We offer you congratulations and best wishes on your forthcoming marriage. You have made one of the greatest decisions which life asks any of us to make. Our prayer is that you will find your vocation in marriage to be a life journey of personal completion, satisfaction, and fulfillment.
All Saints’ wants your wedding ceremony to be excellent. There are different ceremonial choices which can be adapted to a wedding and we offer you this Customary to help you in your planning.
God be with you as we plan and pray together that your wedding will proclaim God’s presence in your union.
(Follow these steps to be married at All Saints’)
At least six months in advance of the date you plan to celebrate your wedding, you should:
I. Arrange an initial appointment with the parish wedding coordinator, Cheryl Cantrall, to review the Wedding Customary and set tentative rehearsal and wedding dates. An application will be filled out at this time and a copy will be given to a parish priest.
II. Arrange a visit with a parish priest to review your marriage application, membership needs, and counseling needs.
III. Arrange a second appointment with the parish wedding coordinator. Set a firm wedding date with her—not the priest. She will assign a priest to conduct your ceremony, depending on your wedding date, their schedule, and the parish schedule.
IV. Arrange your marriage counseling schedule with the priest assigned to conduct your wedding ceremony. If you have membership requirements that need to be completed, he will guide you at this time.
Christian marriage is a solemn public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. It is a sacrament in which they enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.
A beautiful and tasteful church wedding is one of the joys of life that gives not only a momentary pleasure but a satisfaction that increases with its remembrance. This is true not only for the couple who marry, their family and friends, but also for the church and community.
The clergy, staff and congregation of All Saints’ are very much aware that this is one of the most exciting times in the lives of two people who are in love. We wish to do everything in our power to help you prepare for your marriage and plan your wedding.
A requirement is that at least one of the persons being married has been baptized and one has been a member in good standing at All Saints’ for six months. At a minimum, a member in good standing is one who worships regularly.
Brides from out-of-town or members of All Saints’ who are away from the church due to school or profession may apply for marriage at All Saints’. They should provide evidence of active worship from their Rector or Vicar or Chaplain at their place of worship or school and provide evidence of completed pre-marital counseling. For the convenience of such a member, a form follows the Customary to assist in completing this requirement.
Due to a busy parish schedule and the time available of those involved in a wedding, All Saints’ weddings are for its members only. If you are not a member, the priest conducting your wedding would be happy to have you join the parish and then arrange for your wedding.
Clergy from other Christian congregations are welcome to participate in a wedding at All Saints’ - with advanced permission of the rector. This request must be made known at the time of the marriage application. Only the priests of All Saints' preside over the vows and Holy Communion. Wedding sermons by other clergy will be pre-approved by the rector of All Saints'.
From time to time, another Episcopal priest is invited by the bride and groom to preside at their wedding at All Saints'. This is possible, so long as the priest being invited to preside makes a formal application to do so with the rector of All Saints' prior to the time of the bride's application. The applying priest must be canonically and verifiably resident and in good standing in a Diocese of the Episcopal Church. In addition, the rector of All Saints' must receive permission from the Bishop for that Episcopal priest to preside at a wedding in the Diocese of Central Florida. If permission is granted, then that priest will follow the customs and Customary of All Saints' Episcopal Church.
In our respect of other local Episcopal vicars and rectors, we do not perform weddings for those who are part of the family of another Episcopal Church in Lakeland or the Southwest Deanery.
All Saints’ Requirements
From time to time, a priest of All Saints’ will meet a couple who want to be married and this couple is leading a lifestyle that is not in conformity (Hebrews 13 .4; I Thess. 4.3; I Cor. 6.9,13) with the Lord's intention for their relationship prior to a Christian marriage. This is the lifestyle of being sexually active prior to marriage.
To be supportive and insure such a couple has all the benefits of God so they will be prepared spiritually in their marriage, it is required – with no exception – that four (4) requirements be satisfactorily completed. These are:
- Sexual abstinence from the time of marriage application until after the marriage ceremony.
- ‘Marriage application’ is defined as the time the wedding date is formally set and Customary signatures have been completed, returned to the wedding coordinator, and given to the rector. Certified completion of marriage counseling with a licensed marriage & family therapist or spiritual counseling from the priest who will perform the wedding ceremony or completion of an Engaged Encounter Weekend.
- Three sessions with a married couple within our parish, who will discuss Christian married life with you and answer any questions you might have about the beginning of your life together.
- Regular worship by the couple.
If a couple decides they will not meet these requirements, they are respectfully encouraged to end the application process and either wait until they are willing to meet the requirements or seek a civil ceremony. Some couples decide to have a civil ceremony and once they have returned to a more active relationship with God, they have a ‘Blessing of a Civil Marriage’ ceremony at All Saints’.
The following is signed when the marriage date is set:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Declaration of Intention
Desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the liturgical forms authorized by this Church.
We believe it is for the purpose of mutual fellowship, encouragement and understanding for the procreation (if it may be) of children, and their physical and spiritual nurture, and for the safeguarding and benefit of society, and we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God’s help thereto.
