Marriage is a sacred union and is recognized as a civil contract by the State of New York. Couples commit to each other for a life long journey of love, respect and support. At Fort Washington We hope that we can answer
+ Who can have a wedding at Fort Washington Church?
A wedding ceremony at Middle Church must satisfy the requirements of both the State of New York and a recognized faith tradition. It is not necessary that you be members of Fort Washington Collegiate Church. It is not necessary that you be Christian. Requests to marry must be sought at least three months in advance of the wedding date.
+ Will there be pre-pmarital counseling?
Yes. Fort Washington requires each couple to attend pre-marital counseling with the minister officiating the ceremony. This is usually accomplished in three sessions, though in some cases the minister may require the couple to seek additional outside premarital counseling prior to the ceremony. The focus of the meetings with the officiating minister is mainly to help the couple explore their relationship in the context of the church, to prepare for the joys and challenges of life together, and to plan for the wedding ceremony.
+ What takes place during the ceremony?
Fort Washington Church is a liturgical church. The officiating minister will review the liturgy and arrange the details of the ceremony with the couple. We follow an order of worship that can accommodate some flexibility. The vows of the couple and proclamation of marriage by the officiating minister are at the core of the ceremony. We strongly encourage participation by family and friends, typically offering scripture or poetry readings, or presenting a musical selection. The officiating minister will conduct the wedding rehearsal, if needed.
+ Can visiting clergy participate in the ceremony?
Yes. Visiting members of the clergy may participate in various portions of the ceremony at the discretion of the officiating minister.
+ Can outside ministers officiate the ceremony?
Yes. However, the senior pastor has to meet with and approve the minister to assure they are in line with our supportive belief system.
+ How long is the ceremony?
The wedding ceremony may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the music and readings chosen, and whether or not communion is included. Generally, we reserve a three-hour time block for each wedding: one hour before the ceremony to arrive and prepare; one hour for the ceremony itself; and one hour after the ceremony for photographs in the sanctuary and on the front steps.
+ Where can I take photos?
Photographs and video recordings of the ceremony should be taken by a professional photographer or designated person who will work with the officiating clergy. You may also set time for photographs before and after the wedding in our garden and sanctuary.
+ What kind of music can I have?
+ When is the wedding rehearsal?
+ What documents are needed?
+ How much is the wedding?
+ Can I have my reception here?
+ Do members get a discounted rate?
Special member rates are available to couples who have been members of Fort Washington Church for a minimum of one year prior to their wedding date. Members are those who have officially joined the church. All fees include honoraria for the Officiating Minister, musician, and administrative staff, as well as security, custodial services, and one sound technician. The wedding fee includes the time officiating clergy will spend with you in three counseling sessions and the ceremony, 1-2 rooms for each spouse, and pre-wedding rehearsal time (up to 2 hrs on rehearsal date). Additional rooms can be rented for wedding party or nursery service.