A wedding at St. Paul’s can fulfill your dreams for a lifetime.
Archdeacon Deborah Kraft
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We have a beautiful church with a very long aisle, and we have incredible organ and piano music. We believe that there is no better start to a strong marriage than to bring the Power of God into the centre of the marriage.
Planning your wedding in Thunder Bay? Here's some of the most common questions we receive about marriage at St. Paul's.
Do we need to be Anglican to get married at St. Paul’s?
Not necessarily. If at least one of you is a baptized Christian, and if you are interested in learning more about the Anglican tradition, then we welcome you to St. Paul’s.
What about banns?
Banns can substitute for a marriage licence if you are a member of St. Paul’s and neither of you has ever been married before. Banns are as legally binding as a licence; you will save the cost of obtaining the marriage licence.
I’m divorced. Can I still get married at St. Paul’s?
Yes. One or both of you can be divorced and still be married in an Anglican church. You complete a form (at no cost) which is reviewed by our Bishop and a committee. Ensure that you give yourself 2 months to complete this process. It’s about being open to what you learned about yourself and marriage from the breakup of your previous marriage.
What about Marriage Prep?
Marriage preparation is an important part of a Christian marriage. Our Rector will meet with you privately and talk about your hopes and dreams. As well, we offer an annual Marriage Preparation Course. The 1-day course takes place on a Saturday, usually at the beginning of May, when all the engaged couples come together and learn more about themselves and married life. We bring in guest speakers; we offer a personality test, and we end the day with a catered candlelight dinner. There is a cost for this course, currently at $100/couple.
Can another minister or priest assist at the service?
Absolutely YES. We welcome involvement from other clergy. If you desire to have the marriage recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, then a Roman Catholic priest needs to be in attendance to bless your marriage.
How do you ensure that things run smoothly on our wedding day?
At St. Paul’s, we even provide a church wedding planner so your rehearsal and wedding will be smooth and beautiful.
What about decorating the church?
Although the church is stunning on its own, you are welcome to decorate the church as much as you would like. We suggest that you bring in your decorator or florist ahead of time so they get a feel for the church.You will need to order 2 cut bouquets that will be put on the Altar by ladies at the church.
Can our photographer take pictures during the service?
Of course. This is your wedding day and pictures of the actual events while they are happening will capture memories that will last forever. Your guests can also take pictures. I found the majority of people are respectful, and take pictures appropriately.
What about unity candles?
As a gift to our couples, we provide the unity candles for you to light during the service. Mothers usually light the family candles at the beginning of the service. In the middle of the service, the bride and groom will light the large centre candles as a sign of your unity and marriage.
Should we have communion at our wedding?
This is a personal decision; nearly half of our couples today have a eucharist at their wedding. It is a powerful way to begin your married life. We have an open communion table which means that all baptized Christians can come forward to the altar rail and receive communion.
Can family and friends participate in the service?
Yes. Our Rector will speak with you about the opportunities for family and friends to get involved in the service. There are opportunities to read scripture, lead the Prayers of the People, sing a solo, and bring up the gifts of bread and wine at the eucharist.
Can we get married in the outdoor prayer labyrinth in the church gardens?
Yes. Our first couple was married in the labyrinth in August 2008.
Can Anglican priests marry outside the church?
Yes. Please speak with the Rector about this. You can be married outside of the church at a park, hotel, or family cottage. A rehearsal is important for both a wedding in the church, and a wedding outside of the church. The rehearsal takes about an hour and is usually scheduled around 4 or 5 pm 1 or 2 days before the wedding. Everyone who is participating in the wedding (bridesmaids, groomsmen, scripture readers, parents, flower girls, ring bearers) should be at the rehearsal.
What about the service?
We encourage you to spend time making your service very special. Here’s some parts to consider:
Scripture and who will read it - Most couples have from 1 to 3 passages of scripture read by family or friends
Prayers - Consider asking 1 or 2 people to lead the prayers.
Your Wedding Music - Please call our organist, and arrange an appointment with him. He will help you select music for your processional, recessional, lighting of the unity candles, and signing of the register. You can pick your own soloist, if you desire, or ask Sean to find one for you.
Service Bulletin - You are responsible for designing and printing your service bulletin. You are welcome to borrow the package of actual wedding bulletins used at St. Paul’s over the last several years.
What is the cost of getting married at St. Paul’s?
Our Rector will speak with you about the requested donations at your first meeting together.
What’s the next step?
Stay in touch with the Rector.Try to come and worship on Sunday mornings (either 8:30 am or 10 am) on a regular basis. The more often you come to church, the more comfortable you will feel at St. Paul’s Our Gifts to you a special gift to mark your wedding day, you will receive a FREE engraved stone marker with the date of your wedding and your names. This stone will be placed in our outdoor prayer labyrinth. You will also receive the unity candles as a gift from the Altar Guild at St. Paul’s.
God bless your engagement!