(Signature of the Groom)
(Signature of the Bride)
Dated: ____________________________ A.D. __________
This form is signed and returned to the clergy upon application.
All premarital counseling should be completed 30 days prior to the ceremony. The preferred method of pre-marital counseling is for the couple to participate in an “Engaged Encounter Weekend.” These weekends are held 2-3 times a year throughout the Diocese of Central Florida.
Three other acceptable methods are:
1) Counseling by a licensed marriage and family counselor or therapist.
2) Counseling by another Episcopal priest living elsewhere.
This assumes the bride or groom are living out-of-town. In this case, the bride or groom must have a family member who is active at All Saints’.
3) From a member of All Saints’ clergy, however they will prefer that you complete number one.
If you counsel with our clergy, they will instruct you as to the nature, meaning and purpose of a Christian marriage. They will enlighten you and show you the way to an abundant Christian life together. The clergy’s interest in this spiritual counseling and preparation is to determine, among other things:
- The spiritual extent to which the couple understands the Covenant of Holy Marriage with each other and God;
- The spiritual maturity of the relationship of the couple;
- The extent to which they have discussed their Christian convictions and intended relations to a community of faith;
- The extent to which they have discussed and decided upon such domestic issues as budgeting and their understanding of planning and prioritizing;
- Their views on a sexual relationship in a holy marriage;
- Their plans for raising children in a Christian home and their relationship with relatives.
Certificate of Completion
Under Florida Statute 741.0305, a couple may reduce the cost of their marriage license by successfully completing pre-marital counseling. The text of this statute is found below, or, can be read on-line at: www.flsenate.gov/Statutes. Your completed certificate must be presented to the Clerk of the Court when applying for a marriage license.
F.S. 741.0305-Marriage fee reduction for completion of premarital preparation course
(1) A man and a woman who intend to apply for a marriage license under s. 741.04 may, together or separately, complete a premarital preparation course of not less than 4 hours. Each individual shall verify completion of the course by filing with the application a valid certificate of completion from the course provider, which certificate shall specify whether the course was completed by personal instruction, videotape instruction, instruction via other electronic medium, or a combination of those methods. All individuals who complete a premarital preparation course pursuant to this section must be issued a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course by their course provider. Upon furnishing such certificate when applying for a marriage license, the individuals shall have their marriage license fee reduced by $32.50.
(2) The premarital preparation course may include instruction regarding:
(a) Conflict management.
(b) Communication skills.
(c) Financial responsibilities.
(d) Children and parenting responsibilities.
(e) Data compiled from available information relating to problems reported by
married couples who seek marital or individual counseling.
(3)(a) All individuals electing to participate in a premarital preparation course shall choose from the following list of qualified instructors:
1. A psychologist licensed under chapter 490.
2. A clinical social worker licensed under chapter 491.
3. A marriage and family therapist licensed under chapter 491.
4. A mental health counselor licensed under chapter 491.
5. An official representative of a religious institution which is recognized under s.496.404(19), if the
representative has relevant training.
6. Any other provider designated by a judicial circuit, including, but not limited to, school
counselors who are certified to offer such courses. Each judicial circuit may establish a
roster of area course providers, including those who offer the course on a sliding fee scale or for free.
(b) The costs of such premarital preparation course shall be paid by the applicant.
Here is the certificate we provide for you:
Wedding Form for Out-Of-Town Members
Mail to: All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 209 South Iowa Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801
This form is to be completed by out-of-town members requesting a wedding at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida. Upon completion, mail it to the rector of All Saints’.
1. Wedding Information
Proposed wedding date:___________________________________________
Groom’s full name: _____________________________________________
City, State, Zip: _____________________________________________
Phone numbers: day ____________________ night _________________
Bride’s full name: _____________________________________________
City, State, Zip: _____________________________________________
Phone numbers: day ____________________ night _________________
This certifies that ___________________________________________ has/have been (an) active worshiping member(s); pre-marital spiritual counseling has been completed; and the couple is suitably prepared to exchange solemn marriage vows before God.
University or College/Location Parish or Mission/Location
Pre-Marital Counselor and Date Clergy of Local Congregation or
(may be same as Clergy) Chaplain and Date
Planning the Wedding
Fr. Reid Hensarling (who has been married over 35 years) will perform your wedding—based upon his availability and the schedule of the parish. The wedding coordinator discusses with them his availability and then you will be notified. Everything concerning a wedding ceremony at All Saints’ falls under the authority and supervision of the rector or priest-in-charge.
The officiating clergy conducts the wedding service according to the Book of Common Prayer, 1979: The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, on page 423 ff. The clergy and wedding coordinator urge the bridal couple to study the text of this service before the rehearsal and choose from its options. The couple chooses selections that have the greatest meaning for them. The location of the scripture choices is on page 426.
The priest will discuss having the Holy Eucharist as part of your wedding. The clergy and the coordinators encourage this option because it celebrates the love of Christ as the love of the couple. If you choose to include the Holy Eucharist, all baptized Christians may join you in receiving Holy Communion.
