We are delighted that you want to begin your marriage here at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. Christian marriage is both a sacramental rite of the Church and a vocation (calling) for Christians. Therefore, the clergy and staff will work earnestly with you to help make your wedding both a holy and joyous worship experience.
We have prepared the information below to let you know what we expect from you, and what you can expect from us in return, as we prepare together for the celebration and blessing of your marriage. Your wedding may be large or small, simple or formal. There are few binding rules at this point. However, there are certain requirements which are determined by:
- the laws of the State of Ohio,
- the canons (laws) of The Episcopal Church,
- the rubrics (directions) of The Book of Common Prayer, and
- local customs based on tradition, convenience, and beauty.
Guided by these standards, together we will plan your wedding.
The clergy, music minister, office staff, sexton, and wedding consultants at Church of the Redeemer pledge to assist you in every way we can to ensure that your wedding day will be a beautiful and blessed celebration.
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is a solemn public covenant between two persons in the presence of God. The Church teaches that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of two people, entered into within the community of faith, by mutual and free consent of the heart, mind, and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.
Who may be married at Church of the Redeemer?
The sacrament of marriage arises from, and is nourished by, the life of the church. This makes the spiritual relationship among the congregation, clergy, and couple very important. Therefore, we only host weddings for those who are active members – or children of those members who are active in their home congregation – of Church of the Redeemer.
Couples who live out of town must seek pre-marital counseling at their home Episcopal congregation. A letter stating that such counseling has been done is required before you meet with the officiating priest to make final plans for the marriage ceremony.
The Episcopal Church requires that at least one person of the couple seeking marriage be a baptized Christian.
For divorced persons, permission for remarriage – if a former spouse is still living – must be obtained from the Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. This is a pastoral provision. Therefore, we require at least four months between the time of your first meeting with the priest and your wedding date in order to do the groundwork necessary to obtain the Bishop’s approval. The date of the wedding must be at least twelve months later than the date of the divorce decree.
Which priest will officiate at the ceremony?
The clergy share equally the responsibility for weddings. Should you desire a specific priest to preside at your wedding, your planning should begin with a date when that particular priest is available. We are frequently asked if another clergyperson from the wider ecumenical or interfaith community might participate. This is appropriate, and the clergy of this congregation will work with any other ordained person to ensure full participation by both within the guidelines of The Episcopal Church.
What is involved in pre-marital counseling?
The initial meeting with the priest involves the sharing of stories, a discussion of the contents of this booklet, and filling out the necessary forms. After this first meeting, three additional sessions are normally scheduled to discern your calling to Christian marriage, explore the dynamics of your relationship, and plan the wedding itself. In some cases, the priest may feel one or more additional sessions are advisable.
It is important to remember that the priest plans all wedding details with the couple alone, and not with other family members.
When are weddings scheduled?
No date will be confirmed on the parish calendar until the couple has met with the priest! Most weddings are scheduled for Saturdays, but other days may be appropriate. Tradition does not permit weddings during the solemn season of Lent (from Ash Wednesday through Easter Day). At the Church of the Redeemer, we also discourage weddings during the season of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas), New Year's Eve, and other dates when a special event in the life of the parish is taking place.
Because of the intricate logistics involved in each wedding – providing flowers, the taking of photographs, wedding parties dressing at the church, cleaning the church before and after the wedding, etc. – it is usually not feasible to schedule more than one wedding per day.
Is it possible to have the wedding at a place other than the church?
The priest may be willing to travel to another church or other appropriate location to participate in your ceremony.
Who will guide us in planning our wedding?
The priest will develop a strong pastoral relationship with you as individuals and as a couple. Together you will explore the dynamics of your relationship, and plan (in collaboration with the music director) the shape of your wedding service.
Shortly after your initial meeting with the priest, you will be contacted by your parish wedding consultant who will clarify the requirements for photographers, videographers, flowers, fees, and other details. The consultant leads a team of knowledgeable and dedicated parish volunteers who will help coordinate the many details of your wedding. The consultant will also be present at the rehearsal and on the day of the wedding.
What should we know about flowers for our wedding?
Church of the Redeemer is blessed with an expert Flower Guild which is responsible for purchasing and arranging flowers for all worship services in the church, including weddings. The Guild will provide two beautiful arrangements (one on either side of the Altar), and an arrangement in the lobby. (You will be responsible for your bouquets and boutonnieres.)
