Congratulations on your engagement! We look forward to walking along side you as you prepare for your wedding. The information below will give you a brief overview of our pre-marital process.
Membership and Weddings
In order to be married at St. Andrew’s, one of the parties must be an active member of the parish. Consideration is also given if parents or grandparents are current, active members of St. Andrew’s. If a couple are not currently members and desire to have their marriage service at St. Andrew’s, they may participate in the pre-marital and membership processes concurrently. The membership process is as follows:
- Complete The Alpha Course, a nine-week course exploring questions of faith and Christian belief. The Alpha Course is offered twice a year.
- Complete Discover St. Andrew’s, a course on the vision and values of St. Andrew’s.
- Participate in a New Member Service offered at various times throughout the year.
All requests and any questions should be directed to Nancy Sapakoff, Rector’s Personal Assistant (NSapakoff@StAndrews.Church or 843.284.4324).
Reserving Dates, Place, Ceremony, and Cost
Weddings are normally held in the Historic Church which seats approximately 225 people. The Ministry Center seats approximately 800 people but is restricted in the hours it is available; however, for weddings anticipating more than 225 people usage of the Ministry Center may be considered (NOTE: In April 2018 a fire devastated our Ministry Center necessitating its demolition and reconstruction. We expect the Ministry Center to re-open in the Summer of 2020. Until such time, the Historic Church is the only on-site venue capable of hosting the marriage ceremony. Our clergy are available and willing to officiate ceremonies off-site).
Currently, there is no charge for the use of the facilities for members of St. Andrew’s. For non-members, a $2500 fee is required. As a point of information, none of the monies collected for the use of the facilities by non-members is used for the general budget of St. Andrew’s. Instead, all monies collected are used locally to support Christian marriage and family ministries.
Having a Marriage Ceremony in a church brings with it a certain set of expectations. One of those expectations is that the ceremony will be a Christian ceremony. Specifically, this means that the order and structure of the service will follow the ceremony contained in the Book of Common Prayer. It is also normative that the music selected for the Marriage Ceremony is sacred music, either traditional (classical/hymns) or contemporary. For a variety of reasons, some exceptions may be granted for other kinds of music to be included in the ceremony with the consent of both the Worship Arts Office and the Rector.
To reserve your wedding date, the bride and groom should each complete a Wedding Application form and return them to the Rector’s Personal Assistant, Nancy Sapakoff (NSapakoff@StAndrews.Church or 843.284.4324). The application must be submitted at least 6 months prior to the proposed wedding date. Once Nancy receives both applications, she will contact you to discuss details and schedule your first pre-marital meeting.
St. Andrew’s has two basic requirements concerning premarital preparation for engaged couples:
- Complete the FOCCUS inventory, an online premarital tool, used to guide the discussions for the premarital counseling. Once it is completed, the Rector’s Personal Assistant will set your first appointment with one of our staff members to begin premarital counseling.
- Meet with an assigned mentor couple for 7 to 8 one-hour discussions. Couples are required to read the book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, to discuss in their meetings. As such, they should purchase two copies (one per individual) of the book as well as 2 workbooks (one for the male and one for the female). The book and workbook may be purchased for $15 and $7 respectively in Common Grounds, St. Andrew’s bookstore, or online.
Remarriage After Divorce
Permission for the marriage of divorced persons is given after discussion with the clergy and the consent of the Rector. A divorce should be final for 1 year prior to application and a copy of the final divorce decree must also be submitted. The provisions for remarriage after divorce are articulated in Scripture and are based on God’s promise of grace and forgiveness.
Read Your Wedding at St. Andrew’s, the section of our website that details our policies and procedures for weddings. Parents, wedding planners, and anybody involved in planning the wedding, as well as the bride and groom should be familiar with the contents of those pages. It is fairly extensive but contains information that has been useful to couples in the past. Of note, there are specific instructions addressed to photographers, videographers, and florists concerning their role in your wedding.
Your Wedding Application
Both the bride and the groom must fill out their own wedding application. You can fill out an online version or you can Download the Wedding Applications (pdf). Right click on the link and save the application to your computer. Separate applications are needed for the bride and groom.
Contact Nancy Sapakoff, the Rector’s Personal Assistant (NSapakoff@StAndrews.Church or 843.284.4324) for answers to any additional questions concerning weddings.