Only one wedding per priest per weekend is scheduled at All Saints’ due to a busy parish schedule and the time available for those helping with the wedding. Weddings are held on Fridays or Saturdays. Friday weddings may be scheduled anytime from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Daytime Saturday weddings may be scheduled anytime from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Saturday evening weddings should be scheduled at 6:00 p.m. Due to a Saturday afternoon 4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist, we require that the worship floor be quiet from 3:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Receptions or rehearsal dinners may be held at All Saints’ on any night except Wednesday. The building must be vacated by 10:00 p.m. on these nights. This time was established due to the time it takes to clean and reset for the next day’s activities.
Times in the church year when the church discourages or prohibits the celebration of weddings are: 1) the Advent & Christmas Seasons in December; 2) the weeks of the Epiphany Season through The Baptism of Our Lord (Second Sunday in January); 3) Lent and Holy Week (from Ash Wednesday through Easter Day); 4) Mother’s Day Weekend; 5) Sundays celebrating veterans; 6) Father’s Day Weekend; 7) Major Holiday Weekends; and 8) Major Feast Day Weekends.
Facilities & Wedding Coordinators
The main sanctuary seats a maximum 400 people and the chapel seats a maximum of 30 people.
The bridal party will dress in the spaces assigned to them at the wedding rehearsal. They will also work with you for the best place and time for wedding photographs.
You will be working with our Wedding Coordinators, Cheryl Cantrall and Suzanne Gaines. These ladies, who have years of experience with weddings large and small, will assist you in arranging all the details within the guidelines of the church. They also assist the clergy at the rehearsal and wedding and have oversight of the bridal party at the rehearsal and wedding. Our coordinators will supervise arrangements for the florists and photographers in the church as stated in this Customary. All Saints’ does not permit the use of outside wedding coordinators because they are unfamiliar with liturgical weddings and cannot be as effective as ones specifically trained over many years in the traditions of Prayer Book ceremony. The All Saints’ coordinators are more than happy to help you in planning your service and welcome questions and discussion anytime.
The choice of music for the Celebration and Blessing of your marriage is an important one. Because this is a sacramental celebration, all musical selections should reflect your intent to marry in the church. The canons and rubrics govern the choices (BCP p.14), like all church Rites. To be fair to all weddings, we affirm and uphold these guidelines:
Texts must be Biblical or sacred and appropriate for the occasion.
All Saints’ prohibits and considers the following inappropriate; The Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (“Here Comes the Bride”), the music from “Midsummer Night’s Dream” ballet, popular, secular music and recorded music.
Once you schedule your wedding date on the church calendar, make an appointment immediately with the parish organist to discuss and plan the music for your joyous celebration. The parish organist plays for all weddings at All Saints’ - without exception. In the event the parish organist is unavailable, a replacement will be arranged by the parish organist.
Arrangements for soloists or other instrumentalists must be made through the parish organist. The guest soloist/instrumentalists must meet with the parish organist no later than one month prior to the wedding. After this initial meeting, the soloist/instrumentalists will be qualified to perform.
If the parish organist is to play or accompany other musicians or vocalists, sheet music must be furnished to the parish organist no later than three weeks prior to the wedding.
Music is a special and integral part of the sacrament of marriage and proper preparation is essential.
Floral decorations for the church wedding are not greatly different from those used during Sunday worship. We use only fresh flowers in the church’s two large brass vases placed on the sanctuary flower stands and suggest they be kept simple, allowing for some individual choices. Sanctuary flowers remain in the church for services on Sunday.
Pew markers can be beautiful as well. We ask that pew markers not harm the wood. Most florists have plastic large clips, which does not harm the wood. Placing arrangements and/or bows on the pillars is effective as they tend to draw one’s attention upwards. You may not use nails in any woodwork.
Sanctuary candles are required. Candles represent the light of Christ and his love for the people of God. A “Unity Candle” is not permitted in an All Saints’ wedding because its appropriate place is at the wedding reception.
The wedding coordinators (or other ladies from Altar Guild) will prepare the altar for your ceremony, to include the placement of the sanctuary flowers. Your florist will be able to work in all other areas of the church.
Because of safety hazards, a white aisle runner and flower petals are not permissible. Even though children cannot drop petals, the coordinators have them play a special part in the ceremony.
Another safety and fire hazard is the placing of tulle or ribbon from pew to pew to hinder access from one side of the pew or another. Pews must be accessible from both sides and nothing shall hinder entrance or exiting from pews.
It is the responsibility of the bride to let the florist know about the policies of the church, if they have not placed flowers at All Saints’ for a wedding. If the florist has questions, they may contact the wedding coordinators.
Corsages, bouquets, and lapel flowers should have the name of the individual who will receive them attached to the flowers by the florist. The wedding coordinators will try their best to get the appropriate flowers to the appropriate people. This is made much easier with the names attached to the flowers.
All floral decorations for the wedding will be removed for the next worship service by the Sexton following the ceremony - with the exception of the altar flowers.
