- Marriage - Renewal of Vows - Blessings
||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
Please contact us for more information. It is
recommended that you schedule as far in advance
as possible to avoid any scheduling conflicts.
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
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
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.
Matrimony is a Sacrament for which there is
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
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
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