Planning a Wedding

The union of two people 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, to nurture their children in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.

Who may be married at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church?

● All those who have the Rector’s permission. Every couple who wishes to be married at St. Andrew’s will be welcomed to discuss the possibility with the Rector.

● Those who meet the requirements of the Episcopal Church and the State of Maine.

● At least one of the persons to be married must be Baptized. The Episcopal Church accepts the baptism of any Christian tradition which baptizes in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

● If a divorce is in the history of either person seeking marriage, the Bishop’s permission must be sought. In all cases it is the duty of the Rector or officiating minister to see that marriages are in full compliance with the laws of the State of Maine and to ascertain that it is the intent of those desiring the Church’s Blessing to live together in Christian harmony. The underlying concern is a pastoral concern that the issues which led to the dissolution of the previous marriage do not come back to haunt the newly married couple.

Who may perform a marriage at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church?

● The clergy of St. Andrew’s or a clergyperson given permission to do so by the Rector.

● In the case of a marriage where one partner is not an Episcopalian, the clergyperson of that person’s faith may participate with the officiating priest; the Rector must give permission for this to happen.

● Please discuss arrangements with the Rector before inviting another clergyperson to participate in the liturgy.

When should I contact St. Andrew's Episcopal Church if I wish to be married there?

● As soon as you know of the intended marriage, contact the Rector. St. Andrew’s calendar fills quickly. If you wait too long, your choice of date may be limited.

● Once you have met with the Rector and had your initial consultation, and a date has been set, you will be asked to fill out a wedding application.

Is counseling required?

Premarital counseling is required by the Episcopal Church. This will involve 3-5 one hour sessions. The counseling may be done by the clergy from St. Andrew’s, or if you live at a distance from the church by another Episcopal Clergy person. In the case of the latter, a letter from the counseling clergy will need to be received by the officiating clergyperson at least 3 weeks prior to the wedding. During your counseling sessions, the priest will discuss arrangements for the service, the meaning of the content of the service and its relevance to married life, communication, and practical aspects of marriage.

What ceremonies may we use?

The ceremony will be from The Book of Common Prayer and may include the Holy Eucharist. The liturgy The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant or The Blessing of a Civil Marriage may also be used.

Are there costs involved?

The cost associated with the usual Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage incurred by St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church are as follows:

● $500 donation to the church for the use of the facilities, work of the staff, and costs of utilities (waived for active parishioners, but not for the family of active parishioners).

● $200 honoraria to the organist. If you wish the organist to attend the rehearsal, there will be a $50 additional fee.

● $250 honoraria to the officiating clergyperson and $250 to the clergy who conducts the premarital counseling.

● $150-300 soloists/instrumentalists.


Any soloists (professionals, family, or friends) must be discussed with the Organist. He maintains a list of musicians available for weddings and will be happy to help you decide who will best suit your needs.

Normally the Parish organist is asked to play at all services of the church. If you desire a guest organist to play, please discuss the matter with the priest who is officiating at your wedding before issuing an invitation.

Music for the wedding service is planned by the bride and groom in consultation with the organist. The bridal couple may come with requests and/or ideas for specific music, but they should certainly feel no obligation to do so. Holy Matrimony is a service of the church, and the music needs to be appropriate for such an event. If a particular piece would be appropriate for Sunday morning worship, it would be appropriate for a wedding. The reverse also holds true. As a consequence, it is our firm policy not to use “secular” or “popular” music in weddings. By this we mean songs from movies or currently popular songs such as those heard on TV, radio, and elsewhere. These selections may be used effectively at the wedding reception, but not in the service. 

We are often asked about wedding marches. Please understand that the wedding procession need not “march” down the aisle. It is enough that the processional music hasve a feeling of movement and a mood of dignity and joy. A variety of trumpet tunes from the Renaissance and Baroque periods work well in our experience.

Where will our wedding be held?

In the Church or on the beautiful grounds of the Church. If you wish to hold your wedding outside of the grounds of the Church, please speak with the rector.


Deliveries of flowers and other items must be coordinated with the Parish Office by calling the Parish Administrator at 207-563-3533

Decorating rules

Bearing in mind that the Altar Guild will be happy to discuss in detail your plans for decoration, please do remember some general rules.

● No attachments may be made to walls, ceilings, or beams of the church, and no sub-structures, such as lattice works, may be installed.

● Nothing should be placed in such a way as to obscure the Altar.

● The essential beauty of the Church as the House of God should be maintained at all times and decorations should not be so spectacular as to distract attention from the wedding itself and the bridal couple.

● Messy decorating procedures such as scattering rose petals in the aisle or the throwing of confetti is not allowed.

Showering the couple

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church earnestly requests that nothing be used in showering the bridal couple. If something is to be thrown at the bride and groom as they leave the church, only birdseed is permitted. Using bubbles to “shower” the couple is also an option. 

Photography and videotaping

The use of an established local photographer is generally preferred. Please have your photographer understand that the following rules must be observed.

● The photographer must meet with the priest before the service.

● No flash pictures are to be taken during the service.

● The photographer may take some exposures from the back of the Church, but he/she is not to wander about other parts of the Church taking pictures during the course of the service with or without flash.

● At the end of the service, the photographer may take a flash picture of the bridal couple leaving the service when they are about halfway down the aisle.

● At the end of the service, the clergy are glad to go back to the Altar and pose for pictures recreating the wedding ceremony. If you wish to do this, please notify the Rector before the service.

● The ushers should ask the guests not to take flash pictures during the service.

● Please speak to the officiating minister if you wish to have a videotape made of your wedding. If you have someone do it, we must discuss the arrangements with the camera operator.

Arranging for a marriage license

For details on obtaining a marriage license, please contact your Town Hall. The original license is mailed back to the Town Hall. In order to receive a copy you will need to communicate with the Town Hall.

Wedding consultants

It is for you to determine whether you wish to hire a wedding consultant to assist with making arrangements for the wedding. They can be very helpful and when they are present, we welcome this contribution to the smooth running of the wedding. However, please understand that the direction of the service at the Church is completely the responsibility of the officiating minister. This means that the minister will not only officiate at the service, but also direct all aspects of the rehearsal as well.


Parking for guests is available on the streets surrounding the Church

Planning for the rehearsal

A rehearsal gives all involved the opportunity to practice, which will allow the wedding service to be carried out without undue stage fright and confusion. Ordinarily, the rehearsal is conducted the day before the wedding. The rehearsal itself generally takes about an hour. You should also allow approximately fifteen minutes more for the bride, the groom, the best man, and the maid of honor to go to the Parish Office and sign the necessary papers after the rest of the party is finished. Persons needed for the rehearsal are: bride and groom, best man, maid/matron of honor, bridesmaids, ushers, whoever is to “give” or “present” those being married, mothers of both the bride and groom, and readers, if any. It is important that all participants be present and ready for the rehearsal five minutes before the scheduled starting time.

How do I schedule a wedding at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church?

Speak with the Rector at 207-380-2769.