also acceptable. You are not required to leave your flowers in the church after your wedding, but may do so if you wish. If you do choose to leave your flowers, please inform the church office prior to the wedding.
We do not permit the following:
- Carpet runners
- Unity Candles
- Confetti & Rice
(Rose petals and bird seed are alternatives)
The Clergy or Parish Administrator will show you the wedding bulletin template. The church will prepare copies of the bulletin for the congregation to follow the service.
The fees associated with the wedding will be handled through the Parish Administrator and not the clergy. Please call our church office (631-589-6522) to discuss this. The Parish Administrator will provide you with a list of our current fees.
We hope you will consider St Ann’s as a suitable venue for your wedding. Please contact one of the clergy for a discussion about this. It is best to do so as far in advance as possible. This is not only to avoid disappointment if your date is not available, but also allows time for appropriate marriage preparation, and for the clergy to get to know you.