Pictures are allowed before and after the service. There are numerous suitable sites for pre-service pictures of the bridal party inside and outside the church. The Hollis Gardens and the front of City Hall are examples of good outside areas. The parlor, chancel and chapel are examples of good inside areas.
If you choose to take pictures outside, you are expected to have the wedding party back in the church no later than 45 minutes before the stated wedding time. If you choose to take pictures in the main sanctuary or in the chapel, the pictures should be completed no later than 45 minutes before the stated wedding time. Pictures of the bride and family should be completed 20 minutes before the stated wedding time to assure the wedding coordinators have time to move the wedding party and family members to their appropriate places.
For Saturday weddings, there is a 4:00 p.m. worship service. The worship area will not be available for pictures from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Photographers should be unobtrusive when taking pictures. They will not be allowed to take pictures freely in the worship area. Flash photography by the wedding photographer is not allowed during the ceremony. Time exposure and available light pictures may be taken during the ceremony, as long as they are not disruptive or distracting.
All equipment in the main sanctuary should be set up 45 minutes prior to the stated wedding time and placed out of the way until it is time for the bridal party’s procession.
If the bride wishes to have pictures taken of the wedding party procession, the photographer may stand near the entrance of the nave, near the baptismal font, to take pictures as the bridal party processes. The photographer may step to the center of the procession aisle as the door is opened for the bride and before she moves, take one flash picture, and then immediately move out of the way. The photographer may then set up his or her camera in front of the wooden doors to the entrance of the nave and take available light and/or time exposure pictures for the remainder of the ceremony. The next flash picture may be taken as the bride and groom process down the aisle after the ceremony. The remainder of the bridal party may be photographed with available light and/or time exposure photographs as they process out, so long as it does not hold up their recessional.
A photo session immediately following the service will be permissible for a maximum of 30 minutes. If it goes longer, a wedding coordinator will remind the photographer of the time limit and ask them to finish their session. We set this 30 minute limit because it is not good etiquette to have guests waiting for the bridal party at the reception or to detain the wedding party from their guests at the reception.
Following the ceremony, the wedding party will be led from the holding area to the crossing and chancel. The bride and groom will be instructed to move immediately to the altar steps for the first picture, which will be taken with the clergy. Although not required, brides often furnish a 5X7” color print of this picture for the All Saints’ wedding archives. The remainder of the wedding party will be instructed to sit in the front pews on the pulpit side near the crossing until the photographer requests they move forward for their photographs.
It is helpful for the photographer to visit All Saints’ before the wedding day to allow the wedding coordinator time to review the photography guidelines with the photographer. As a photographer, you should coordinate what you can or cannot do with the wedding coordinators - not the clergy.
Photography at the wedding rehearsal is permissible. Photographs may be taken as long as they do not interfere with the rehearsal. Due to the time scheduled for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, posed photography will only be permitted if it precedes the rehearsal and it is completed before the scheduled start time for the rehearsal.
Brides will sign this form, deliver it to the photographer of their choice, instruct the photographer to read this form, and then have the photographer contact the wedding coordinator for an appointment.
The photographer should make an appointment with the wedding coordinator at least one month in advance of the wedding date to discuss what is expected of the photographer. The photographer will need to agree to these guidelines. After the meeting with the wedding coordinator, the photographer should sign this form and immediately return it to the wedding coordinator. The photographer will not be allowed to take pictures at the church if the form is not signed and returned.
Wedding Photography Etiquette Form
By signing this form, everyone is stating they understand and agree to abide by the wedding photography etiquette of All Saints’.
Wedding Coordinator Date
Videography will be allowed before and after the service. There are numerous suitable sites for pre-service video of the bridal party inside and outside the church. The Hollis Gardens and the front of City Hall are good outside areas. The parlor, chancel and chapel are good inside areas. If you choose to video outside you will be expected to have the wedding party back in the church no later than 45 minutes before the stated wedding time. If you choose to video in the main sanctuary or in the chapel, you should be finished no later than 45 minutes before the stated wedding time.
For Saturday weddings, please be aware that there is a 4:00 p.m. worship service. The worship sanctuary will not be available from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for videography.
Videographers should be unobtrusive when working. With the approval of the wedding coordinators, two stationary cameras on tri-pods, without lights, are allowable. They must be placed in position before the ceremony. The two stationary positions are as follows: The first one is placed at the entrance to the nave immediately to the northeast of the center double doors. The second one is placed to the left of the altar (northeast side), with the tri-pod placement allowing access to the altar. Once the video camera is in place in the sanctuary (within the altar area itself), it has to be operated by remote control and the videographer may not enter the sanctuary again until after the ceremony. The videographer will not be allowed to move around to record in the worship area.
All equipment in the main sanctuary should be set up 45 minutes prior to the stated wedding time and placed out of the way until it is time for the bridal party to process. If the videographer wishes to take pictures of the wedding party’s procession, the videographer will stand in the entrance of the nave immediately to the northeast of the center double doors using their camera on the tri-pod.
