Wedding F.A.Q.

WHO MAY HAVE THEIR WEDDING AT THE CATHEDRAL?

The canon law of the Episcopal Church requires that at least one of the couple 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.
Since December 2015, the Episcopal Church has been authorized to conduct same-gender marriages.
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 expect 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.
The Episcopal Church requires two witnesses to attest to the wedding ceremony.
 If there has been a previous marriage, you must provide proof of dissolution, divorce, annulment or death, and proof of provision for any children.

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, are welcome to assist the Episcopal priest in the service.

WHAT PREPARATORY INSTRUCTION IS REQUIRED?

Several sessions of preparatory instruction are required of all couples. Meetings are scheduled at the mutual convenience of the officiant and the couple.  The Counseling Center at the Cathedral is also an option for marriage preparation for couples living in Paris.  Couples who reside far from Paris may make arrangements for counseling in their home areas; the counseling clergyperson or other professional will confirm with the officiating cathedral priest when the counseling has been completed.

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS?

Under French law, churches cannot perform legal marriages. The usual sequence of events is a civil ceremony followed by the sacrament of Holy Matrimony in the church.  Civil ceremonies can be done by a local “Mairie” in Paris or by a Justice in the Peace in a civil ceremony in your country. If you are U.S. or UK citizens, the latter is much easier and highly recommended. Please look into the time frame and requirements for civil marriage in your country to avoid difficulty, since we cannot perform your marriage ceremony at the Cathedral without proof of legal marriage. A copy of your legal marriage certificate is due in the Cathedral office no later than the Monday before your wedding.

WHAT ARE THE SCHEDULING CONSIDERATIONS?

Weddings and wedding rehearsals are scheduled as the cathedral calendar permits. While we try to accommodate the preferred date and time for weddings and rehearsals, 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 in the day, or even earlier in the week.

WHAT IS THE THE ORDER OF SERVICE AND TEXTS?

Weddings in the cathedral use the order for "The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage" which begins on page 422 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is the text used for scriptural readings. Marriage services may or may not include the Holy Eucharist. 

WHAT ARE THE MUSIC CONSIDERATIONS?

Music for weddings is subject to the same standards and policies as music for any cathedral service. The couple is required to meet with the Music Director or Organist for consultation in choosing music.  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. Exceptions are subject to the approval of the Music Department.

WILL FLOWERS BE PROVIDED AND/OR CAN WE BRING IN OUR OWN FLORIST?

The cathedral flower guild prepares the arrangements for wedding flowers at the altar only. You may arrange for added flowers at your own expense.  Please be sure to work out details with the staff for preferences and set-up. 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.  The use of rice and/or confetti is not allowed. Complete clean-up is required if flowers are used on pews.

CAN WE BRING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS?

Wedding photographers must be approved by Cathedral clergy. The photographer must discuss their plans with the clergy ahead of the ceremony.

WHAT ARE THE FEES FOR A WEDDING?

Please fill out an inquiry form for your ceremony and we will get back to you with a quote.