Weddings at St. Augustine’s Church, Kingston
It is a joy to be planning a wedding service. This information should help you decide if St. Augustine’s might be the right choice for your wedding. Once you have read through this information, if you have further questions please call the church at 783-2153.
Married in Church?
The reason for being married in a church is that you wish to make your vows before God, have God’s blessing on your marriage, and because you wish as a married couple to be part of a Christian community of faith. Wanting a pretty building or a convenient location is not an adequate reason for a church wedding – there are lots of other lovely sites to be married.
Married in the Episcopal Church?
If one or both of the couple are Episcopalians, marriage in an Episcopal Church embeds your marital relationship even more firmly in the community to which you belong, and usually you will want to be married in the parish which one or both of you are attending. Occasionally, when a couple or extended family belong to different churches or live in different areas, a church other than one’s parish might be the best fit. If you are looking for a new denomination and considering the Episcopal church, come and worship a few times in the parish, and talk with the Rector. The Episcopal Church does not provide marriage services for people of other denominations who want to avoid being married in their own tradition but are not considering membership in the Episcopal Church.
Married by the Rector?
The Rector of St. Augustine’s is glad to officiate for couple of whom at least one partner has been a communicant member of the parish for at least the preceeding six months. For situations of pastoral need, sometimes children of parishioners who are not yet settled in a parish elsewhere may return to the parish of their family to be married. For Episcopal students of the University of Rhode Island, weddings at St. Augustine’s may be arranged with consultation with one’s home clergy.
The Canon Law of the Episcopal Church requires pre-marriage preparation with the clergy. The Rector will meet with the couple not less than four times for discernment and planning. These sessions cover a variety of issues facing those considering marriage and are informal, can be fun, and involve some homework between sessions.
When can we set the date?
While you may have a month in mind, do not set the date of your wedding until you have met with the Rector enough times to have approval to proceed. The preparation process involves real openness and discernment about the decision to marry for all concerned. It is disappointing and expensive to book your reception site and make your plans only to find you are not ready or the Rector or building is not available on that date.
Is this a second marriage for either of you?
The rules of the Episcopal Church require the permission of the Diocesan Bishop for the second marriage of one or both partners after divorce. This process takes at least 60 days. A copy of your final divorce decree will be needed, and the divorced person will be asked to write a letter about the causes of the divorce, the healing done since, and the reason the second marriage might be expected to succeed. The Rector will be glad to help you through this process.
Can we rent the Church and/or hall and have our own clergy or Justice of the Peace officiate?
Yes, if the buildings are available on the date you request, and with the approval of the Rector. The parish has a full institutional kitchen that you may rent. A list of facilities and fees is available.
Hiring a musician
For those wishing to use the piano or organ at St. Augustine’s, it is necessary first to confer with the parish Director of Music, Ed Seaholm. Mr. Seaholm may be available to play for your wedding and/or to consult with you about choice of music; this needs to be arranged with him at least 60 days in advance. If a guest musician uses the parish instruments, it is a courtesy for that person to confer with Mr. Seaholm and the couple are responsible for paying a bench fee to him.
Sponsors for a marriage
The Rector asks those at whose wedding she will officiate to choose a couple who are members of the parish and have a strong marriage of long duration to be sponsors for them. The sponsors’ responsibilities are to meet with the marrying couple at least twice in their time of preparation and have frank conversations about each couple’s relationship and what has helped the marriage of the sponsors to endure. The sponsors will pray for the couple privately and publicly, and will testify on behalf of the congregation that in their discernment with them they have found the marrying couple’s relationship to be healthy, godly, respectful, loving and to manifest the presence of Christ. The sponsors also should befriend the marrying couple in their first year of marriage and have permission to intervene to help if there are any signs of trouble. Then, when the congregation promises at the wedding to uphold the couple in their life together, all are assured that this promise means more than words. Not every Episcopal Church has sponsors for marriage, but the Rector has found this to be a helpful and joyful experience for all concerned. St. Augustine’s takes seriously the Christian understanding that married couples build up the Church, and the church community strengthens and supports Christian marriage.
Can we be married on a Sunday morning?
A marriage service in the context of the Sunday Eucharist is a wonderful option. The Rector will be delighted to discuss this possibility with you. Traditionally, church weddings are not held at any time during the season of Lent.
Use of St. Augustine’s Church facilities for Weddings
The church delights to extend hospitality to those who seek it. If you have questions don’t hesitate to call the parish office at (401) 783-2153 (also fax) or 874-2739. We ask that you leave the facilities in as good a condition as you find them. Here is some information you may need. spaces available: the sanctuary: post-and-beam room seats up to 160 in moveable chairs and side benches. It may be used for purposes compatible with its religious purpose. Wheelchair accessible. Canterbury hall: seats up to 170 in folding chairs (and tables seating about 8). It is not easily wheelchair accessible, though access, with assistance, may be possible via the back door across the lawn in summer. Children’s (small) Hall: next to the kitchen, wheelchair accessible. Seats up to about 80 or can accommodate four tables. (noisy refrigerator) Kitchen: a full commercial kitchen with dishwasher, dishes and silverware, pots and pans. Grounds: Attractive sloping lawn with brook, garden, and ornamental trees. Small parking lot and street parking as available. fees: sanctuary space: $500 per 3 hours (includes wedding with rehearsal) altar guild: (for church linens, if you need others than those currently in place, and for vessels, wine & wafers, etc. for Communion) $50. Canterbury hall: $200 per 3 hours Children’s (small) Hall: $75 per 3 hours Kitchen facilities: $75 per 3 hours Bathrooms (one upstairs fully accessible, two downstairs, may be used regardless of rooms rented.) bench fee: for use of organ and/or piano by your own musician in sanctuary and necessary consultation with St. Augustine’s church musician. $100. or – musician fee: If you would like our church musician to play at your worship service, if available, $200. If (s)he is not available, (s)he will help you find another musician if needed. He is Ed Seaholm (401) 229-2267. sexton fee: for furniture change of set up, clean up, trash removal. $50 – Or you may do your own. administrative fee: if you need the parish office to take messages, receive flowers or admit caterers outside 9-1 office hours. $50. Consultation with St. Augustine’s clergy, if needed: It is customary to make a donation to the for the parish discretionary fund for emergency assistance to the poor, in an amount similar to that for the musician. If these fees constitute a hardship for you, please speak with the Rector, as we are willing to be flexible. scheduling: Please reserve space at least 60 days in advance through the parish office. Liturgical services must be approved by the Rector. The office needs to know if and when supplies will be arriving or admittance to the buildings will be needed. We will do our best to make you welcome and help your event run smoothly. May God bless you in your new life together.
Use of St. Augustine’s Church facilities for Weddings