Wedding Policy for St. Ann’s Episcopal Church
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. This is a very exciting time in your life together and Saint Ann’s is pleased that you are considering a church wedding. Before deciding, you should know how the church views this service and what the requirements are.
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, it is required that all couples wishing to be married at St. Ann’s be active (meaning regular weekly attendance) members of the church for at least six months prior to making the request to be married.
Please read the following wedding policy carefully, and if you wish 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 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). No other form 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, 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).
- 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 and Advent, are periods of preparation and penance in the life of the Church, during which weddings will not be allowed.
It is the sole 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: You must bring the license to the wedding rehearsal. If there is no license there can be no wedding.
Bulletins and Fees
The Parish Administrator will provide you with the wedding bulletin template. It is your responsibility to have the bulletins printed. However, before printing the clergy performing the ceremony must approve the bulletin content.
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.
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. The use of secular or pop culture music is not permitted.
You should contact our Minister of Music at least two months before your wedding date to discuss the music for your wedding. The approval of the Minister of Music and the Rector will be needed for all music.
Flowers and Decorations
You are encouraged to purchase your own floral arrangements from the florist of your choice. We suggest two arrangement be placed on the table 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.
Carpet runners are not permitted under any circumstances. Confetti is not permitted on the premises, and rice is not encouraged because of the health hazard that it poses to the birds. We suggest bird seed as an alternative. Rose petals are also acceptable.
A unity candle is not permitted. If you desire to have a unity candle as part of your wedding day, we suggest you incorporate it into your reception festivities.
Photography and Videography
We fully understand the desire to capture the joy of this day in pictures and video. Due to the sacred nature of the wedding service, photography inside the church must honor the sacredness of the service, the building and the liturgy. The guidelines listed below should be shared with your photographer and/or videographer prior to the day of the wedding to ensure the expectations of the couple as well as the clergy are met. It is highly recommended that the photographer/videographer meet with the clergy and see the church prior to the wedding day.
- A flash may be used only for the procession of the bride into the church and of the couple leaving the church following their marriage. At no other time in the service is flash photography allowed.
- For the procession of the bride into the church, the photographer may stand under the hymn board in the choir area, but may not enter the chancel area of the church at any time during the service. The photographer may not roam in the choir area.
- Once the service has begun, the photographer may exit the choir area through the side door and move to the narthex of the church (at the entrance of the church) to take non-flash photos from that location for the remainder of the service using a quiet shutter.
- Please note, at no time is the photographer allowed to move into the aisle of the church to take photographs. No roaming photography is allowed at any time during the service.
- The videographer will be stationed in the choir area (where there is an electrical outlet). The video equipment must be on a tripod and remain in a fixed location. The videographer may not roam around in the choir area or enter the chancel area at any time during the service.
- Prior to the recession of the couple, the videographer may exit through the side door of the choir area and using a hand held camera and microphone, stand in the narthex to tape the couple coming down the aisle. A tripod is not allowed in the narthex and at no time is the videographer allowed to move into the aisle of the church to shoot video.
After having read our policy; if you are interested in continuing the conversation about having your wedding at St. Ann’s, we look forward to talking with you. If you decide to choose another venue, we understand; and please accept our best wishes as you move forward with the search for your wedding location.