WEDDINGS AT ST. STEPHEN'S ON THE HILL

We rejoice in your commitment to each other! We offer the resources of this congregation to you as you prepare to establish that commitment within the covenant of Christian Marriage. We have an equal marriage policy and will perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

We will endeavour to be sensitive to and respectful of other faith traditions when one of the partners is from outside the church. We are, however, a Christian congregation and this will be reflected in the service offered.

The first step is to view the facilities. You are welcome to attend any Sunday service (10:45 a.m.) when you will be able to see the church in daylight and hear the organ being played. You may also arrange with our Office Administrator to view the church during our regular office hours Tues.-Fri. 9:00am - 12:00pm, or by appointment.
Arranging a Date
Many items need attention, not the least of which is the reserving of the minister and the sanctuary (seats 240). We recommend this be done well in advance, preferably before other arrangements are made, as the availability of the church and the minister’s schedule are involved. We require at least three months notice (6 months or more is better) for summer weddings, and at least two months notice at other times. Weddings are booked on a first come – first served basis. Weddings are not performed at our church on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and occasionally other dates. Be sure to consult with the minister before setting the day and time of your wedding, as well as the rehearsal time.

Weddings can be booked on:
    * Friday at 3pm, and 7pm;
    * Saturday at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm; and
    * Sunday typically at 2pm.

Note that there is a premium charged for weddings on Sundays or long weekends (Fri-Sun).

Each wedding is given a total of four hours for decorating the church, the wedding ceremony, photographs and refresh. This means that a couple with a wedding at 3:00 p.m. have the church from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for set-up, ceremony and strike down. The wedding ceremony itself takes between 30 to 45 minutes.

Weddings can be booked by submitting a completed booking form and a non-refundable $200 deposit to hold confirmed dates and times for both rehearsal and wedding. Please make cheques payable to St. Stephen’s on the Hill United Church.

If for some reason our minister or our organist become unavailable after booking we will assume responsibility for securing the services of another minister or organist.
Our Church Address
On your invitations be sure to print the Church address as:  

    St. Stephen’s on the Hill United Church
    1248 Lauzon Avenue, Sudbury, ON
Invited Clergy
St. Stephen’s on the Hill United Church recognizes that you may have a clergy person that has had a special influence in your life. We are happy to include that person. The decision to invite the guest clergy, however, must first be discussed with the minister of St. Stephen’s on the Hill United Church.  Please present the name to the minister and contact information and the minister will extend the invitation.
Marriage Preparation
Marriage is much more than a wedding, so you will be strongly encouraged to participate in a marriage preparation program. The minister will give you more information on available marriage preparation programs during your first interview.
License
Although the Marriage Act of Ontario allows a couple to purchase a marriage license and get married on the same day, we ask you to get the license at least one week before and bring the license to the Church Office as soon as possible. This allows us to prepare the certificates, etc. You must obtain a marriage license if you were previously married. The Marriage Act also says that a license expires after three months. So don’t get it too early!
Publication of Banns
The publication of banns for three consecutive weeks remains a legal alternative to obtaining a marriage licence.  A marriage may be solemnized under the authority of the publication of banns where both parties to the proposed marriage worship regularly at St. Stephen’s on the Hill United Church.

No one may marry under the authority of banns if there was a previous marriage (dissolved or annulled).  
Witnesses
The law requires that in addition to yourselves and the minister there must be a minimum of two credible witnesses (aged 18 or over) at your wedding.
Alcohol and Drug Use
The law requires that the Bride, the Groom, and the witnesses be sober for the ceremony.  If the Bride or Groom is intoxicated, the wedding ceremony cannot be solemnized; if the designated witnesses are intoxicated, they may have to be substituted for the official document signing. If the wedding must be cancelled due to intoxication of the participants, all fees will be forfeited.
Music
Our musicians may be available to play at weddings where music is desired. Our minister can provide contact information if required. Our musicians will advise you about what is suitable and possible in wedding music. Remember that everything that is played or sung—  just as all that is said or read—  must be appropriate to a religious ceremony.

