Getting married

Our light-filled sanctuary and central location make Trafalgar Presbyterian Church an excellent location for weddings. When you call the church office to inquire, Alison in the office will be happy to help you. pews

Initial Arrangements

All weddings performed in Trafalgar Presbyterian Church are subject to the approval of the minister and the church elders and no booking can be confirmed until a meeting with her has taken place. If you wish to involve another officiant in the wedding service, arrangements must first be discussed with the minister at Trafalgar.

About a Church Wedding

Christian marriage bears witness to the love and will of God for all creation. A church wedding is therefore a service of Christian worship that attempts to express the church’s understanding of Christian marriage. This includes prayer and the reading of scripture.

The Christian marriage service upholds the ideal of equality and mutuality between marriage partners. The vows taken by the bride and groom are identical and the covenant is one of self-giving. There is no giving away of one or both parties.

The covenant made between a man and a woman in marriage is private, but it is also a public covenant made before God and witnesses. It is a covenant made for the good of the natural and social order and is rooted in faithfulness. In the marriage service, we are reminded of the faithful God who entered into covenant with a special people.

Fees

There are several fees to consider as you plan your ceremony here at Trafalgar:

For the services of the music director: Rehearsal….$75   Wedding….$150
For the services of the custodian….$100

There are additional fees for those who are not members of Trafalgar Presbyterian Church:

For use of the church….$300
For the services of the minister, in the church building….$275
For the services of the minister, at an off-site location….$350 -400 (depending on the distance the minister must travel)

Please place the fees in separate envelopes and give them to the minister at the rehearsal.

wedding1Planning the service
The minister is responsible for the content of the service, but the bride and groom may share in the selection of readings, music, and prayers. Family or friends may be asked to participate in some parts of the service, in consultation with the minister. When you meet, she will provide you with several marriage service outlines and appropriate scripture passages to choose from and will be happy to guide you in this process. You will be encouraged to spend some time deciding what kind of a worship service most reflects your relationship and your faith.

Holy Communion may be celebrated as a part of the worship service, but is appropriate only when all or most of the congregation can participate. If you wish, the marriage rite may be included in the public Service of Worship on a Sunday morning. In such a case, the couple would come forward after the sermon to make their marriage covenant.

The most appropriate place for such a worship service is in the sanctuary of the church; however, you have in mind a location other than Trafalgar, please speak to the minister. If you are simply looking for someone to perform a marriage ceremony, then perhaps this is not the place for you. But if you believe in God, and would like others to join you in giving thanks for the blessing of God in the gift of marriage, then we will be glad to celebrate this special time with you!

Church Membership

wedding2It is possible to be married in the Presbyterian Church even if neither of you are members. We are, of course, always glad to welcome new members and should you wish to profess your faith within the community here at Trafalgar, arrangements can be made through the minister.

Re-marriage after divorce

If you have been married previously and are now legally divorced, you will be required to produce legal documentation as well as the minister will want to discuss these circumstances with you.

Marriage licence

The licence is valid for three months from the date of issue, so you should apply well before the wedding date. You must have it at least three days before the ceremony. In Oakville, you may apply at the Town Hall. Please bring the licence to the church no later than the rehearsal.

When both the bride and groom are members of the Church and attend worship services regularly, it is possible to be married by the publishing of Banns instead of by licence. Please note that if either the bride or groom has been married before or does not attend church services regularly, a licence must be purchased. This may be discussed further with the minister if you wish.

Marriage preparation

Being married involves a great deal more than simply celebrating on a special day; it is the beginning of new challenges and changes for both of you. For this reason, we ask that all couples make arrangements with the minister to participate in a marriage preparation program. We often recommend Marriage Prep, an interdenominational program supported by the Anglican Diocese of Toronto which is suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds. Courses takes place in various church locations around the Toronto area, and include a Friday evening and a full day Saturday session. You will find more information about it here.

Music

Our congregation is home to a variety of excellent musicians including our Music Director, Paul Miller. He is able to help you find special musicians or ensembles, or to provide simple piano accompaniment himself. Paul will also guide you in choosing music appropriate for a church wedding. Please be in touch with him directly at millerpaulj [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Flowers and decorations

015Make arrangements with the florist of your choice. If you are having flowers delivered to the church, please make special arrangements with our church administrator to ensure that the building is open when they arrive.

Please advise the minister what you intend to do with the flowers, pew decorations, etc. after the service. If they are left in the church, it will be presumed that you are leaving them for the church to use.

We ask that you do not use confetti, rose petals, bird seed or other items to be strewn in the  church or on the walkway outside the building.

Photography

Photographs are a wonderful way of remembering your wedding. Cameras and recording equipment are welcome in the sanctuary, but the photographer must remain stationary except for the processional, recessional, and the signing of the register. If you hire a professional photographer, please have him/her speak with the minister before the service to ensure that this is clearly understood.

The rehearsal

It is important to walk through each step of the ceremony, to practice unfamiliar actions and to determine the order of processions and seating. This results in more orderly worship and a more relaxed wedding party on the day of the wedding. Please arrange a suitable time and date with the minister. The rehearsal will take at least 30 minutes, and it is expected that you and your wedding party make every effort to be prompt.

And finally…

All of us here at Trafalgar wish you the very best as you prepare for this most important and exciting day. Please Rev. Kristine for more information at trafalgarchurch [@] bellnet [dot] ca.