FAQ: How can I arrange my wedding at First-St. Andrew's?
You will need to obtain a marriage licence from any city hall in Ontario. They are valid for 90 days. At least one week before your wedding, you should bring your licence to the church office, and pay the remaining fees associated with the service.
If you are interested in being married at First-St. Andrew’s, contact the office to begin the reservation process. You may do this by phone (519-679-8182) or e-mail. Your deposit (see fee schedule) will secure the date that you have selected. If you wish a rehearsal, book this date at the same time.
Within six months of your wedding date, our minister will be in touch with you to set a time to meet. In this interview your ideas for the service will be solicited, and United Church resources will be made clear to you. You will plan your service in consultation with the minister, so that it feels right to you. There is no formal requirement for marriage preparation at this time.
You will also need to be in touch with our Music Director to select music for your service. The first step is to listen to the CD sampler of wedding music suggestions which we provide. Then arrange to come and meet to go over your choices. Guest musicians are welcome, and should communicate in advance directly with the Music Director.
We are happy that you are considering holding your wedding at First-St. Andrew’s. If at this point you just want to get a better idea of what spaces in the church look like, check out our rentals page.
If FSA seems like a good venue for your wedding, here are some things we'd like you to consider up front:
Weddings can be performed by any person licensed by the government to do so, including a justice of the peace. If you wish to use our church as the site of your wedding, however, we will expect to have our minister marry you.
You do not have to be a member or adherent of First-St. Andrew's and we proudly welcome people of diverse ability, sexual orientation and gender identity to this ceremony.
We expect that you have chosen to be married in our church because your faith is important to you and you understand your marriage commitment as a covenant (promise) between yourselves and God. With that in mind, we hope you might wish to build a longer term relationship with us.
When it's time for the Details...
Pictures: Photographs are a special keepsake from a wedding. We welcome the thoughtful participation of photographers and videographers. Please ask this person to speak to the minister concerning movement, location and timing of photos/video filming.
Decorations: Flowers are welcome. (Show your florist the pew shot below if you plan to decorate them.) Flowers may go up during your rehearsal, if you are the sole wedding or the first wedding on your day. If you are a second wedding, they may go up one hour before the start of your service. Your decorations should come down within 15 minutes of the close of the service. If you plan to use scattered petals, they must be silk. Please designate someone, not in your wedding party, to remove decorations and petals
Candelabra: Our United Church Women can provide a pair of large candelabra for $30 with space for seven candles each (left below) that can be placed at the front of the church, and ten clamp-on candelabra that line the center aisle, ten on each side (middle and right below) with three candles in each for $10. You must provide your own ten-inch white dripless candles. Glass globes (not shown) that fit around the candles are part of the candelabra set up.
Welcoming your guests: All church doors will be locked until our custodian arrives 60 minutes prior to the service. Most often access to the church is through the Atrium entrance on the west side of the church off the driveway. An elevator is close to the entrance making accessibility to the Sanctuary very easy. We recommend that you have two-four ushers, who will welcome your guests from between 45 and 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. If, in addition to the Atrium doors, you wish to have our large wooden doors on the church's south, east and west open for your guests, you will need to arrange for at least three additional ushers, preferably four. The church atrium is wheelchair accessible for any guests requiring this service and assisted hearing devices are available for use during the ceremony.
Parking: Guests coming by car can be dropped off at the Atrium door before finding a parking place. The church has a small parking lot with space for about 30 cars. Beyond that, metered parking is available on city streets and parking lots near the church. (See the link map for downtown parking in the right column of this page.)
Reception: You're welcome to rent space at the church for your reception. This would probably include rental of the church kitchen. The church does not cater for weddings, however, so you would need to contract with an independent contractor for food and service. If alcohol is to be served, discuss this with our rental agent who will explain the steps necessary.
Do we have to be members of First-St. Andrew’s United Church to get married here?
No. However, If you don’t have any connection, why not consider worshipping with us a Sunday or two before you book your wedding, so that you can get to know the community and get a feel for the space?
One of us is divorced, does that make a difference?
No, it does not. We welcome you into your new partnership with joy.
Can our child participate in the service?
We think this is a good idea if the child is old enough and wishes to participate. Speak to the minister about how to do this so that everyone feels comfortable. A part of the service can include vows from a new step-parent to step-children and vice versa, or the exchanging of a token.
Can we invite another minister to do the service?
A guest minister may participate along with our minister.