Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which two people enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.

Members of St. Bart's Church, family of St. Bart's members, and members of our community who wish to be married at St. Bart's are all welcome to plan a wedding in our church.

Please contact the church office or call (858) 487-2159 to learn about pre-wedding preparation and to schedule your wedding on our church calendar.

Wedding Customaries

Congratulations on your engagement! It is our hope that you will have a joyous and meaningful wedding. St. Bart’s offers decades of experience and centuries of wisdom concerning the marriage ceremony. We have some simple but important rules of which you should be aware.

Conditions for Marriage at St. Bartholomew’s

We ask for a minimum of six months notice prior to the wedding date. The Canons (law) of the Episcopal Church require that at least one of the two persons to be married is a baptized Christian. No weddings may be scheduled during major holidays or during the season of Lent. Weddings do not normally take place on Sundays. Weddings may take place between 11 am and 2:30 pm.

Concerning the Wedding Service at Saint Bartholomew’s

The Marriage Rite is performed according to The Book of Common Prayer, 1979 and same gender Rite. We recognize that couples want to make their wedding expressive of the uniqueness of their relationship. If you would like to recite your own vows, they have to be discussed and approved by Clergy. The service is a sacramental action of the Church, and the clergy are responsible for seeing that the integrity and theology of the service are maintained. There will be a Eucharist at the service. Visiting clergy may assist in your wedding only by invitation of the Rector. Because of limited sightlines in the church, we request no more than six attendants for either of the couple.

Other Guidelines and Restrictions

Runners and flowers dropped in procession are also not used in the Church. Throwing of flowers or flower petals, rice, birdseed or other materials is not permitted in the Church buildings or on the grounds.

Pre-Marital Counseling

The engagement period is a time of preparation for the new life of marriage. It deserves not only joy and celebration, but careful and thoughtful consideration of the complexities encountered by two individuals who endeavor to make a lifelong commitment to one another. The Episcopal Church requires that all persons seeking to be married in the Church receive instruction and counsel. Pre-marital counseling will consist of 5 sessions during the engagement period with the presiding Clergy.

The purpose of pre-marital counseling is to help each couple establish a foundation for marital success by increasing the couple’s understanding of each other, and discovering how to enhance the quality and satisfaction of their relationship. Pre-marital sessions address issues that encourage couples to develop effective interpersonal skill, to promote communication, and to enable the establishment of a shared understanding and commitment in their relationship. An essential assumption is that marital understanding and commitment are grounded in the couple’s faith.

If either party is divorced, permission to remarry in the Church must be obtained from the Bishop of San Diego through Saint Bart’s. The process of obtaining permission requires a certified copy of the divorce decree. The wedding cannot proceed without the Bishop’s written approval.

While it is not a requirement that couples be members of the congregation, it is expected that they will attend services frequently during the time of preparation. It is our sincere hope that St. Bart’s will become your church home, and you will make your life together within this community of faith.

The Steps to Your Wedding

Initial Clergy Meeting

This is a brief meeting with a member of the Clergy to get acquainted and discuss St. Bartholomew’s policies and practices. This normally results in the approval of the wedding date and initiation of counseling sessions. The Parish Administrator will place the rehearsal and wedding date on the church calendar. This means, of course, that no announcement of the date, time or location of your wedding, should be made until after meeting and confirmation by clergy and administrator. There will be a specific meeting with Clergy 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding for liturgy planning.

Meeting with the Director of Music

You will schedule a meeting with the Director of Music. Music for “The Celebration of A Marriage” is to be carefully considered. While a wide variety of music is possible and acceptable, care must be taken so that wedding music is afforded the same level of appropriateness and dignity as given that of any other sacramental service of the Church.

The Parish employs a full-time Director of Music who consults with couples planning weddings, and coordinates all aspects of the music for the service. Usually the Director of Music or Associate Organist serves as the organist or keyboardist at weddings.

Couples are to contact the Director of Music before making any plans or arrangements for music. In consultation in person or by telephone, the Director of Music will explain the various options for wedding music. These include many possibilities regarding the music itself, as well as additional instrumentalists and singers, should that be the couple’s desire. Additional musicians should not be engaged prior to consulting with the Director of Music.

If the couple wants a friend or family member to sing or play the organ, or substitute in some way for the Director of Music, this may be done, at the discretion of the Rector and the Director of Music. The honorarium for the Director of Music, will still be required.

Generally, Cantors are needed to help lead congregational singing. Professional section leaders employed by St. Bartholomew’s are available to hire as cantors.

Photography at Your Wedding

The Marriage ceremony is a sacred event. Our primary concern is to maintain an appropriately prayerful and yet joyous atmosphere in which the couple may make their vows to each other. Therefore, persons functioning as photographers and videographers will need to adhere to the guidelines listed below.

Flash units are not to be used inside the Church during the wedding ceremony, except by the official photographer only during the entrance procession and retiring procession. The photographer will remain in the rear of the Church, near the entrance to the narthex (foyer). Flash photographs of arriving guests, ushers, attendants, and couple are acceptable prior to the service, provided they are taken in the narthex or on the patio.

No flash photography of any kind is allowed during the service itself. Ushers must remind arriving guests with cameras of this regulation. The photographer may take position in the back of the church for photos. If photography becomes a distraction during the service, the clergy will stop the service to make this request.

Videography must be by ambient light only. A camera on a stationary tripod may be placed in an unobtrusive spot in the rear of the church. Extra lighting will not be used.

Formal wedding photographs may be taken in the Church or on the grounds up to 30 minutes prior to the wedding. Photography in the Church after the service is limited to 20 minutes. The service will not be posed for photography. If the couple wish to have photographs taken with the clergy; those photos should be scheduled first or immediately following the service. It is the responsibility of the couple to make clear these customs and guidelines to the photographer and all who are involved in the wedding. Your Photographer may attend the Rehearsal.

Flowers for Your Wedding

Flowers can be placed on the tall pedestals behind the altar, on the floor in front of the altar and hanging from the pews along the aisle and on the ambo (lecturn).


Fees for a wedding range from $1,000 to $1,700 at the couple’s discretion or as able. This includes Clergy $500-$700 donation to Clergy Alms account, for Clergy time; $100 for Sexton; $200 for facilities use.

The Director of Music, Musicians and Soloist are paid directly. The fee for Organist without Soloist is $250; Organist to rehearse with Soloist is $250; $150 for each Soloist. No guest organist or pianists. Parish musicians must be employed.