Christian marriage is understood to be a lifelong covenant between two persons in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church, at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian. Two witnesses are necessary to attest to the ceremony and that the marriage conforms to the laws of the State and the canons of the Episcopal Church.
As soon as a couple decides they want to be married, they should contact the rector. They are required to have at least four sessions of premarital counselling to be scheduled at the convenience of all parties. If either member of the couple has been previously married, the rector must seek permission from the Bishop in order to perform the ceremony. The rector is required to see the original divorce decree and retain a copy for the church records.
The ceremony may take place in the church building or at another location. It is customary to give a donation for the use of the church and provide an honorarium to those who participate in the service.