Weddings

Our Center Aisle

Your Wedding at St. James United Church

We invite you to choose St. James for your wedding. Our church has an open and inclusive marriage policy; we accept and embrace all sexual identities, orientations and religious denominations. We welcome you and your guests and look forward to helping you make this your special day.

Definition and Understanding of Marriage

A marriage can be performed by any person licenced by the government to do so, including a justice of the peace. If you choose St. James for your marriage, a Minister from St. James will conduct the service.

As the meaning of marriage is changing, our purpose in maintaining the ministry of performing marriages is to offer a clear choice for the traditional values of faithfulness and permanence. Thus we bear witness:

  • to the significance of family and of a faith community;
  • to the holy nature of a covenant commitment between a couple and God;
  • to human frailty and to God’s forgiveness.

The Expectations of St. James United Church

Because marriage is also a civil act, the marriage service will include the following:

  • a question regarding legal impediment;
  • a declaration of mutual consent to the marriage;
  • the presence of witnesses;
  • a declaration by the presiding person that the marriage has taken place;
  • signing of the legal documents of the marriage.

Time and Date of Your Wedding

Weddings in the St. James Sanctuary can be performed on any date that does not conflict with other scheduled events. Our wedding time slots are:

  • 11 am
  • 3:30 pm
  • 5:30 pm
  • 7 pm

A time cannot be reserved until a completed registration form is returned to the church office.

To arrange for a wedding outside of St. James, please contact our minister.

Process toward Marriage

You must obtain a marriage licence issued by the Province, which is valid only for 30 days. Once you have it, please bring it to our church office at least one week before the wedding along with the other documents in the envelope.

  1. Contact our office to check that the date you have in mind is available and to discuss the costs involved.You may do this by phone or email.
  2. Complete the Marriage Registration form available from our website or office and return it to us.
  3. When your Registration form has been approved, we require a $200 deposit to hold your date and time. If you cancel your wedding anytime over 6 months in advance of the date, you will receive a full refund; 3-6 months before the date you will receive a 50 percent refund; and if it is cancelled anytime up to 3 months before the wedding, no refund will be given.
  4. Within 3 months of the wedding date, we will contact you to arrange a meeting with our Minister when your ideas for the service will be discussed and United Church resources will be made available to you.
  5. If your wedding is more than 6 months in the future, this contact will likely be made closer to the date, but you may request an interview earlier (for instance, if you reside outside the Province but will be home in the interim for a holiday).
  6. There is no formal requirement for marriage preparation at this time.
  7. In the 30 days before your wedding you should bring your licence to the office and pay the balance of the fees associated with the service.
  8. You may book your wedding rehearsal for a day or two prior to the marriage.

Your Wedding Day

  1. Your booking will be for 1.5 hours.
  2. The custodian will arrive at least 60 minutes prior to the service. If you have not decorated the day before (for instance, if you are the second wedding that day), you may arrange to have someone decorate during this time.
  3. Your ushers should plan to arrive 30 to 45 minutes prior to the service, as your guests will begin arriving.
  4. Your family members should arrive around 10 minutes or more before the service.
  5. A receiving line may be formed in the lobby or outside.
  6. Following the service, two designated people should remove any decorations within 30 minutes of the service.

Stewardship of Our Building

We have a magnificent architectural structure and rejoice that you are choosing to be married at St. James.

  1. Decorations in the Sanctuary should be tasteful and discreet. Pew markers towards the front of the church and fresh flowers are normally sufficient.
  2. You are asked to plan ahead to remove any decorations in the Sanctuary within half an hour of the end of the service. This includes boxes, tissues or bags. Please designate someone who is not in your wedding party to do this.
  3. As with most churches, St. James discourages the use of confetti or rice due to the difficulty of cleaning. Please remind your guests not to use them. Bubbles are a popular substitute but must be used outdoors only.

Other Details

Photography/Videography

Photographs are a special keepsake from your wedding; we welcome the thoughtful participation of photographers and videographers. Please ask them to speak to the Minister before the service concerning movement, location and timing of photos/video filming.

Rehearsal

A formal wedding with a number of attendants may run more smoothly if rehearsed; however, this is not necessary. Your rehearsal may be as simple as the couple meeting with our Minister to discuss who will stand where or as traditional as a full-scale rehearsal with all participants present. You will decide what will work best for you, but don’t forget to book the building for the rehearsal if you want it in the church.

Summary of Costs

Please discuss with our staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to be members of St. James United Church to get married there?

The short answer is no, although we appreciate it if you have some connection with St. James. If there is not an existing connection, please consider worshipping at St. James a Sunday or two before your marriage so you can get to know the community.

Are there any limitations on who can get married at St. James?

No, we accept and embrace all sexual identities, orientations and religious denominations.

Do we have to take a marriage preparation course?

No. Some churches require this and many recommend it, but at this time we simply require you to meet with our Minister for a conversation and to plan the service. A booklet will be provided for you at the meeting.

Can we book a year in advance?

Absolutely, but a $200 deposit will be required to hold your date. We cannot tell you a year in advance which minister will preside due to holiday schedules, etc., but we know that wedding planning can take a while. If our regular Minister is not available, we will find an alternate.

Where can we get a marriage licence?

A marriage licence application can be obtained online: http://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/birth/marriage_cert/#1 or you can call 729-3308 to find a location near you.

Can we choose our own music?

We encourage you to select your own music. Please discuss your music choices with our Minister.

Can we choose our own readings?

We encourage you to select your own scripture passage(s), as they will reflect what you want to say to the community gathered in your commitment. Then discuss them with our Minister.

One of us is divorced, does that make a difference?

No, it does not. We welcome you into your new partnership with joy.

Can our child participate in the service?

We think this is a good idea if the child is old enough and wishes to participate. Speak to our Minister about how you would like to do this.

Is there a way to welcome and to honour our new relationship with step-children during the service?

Yes. A part of the service can include vows from a new step-parent to step-children and vice versa or the exchanging of a token.

Do you have rules about photography or videography?

A marriage is a service of worship and should be dignified. Please talk to your minister about your plans.

How long can we stay after our wedding for a receiving line and photos?

We anticipate that you will be in the building about 30 minutes following the service. If you want photos taken in the Sanctuary, this must be done within that 30 minutes. This is a courtesy to staff that will have arrived 60 minutes prior to the wedding.

Are there any circumstances in which we would be refused?

Yes. A minister is not obliged to perform a marriage if in his/her assessment the marriage should not be performed. This decision would be made in consultation with the Chair of the Worship and Sacraments Committee and with yourselves.

What happens if the minister we want is unavailable?

If the Minister you have been working with is sick or on holiday, it is our responsibility to find a replacement from the United Church.