Holy Family’s Wedding Policy

Congratulations on your engagement! We wish you all the best.

If you would like to know more about getting married at Holy Family, please familiarize yourselves with our Wedding Policy below.

WHO CAN BE MARRIED AT HOLY FAMILY?
Marriage in the Church means marriage within the Christian community. A church wedding or the Blessing of a Civil Marriage is appropriate only for practicing Christians, and should be witnessed and celebrated within the worshipping community to which the couple have committed themselves. It is, then, our normal practice that only parishioners may be married at Holy Family. If you would like to establish a membership in the parish, please read this. Please note, at least one of you must be a baptized Christian at the time of the wedding.

FIRST CONSULTATION
Before a wedding date can be set, a couple must meet at least once with a priest. The Episcopal Church requires that the parish priest be consulted no fewer than 30 days in advance of the planned wedding date. In most cases, three months is a more realistic minimum, to allow time for planning and pre-marital counseling, and to work around scheduled parish events. Having an appointment with a Holy Family priest is not a guarantee that the wedding will take place. No invitations should be sent and no reservations should be made before the first consultation.

PRE-MARITAL INSTRUCTION
Holy Family requires a minimum of three sessions, each lasting about an hour. These sessions are designed to explore the relationship shared by the couple and the journey upon which they are about to embark––its history, its future, its spiritual dimension and intentions, and anticipated network of support.

REQUESTS FOR MARRIAGE BY DIVORCED PERSONS
The Episcopal Church permits the marriage of persons whose previous marriage has been terminated by annulment or divorce. In cases where one or both parties have marriages ending in
divorce or annulment, the priest is required to consult with the Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina and obtain his consent to officiate. The marriage judgment request must be submitted to the Bishop no fewer than 30 days prior to the planned wedding date.

MARRIAGE LICENSE
A marriage license must be obtained from the Vital Records Office of any county in the State of North Carolina. Both people must be present to apply for the license. For further information, you may call the Orange County offices in Hillsborough (919-967-9251). The license is effective for 60 days. It is to be given to the officiating priest prior to the rehearsal.

THE MARRIAGE LITURGY
Only the authorized liturgies of The Episcopal Church may be used. Couples may not write their own vows or use additional symbols (i.e. unity candles) other than those permitted in The Book of Common Prayer.

THE REHEARSAL
The rehearsal usually takes place on the day before the wedding. It is conducted by the officiating priest and requires at least an hour to complete. All members of the wedding party are expected to participate, and should be told that the rehearsal will begin promptly at the scheduled time.

OFFICIANTS
The marriage liturgy and rehearsal are normally conducted by the clergy of the Church of the Holy Family. Clergy of other parishes and denominations may participate with the permission of the Rector. Such requests are possible to consider only if made by the couple during one of their pre-marital sessions with the priest.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
You must have at least two adult witnesses present for your wedding. Wedding parties in excess of 12 people are discouraged. The church can comfortably accommodate 250 people.

MUSIC
If you wish to have music for your wedding, it must be arranged with the parish organist. If the parish’s regular organist is unable to play for a particular wedding, the officiating priest will suggest a qualified substitute. The organist will play appropriate music before, during, and after the liturgy. Music that is secular or of a sentimental nature is not suitable for an Episcopal liturgy; the organist can help you select music.

PRINTED PROGRAMS
The marriage liturgy is printed in the Prayer Book, but additional printed programs are sometimes used to guide visitors and identify the participants. Simple programs can be produced in the church office if requested at least a week before the wedding. If you wish to have more elaborate programs printed, you must submit the full text of the program to the officiating priest for approval before sending it to the printer.

FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS
Flowers must be arranged in consultation with the chairperson of the Flower Team. It is customary to leave the flowers on the altar for the following Sunday services, after which they are delivered to parishioners who are ill or homebound. In general, we do not permit additional decorations.

PHOTOGRAPHS
One, and only one, photographer may take photos during the liturgy from a discrete distance. No flash photography or lighted videography is permitted once the ceremony has begun.

RECEPTIONS
The church’s Library (for groups of less than 50) and the Parish Hall (for groups of less than 200) may be reserved for wedding receptions. Arrangements may be made for caterers to use the church’s kitchen. Arrangements for a reception at Holy Family should be made through the church office; you should also discuss your reception with the priest before plans are finalized with a caterer. Wine and beer are permitted on the premises if you provide an equal number of attractive, non-alcoholic alternatives.

FEES
Fees are paid directly to members of the parish staff, usually during the week before the wedding. (See the staff list at the end of this policy, or consult the Parish Administrator for help in making out checks.)

Sexton
The sexton’s fee for a wedding is $100.00. There is an added fee of $100.00 when a receptions is held at the Church of the Holy Family.

Organist
The organist’s fee of $250.00 includes one pre-wedding consultation and music for the wedding, including twenty minutes of organ just prior to the ceremony. This fee does not include rehearsal attendance. Requests for special music or working with additional musicians will require approval of the organist and will entail an additional fee of $50.00 per hour of preparation.

Priest
Holy Family clergy are not additionally compensated for the administration of the sacraments.

Building Use Fee
Under rare and certain circumstances, persons not of this parish may request to be married by the clergy of Holy Family. In addition to the above schedule of fees, a Building Use Fee of $350.00 is required. This fee is payable to the Church of the Holy Family.

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