St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Planning Your Wedding
The Two Shall Become One
We rejoice that marriage is given by God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.
“Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind in which two people are set apart from others through a pledge love and fidelity to one another. For Christians, marriage is expressed as a covenant relationship through which a man and a woman live towards each other in love and honor, service and duty, faith and tenderness, as beloved of God. In a service of Christian marriage a lifelong commitment is made by a man and a woman to each other publicly witnessed and acknowledged by the community of faith.” Either the man or the woman must be a professing Christian. Thus, a Christian service of marriage is a worship service where a bride and groom come together with friends and loved ones to give thanks and praise to God, asking God’s blessing upon their future as husband and wife.
Pre-marital counseling provides an opportunity for the wedding couple to explore and discuss the significance and meaning of their life-long commitment. Areas such as the marriage service, communication and conflict may be addressed. The pastor will schedule such counseling with the couple. The couple should expect to meet with the pastor for at least three sessions, plus an initial consultation. The pastor will usually attend the wedding rehearsal, which will be under the supervision of the wedding coordinator.
The Wedding Service
According to the Presbyterian Book of Order, “Christian marriage should be celebrated in the place where the community gathers for worship. As a service of Christian worship, the marriage service is under the direction of the minister and the supervision of the Session. The marriage ordinarily takes place in a special service that focuses upon marriage as a gift of God and as an expression of the Christian life. Celebration of the Lord’s Supper at the marriage service requires the approval of the Session, and care shall be taken that the invitation to the Table is extended to all baptized present.” Because marriage is also a civil union, weddings may also take place in other locations with the blessing of the church and its leaders, recognizing the reign of God’s presence wherever two or three or more are gathered together in Jesus’ name.
The content, actions, and music of the entire wedding service should be in keeping with the worship of God. During the wedding service the bride and groom pledge their life, love, and faithfulness to one another before God and a gathering of family and friends. Under the guidance and approval of the Pastor, each couple is encouraged to include elements within the service that will make it special to them, and every attempt will be made to accommodate their particular wishes.
In keeping with the solemn nature of worship, flash photography is discouraged during the wedding. The pastor shall discuss photography with the couple and their photographer.
Music During the Service
“Music suitable for the marriage service directs attention to God and expresses the faith of the church.” Music is a vital part of a marriage service, and the bride and groom should feel free to discuss their choice of music with the Pastor and the Director of Music/Organist and every effort is made to accommodate the couple’s selections; however, the final decision regarding the appropriateness of the music and its place within the service will be made by the Pastor, in consultation with the Director of Music/Organist. Normally, the St. Andrew Church Organist would provide music for weddings at the church and any other arrangements for music should be discussed with the Director of Music/Organist and the Pastor.
Any vocal or instrumental soloists should make advance arrangements with the Director of Music for practice time.
flowers and decorations
“Flowers, decorations, and other appointments should be appropriate to the place of worship, enhance the worshippers’ consciousness of the reality of God, and reflect the integrity and simplicity of Christian life.” In order to facilitate planning for other services to be held in the sanctuary, the wedding couple should advise the church office of their plans for floral arrangements to be used in the wedding service. In the case of flowers left for later use by the church in other services, the church will assume responsibility for their care and display.
Use of the building
The sanctuary seats two hundred sixty-five (265) people. The wedding party will find the church building, including the sanctuary and fellowship hall, cleaned and ready prior to the wedding service. If desired, the fellowship hall is available for wedding receptions, but no food or paper products are provided by St. Andrew for this purpose. Alcoholic beverages may be used only for sacramental or ceremonial purposes on church grounds. The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper must be approved by the Session.
The Pastor/Associate Pastor will normally preside over weddings at St. Andrew. Other clergy may be invited to preside over weddings by invitation of the pastor of St. Andrew. Those requesting such exceptions shall first meet with the pastor of St. Andrew. Our church’s commitments to the mutual responsibility of the man and the woman within marriage are among the commitments which St. Andrew affirms.
The church also expects the St. Andrew Organist to play for weddings at the church. The organist shall also have the first right of refusal when other musicians are requested.
The church office will make arrangements for coordination of the weddings through the St. Andrew Wedding Coordinator and for hired custodial services to clean the church after the wedding/reception. Members and non-members alike are expected to reimburse the church for this expense.
There is no building use fee for St. Andrew Presbyterian Church members. Members are expected to pay fees for the wedding coordinator, organist and custodian.
Use of sanctuary The church charges a fee calculated to cover operating and maintenance costs only for the use of its facility. Recommendation for use of the sanctuary: $500.
Use of the fellowship hall: Recommend $1,500 for use of the fellowship hall for receptions.
Pastor/Associate Pastor: $500. Includes premarital counseling sessions, rehearsal and wedding.
Organist: $200; Rehearsal: $50.
Wedding Coordinator: $250. Includes coordinating rehearsal, responsibility for opening and closing the building. This fee is paid directly to the church.
Custodian: $100 for use of sanctuary or $200 when both the sanctuary and fellowship hall are used. This fee is also paid directly to the church.
All fees must be paid not later than the time of the wedding rehearsal. Contact the pastor or church office for names of those providing services.
St. Andrew Presbyterian
711 West Main Street
Purcellville, VA 20132
Rev. Dr. David Milam, Pastor
Rev. Jessica McClure Archer, Associate Pastor
Todd Grivetti, Organist
Marcia Owens, Wedding Coordinator
Donna Myers, Custodian