WEDDINGS AT ST. JAMES
Thank you for considering St. James Episcopal Cathedral for your wedding. St. James is a wonderful setting for the public witness and blessing of couple’s life-long union. We hope that the following information will help to answer some of the more commonly asked questions about having a wedding at St. James.
WHO MAY HAVE THEIR WEDDING AT ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL?
The canon law of the Episcopal Church requires that at least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian. It is not necessary to be a member of the Cathedral congregation, nor to be an Episcopalian, to have one’s wedding celebration here. Nevertheless, a wedding in the Cathedral is different from a ceremony that takes place in a home, a hotel, a judge’s chamber or another location. We hope that couples who come to the Cathedral seeking God’s blessing on their relationship will be open to a discussion of the spiritual nature of that relationship and the place of God in their lives.
DOES ST. JAMES SUPPORT THE MARRIAGE OF SAME-GENDER COUPLES?
Absolutely! We believe love is love! On July 1, 2015, the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal passed legislation bringing marriage equality to the Episcopal Church and comes on the heels of the June 26th, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
WHO MAY OFFICIATE?
Clergy on the staff of the Cathedral will normally officiate at all weddings. Clergy of other denominations, including those of other faith traditions, may assist the Episcopal priest.
Weddings are most often scheduled on Saturdays. They may be scheduled also on weekdays (Monday – Friday), subject to the availability of the Cathedral calendar. Weddings are not scheduled on Sundays or during Holy Week. To begin the scheduling process, request more information, and/or inquire about specific dates and times, please fill-out the “Wedding Interest Form.”
Wedding rehearsals are scheduled as the Cathedral calendar permits. While we try to accommodate the preferred date and time for a wedding rehearsal, we cannot guarantee that your preference will be met. Other events on the Cathedral calendar may preclude scheduling a rehearsal on the evening preceding a wedding; in this case the rehearsal must be scheduled earlier on Friday, or even earlier in the week.
THE ORDER OF SERVICE AND TEXTS
Weddings in the Cathedral use the sacred rites of the Episcopal Church as approved for use by the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is the text used for scriptural readings.
Several sessions of preparatory instruction are required of all couples. Meetings are scheduled at the mutual convenience of the officiant and the couple. Couples who reside far from Fresno may make arrangements for counseling in their home areas; the counseling clergy will confirm with the officiating Cathedral clergy when the counseling has been completed.
Music for weddings is subject to the same standards and policies as music for any Cathedral service. St. James will provide you with a list of appropriate music for the service, including the processional and recessional. Only sacred music may be performed; popular music in the form of secular love songs or romantic ballads is not suitable. Hymns may be sung during the service by the congregation. Any exceptions to this policy are subject to the approval of the Cathedral Dean.
Flower arrangements are welcome. The couple is strongly encouraged to connect with the head of the Altar Guild to discuss the details of flower arrangements. For safety reasons, pew-end arrangements which contain candles, are not permitted. Candles are present at the altar and are lit for weddings as for other services.
Photography and filming are allowed at St. James. It is preferred that no flash photography be taken during the service. The officiant will determine where video cameras and photographers may be located. Photographers and videographers are expected to be respectful of the sacred setting and occasion of the wedding service—intrusive and/or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
Congregational discounts apply to those who have been pledging members of the Cathedral congregation for at least six months before making arrangements for a wedding. All weddings require a 50% non-refundable deposit to reserve the venue and date.
Cathedral (Capacity 300) - $1,750
Zoe Eden Hall (Capacity 500) - $1,750 for service only,
$3,500 for service/reception
Holy Innocents Chapel (Capacity 100) - $600
Cathedral Grounds (Capacity Varies) – starts at $1000
The package includes the preparatory counseling, musician fee, Cathedral coordinator’s fee, staff support costs, space use fees for the venue, including rehearsal time and space, dressing areas and time for post-wedding photography.
Weddings will be rescheduled, if necessary, but the deposit is non-refundable if you cancel. Additional fees apply for Cathedral choir, special accommodations, or any other special services.
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