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Weddings

The first step in planning a wedding at St. Paul's is to call the parish office at (703) 549-3312 and speak with a member of the clergy. If you are most comfortable speaking with a certain clergyperson, feel free to ask for him or her. If you are not active members of St. Paul's, you will be asked to make yourselves known to the clergy. Until this contact is made, a wedding date cannot be finalized.

In order to secure a wedding date, please provide the parish office with at least three months' notice. If one or both parties has been divorced, additional time may be needed. Please do not make a public announcement of the wedding until after your initial meeting with the clergy.

Contact: Sue Setliff, Office Administrator
Phone: (703) 549-3312
Fax: (703) 548-7534

Download our wedding policy

 

Eligibility

Typically those who choose to get married at St. Paul's have some current or prior connection to the parish. St. Paul's expects that it is the intention of the couple to worship with us regularly and become active members of the St. Paul's community.

Available Times

Weddings at St. Paul's take place throughout the year with the following exceptions: during the season of Lent, on Friday nights, when another wedding has already been scheduled, or within one week of a major holiday such as Christmas or Easter.

Morning weddings may be scheduled between 10:00 a.m. and noon, and afternoon weddings between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. No more than two weddings are scheduled on any one day. Rehearsals take place the day before the wedding, no later than 5:00 p.m., and we ask that all taking part in the rehearsal arrive on time.

Premarital Preparation

Those married in the Episcopal Church are expected to attend a premarital conference. The session is an all-day meeting on a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is offered twice a year. Please contact Miki Kaplan to see when a conference is scheduled. Engaged couples find this to be time well spent as the group discusses finances and respectful and helpful ways to communicate. A panel of married couples, some newlyweds and others married for up to 50 years, offer their insights into what they believe it takes to have a successful relationship.

If you live out of town, some other person, mutually agreed upon by you and the officiating clergy, may prepare you for marriage.

Please plan to meet with the officiating clergy to plan the liturgy.

Prior Divorce(s)

St. Paul's policy on prior divorce is consistent with the policies of the Diocese of Virginia and the Canons of the Episcopal Church. At least one year must have elapsed between the final decree of the divorce and the date of petition. Counseling with clergy or some other mutually acceptable person is essential. If a person approaches St. Paul's seeking to marry for their third or more time, additional consultation is our policy. All Episcopal clergy are required to seek permission from the Bishop to solemnize a wedding in the case of prior divorce(s).

Officiant & Liturgy

Weddings at St. Paul's are officiated by parish clergy. If you would like another duly ordained clergy person to assist, we are happy to invite them upon the approval of the rector.

Parish clergy conduct weddings at St. Paul's using the order of service from The Book of Common Prayer, or, for same-sex couples, the liturgy "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage" and "The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2" as approved by the General Convention in 2015.

Costs

Wedding costs include a $350 fee paid to St. Paul's organist. The check should be made payable directly to Grant Hellmers.

This is the only cost associated with holding a wedding at St. Paul's Church. It is customary, however, to provide an honorarium to the officiating clergy and the Altar Guild.

Music

To plan music for the wedding, please contact our organist, Grant Hellmers, at (703) 549-3312 x17 or grant@stpaulsalexandria.com as quickly as possible after confirming your wedding date.

Flowers

Please contact the directors of the Altar Guild, Carolyn and Joe Backus, at (703) 683-2825 or by email at altarguild@stpaulsalexandria.com, to coordinate details concerning the flowers. Altar flowers are the only major arrangements permitted in the church; a small arrangement to mark the family pews is also allowed. Donations to the Altar Guild in appreciation for their assistance are gratefully received. You will not need a wedding coordinator at the church.

Photography and Video Equipment

No photographs may be taken by guests during the wedding service. Your photographer may take one picture as you leave the church and any silent photographs without flash during the service from the balcony, provided no members of the congregation are seated there. Time is allowed following the service for any pictures you may desire. Stationary video equipment may be used from the balcony, although no extra lighting may be added to the church.

Additional Details

  • The church seats about 550 people, and the chapel seats 26.
  • The clergy do not expect to be invited to social functions in connection with the wedding. If you would like them to attend, however, please issue a written invitation, and they will attend as their schedule permits.
  • Parking in front of the church may be reserved from City Hall, room 4130. There is a fee for this service. Please call (703) 746-4035 for further information.
  • Paid parking is available at both the Hotel Monaco and the Courthouse at the corner of South Pitt and King Streets.
  • Couples must have a license to marry in Virginia. Information may be obtained from the Register of Deeds at the Circuit Court of Alexandria at (703) 838-4044.
  • St. Paul's does not permit the throwing of rice, birdseed, or flower petals inside or outside the church.
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