Preparing for your wedding is a major event in your life, one that will involve family, friends, and your community of faith. We at Aquia Episcopal Church hope that a brief summary of our wedding policies will be helpful to you.
It is the norm of the church that all significant milestones are celebrated at the altar. Here at Aquia Church, we hope to assist you so that your wedding can be celebrated as an act of worship. The service, “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage” in the Book of Common Prayer (1979) is the liturgical form used for all weddings at Aquia Church. All of the normal protocols that apply in other services are valid in this service as well. When you notify us of your intent to celebrate your wedding, we will become a party to the wedding and assist in the preparation and planning for the ceremony and your subsequent life together.
At least 90 days prior notice is needed to plan a wedding at Aquia, six month minimum if there has been a marriage that ended in divorce for either party. We also ask that the couple attend Sunday services at Aquia prior to meeting with the rector. This will familiarize you with our style of worship and give you a better understanding of our unique opportunities and challenges.
Before we can celebrate your wedding, at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian, although we strongly recommend that both parties be baptized whenever possible. If there has been a prior marriage by either that ended in divorce, at least one year should have elapsed between the date of final decree and the wedding date.
Having attended a service, please introduce yourself to the rector and call the office to make an appointment with him to discuss all plans and preparation for the event. At these meetings, he will guide you through conversations about the various issues involved in a successful marriage. These meetings are a necessary part of our preparation.
We recognize the importance of music for your special day and will do all we can to make it perfect for you. Our Director of Music serves as organist for all weddings and an outside organist may be used only by permission from our Director of Music, or in the event that he is unavailable on the selected ceremony date. In the event that he is not available for your service, he will assist you in finding a suitable artist for the occasion. In keeping with the heritage of our historic church and the sacred nature of your Wedding Ceremony, music must be selected from the rich repertoire of music suitable for Church weddings. Secular musical offerings should be reserved for the reception. We encourage you to read our Music At Your Wedding brochure for more information. Please contact our Director of Music to arrange for a consultation.
The simplicity of our colonial architecture creates an atmosphere of worship which is seldom enhanced by elaborate decorations. We suggest limiting decorations to altar flowers, greenery, and candelabra as appropriate. A set of guidelines will be supplied but decorations should be supplied by a florist you select.
While you will want a complete record of this special day for future review, we do ask that the service be approached as you would any other service of worship. Flash photography is allowed only through the entrance of the bride, so long as the photographer remains clear of the main aisle, and during the departure of the couple following completion of the service. Available light photographs (no flash) are permitted from the balcony during the service is videography which does not require artificial lighting. Pictures may also be posed in the church up to 30 minutes prior to the service or for 30 minutes following. Please notify the rector if he will be needed during any of the pictures. Photographs should only be taken by your professional photographer during the wedding service. Your guests should be instructed they are NOT to take photographs during the ceremony.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any guidance on picking dates?
We do not normally celebrate weddings between Ash Wednesday and the Sunday following Easter nor during Advent through Christmas week. Let the parish coordinator assist you in your planning.
What about Unity Candles?
We do not normally incorporate Unity candles into our service as we feel they do not add to an already comprehensive liturgy and tend to have more sentimental than sacramental value. The rector will be happy to discuss this further with you.
Can we hold our reception at the church?
Our Great Hall is available for functions up to about 160.
How many guest can be seated in the nave of the church?
200 guests can be seated comfortably in the church.
For more information please contact the church office at (540) 659-4007 or email Sue Selz.