The flower arrangements for your wedding remain in place for worship at Church of the Redeemer on the following Sunday. Because certain special dates on the church calendar (e.g. the season of Christmas, the Day of Pentecost) require special flower arrangements, it is required that you meet with the head of the Flower Guild to discuss the flower arrangements for your wedding.
If you decide that you would prefer not to use the Redeemer Flower Guild, there are two local florists who have been approved to do wedding arrangements at the Church of the Redeemer. They are Dennis Buttleworth and Robin Wood Flowers.
What is the policy about photographs and videos?
No photos may be taken during the service, except for available-light photographs taken from the side aisles. Flash pictures may be taken at the back of the church only as the wedding party enters. However, flash pictures are absolutely forbidden during the service by either your photographer or guests.
You may video your ceremony. However, like still photographs, no special lighting may be used, and the camera must remain in a stationary position in the balcony. Video cables may not be run across the church floor.
Photographers and videographers may not move around in view of the guests.
The church is normally open one hour before the ceremony. Many couples utilize this time for photographs of the families and wedding party. The church will then remain open for photographs up to one hour following the service for additional pictures. However, please keep this time to a minimum out of respect for church staff and volunteers.
It is expected that the photographer and/or videographer will consult with your parish wedding consultant and visit the church before the wedding. This way s/he will be familiar with the space and surroundings, and any questions or concerns can be addressed before your wedding day.
How do we plan for the music at our ceremony?
Church of the Redeemer’s Minister for Music (and/or the organist) will help you plan music for the ceremony and can also arrange for additional musicians (e.g. string quartets, brass, voices). Music selections must be appropriate for Christian worship within the tradition of The Episcopal Church. All decisions about wedding music fall under the Minister for Music’s jurisdiction.
It is your responsibility to make an appointment to meet with the Minister for Music at a mutually convenient time to discuss these plans. This should occur at least two months before the wedding. (More advanced planning is needed to contract other musicians.) Please contact the Minister for Music by email.
- The priest reserves the right to cancel a rehearsal or wedding if any member of the wedding party appears to be inebriated or if any unauthorized alcoholic beverages are brought to the church.
- Smoking is not permitted inside Church of the Redeemer buildings.
- Many couples like to provide a printed worship bulletin/program for their ceremony. This make it easier for guests to follow and participate in the service. The church does not provide this program. However, we can give you templates with essential content to guide you. Please include information regarding the silencing of cell phones and that no flash photography is permitted during the service. Please provide a draft of your program to the priest for approval prior to printing.
- Aisle runners and outdoor canopies are not permitted.
- Handicap access is available via a ramp which leads to the front door of the church and directly into the sanctuary, or via the elevator through the back parking lot entrance.
- Rice, birdseed, confetti, and flower petals may not be thrown at the couple as they enter or leave the church because they create a major cleaning/sanitation problem.
- If the service includes the celebration of Holy Eucharist, the church will provide the bread and wine.
- Our sanctuary cannot accommodate any additional furnishings (e.g., candelabra, arches, etc.), nor can we permit any of the church's equipment to leave the premises.
- Receiving lines are not permitted at the church. Please plan for this at the reception.
- The requirement of the State of Ohio must be fulfilled by applying for a marriage license at the Probate Court of Hamilton County. There is no waiting period, and the license is valid for 60 days. The license must be delivered to the church office at least 5 days before the ceremony.
What are the fees for our wedding?
All fees are payable two weeks before the wedding.
Sexton: $125 for rehearsal and wedding (3 hours), $25 per hour for additional time
The sexton will arrive to open the church at the appointed time on the day of the wedding and will leave after the service and all clean up has been completed. S/he is to be paid for this entire time of service.
Minister for Music or Organist: $350 for rehearsal and wedding, $50 per hour for additional time.
Musicians do not attend the wedding rehearsal.
Clergy: It is appropriate, should the couple choose to do so, to make a gift of $400 in thanksgiving to the priest to be used at his/her discretion.
Flowers: Fees vary depending on the number of arrangements ordered and the choice of flowers and material. After consideration, the director of the Flower Guild will determine the flower cost.
In addition to the preceding fees, some couples choose to make a contribution to the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer as a way of recognizing God's presence in their relationship and thanking God for the blessing of each other and their faith community.