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Weddings

Weddings - Marriage - Renewal of Vows - Blessings

Wedding Services We are happy to provide wedding services to those in the Central Florida area as well as those in our community of faith. By working with several priests in the diocese, we are able to accommodate most requests (including services in Spanish). As Old Catholics, we have considerable flexibility in our wedding ceremonies (i.e. outdoor locations, divorce, remarriage, annulments, renewals).

Marriage is a Sacrament that unites one man and one woman. Since each marriage is a covenant between two unique individuals, we will work with you to provide a ceremony that is meaningful and reflects your personal taste and style. Weddings can be held in the location of your choice in the central Florida area including Orlando, Lakeland, Winter Haven and the surrounding cities. We are also able to provide referrals for weddings in the greater Tampa area.

Please contact us for more information. It is recommended that you schedule as far in advance as possible to avoid any scheduling conflicts.

LOCATION

Outside the Box

“You're getting married where?” was a question that might have been asked in shock, alarm, or disbelief a few years ago. It was a given for most people that they would be married in a church, their home, or at the local court house. Today people are getting married in innovative ways, at unusual times, and in unexpected places, and the vacation wedding has become a staple of society.

A couple will schedule a week to a month of vacation and go to a special location where they will wed and vacation honeymoon.

If you have the means and the ability to do so, it makes sense to make your special event event more memorable by getting married in a vacation paradise; however, some planning and thought are important. Even in the world of tourist dependent vacation paradises nothing happens by accident. Marriage licenses must be obtained. Rooms should be booked in advance. An officiant should be scheduled well in advance, and if the wedding is to be outside in one of America's many beautiful cities, you should consider hiring security or know how you will deal with intruders or interruptions.

Good weddings don't just happen; they take planning! Some better hotels have extensive experience and expertise in putting these events together, and will assist you in your needs and desires. If you are planning a medium to large wedding, and you want an easy, hassle free event that has style, a good hotel catering staff is the perfect answer. If your preference is a small and intimate ceremony, a minister local to the area may be able to suggest a restaurant or other facility that will lend charm and privacy to your wedding; and in some trendy vacation spots, there are small wedding chapels that cater exclusively to this need.

Weddings are also planned for special places that mean something to the couple. A friend of mine officiated at a wedding on the “Natural Bridge” in Virginia a few years ago. Recently one of my friends was married on a bike trail because the couple loved to be outdoors and ride bicycles together. Historic sites, old family homes, pleasure gardens, and various public sites may become your wedding location, but make sure you plan ahead. Schedule your event and, if necessary, obtain the proper permission for your wedding to be held on a particular site.

Of course a wedding may be planned in a special place just because it is fun! Renaissance Festivals are such locations. They usually have a “medieval” chapel that can be scheduled for weddings. Yes you will want to schedule, these festivals are popular and in demand. While many of these sites will have someone who can legally perform your marriage, be aware that most are play acting, and having a good time. The wedding will be legal, but not truly sacramental. If you consider marriage a sacrament you will probably want to arrange for the appropriate clergy to perform your wedding. All who have attended a Renaissance Festival know the mood and atmosphere are festive and alive.

There are still those couples who will opt to be married in a home wedding. This can be a very special way involve parents or family in the event. For some people this might add stress, but for other families this might actually be a good way to ease tensions or stress. In some areas churches and facilities are charging enormous hourly fees for rental of space for weddings. A home wedding also removes the burden of excessive cost, while allowing the event to remain dignified and elegant.

Marriage is a special event, and a church or temple wedding should not be abandoned for an alternative wedding without honest thought and planning. For many couples a traditional wedding in a traditional setting is one of the most meaningful events that will occur in their lives. The power and the emotion of a traditional wedding and the blessing of your minister, priest, imam or rabbi may be just what you really want.

Your wedding is your special day, but it may also be a very special day for your family and if that is so, then you should include the family in the planning stages of your wedding even if you have opted to have a non-traditional wedding.