If you wish a soloist, our musicians may be able to recommend one to you.

While we understand that you may have a musician in your life who is special to you and you may want to have that person included in the wedding, it is the policy of our church that our musicians have right of first option. We also require that the person being requested be cleared (before invitation) by our music director as having the gifts and skills to operate our equipment.
Flowers, Candles and Other Decorations
You may provide your own flowers or engage a florist. Be sure to confirm delivery time to ensure that someone will be at the church to receive them. Simple arrangements are the most effective. Stands are also available. We ask that flowers not be placed on the Communion Table. It is appropriate to leave some or all of your flowers for the Sunday service. Please let the Minister know if you plan to do this.

If you wish to use candles, please discuss this with the Minister. Only drip-less, unscented candles of the proper size should be used. The church has two candelabras which couples like to use at the ceremony.  It is up to the wedding clients to provide the drip-less candles for these; they each hold seven candles for a total of fourteen candles. White candles photograph better than dark-coloured candles.

If you wish to use pew bows, you must provide them. They must not be fastened with nails or tacks.

St. Stephen’s on the Hill is not a wedding chapel, but the gathering place of a regularly worshiping community of faith. For that reason there are some days when your wedding will have to accommodate decorations already in place in the church. The church sanctuary is decorated with appropriate floral and greenery arrangements on the Saturday before Easter, Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day. During Advent and Christmas, seasonal decorations will be present in the sanctuary.
Order of Service
Our minister can provide couples with copies of our standard orders of service or they can be downloaded below. Our minister is available for guidance should you wish to make innovations in your service and will work with you to determine whether we are able to accommodate them.
Traditional Service     Celtic Service     Same-Sex Service     Sample Vows
Photographs
Photographs may be taken of the processional, of the signing of the register, and of the recessional but not during the ceremony. In the Welcome (and in your bulletin) we will ask your guests to set aside their cameras and enter into the meaning of the moment.

A professional or designated photographer may discretely take flashless pictures during the service. Some couples arrange to return for “posed” pictures following the recessional. In any case your “official” photographer should check with the minister ahead of time.
Videos
Videotaping of the entire service can be done discretely (i.e., using available light only).  Make arrangements with the minister ahead of time.
Rehearsal
Generally the rehearsal takes place the evening before the wedding and requires 45-60 minutes. The couple, their attendants, the parents, and the readers should be present. Please be punctual and be prepared to introduce your families and guests to the minister.
Receptions
We do have a hall which is suitable for small receptions, rehearsal dinners or for a gathering while wedding photos are being taken elsewhere. We do not allow alcohol to be served or consumed on our premises. We can give you further information upon request.
Parking
Parking is available for guests in our parking lot accessed from Lauzon Avenue. Overflow parking is permitted on the Lauzon Avenue. The east entrance of the church is wheelchair accessible accessed from the parking lot.
Time to Arrive for the Wedding
Ushers should arrive 30 – 40 minutes prior to the ceremony.  The wedding party and parents should arrive 20 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Confetti
We ask that confetti, glitter, rice or birdseed not be used inside or outside the Church. It has a habit of walking back into the sanctuary and causes nightmares for the custodial staff.  If this guideline is not adhered to, there will be an additional cleanup fee charged to you.
Other Arrangements
Other arrangements and special requests, such as off-site weddings, may be discussed with the minister and considered on a case-by-case basis.
CURRENT WEDDING FEE STRUCTURE
Minister’s Honorarium:  $250.00 (Sundays and Long Weekend - $375.00)
Musician’s Honararium:  $150.00 (Sundays and Long Weekend - $225.00)
Custodial Fee:  $100.00 (Sundays and Long Weekend - $150.00)
Sanctuary Fee:  $150.00 (Sundays and Long Weekend - $150.00)
TOTAL:  $650.00 (Sundays and Long Weekend - $900.00)
Additional Clean Up Fee:  $100.00 (Sundays and Long Weekend - $150.00)