The videographer may then move their camera in front of the wooden doors to the entrance of the nave after the bride has processed down the aisle and continue to video, with available light, for the rest of the ceremony. The video recorder on the tri-pod will need to be moved from the center aisle to not hinder the bridal party during their recessional.
A photo and video session immediately following the service will be permissible for a maximum of 30 minutes. If it goes longer, a wedding coordinator will remind the videographer of the time limit and ask them to finish their session. We set this 30 minute limit because is not good etiquette to have guests waiting on the bridal party at the reception or detain the wedding party from the reception.
The wedding party will be brought from the holding area, the bride and groom will be instructed to move immediately to the altar for the first picture, which will be taken with the clergy. The remainder of the wedding party will be instructed to sit in the front pews on the pulpit side until the photographer asks them to move for pictures. The videographer may move around the photographer if they choose to video during the photo session, but you should not be disruptive to the photo session.
Videography at the wedding rehearsal is permissible. Video may be taken as long as it does not interfere with the rehearsal.
It would be helpful for the videographer to visit All Saints’ before the actual wedding day so the wedding coordinator can meet with you to go over these instructions. As a videographer, you should coordinate what you can or cannot do with the wedding coordinators - not the clergy.
Brides will fill out this form, deliver it to the videographer of their choice, and instruct the videographer to read these instructions, then have the videographer call the wedding coordinator for an appointment. The videographer should make an appointment with the wedding coordinator one month in advance of the wedding to discuss what we expect so that there is clear agreement on these instructions. After the meeting, the videographer will need to sign this form and immediately return it to the wedding coordinator. The videographer will not be allowed to take video at the church if the form is not completed and returned.
Wedding Videography Etiquette Form
By signing the form, everyone is stating they understand and agree to abide by the wedding videography etiquette at All Saints’.
Wedding Coordinator Date
Finalize plans for the rehearsal with the wedding coordinator at least one month before the wedding. No rehearsal or wedding will take place until the bride has met with the coordinator.
Dress for the rehearsal the same as you would to attend Sunday service. Christ is present and you should dress accordingly.
The coordinator will start the rehearsal with a prayer and introductions at the pre-determined time. She will begin by working with the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Verbal and written instructions are given to the wedding party to direct them as to their specific duties. The priest joins the rehearsal fifteen minutes later and he directs the remaining part of the ceremony.
The wedding party may not consume alcohol or drugs before the rehearsal or ceremony. The priest WILL politely stop the rehearsal and reschedule it if anyone in the wedding party disrupts the rehearsal by using these substances.
Attendance at the rehearsal is directly reflective in the success of the ceremony. It is very important that everyone involved in the wedding, including parents and grandparents, be at the rehearsal on time. It is considered good manners to begin a wedding rehearsal promptly at the time scheduled.
The marriage license is presented to the clergy at the rehearsal. If the couple fails to bring the license to the rehearsal, it has to be presented to the clergy before the wedding. The wedding will not start without the presentation of the license to the clergy. The couple selects, before the rehearsal, two witnesses who will sign the church wedding register, the marriage certificate and the marriage license. The church provides the register and the certificate.
The coordinators and clergy normally do not attend festivities following the rehearsal. The coordinators have last minute planning and updating of procedures to do and the clergy need time to pray, reflect and prepare for your ceremony. It is a most gracious gesture to be included in the post-rehearsal celebration; however, we may decline in order to be prepared properly.
All Saints’ has a nursery available for young children of the wedding party or guests who bring young children to the wedding who are infant to six years of age. The bride might consider offering nursery service for those who bring young children, so they can attend the rehearsal and wedding without being distracted. The bride should consider having a minimum of two nursery attendants on hand. The bride appoints the nursery attendants according to the nursery safety policies of All Saints’. The wedding coordinator can share these with you.
Wedding Rehearsal Agenda
I. Preliminary Prayer, Introductions, Instructions: by coordinator(s)
A. Bridesmaids: by Assistant Coordinator
B. Groomsmen: by Senior Coordinator
C. Official escorting of parents and grandparents to their pews
II. Greeting: by clergy
III. Completion of signatures and requirements: by clergy
A. Marriage certificate
B. Parish register
C. Marriage license
D. Statement of bride’s authority at the rehearsal
IV. Rehearsal from Book of Common Prayer: by clergy and coordinator(s)
A. Placement of bridal party at crossing
1) Groom’s party from chosen entry
2) Bride’s party from entrance
C. Arrival at crossing
1) the declaration of consent
2) the presentation or giving of bride in marriage
3) the ministry of the Word
4) the readings and homily
D. Bridal party moves from crossing to sanctuary
1) marriage and ring vows
2) prayers and marriage blessings
3) Holy Communion (optional)
4) post communion prayer and congregational blessing
1) exiting of wedding party to holding area
2) escorting of parents and grandparents to holding area
A. Special instructions to wedding party: by coordinator(s)
B. Final questions reviewed by the clergy
VI. Groom’s Prayer Closing the Rehearsal
Rehearsal Dinner & Reception
The parish hall and parlor are available for rehearsal dinners and receptions. Due to the time it takes to set up for Sunday or other weekly services, the rehearsal dinner or reception MUST end by 10:00 p.m. The Sexton will begin cleanup immediately after 10:00 p.m.