However you plan your wedding may it be joyous, wondrous, and memorable.



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Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament for which there is no fee

 Ministers are expected to preside over the various sacramental celebrations of those people who are members of their parishes: however, clergy are often requested to preside over weddings for those who are not members of their congregations. Such is outside of regular Church duties and works of the officiant on behalf of the Church and its parishioners. As such, weddings, funerals, and other such events are treated differently in that the specific officiant is usually asked to preside over such an event because of personality, time availability, religious considerations, or other considerations and desires.

Even so, these Rites are sacraments, and it is inappropriate to “charge” or “set a fee” for any of the sacraments. Thus, when someone makes his or her first inquiry as to time availability of a minister, priest, rabbi, or other clergy to preside over a pending wedding and the question is raised, “How much do you charge?” the answer must always be “We do not charge for a sacrament; such can only be by donation.” Many pastors resolve this issue by performing weddings only for members of their congregations. Some churches resolve this issue by “charging or recommending a donation” for the use of the facility. And some ministers of non-sacramental Protestant denominations do what all catholic ministries consider “Simony:” they simply charge a flat fee.

Unfortunately, taking into consideration that everything else involved in a wedding is so very expensive, the sheer mention of the words “by donation” to many indicates that such can therefore be a minimal amount, totally out of proportion to the preparatory work done by the officiant prior to the wedding.

To be clergy is not only a calling, a vocation, but is also considered a profession same as are other professions such as is an attorney-at-law, a medical doctor, a dentist, professor, scientist, and many other professions. One has studied many years at a college or seminary and has had to go through the various training programs and ranks of one's own religious organization, spending much time and money to be qualified in the chosen professional rank of this vocation. And much the same as is the case with an attorney when going to trial or doing other work on behalf of his client, clergy must do his or her own preparatory work on behalf of the couple prior to their wedding.

If the couple wishes to meet with clergy for marital counseling, advice or to practice the ritual of the ceremony prior to the nuptials, such takes time and effort, as well as professional knowledge.

One often meets with the couple at their home or at the clergy's home or office to discuss the type of service the couple desires to have at their wedding – this takes a morning, afternoon or evening. The research and preparation of a sermon suitable for any individual wedding usually takes at least half of a day. It takes several hours of work for the minister, as well as his secretary or staff to prepare the ceremony in a format festive to the occasion. The officiant must travel to and from the wedding, and if the wedding is at a distance this may require lodging, especially if there is a rehearsal and therefore appropriate that the officiant be present at the rehearsal to lead the bridal party through the “dos and don'ts” of the ceremony. At the day of the wedding – especially a large wedding—although the ceremony may only last 45 minutes to an hour, the actual time involved for clergy and staff might be anywhere from half a day to a full day. Furthermore, many couples ask that clergy or their staff take care of filing their completed marriage license with the appropriate local authorities.

After the wedding, many people think nothing of handing the clergyman $100 for all the preparation and work that has been done on their behalf (usually at least 3 full days of work), but these same people will pay a DJ $800 or maybe $1200 for two or three hours of music. A professional musician recently told me that he does not open his trumpet case even to play “Hear Comes the Bride” at a wedding for less than $500! Yes, he is a professional with college training and years of experience, but so is your minister.

All in all, even though not always visible to the eye, there is a lot of time and effort spent by clergy and their staff in the preparations of a wedding. To that end, many Protestant clergy today have a flat fee built in for their vocational services ranging anywhere from five hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the type of ceremony, the intricacies and desires of the wedding party, size and overall cost of the wedding; with other words, the larger and costlier the wedding, the greater is the amount that clergy charges. And, many Orthodox and Catholic churches, knowing that it is improper for their clergy to charge, have set fees for the use of their sanctuaries and other spaces in such a way that the size of the space and the length of time it is occupied—which usually reflects the size and intricacy of the wedding—determine the cost.

With all of this in mind -- be fair to the clergy who preforms your wedding.

   
 

 

   
 
   
   

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