Guidelines, Rules, and Fees

(and helpful hints)

Holy Matrimony is a sacrament, an outward and visible sign of Godís inward and spiritual grace. Because it involves not just the couple but the church, it is normally reserved for parishioners. Realizing that many people do not have a church of their own, St. Jamesí makes room for all who seek to be married here.

Non-parishioner weddings are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that fees are higher for non-parishioners. Also, the rector at St. Jamesí does not perform non-Episcopalian weddings.

In the Episcopal Church, it is required that at least one of the parties be a baptized Christian, that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses, and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State and the canons of this Church.

The liturgy used for weddings in the Episcopal Church is The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage from the Book of Common Prayer. A copy of this liturgy can be provided to you or found on page 423 of the BCP here.

St. Jamesí has provided guidelines for those who seek to be married here. We hope they will take out some of the mystery and stress of getting married so you can focus on being married. Please review them before speaking with the rector about your wedding. And be sure to contact the rector a minimum of three months before the proposed wedding date!

Premarital Counseling

Required for communicants. This includes between five and eight sessions (more in case of a divorce). The sessions cover what it means to be married, what makes Holy Matrimony different, what the service means, designing the service and rehearsal. If this would be a hardship because you don't live in the vicinity, something can usually be worked out (use of Skype or teleconferencing are options).


While marriage is intended to be life long, it is inevitable that some marriages fail. The church recognizes this and makes provision for it. However, the priest must receive the bishopís permission at least one month before a wedding is to take place. If you seek remarriage, please let the priest here know early in the process.

Same-Sex Marriage

As of September 1, 2012 clergy in the Diocese of New York are permitted to officiate at full same-sex marriages.


These fees are applicable to weddings performed by the rector of St. James' at St. James' Church. For chapel weddings performed by the rector of St. James', please contact the office for applicable fees.

Please note that all fees (except organist, sexton, candelabra, and acolytes) are waived for St. Jamesí Communicants in Good Standing (though donations are still accepted). According to the Episcopal Church, a communicant in good standing is one who is registered as a member of the church and has been regular in worship and in pledging -- that is, giving -- for the past year.

Officiant $300
Discretionary Fund $100
Church Donation $200
Sexton $100 *
Organist see below **
Candelabra $50 (optional)
Acolytes $15 each (optional)

The PARISH HALL is available for receptions at a cost of $1,000. This fee does not include catering or entertainment. Communicants in Good Standing may use the Parish Hall at no charge.

* If the couple uses the parish hall for a reception, double the sexton's fee.

** Organist Fees: $300.00 for wedding rehearsal and ceremony, includes consultation(s) to discuss and finalize music selections. Any rehearsals for musicians/soloists in addition to the wedding rehearsal are $50.00.

Note: The organist at St. Jamesí has first refusal, which means if the couple chooses a different organist our organist still needs to be paid this amount in full. This is standard protocol. Furthermore, a guest organist must have the permission of St. Jamesí organist to use our organ. However, the organistís fee is not required if a different musician (e.g. harpist, classical guitarist) is used in place of an organist; the couple is responsible for making these other arrangements.


Please note that not all music is appropriate to Holy Matrimony.The organist will go over music that is best and music that is not allowed in the Episcopal Church. Please do not select your music before meeting with the organist or the rector.


While pictures are a wonderful way to remember your wedding, please note that flash photographs are not allowed during the ceremony itself. They can be taken before or after the ceremony, and natural light pictures are always allowed. Please ask your photographer to contact the rector several days before the wedding.

Marriage License

Donít forget the marriage license! Without it, the wedding cannot take place. At St. Jamesí we require couples to bring the license to the rehearsal the evening before the wedding. If the couple forgets it, the officiant will make someone get it before rehearsal resumes.


Our Church discourages weddings outside of the physical church building because having a wedding in a church asserts the importance of the Christian community in the marriage, while having it outside tends to diminish the role of the Church and to dilute its rules and traditions. If you do get married outside the church building, you need to bear in mind that Canon law requires that your marriage be celebrated with the consent of the ecclesiastical authority of the parish (i.e. its rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge) within the boundaries of which it takes place, and recorded in that parishís register.

Guest Clergy

Under special circumstances, and with the approval of the rector of St. Jamesí, we will allow a marriage to be performed by clergy from another church. He or she needs to be a cleric from a Christian denomination. Our fee for these weddings is $400 (St. James' Church) or $500 (St. James' Chapel), plus a $50 refundable deposit and the usual fees for the organist and sexton (except the organist fee would not be applicable for chapel weddings because there is no working organ or piano). There is also a $100 Altar Guild fee for a chapel wedding with Communion. All fees need to be paid up-front, event insurance is required, and a contract will need to be signed. Please note we do not support justice of the peace (civil) ceremonies in either our church or chapel.

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Please call the St. Jamesí office at 845-229-2820 to see if the date you want is available on the parish calendar and for other information. Marriages are not traditionally celebrated in Advent or Lent because these are penitential seasons during which times festal liturgies, such as weddings, are not appropriate. Diocesan policy is that weddings during Advent or Lent should only happen in the case of serious, pressing, compelling pastoral need.

The church can hold up to 250 people and has A/C. The chapel seats 100 but does not have A/C.

Once your wedding date is approved, please print out the following wedding information form, fill it in and send it to us. You donít need to know everything right now, but we do need some basic info. We have a version of the form for weddings using guest clergy, as well.

Wedding Information Form
Wedding Information Form - Guest Clergy