Weddings

Wedding at All Saints'. Photo courtesy of Donna and John MitchellWe welcome the opportunity to discuss your wedding with you and hope that this information will answer some of the questions you may have about celebrating your wedding at All Saints’. We are happy to accommodate same-sex weddings. What follows applies to all couples seeking to have their relationships blessed in our midst.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Who may be married at All Saints’?

Weddings at All Saints’ are for current members and their immediate families. In the Episcopal tradition, a wedding is a sacrament and one of the moments like baptism or communion that bind the couple and the community together by the grace of God. Our hope and expectation is that couples being married at All Saints’ are and will continue to be involved in the life of the church. We use the liturgies for marriage authorized by the Episcopal Church.

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When may we be married at All Saints’?

You may be married at All Saints’ at any time available on the parish calendar with the following exceptions: the season of Lent, any Friday designated as a fast day, and within one week of major holidays, such as Christmas or Easter.

Weddings may be scheduled in the church or the chapel as late as 6:00 p.m., with rehearsals scheduled from 5:00 p.m. on the previous day. We frequently must schedule more than one wedding on any given day. You may have use of the church and Egleston Hall for one hour before the wedding and thirty minutes following the service and we need to allow at least two and a half hours between weddings. (Example: If we already have a 5:00 p.m. wedding scheduled, the latest time available would become 2:30 p.m. on that day.)

Under normal circumstances we need at least three months’ notice of your desire to be married. Weddings may be scheduled with Mark Wirtz, Program Assistant, at MWirtz@allsaintsatlanta.org or 404-267-4270. You should be in touch with him as soon as possible after your decision to be married.

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What kind of help do you offer us in preparing for marriage?

We will expect you to participate regularly in worship as well as in a course of pre-marital preparation, which will include at least three sessions, each lasting approximately one hour with the member of the clergy who will be officiating at your service. In addition, you will be asked to participate in a Couples’ Workshop. Usually, this is scheduled for a Saturday (twice a year), 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. You also may be given opportunity to use the Prepare pre-marital questionnaire.

The purpose of these preparatory times will be to help you reflect on your own relationship and the patterns you have developed. They will also be times for you to further your own Christian faith and relationship with clergy and others in this parish.

Occasionally, it will be impossible for a couple to be in Atlanta on a regular basis before their wedding. If this is the case, some person mutually agreeable to you and the officiating clergy may prepare you for marriage.

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Who will officiate at our wedding?

All the staff clergy of All Saints’ are assigned to be available for weddings on a rotating basis. If you have a particular relationship with a member of the clergy of any denomination not on the staff of All Saints’, please know that we are delighted to include him or her in your wedding service in mutually acceptable ways.

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What do I need to know about fees?

We consider your marriage service a gift to you from your community of faith. There is never a cost for worship nor a fee for a priest. The enclosed fee schedule will let you know of other fees you may incur for musicians, the wedding coordinator, reception space, security, and sextons. Checks should be made payable to All Saints’ and should be remitted one month before your wedding.

As the church gives to you, we trust that you will give to others. Each couple is asked to contribute to our ongoing ministries. If you are new to the parish or not otherwise known to the treasurer, your contribution should be at least $1000, an amount equivalent to a gift of less than $100 per month. You are welcome to discuss any of the fees with the officiating priest if your circumstances make them prohibitive. Members of the parish are asked to contribute what they can. Marriage is a time of giving. The congregation provides the liturgy and priest, the couple give themselves to each other and a new couple is born sharing what they have with others.

While not required, it is customary to make a gift to the officiating member of the clergy, or to All Saints’, marked for her or his discretionary fund.

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One or both of us is divorced. Does that make a difference?

Yes, it does. The policies of All Saints’ and of the Diocese of Atlanta for the solemnization of marriage following divorce, consistent with the canons of the Episcopal Church, are based on two Christian truths. First, marriage is a lifelong union instituted by God, signifying the union between Christ and the Church. Second, God in mercy and love creates new life in death, gives hope where there is despair, and forgives our sins. The church maintains our belief that the will of God for marriage is that it be life long as a sign of God’s steadfast love. At the same time and with no dilution of that belief, we can bless the union of those whose prior marriages have died and who, while accepting the consequences of their prior commitments, covenant with one another in a mature Christian marriage.

Our desire is to assist you in building a strong marriage after the death of your prior one. Experience has taught us that after a divorce time is necessary for healing, for learning, and for forgiveness. We require that at least one year have lapsed between the final decree of divorce and the time when the member of the clergy must seek our Bishop’s permission to bless your marriage. (Please note: we are not seeking permission for you to marry. We are seeking permission for us to officiate.) We also seek to help you resolve any issues left over from a prior marriage and in accepting any commitments (e.g., child support) that remain from that marriage. Therefore, some kind of preparation acceptable to the officiating clergy is essential.

The Bishop will not routinely give permission for clergy to bless third and subsequent marriages. However, when such permission is given, at least two years will have passed since the final decree of the most recent divorce. In addition, a professional counselor will have submitted a written assessment of what has changed in your life that gives grounds for confidence that you have learned from the past sufficient for a genuine future commitment, and the officiating clergy person will give unqualified support to the petition.