Alcohol is prohibited at all times and at all functions.
A facilities usage fee of $500 will be charged. This fee includes:
$250 damage fee deposit for any damage, cleaning or movement of leased equipment. This fee is returned by the Administrator one week after the wedding, provided no damage occurred from use and cleaning or movement of leased equipment has not been prohibitive.
$250 Parish Hall/Parlor/Kitchen use fee. The cleaning of the kitchen facility is the responsibility of the wedding party or caterer. Decorating of our facilities and timely removal of decorations are also the responsibility of the wedding party.
A Sexton Fee. This fee includes:
Assist with and supervise the set up & clean up of the Parish Hall/Parlor/Kitchen to make sure nothing is damaged and items are returned as they were. After the rehearsal/reception, the Sexton will set up for Sunday/weekly services.
The following rules shall apply regarding leased equipment:
Leased equipment will be removed and the facilities returned to their former state immediately after the rehearsal dinner or reception.
Fees connected with set up and removal of leased equipment will be paid by the person leasing the equipment.
Property damage incurred by the set up or removal of leased equipment will be paid by the person leasing the equipment.
The church will not set up, take-down, or transport leased equipment.
The Wedding Day
All attendants should plan to arrive approximately 1½ to 2 hours before the wedding. The ladies will meet in the parlor and the men will meet in the administrative lobby, then they will be escorted to the Upper Room by a wedding coordinator.
Everyone needs to be dressed accordingly, as most photographers will take pictures of the wedding party. Each person should consider having a shopping bag or garment bag in which to place their personal items before going into the sanctuary for the ceremony.
Groomsmen and ushers will have their boutonnieres pinned on their lapel by a wedding coordinator. They will be directed to the narthex to start ushering approximately 30 – 45 minutes before the wedding begins.
The grandparents will be seated a few minutes before the time stated on the wedding invitation. The groom’s parents and the bride’s parents will be seated approximately one minute before the time on the wedding invitation. After the mother of the bride is seated, the ushers will seat no more guests. Guests should be instructed to move quickly and quietly down the side aisles for seating. Guests should also be seated so the nave (the place where the people sit) looks balanced and comfortable. We do not ask guests if they want to sit on the “bride’s side” or “groom’s side”.
The processional begins promptly after the mothers have been seated.
Guests may be instructed to park in the City Hall parking garage or in the City Hall parking lot. The church parking lot is reserved for the bridal party and families of the bride and groom.
If you choose to have nursery attendants, you should communicate this to the wedding party before they arrive in town. It would also be appropriate to communicate this in your wedding invitations and bulletins so that those attending will know the nursery is available. Parents are expected to take children from the nursery to the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception.
Maid/Matron of Honor Responsibilities
The maid or matron of honor chosen by the bride is usually a close friend, a family member or sister of the bride. It helps to choose someone who is very dependable. Her primary responsibility is to be attentive to the bride’s needs and not her own. A bride may choose both a maid (single) and matron of honor (married).
The maid or matron of honor, as the honor attendant, should serve as your legal witness and she should sign the parish register, the marriage certificate, and the marriage license at the rehearsal.
For the wedding, they help dress the bride; assist with the train as the bride moves before, during and after the service; assist with the veil; hold the bride’s bouquet during the vows; and carry the groom’s ring, in a safe manner, until the blessing and exchange of rings in the ceremony. She walks in front of the bride in the processional taking her place at the bride’s left during the ceremony. During the recessional the best man escorts her out.
After the wedding, she should make sure all of the bride’s clothing, make-up and personal belongings, as well as her own, are removed from the changing room at the church and taken to the reception or to the bride’s home.
Bridesmaid and Jr. Bridesmaid Responsibilities
The bridesmaids are usually close friends or family members. They may assist the maid/matron of honor with her duties. They walk in procession before the maid/matron of honor and are usually escorted out by the groomsmen. Since All Saints’ does not have extra room at the crossing of the church, attendants are limited to eight on both sides.
Junior bridesmaids are usually between eight and sixteen years of age. They walk in procession ahead of the bridesmaids and they are usually escorted out by a junior groomsman. Junior bridesmaids are not expected to help with the details of the wedding.
You may choose little girls between the ages of five and eight for flower girls. Experience has shown us that children who are less than five years of age often create challenging situations during the processional and ceremony. It is hard for them to be able to comprehend the instructions they are given and they are not accustomed to processing before large crowds of people.
As flower girls process, they are not allowed to scatter flower petals on the floor. Dropping flower petals on the tile floors can cause a member of the processing wedding party to slip. The flower girl may carry a basket, bouquet, flower ring or a pomander ball.
During the ceremony, the flower girl walks in front of the bride and she stands near the bridesmaids. Younger children are seated with their parents. Flower girls may recess out with the rest of the wedding party, as appropriate.
