What We Believe About Marriage
Christian marriage is solemn, public, lifelong covenant between a biological man and a biological woman binding themselves to one another with vows made in the presence of God. In marriage we see reflected God’s faithful love for his people, and the union between Christ and his Church. And so, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but in holiness and honor, duly considering God’s purposes for marriage. These purposes include:
- Firstly, God desires that a man and a woman, joyfully united as one flesh, may in every circumstance of life faithfully love and serve each other.
- Secondly, God intends that children be born and nurtured in faithful and loving care, for their well-being and instruction, to the glory of God.
- Thirdly, God gives marriage for the proper expression of sexual instincts and affections with which he has endowed us, that, living together in holiness, we may abstain from sexual immorality.
The church, rightly, joins together to witness the vows and to ask that God’s purposes and blessing will be fulfilled in the couple’s life. We look forward to walking alongside you as you prepare for your wedding. The information below will give you a brief overview of our pre-marital process.
Steps in the Wedding Process
- Join St. Andrew’s
- Complete the Wedding Application
- Set up Pre-Marital Counseling
- Set the Date
- Complete Pre-Marital Counseling
- The Marriage Ceremony
After reading through the information below and learning more about Your Wedding at St. Andrew’s, contact Nancy Sapakoff, the Rector’s Personal Assistant (NSapakoff@StAndrews.Church or 843.284.4324) for answers to any additional questions concerning weddings.
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.
Your Wedding Application
Both the bride and the groom must fill out their own wedding application. Separate applications are needed for the bride and groom.
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 two workbooks, one for the male and one for the female.
Setting the Date
The Rector’s Personal Assistant will set the initial appointment with one of the staff and help to determine the availability of church facilities for the dates being considered. However, only after the staff has consented to the ceremony will a date be reserved on the calendar. The date is typically set after the first premarital session. Until this consent has been received and a date and time have been established, no plans should be made with any other organization or persons. No weddings may be performed at St. Andrew’s on the weekends of Palm Sunday, Easter, or Christmas.
Learn more about the staff involved in your wedding, the marriage license, music, flowers, photographers, wedding program, and wedding fees.
Your Wedding Ceremony
Weddings are normally held in the Historic Church which seats approximately 225 people. The Ministry Center Sanctuary seats approximately 800 people but is restricted in the hours it is available; for weddings anticipating more than 225 people, use of the Sanctuary may be considered.
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. This means that the order and structure of the service will follow the ceremony contained in the Book of Common Prayer. 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.
Remarriage After Divorce
Permission for the marriage of divorced persons is given after discussion with the clergy and the consent of the Rector and Bishop. 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.
After reading through the information above and learning about Your Wedding at St. Andrew’s, contact Nancy Sapakoff, the Rector’s Personal Assistant (NSapakoff@StAndrews.Church or 843.284.4324) for answers to any additional questions concerning weddings.