wedding planning
 
     
  about your marriage – for those who are not members of the parish

There are many people who choose Aspen for a destination wedding. We are pleased that you would like to be married in Aspen and we will do everything we can to help you. The celebration of your marriage is a unique moment in your life, and preparation for it is important.

The Episcopal Church specifies that there be at least 30 days notice given to the priest before he may officiate at any marriage. Therefore, it is important for you to make an appointment with our rector, Fr. Brice (or other clergy designated by him) immediately so that he may meet you and plan for pre-marital counseling with you and your future spouse. Church Law requires that the clergy see both of you personally and provide pre-marital instruction before giving permission for a marriage to be solemnized in the church. In situations where the couple to be married are living someplace other than Aspen, they should receive their pre-marital instruction from a priest in that area. Fr. Brice will be glad to make an initial contact on your behalf if you will furnish him with the name of the nearest Episcopal Church and its rector. Prior to the wedding, Fr. Brice must receive a letter from the priest who conducted the pre-marital counseling certifying that the counseling has been completed and that the priest who did the counseling recommends that the couple be married.

Persons who have been previously married and divorced should bring a copy of their final divorce decree to the first meeting with the priest. The Episcopal Church accepts the civil process for dissolution of marriage, but the consent of the Bishop must be obtained before re-marriage in the church.

When the marriage is celebrated at a place other that the church, such as on Aspen Mountain or at a lodge or private home, the rite is always without the Holy Eucharist. When the marriage is celebrated in the church, the rite may include the Holy Eucharist if both bride and groom have been baptized.

 

if the marriage rite is to be celebrated somewhere other than the church
Ordinarily a professional event planner handles arrangements for weddings held outside the church. Sometimes such weddings are held outdoors in the summer, or in a hotel, lodge, or private home. The event planner should be in communication with our rector-elect at least one month prior to the wedding in order to discuss the details of the setting for the marriage rite. Ordinarily there is provision of a place for the priest to put on his vestments and of a place for the bride and groom and their witnesses to sign the parochial marriage register and the marriage license.

 

if the marriage rite is to be celebrated in christ church itself
Christ Church is a small church. The new worship space will seat 100 persons in pews and another 100, maximum, in the overflow area of Rowland-Davis Hall, where closed circuit television is provided. The chancel area is too confined for a wedding party that would include more than three bridesmaids and three groomsmen. The bride and groom are responsible for the cost of altar flowers for their wedding. The Flower Committee will work with the couple in planning floral arrangements. Please call the church office, 925-3278, to obtain the phone number of the Flower Committee person with whom you will coordinate. If you prefer to work with a florist, the Flower Committee will need to know the florist whom you have chosen so arrangements can be made for the pick-up of altar vases and time of flower delivery. If you wish, we can recommend a florist. It is customary for the altar flowers to remain for the Sunday following the wedding, if the wedding is on a Saturday. It is not our policy to use artificial flowers or greenery unless members of the wedding party or congregation are allergic to real flowers.

Marriages are wonderful celebrations, but marriage is also a solemn, sacramental rite of the Church. A reverent, worshipful atmosphere should be maintained at all times in the church, and especially during and prior to the actual ceremony.


Candles to be lighted are those on the altar and, if desired, the church’s aisle candelabra. If you wish to use the aisle candelabra, you will be expected to pay for the candles used. The Altar Guild will need to order these in advance of your wedding. A unity candle may be used, under the direction of the officiating priest. A unity candle is never placed on the altar, but rather on a table nearby. If you wish to use a unity candle, you are responsible for acquiring the candle and the candleholder.

The bride and groom may designate one official photographer who is permitted to take pictures during the ceremony. No one else should be taking pictures. Except for a shot of the bridal couple as they start up the aisle, there should be no pictures using flash or strobe taken in the church by the official photographer (or by anyone else) until after the marriage is over and the newlyweds are going down the aisle to leave the church. A video camera may be used if the location is unobtrusive and approved by the rector-elect. Following the service, the clergy will be happy to cooperate with photographers for whatever posed pictures are desired.

Rice, birdseed, or confetti may not be thrown within the building or on the church grounds. The marriage license should be presented to the priest at least two days prior to the rehearsal so that it might be properly filled in by the parish secretary. The official records of the marriage will be signed immediately following the ceremony.

 

fees
For non-parishioners, there is a $600 fee for use of the church payable to the church, plus another $150 if there is a reception in the church garden.The standard fee for the Rector's services should be discussed with the Rector. Any honorariums should be made payable directly to the Rector. Arrangements must be made for the payment of fees prior to the wedding ceremony.

By policy, the church music director, Molly Noel (617-901-4323), plays for all weddings held in Christ Church itself. The fee for Ms. Noel's services is negotiated with her and depends on the amount of music, number of soloists involved, number of rehearsals, etc. The music director’s fee is payable at the time of the wedding and made payble directly to Ms. Noel. All music arrangements are made through the church music director.

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christ episcopal church of aspen
536 West North Street, Aspen, Colorado 81611-1253 • (970) 925-3278