Weddings at Trinity
The marriage of two people is a holy union. It begins with your desire to form a lasting, lifelong partnership with another person in God's love, and continues throughout your lives as an unfolding process of intentional living and growing together. In a marriage, each of you as an individual and together as a couple, gradually transform and mature in God's presence and image.
A wedding, then, is a sacred ritual that acknowledges and celebrates your desire to enter a lifelong relationship. It symbolized the ending of former ways of life and other future possibilities, and establishes a particular pathway into the future – one that you promise to travel together.
By uniting within the context of a faith community, you recognize that God is active in the love you feel for one another, and you place your relationship in God’s care. You make your vows before God and the gathered community of family, friends and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help you fulfill your vows. Your marriage is a sacrament – an outward and visible sign of God’s grace bringing you together and nurturing your love.
A wedding in the Episcopal Church is governed by The Book of Common Prayer, Canon Law, and the laws of the State of Washington. The Book of Common Prayer is the foundation for all Episcopal worship services and provides the liturgical framework in which a wedding is celebrated. The Episcopal Church has also developed a liturgy for the blessing of same-gender marriages, and the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, of which Trinity Parish is a part, has approved the use of this liturgy for the blessing of same-gender marriages. Depending upon your situation, the appropriate rite will be provided for you as you plan your service.
The Episcopal Church requires that...
at least one of the couple be a baptized Christian,
the ceremony be attested to by at least two witnesses,
the marriage must conform to the laws of the State and the Canons of the Church, and
the couple participates in a prescribed program of preparation for marriage.
Trinity Parish does not require that the couple be members of the parish, but we do see marriage at Trinity as a part of a continuum of spiritual connection and growth that we seek to nurture, and that we hope you will want to be a part of. We believe strongly that Christian marriage is best lived in the context of a community of love and support, and we take seriously the commitment we make as a parish during the marriage service when we pledge to support and uphold you in your life together. If you are not currently members of Trinity Parish, we hope you will consider becoming members. There are four primary signs of membership at Trinity Parish:
a record of your baptism, which may have been conducted in either the Episcopal Church or another Christian denomination,
regular attendance at Sunday worship,
active participation in the life of the parish, and
an annual financial pledge to support the ministries of the parish.
If you are not already members of Trinity, we would love to talk to you about what it would mean for you to join the parish and become part of the life we share together here.
Prior Marriages and Petitions for Remarriage
If either of you has been previously married, you will need to file a petition for remarriage to the office of the bishop. In such instances, the officiating priest must meet with you at least six (6) months prior to the wedding date to discuss the previous relationship(s). Canon law requires the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese for a new marriage to be made. A petition to the bishop, together with a letter from the officiating clergy person, should include the following information:
The full names of the parties to be married.
The names of the Episcopal congregation(s) in which the persons seeking to be married are active members.
The names of former spouses.
The dates of final divorce decrees involved.
If child support is to be paid, whether you are current in payment.
A statement concerning the reason for the failure of prior marriage(s).
A statement telling how and why this new relationship will be different.
A statement concerning the manner in which the couple intends to place God at the center of their marriage and home.
For a second marriage, a waiting period of one year from the date of final divorce decree is normally required. Your officiating clergy person will provide additional information and specific instructions on how to complete the petition process.
We will schedule your wedding no more than 18 months but no less than six months in advance. This allows plenty of time to plan your liturgy, complete your series of counseling sessions, meet with the priest who will officiate the liturgy, and – if you are not already members – attend worship and get to know the Trinity Parish community. It also increases the chance that your chosen date will be available given Trinity’s full schedule of activities.
Weddings are scheduled only through the Parish Administrator. Please contact Kristy Messler-Hunt for more information and to ensure that your desired date is available. While you may reschedule your date if necessary, deposits are non-refundable if you choose to cancel.
Weddings are typically scheduled on Saturdays during seasons of the Church year with a particular focus on celebrating new life. Marriage liturgies are not customarily scheduled during Lent, and are never scheduled during Holy Week, the first week of Easter, the final week of Advent or the week after Christmas.
From your first contact with the Parish Administrator to the day of your wedding, a host of clergy, artists and volunteers are involved in helping you with your wedding and marriage preparation. The primary team with whom you will work includes the Parish Administrator, the presiding priest at your marriage liturgy, the parish’s music staff, the Flower Guild, and your premarital counselor.
Please note that all communication with regard to any aspect of the marriage preparation, wedding ceremony, or fees will be between Trinity staff and the couple ONLY (i.e. not with relatives, wedding planners, etc.).
Marriage Request Form
The wedding process at Trinity Parish begins when you have completed the Marriage Application Form (PDF) and send it to the Parish Administrator. This form provides us all of the initial information we need to best serve you in preparing for your wedding and your marriage. (If you are unable to download the form directly from the link above, please contact the Parish Administrator for assistance.) Simply complete the form as instructed and we will contact you for your first meeting with one of our clergy.
Before submitting the Marriage Application Form (PDF), please be sure you have read through each of the following documents to better understand some of our marriage policies at Trinity:
Your first meeting will be with one of the clergy who will go over with you our wedding guidelines, requirements, fees and any special requests you may have. This first meeting takes only about 30 minutes. An important part of this first meeting is establishing where you will complete the pre-marital counseling. Once the counseling is complete your next meeting will be with the priest in charge of your wedding ceremony.
The basic fee for weddings at Trinity is $2500 and covers all the cost of your wedding at the church including time spent in preparation with your presiding priest, flowers, organist, leaflets, and custodial staff. Any cost for outside pre-marital counseling is not included in this fee. Additional fees may include extra leaflet production, additional musicians, music rehearsal fees, use of Parish Hall for a reception.
The fee for pledging members of Trinity who have made and kept financial commitments to the parish at or above the $2500 level for the past year or more will be $1500.
If these fees represent a financial hardship, please speak with the Parish Administrator or one of the clergy, and we will consider a smaller amount that will be not less than 10% of your total wedding costs.
A gift to the clergy discretionary fund is a thoughtful way to offer thanks to the clergy for their work with you on this special occasion. Such gifts are completely voluntary, and the proceeds are placed in a special fund which is used, in part, to assist the poor.