Frequently Asked Questions
How do I schedule my wedding at St. Thomas?
First check with Judi Fuller, the Parish Administrator to see if your desired date is available. Then complete the Wedding Information Form and the Declaration of Intention as soon as possible. Then schedule the necessary counseling appointments.
How much notice must we give?
While your wedding is important to us, your marriage is our priority: consequently couples married in the Episcopal Church are required to complete premarital counseling. If you live in the Wood River Valley, Rev. Rob Gieselmann, Rev. Kathleen Bean or a qualified counselor can provide the counseling. If you live elsewhere, your local Episcopal priest should be able to offer the counseling. Because of the need for counseling, we ask that the wedding be scheduled at least three months in advance. The canonical minimum notice is 30 days.
I am divorced. Can I have an Episcopal wedding?
Yes, Divorced persons are required to get permission from the Bishop of Idaho before being remarried in the Church. You may find the Diocesan Remarriage packet by clicking here. In the case of a single previous marriage, the couple is required to write a letter to the Bishop of Idaho requesting such permission. In the case of more than one previous marriage, the Bishop requires the couple receive professional counseling. Six weeks prior to the marriage, the Bishop must be petitioned and premarital counseling must be completed. The premarital counseling can be completed with Rev. Rob or Rev. Kathleen or with a professional counselor. If you live outside of the Diocese of Idaho, you need to get permission from your local Bishop.
Do you conduct same-sex marriages?
Yes, under certain guidelines. Currently the State of Idaho, the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Idaho, and St. Thomas Church have all approved this ceremony, which can include the pronouncement of marriage. To receive the relevant guidelines, contact Judi Fuller. The approved services may be found by clicking here.
Can we have an outdoor wedding?
Yes, although the service must conform to the approved forms in the Episcopal Church. (see above)
Neither my fiance nor I are Episcopalian. Can we get married at St. Thomas?
Priority is given to couples in which at least one person is a baptized member of the Episcopal Church. However, other requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. It is required that one of the people getting married be baptized in the Christian tradition.
My fiance is Roman Catholic. Can a Roman Catholic priest participate in the wedding?
Yes, however, if the marriage is held at St. Thomas, we will one of the marriage forms approved by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
My fiance is Jewish (or Buddhist, etc.). Can we have a joint Episcopal/Jewish (Buddhist, etc.) wedding?
As long as one member of the couple is a baptized Christian, Rev. Rob or Rev. Kathleen can officiate. However, they normally use one of the Episcopal marriage services; other formats would need to be discussed with him directly.
How much does it cost?
For members, we ask for a donation of $500 for weddings in the church; for non-members, we ask for a donation of $1,000 for weddings in the church. This does not include the cost of musicians nor an honorarium for the minister. Donations for weddings outside of the church should be discussed with clergy.
When are donations due?
Half is due at the time the Church is reserved, and will be considered non-refundable. The other half is due at the rehearsal. At this time the entire donation will be considered non-refundable. Checks for the Church should be made out to “St. Thomas Episcopal Church.” Checks for the minister or organist should be made directly to him or her.
When do you need the marriage license?
At least one week prior to the wedding. We are happy to keep the license on file as soon as you get it. Please note that the Blaine county office which issues marriage licenses is closed on Friday.
We want Holy Communion at our wedding. Can everyone receive it?
At St. Thomas Church, all are welcome to the table. Some choose to receive Communion (baptized Christians) and others choose to receive a blessing (cross your arms over your chest).
How many guest can we have?
The church comfortably seats 200 guests on the main floor and in the loft combined; however, we may be able to accommodate additional guests with advanced notice.
We want to decorate with flowers. Where can they go?
Flowers can go anywhere except on the altar. Also, we ask that flowers be placed in the sconces behind the altar and that they remain for Sunday morning’s church service. This helps us connect your service with the Sunday morning worship.
Can you have candles in the aisles?
No, that does not meet the fire code regulations.
Can we write our own vows?
The most common way of personalizing the Episcopal wedding service is through the selection by the couple of readings and music. While the Episcopal service has recommended readings from the Bible, the couple is not limited to those readings. Nor are they restricted to readings from the Bible. So if there is a piece of prose or poetry that particularly speaks to the couple, it can be included. Also, if after carefully reading the Episcopal service the couple would like to add or modify elements, this can be done in consultation with clergy.