Weddings

We are delighted that you are considering being married in the Cathedral. Our sacred space has been the setting for splendid weddings since 1885, and our hope is that you will choose the Cathedral as the location for one of the most joyous and sacred days of your life.

Although being a member is not a requirement to be married at the Cathedral our sincere hope is that couples will attend worship at the Cathedral during marriage preparation and that each couple will consider becoming a regular part of the Cathedral community.

We require three months’ notice prior to a wedding. At least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian. Premarital counseling is required.

Under no circumstances should any announcement of a wedding at the Cathedral of the Incarnation be made until the couple has had an interview with a priest, the priest consents to officiate, and a wedding information form along with a deposit of $500 have been received and acknowledged by the Cathedral office. We cannot reserve a date and time for your wedding until a deposit is received. This deposit will be credited against the Cathedral Building Use fee.

Fees

Wedding costs are an important concern of every couple. Our desire is to make our fees clear and direct. The Cathedral’s inspiring and historic space and the staff time necessary to make your wedding exceptional require financial support.

A wedding at the cathedral costs a minimum of $3,750. This fee includes:

Cathedral Building Use Fee ($2,500)

Our building is kept in pristine condition at great cost, totaling over $4,000 a day. Your use includes one hour of rehearsal time, plus three hours for the wedding day

Officiant ($500)

Our clergy will guide you through three pre-marital sessions as well as officiating your service

Music Director ($350)

Our director of music will help you choose music selections, arrange for soloists or instrumentalists (an additional fee may be incurred), and play our historic pipe organ at your ceremony

Verger ($200)

Our verger will direct your wedding rehearsal, coordinating all aspects of the ceremony. She will also be present at the wedding itself, guiding your ushers, wedding party, and guests

Administrative Fees ($200)

This includes designing and printing a wedding bulletin for your guests, scheduling your meetings with clergy, the music director, your rehearsal and wedding day and mailing your marriage license and wedding certificate

It is our expectation that your wedding ceremony will begin at the scheduled time. While we realize that the occasional delay may occur, we do not assume responsibility for remaining more than 30 minutes past the scheduled start time for your wedding. Fees cannot be refunded as most of the funds will have been expended in anticipation of the wedding.

We allow for one hour for rehearsal, one hour of set up, one hour for the ceremony, and one hour following for photos and clean up. If you would like to have the Cathedral space for longer, an additional fee of $750 per hour will be assessed. These arrangements need to be made in advance, as we often have other weddings and events scheduled on the same day.

If a member of the couple or a parent is a member of the Cathedral who has contributed more than $2,000 in the previous year, the wedding fee is reduced by $1,500.

All fees are due at your final pre-marital counseling session, or 30 days before your wedding date (whichever comes first).

Please know that as a matter of policy, the Cathedral clergy and staff will not discuss wedding arrangements or the payment of fees with members of the couple’s family or bridal party. All arrangements for the wedding are made between the couple and the Cathedral clergy and staff directly.

If you find these costs are within your budget and you desire to begin the wedding process at the Cathedral, contact Kris Vieira, our Cathedral Administrator, at kris@incarnationgc.org or 516.746.2955. to request a wedding information form. Once you have completed and sent in the form, stop by one of our worship services and introduce yourself to the clergy. You can then schedule an appointment with the clergy person assigned to your wedding by contacting Kris Vieira.

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Pre-Marital Counseling

Pre-marital counseling is both a requirement of the Episcopal Church and a strong commitment on the part of the Cathedral clergy. A minimum of three pre-marital meetings will be held, with the expectation that both parties will attend. These meetings are to provide as much preparation as possible for you as a couple in taking this significant life step and to satisfy the priest that, to the best of his/her knowledge, the couple has a reasonable and holy hope for a lifelong marriage. Your priest will share more details about this process in the initial meeting.

If either of you has been divorced, our clergy must receive permission from the Bishop of Long Island to officiate at the marriage ceremony. Your priest will explain this process.

License

It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary marriage license. It may be obtained from any Clerk’s office in the state of New York, but please note that you must both be present to apply. The license is not valid until twenty-four hours after it is issued and is effective for sixty days. We ask that you bring the license to the Cathedral office no later than five working days before your wedding in order that we can complete our records.

Service Details

LITURGY

Planning the liturgy (service details) occurs under the direction of the priest. Each couple is encouraged to select the scripture readings for their service. The traditional readings for the wedding liturgy can be found in the Book of Common Prayer. Other readings may be suggested and used with the approval of the officiating clergy person.

MUSIC

Each couple will be assigned one of our musicians, who will be creative and flexible in helping you choose music appropriate to the sacred space and solemnity of the liturgy. A member of the music staff will be happy to meet with you at a mutually convenient time to plan the details of your wedding music. Bring your ideas and preferences to them, but if you have no idea in advance, it’s no problem whatever! Because of the sacred nature of the Marriage Rite, music outside of the Classical/Sacred repertoire (popular songs, show tunes, etc.) are best used at the wedding reception. The music of the service is ultimately at the discretion of the officiating priest.

The Canon Musician of the Cathedral (Mr. Larry Tremsky) must be consulted and give consent if other musicians are to be invited. Please consider that the music program at the Cathedral is one of the finest in the metro area, and our musicians have long experience making music in the space of the Cathedral. We strongly suggest letting our music staff handle the details of your wedding music: they also have a wide variety of trained professionals available for use as singers and instrumentalists. Please note that there is no provision for pre-recorded music in the Cathedral.

BULLETINS

Wedding “bulletins” will be provided to those present (to be handed out by your ushers to those attending). Bulletins assist your guests in following the service in the Book of Common Prayer.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographs are treasured reminders of this special day. Photographers must adhere to requirements which preserve the sacred nature of the service. Arrangements must be made prior to the day of the service if you wish to take photographs before or after the wedding. The following guidelines for professional photographers and videographers must be carefully followed:

Flash may not be used during the service, except during the entering procession, and then only if equipment and photographer remain behind the congregation with the flash directed away from the congregation. During the service, only photography with a quiet shutter is permitted. The photographer is not permitted to be in the chancel or upper sanctuary during the ceremony.

The wedding verger will explain these guidelines to the photographer on the day of the wedding.

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FLOWERS

You are very welcome to have flowers in the Cathedral for your wedding. The Cathedral uses a professional florist, who has long experience in decorating our space, following the guidelines for arrangements. If you choose to use another florist, the firm must meet with a member of the Cathedral Altar Guild early in the planning process to assure that the following guidelines are understood and followed. But we suggest using our regular florist—you’ll pay far less for arrangements which fit the space ($250). No flowers or other decorations may be placed on the altar itself. Flowers at the altar will remain with the Cathedral. All other flowers and decorations must be removed within two hours following the service. Nothing may be affixed to Cathedral furniture or walls with tape, tacks or nails.

Use of the Cathedral by Other Churches

As part of our ministry of hospitality and support for other Christian communities, the Cathedral of the Incarnation does, occasionally, host weddings for couples from other Christian traditions officiated by their own clergy. This pertains to churches with which The Episcopal Church shares a relationship. These weddings happen at the discretion of the Dean. After the couple makes initial contact with the Cathedral, a member of the Cathedral clergy will speak with the pastor of the couple’s community and discuss whether or not it is possible for the Cathedral to host the wedding.

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