Best Man Responsibilities
The best man chosen by the groom is usually a close friend, relative or brother of the groom. It helps to choose someone who is very dependable. His primary responsibility is to be attentive to the groom’s needs and not his own.
The best man, as the groom’s honor attendant, will also sign documents at the rehearsal as your witness. For the wedding they will help the groom dress, if needed. The best man does not usher and will stay with the groom in the Upper Room until time for the ceremony. He will carry the bride’s ring, in a safe manner, until the blessing of the rings in the ceremony. He walks in front or behind the groom, as predetermined, in the processional, taking his place to the groom’s right during the ceremony. During the recessional, the best man escorts the maid/matron of honor out. After the service, he should make sure all of the groom’s clothes and personal belongings, as well as his own, are removed from the changing room at the Church and taken to the reception or to the groom’s home.
Groomsmen, and Jr. Groomsmen Responsibilities
The groomsmen are usually close friends or family members. They may assist the best man with his duties. They walk in procession before or after the best man, as predetermined, and usually escort the bridesmaids out. Since All Saints’ does not have extra room at the crossing of the church, the number of attendants is limited to a maximum of eight on both sides.
Junior groomsmen are usually between eight and sixteen years of age. They walk in procession ahead of the groomsmen and usually escort the junior bridesmaid out. Junior groomsmen are not expected to help with the details of the wedding.
All groomsmen will usher guests at the wedding, along with the ushers.
A male usher’s main responsibility is to seat guests. They may be asked to open the doors for the bride’s entrance and to usher during Holy Communion. The ushers do not normally join the bridal party at the crossing but may join the bridal party at the crossing, in certain circumstances. At the appropriate time, the ushers will seat the parents and grandparents as instructed by the wedding coordinator(s).
Female ushers usually hand out programs and attend the guest book. The ushers will be asked to close the guest book approximately five minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to start to facilitate the processional.
The bride and groom may also wish to appoint another lady and gentleman, whose main responsibility it is to attend to other needs of the wedding party. For instance, make-up is often forgotten, tux buttons are left at home, socks are misplaced, and hosiery sometimes runs. These people can also be responsible for making sure the attendants use their dress bags or tuxedo garment bag to store their personal articles. These are easily and quickly removed and taken to the reception after the wedding.
Ring Bearers Responsibilities
You may choose any child between the ages of five and eight as a ring bearer. Normally only one ring bearer is chosen. Experience has shown us that children less than five years of age often create challenging situations during the processional and ceremony. It is hard for them to be able to comprehend the instructions they are given and they are not accustomed to processing before large crowds of people.
The rings on the ring bearer pillow will not be the actual rings. The honor attendants will have the wedding rings.
During the ceremony, the ring bearer walks in front of or beside the flower girl and may stand near the groomsmen. Younger children will be seated with their parents. Ring bearers may recess out with the rest of the wedding party, as appropriate.
Wedding Party Responsibilities
Anyone involved with the wedding will be expected to be in attendance at the rehearsal and be on time. The wedding rehearsal usually takes approximately an hour to complete if everyone is on time and ready to rehearse. If the wedding party is late, we will still complete a full rehearsal before being dismissed by the clergy. This may cause those in attendance to be late to the rehearsal dinner.
On the day of the wedding, all attendants should arrive at the church no later than two hours before the wedding. They should check the night before to make sure they have everything they need for the wedding the next day. It is always helpful to make a checklist and to double-check the list for any items you might need.
At times we have been asked to suggest or recommend businesses for photography, videography, wedding invitations, accessories, and bulletins. The following work with the church on a regular basis and know our customs and regulations.
(Members) - Robin Phillips
1505 S. Florida Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801
Invitations & Accessories
George L. Gaines Jewelers
(Members) - Suzanne Gaines
112 S. Tennessee Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33801
We highly recommend the above to assist you with the special needs of your wedding. This list does not preclude the use of other businesses. Feel free to discuss your options with the Wedding Coordinator(s).
Schedule of Fees
ALL FEES ARE DUE TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE WEDDING and should be given to the Church Administrator, in separate envelopes. The Church Administrator will contact you if the fees are not received at the appropriate time.
Basic Fee for Wedding (payable to All Saints’) $75
This fee covers expenses directly concerned with the general use of the Church for the rehearsal & wedding such as lights, heating, air conditioning, etc.
Sexton cleanup after a rehearsal dinner (payable to All Saints') $125
Sexton cleanup after a wedding reception (payable to All Saints') $125
Sanctuary Flowers (if ordered by the Church—payable to All Saints’) $50
Sexton’s Fees (payable to All Saints') $125
This fee covers the sexton’s services on the day of the rehearsal and on the day of the wedding only.
Sound/Video Technician's Fee (payable to All Saints') $75
Reception or Rehearsal Dinner and Damage Deposit (payable to All Saints’)
Parish Hall/Parlor/Kitchen use fee: $250
Damage deposit: $250 - returned within 7 days if there is no damage
Organist’s Fee (payable to All Saints') $300
Basic Fee: Includes one consultation with couple, attendance at the rehearsal and wedding day, and mileage for two trips to Lakeland.
