Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage and Weddings at St. Aidan’s
What is required for marriage in the Episcopal Church?
In the Episcopal Church it is required that at least one of the parties be a baptized Christian, that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses, and that the marriage conform to the laws of the state and the canons of the church.
At St. Aidan’s, it is customary that at least one of the parties is a member in good standing of this parish, or the son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, or parent of a member in good standing. If this is not the case, the couple should plan to attend church at St. Aidan’s from the time they request the use of the church.
Is pre-marital counseling required?
Yes. The member of the clergy who will solemnize the marriage typically meets with the couple on several occasions prior to the service to discuss the meaning of Christian marriage in the couple's life. Father Reggie will work with you to schedule pre-marital counseling sessions at a mutually agreeable time well in advance of the wedding.
What is required if I am divorced or have been married before?
Canon Law prohibits clergy from solemnizing the marriage of anyone who has been divorced, except with the consent of the bishop. The guidelines of St. Aidan’s and of the Diocese of Atlanta establish the norm of one year from the date of the final decree of divorce for remarriage in the Church. The bishop, in his guidelines for the clergy, speaks of: "the great and real need for time for a divorced person to work through the 'death' of the former marriage; the grief, forgiveness and learning from past experience, both secular and religious, is generally a year."
In this diocese the bishop has requested thirty (30) days in which to respond to the priest's request to solemnize the marriage. The couple must, therefore, have had several counseling sessions and given the priest copies of their divorce decree(s) no later than forty-five (45) days before the wedding date in order to allow time for this to happen.
How far in advance should I request a wedding date?
Episcopal Church Canon Law requires 30 days between the request for a wedding and the wedding itself. Practically and spiritually, however, much more time should be allotted for preparation. The church calendar is full; and we suggest requesting dates 12 to 16 months in advance.
A note about the calendar: By long tradition, the Episcopal Church does not schedule weddings during the penitential season of Lent. Lent, the 40 days leading up to Good Friday and then the Resurrection, is when the Christian community prepares, with special devotion and solemnity, for the joyous season of Easter.
Does the church need a copy of my marriage license?
It is required that the parties wishing to marry comply with all the laws of the state of Georgia. Such compliance is indicated to the officiating priest by the presentation of a marriage license. You should plan to apply for the license ahead of your wedding date. While there is no waiting period in the state of Georgia, both parties are required to be present when applying for a marriage license.
We request you provide copies of your marriage license at least two weeks in advance of your wedding date. Your copy will be returned to you after your wedding by mail. The priest cannot officiate without the license.
For answers to more questions about weddings at St. Aidan’s as well as the customary fee schedule, please download and review our Wedding Policy.