Weddings at Grace

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In its openness to all, Grace welcomes inquiries about weddings in the church. The church is a simple and peaceful place, much of it unchanged from its building in 1866. The church can hold 158 people with every seat taken.

Grace welcomes both opposite- and same-gender couples for marriage in the church. All weddings at Grace are performed by the consent and at the discretion of the Rector. By prior arrangement, guest clergy from other churches and denominations may officiate at Grace weddings.

We are located in lower Georgetown, one block below M St NW. The church does not have parking facilities, but there are several commercial garages within a block on K St (beneath the Whitehurst Freeway) and a commercial surface lot directly behind the church.

Music can be provided by the tracker organ installed in the 1980s; it is a copy of the organs of the time of Bach. The size of the sanctuary and the acoustics make this a special pleasure.

The first step is a visit to the church for a Sunday morning service, when you can see the church in action, hear the organ and get to meet the clergy. Sunday services are at 8:30 and 10:30 am (10:00 am during summer months). After this visit, couples must contact the office to ascertain available dates, and to make an appointment with the Rector (this appointment is required even if guest clergy will officiate).

FAQs

What are Grace’s fees?

Wedding fees are: $750.00 for members, $1,500.00 for non-members. Grace makes every effort to accommodate couples wishing to be married at Grace, and lower fees may be negotiated in cases of special need or circumstance, at the discretion of the Rector. Otherwise, Grace expects full payment of the amounts above.

“Member” refers to persons who attend Grace Church regularly and support its ministries with a regular financial contribution; “non-member” refers to those who do not attend regularly or make a yearly financial commitment.

Grace also requires a security deposit of $300.00 to cover any damage to its facilities or grounds as a result of the wedding celebration; this deposit is refundable in part or in full after the wedding ceremony and related events (post-wedding photography, etc.) have taken place.

What do fees pay for?

Fees cover staff time to coordinate the rehearsal, ceremony, flower deliveries, etc., to prepare the grounds and sanctuary prior to the ceremony, and to clean the space afterwards and prepare it for Sunday services. Also, fees support ongoing maintenance of the church and grounds in proper condition for future weddings.

What is necessary to secure a date and time for a ceremony?

Date and time are secured on the church calendar by payment of 50% of the suggested fees (in the case of hardship, half of an amount agreed upon with the Rector). Please note: a date and time are not secured until this deposit is received.

Is there a cost for the musician and clergy?

As of September, 2014, Grace’s organist charges a fee of $400.00 for the ceremony, and an additional $100.00 for playing at the rehearsal; these fees are subject to change. Grace clergy do not charge a fee, but contributions to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund are welcome and appreciated. This fund provides assistance for persons in special need, and funding for special church programs not included in the regular operating budget. Contributions to the Discretionary Fund vary with the couples’ ability to pay, but average approximately $250.00.

May couples use clergy and musicians other than those on the Grace staff?

Yes, but arrangements must be made by the couple themselves, and approved by the Rector. A guest musician playing the organ must first be interviewed and approved by the Grace organist/choirmaster.

May the ceremony take place on the grounds?

Yes; the fees are the same as for an indoor wedding, unless Grace staff is responsible for setting up and removing chairs and other furniture, in which case fees increase to $900.00 (members) and $1,800.00 (non-members). A $600.00 security deposit is required for an outdoor wedding to cover any damage to its facilities, gardens or grounds as a result of the wedding celebration; this deposit is refundable in part or in full after the wedding ceremony and related events (post-wedding photography, etc.) have taken place.

What pre-marital counseling/preparation does Grace require?

All couples must undergo a course of preparation for Christian marriage. This course may be provided by clergy not affiliated with Grace Church, in two cases: if non-Grace clergy will officiate at the wedding, or if the couple resides outside the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In both cases, clergy who prepare the couple must provide a letter to the Rector of Grace certifying that the couple has satisfactorily completed a course of preparation for Christian marriage.

Preparation provided by Grace clergy generally consists of four sessions of about an hour, which focus on the liturgy of marriage and its practical meaning for the couple in their life together. Sessions are scheduled at the mutual convenience of couple and clergy.

All couples being married by Episcopal clergy must sign the Episcopal “Declaration of Intention” for Christian marriage.

Who is responsible for decorations and flowers?

Couples and their families and friends are responsible for both. Arrangements for deliveries and access to the church for decorating must be made through the Grace Office Manager.

What are the guidelines for flowers and decorations?

A wide variety of flower and decoration placements are permitted, but no strong adhesives may be used to secure decorations or flower arrangements, so as to protect the finish on church furniture and surfaces.

What are the guidelines for photography and videography?

Photographers and videographers must not interfere with or distract from the ceremony. When Grace clergy officiate, flash photography is permitted only during the processional and recessional, and video must be taken only from a fixed location, determined in advance by mutual agreement with Grace staff. Guest clergy may have different rules and expectations.

May couples use their own wedding coordinator at the church service?

Yes, but coordinators must work closely with the Grace coordinator and secure permission for any special arrangements.

May furniture and equipment (microphones and other electronics) in the sanctuary be moved or re-arranged for the ceremony?

Any movement or re-arrangement of furniture or equipment must be carried out only with advance permission from, and under the supervision of, Grace staff.

If you have further questions please contact the Office Manager, Helen Buhr, at office@gracedc.org or 202-333-7100 x4.