Rehearsal with Individual Soloist or Instrumentalist (payable to the church) $40 per rehearsal.
This fee is per rehearsal with individual soloist(s).
Wedding Coordinator’s Fee (payable to the Wedding Coordinator) $150
This fee covers meetings with the bride & groom prior to wedding, rehearsal and wedding day. It averages out to eight to ten hours of work.
Assistant Coordinator fee (if an Assistant is used/payable to the AC) $125
The priest serving your wedding will consider the ministry of preparing and conducting your wedding a great privilege.
Managing your initial contact, subsequent conversations, counseling, preparation and conducting your service will take approximately two days of the priest’s time. Although the priest will not ask for an honorarium, it is considered good taste and proper etiquette to show appreciation to the priest in some way.
Customary Acceptance & Acknowledgement
After reading this customary, please sign below at the appropriate places. By signing below you agree to abide by the rules stated herein. Then, mail this page only to Cheryl Cantrall at All Saints’.
Our very best wishes to you as you begin your life together!
Bride's Mother or Step-Mother: ________________________
Marriage and Remarriage and Episcopal Church Law
CANON 18: Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony
Sec. 1. Every Member of the Clergy of this Church shall conform to the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage, and also to the laws of this Church governing the solemnization of Holy Matrimony.
Sec. 2. Before solemnizing a marriage the Member of the Clergy shall have ascertained:
(a) That both parties have the right to contract a marriage according to the laws of the State.
(b) That both parties understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman, entered into within the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind, and will, and with intent that it be lifelong.
(c) That both parties freely and knowingly consent to such marriage, without fraud, coercion, mistake as to identity of a partner, or mental reservation.
(d) That at least one of the parties has received Holy Baptism.
(e) That both parties have been instructed as to the nature, meaning, and purpose of Holy Matrimony by the Member of the Clergy, or that they have both received such instruction from persons known by the Member of the Clergy to be competent and responsible.
Sec. 3. No Member of the Clergy of this Church shall solemnize any marriage unless the following procedures are complied with:
(a) The intention of the parties to contract marriage shall have been signified to the Member of the Clergy at least thirty days before the service of solemnization; Provided, that for weighty cause, this requirement may be dispensed with if one of the parties is a member of the Congregation of the Member of the Clergy, or can furnish satisfactory evidence of responsibility.
In case the thirty days’ notice is waived, the Member of the Clergy shall report such action in writing to the Bishop immediately.
(b) There shall be present at least two witnesses to the solemnization of marriage.
(c) The Member of the Clergy shall record in the proper register the date and place of the marriage, the names of the parties and their parents, the age of the parties, their residences, and their Church status; the witnesses and the Member of the Clergy shall sign the record.
(d) The Member of the Clergy shall have required that the parties sign the following declaration:
(e) “We, A.B. and C.D., desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.
(f) “We believe that the union of husband and wife, in heart, body, and mind, is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord.
(g) “And we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God’s help thereto.”
Sec. 4. It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to solemnize any marriage.
TITLE I CANONS 19.1–4
CANON 19: Of Regulations Respecting Holy Matrimony: Concerning Preservation of Marriage, Dissolution of Marriage, and Remarriage
Sec. 1. When marital unity is imperiled by dissension, it shall be the duty, if possible, of either or both parties, before taking legal action, to lay the matter before a Member of the Clergy; it shall be the duty of such Member of the Clergy to act first to protect and promote the physical and emotional safety of those involved and only then, if it be possible, to labor that the parties may be reconciled.
(a) Any member of this Church whose marriage has been annulled or dissolved by a civil court may apply to the Bishop or Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which such person is legally or canonically resident for a judgment as to his or her marital status in the eyes of the Church. Such judgment may be a recognition of the nullity, or of the termination of the said marriage; Provided, that no such judgment shall be construed as affecting in any way the legitimacy of children or the civil validity of the former relationship.
(b) Every judgment rendered under this Section shall be in writing and shall be made a matter of permanent record in the Archives of the Diocese.
Sec. 3. No Member of the Clergy of this Church shall solemnize the marriage of any person who has been the husband or wife of any other person then living, nor shall any member of this Church enter into a marriage when either of the contracting parties has been the husband or the wife of any other person then living, except as hereinafter provided:
(a) The Member of the Clergy shall be satisfied by appropriate evidence that the prior marriage has been annulled or dissolved by a final judgment or decree of a civil court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) The Member of the Clergy shall have instructed the parties that continuing concern must be shown for the well-being of the former spouse, and of any children of the prior marriage.
(c) The Member of the Clergy shall consult with and obtain the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese wherein the Member of the Clergy is canonically resident or the Bishop of the Diocese in which the Member of the Clergy is licensed to officiate prior to, and shall report to that Bishop, the solemnization of any marriage under this Section.
(d) If the proposed marriage is to be solemnized in a jurisdiction other than the one in which the consent has been given, the consent shall be affirmed by the Bishop of that jurisdiction.
Sec. 4. All provisions of Canon I.18 shall, in all cases, apply.