We further expect that at least one of the couple must have been an active member of All Saints’ for at least one year prior to the petition. Any children from the former marriage must be properly cared for and provided for, and all matters of property and custody must be settled.

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Do you have any stipulations about music?

Yes. Any music must be selected in conjunction with Ray Chenault, our organist. He or his associates will play for your wedding or arrange for a qualified substitute in their absence. Please listen to the music CD enclosed in your wedding packet. It includes portions of more than a dozen wedding preludes, processionals, and recessionals from which to choose. After listening to the CD and circling the selections on the music sheet, please call Mr. Chenault at 404-267-4261 to discuss your music at least one month prior to your wedding. If you are having a trumpet player, please contact Mark Wirtz at MWirtz@allsaintsatlanta.org or 404-267-4270 for the trumpet music tape and selection sheet.

As a wedding is a congregational act of worship, we do not usually permit solos to be sung during the service. However, they may be placed during the prelude or at communion. If you want a vocalist or instrumentalist for your wedding, Mr. Chenault will identify and contact a professional musician for you. Vocalists are generally chosen from the All Saints’ choir and instrumentalist from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. If you wish to use musicians of your own choosing, please discuss it with Mr. Chenault.

Once the couple has completed their music discussions with Mr. Chenault, please mail the wedding tape and music selection sheet to him at the church.

You can also access the same pieces on the music CD and the Music Selection Sheet here.

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What do I need to know about flowers?

We adorn our church with flowers to have beautiful cut flowers arranged and displayed to the glory of God in worship. With the $300 flower fee, All Saints’ Flower Guild will provide the altar flowers for your wedding. The altar flowers from your wedding will then become a gift to the parish, and will remain on the altar for Sunday worship. Following Sunday services, these flowers will be taken to people who are sick and homebound.

The altar flowers are the only major arrangements permitted in the church, with a few exceptions. You may ask your florist to design some pew markers for the family’s pews and a single external arrangement which may be placed either on the rail by the ramp or one of the front doors or in the covered porch (but no more than one arrangement outside). Please inform your florist that All Saints’ doors have no nails in them to hang center wreaths. If this is desired, the florist must provide wreath hangers that fit over the top of the door or they could be hung under the coach lamps. If you do decide to enhance the adornment of the church beyond our normal Sunday offering of altar arrangements, these must be removed by your florist immediately following the wedding and either reused or disposed of. Neither our sexton staff nor flower guild volunteers are available to take care of that.

Please contact our wedding coordinator, Mark Wirtz at MWirtz@allsaintsatlanta.org or 404-267-4270, two months prior to the wedding with any color schemes you are using or preferences you may have about arrangements. Please also understand that the guild will honor those requests as fully as their budget allows and as is liturgically appropriate.

The flowers for your service may, if you desire, be designated in your wedding bulletin as a memorial.

The only candles used are those on the altar.

Floral Designers who are familiar with our church space:

  • Carson Drury
    PO Box 79393
    Atlanta, GA 30357-7393
    carsondrury@yahoo.com
    404-446-3600
  • Jeryl Johnson
    604 McGill Place
    Atlanta, GA 30312
    johnsonjeryl@aol.com
    404-584-7303
  • Alvin Moore
    Alvin@alvinmoore.com
    678-984-7936

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How about photographs and videotapes?

We ask that your guests take no photographs during worship. Your photographer may take one picture with flash as the couple leaves the church and will be given the opportunity to take one or two silent photographs without flash from behind the congregation during the ceremony. Our facilities (the church and Egleston Hall) will be available for your use one hour before your wedding. If you feel that more time is necessary, it is essential that you discuss the possibility with Mark Wirtz as soon as possible. Following the service you may stay in the church for thirty minutes for any additional pictures you desire.

Stationary video equipment may be used in the church although no extra lighting may be added. We have found that a good quality professional camera is more than adequate for the job.

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What else do I need to know?

A member of the All Saints’ wedding guild will contact the couple no later than the Tuesday prior to the wedding to gather information to help the guild assist in your wedding. If you are planning to use an outside wedding coordinator, please provide us with their contact information at least two months prior to your wedding, and Mark Wirtz will contact them directly to discuss Church policy and procedure.

The church seats 440 people and the chapel 135 people. Receptions may be held at the church under our use of alcohol policy. Please request information about this from our facilities manager at 404-881-0835.

The clergy do not expect to be invited to social functions in connection with the wedding. If you would like them to attend, however, please issue a written invitation and they will attend if possible.

You will need a wedding license issued either by the county in which you are a resident or in Fulton County, where All Saints’ is located. For further information, please call the probate court at your county courthouse (Fulton County at 404-730-1401). No wedding may take place without a license being in the hands of the officiating member of the clergy prior to the service.

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Please email Mark Wirtz at MWirtz@allsaintsatlanta.org or call 404-267-4270 with any further questions. Mark will do his best to make sure all your questions receive answers.

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