When can I have my ceremony?

Weddings are not scheduled on Sundays at any time during the year. Due to the penitential nature of the season, weddings are not scheduled in the Episcopal Church during Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) or Lent (the six weeks before Easter). On the Saturdays from mid-June through mid-August, St. Bartholomew’s has a summer Saturday evening Eucharist at 5:30 p.m. Because of this regularly scheduled service, our church and parking lot must be cleared by 5:00 p.m. and weddings are scheduled only at 11:00 or 11:30 a.m. AND/OR 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. on these Saturdays in mid-summer. No weddings are scheduled any later than 3:00 p.m. during this time. Occasionally on Saturdays in the winter, there is also a worship service and if a service is planned for a Saturday night, the above schedule would also apply. No more than two weddings are scheduled in one day or during any one weekend.

While the Wedding Coordinator can verbally hold a date for your wedding and rehearsal, once your date is held, you must, WITHIN TWO WEEKS, complete the Wedding Information Form and return it with your Building Use Fee/Deposit Check of $250 check made out to St. Bartholomew’s – this is to be returned to the Wedding Coordinator – (the balance of your Building Use Fee of $250 will be due two weeks prior to your wedding date). If you choose, the entire $500 Building Use Fee can be paid in one check as your deposit.

Please return your completed form and a check payable to the church to:
Carolyn Wills
2318 Aspen Brook Dr.
Estes Park, CO 80517

QUESTIONS:Carolyn Wills  970-586-0626 / Gingermom@aol.com / FAX: 970-586-6088 (with cover sheet)

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What is the total cost of holding my wedding at St. Bartholomew’s?

Building Use Fee/DEPOSIT – check payable to St. Bartholomew’s:                                          $250
This is your deposit and should be returned to the Wedding Coordinator
with your completed Wedding Information Form.
This deposit is refundable (less a $75 administrative fee) if your plans change.

Building Use Fee BALANCE – check payable to St. Bartholomew’s:                                         $250
This is the balance of your Building Use Fee and is due two weeks PRIOR to
your wedding date. This balance should be mailed to the Wedding Coordinator.

[The following fees are payable IN SEPARATE CHECKS at your rehearsal]:
Wedding Assistant – you will be notified two weeks in advance of this person’s name:            $150
1) Available for telephone consultation prior to the wedding.
2) Present at the rehearsal and wedding to represent the
church, to assist the clergy, and to be of help to the bride and
groom and their families.

Sexton – you will be notified two weeks in advance of this person’s name:                                 $100
(This is the Janitor who cleans before and after the ceremony.)


PLEASE NOTE: The above costs DO NOT cover the honorarium for the minister and organist or musicians. Each couple must schedule the services of a minister and organist or musicians directly with those people.

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Will my wedding be the only ceremony that day?

Not necessarily. Sometimes two weddings are scheduled on the same day. We allow three and one-half hours between the beginning of one wedding and the beginning of another. Rehearsals which are held on the same day are scheduled at least one and one-half hours apart. The first booking on any particular day has the “first choice” on the time of the ceremony and rehearsal, however, as soon as your Wedding Information Form is returned, we expect you to use the rehearsal and wedding times you have requested on your form. If you find it is necessary to make a change in the rehearsal time or the wedding time, please check with the Wedding Coordinator BEFORE making that change. It is IMPORTANT that your rehearsal and wedding begin and end on time. Please make your wedding party aware that they must arrive on time – both for the rehearsal AND the wedding.

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What if I move or change phone numbers or jobs?

Please notify the Wedding Coordinator immediately if you make a change in address, home phone number or work phone number. It is important for the Wedding Coordinator to be able to reach you at all times and therefore, please notify us if you make any changes.

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What if my plans change or my wedding is canceled?

Please notify the Wedding Coordinator immediately if your plans change. Your deposit is refundable (less a $75 administrative fee) and we will be happy to assist you in making these arrangements. If your plans change, please remember it is your responsibility to notify EVERYONE involved with your wedding: minister, organist, musicians, florists, photographers, etc.

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What is the proper honorarium for the minister and organist or musicians?

Please remember that weddings take a considerable amount of a pastor’s time: counseling, travel, rehearsal time and the actual wedding. We suggest you ask your clergy member what he/she normally expects as an honorarium. The Wedding Coordinator can also help with suggestions on this issue. Organists and musicians normally have a fee-schedule that should be available for your use.

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How early should I plan to arrive for my rehearsal?

The Wedding Assistant will want to meet with the bride and groom (also possibly including the bride’s mother and/or other consultants, but NOT the whole wedding party – we need the bride’s full attention at this point) for approximately 30 minutes BEFORE the scheduled rehearsal time in order to go over our questionnaire and to discuss such issues as placement of candles and chairs, flower delivery, etc. PLEASE PLAN TO BE ON TIME FOR THIS MEETING as we don’t want to rush through this important information. Please stress to your whole wedding party to be ON TIME for your scheduled rehearsal. It is important that rehearsals start on time as another rehearsal might be scheduled following yours. Rehearsal time allowed is approximately one hour. Please encourage your clergy and organist or musician(s) to be present at your rehearsal. This helps your wedding day to go more smoothly. It is also helpful if parents of the bride and groom are present at the rehearsal in order to practice seating procedures.

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How early (or late) can I arrive at the church on my wedding day?

You will make this decision ahead of time with the Wedding Coordinator and with your Wedding Assistant. Considerations such as flower delivery, decorating, dressing time and timing of pictures are a part of this formula, however, please do not request to arrive any earlier than two hours before your ceremony is scheduled to begin. You will be notified if there is another wedding scheduled on your particular day so that you may plan accordingly. A bride arriving at the last minute OR late to the wedding causes stress for everyone! If you are planning to dress somewhere else besides the church, please plan to arrive at the church AT LEAST 30 minutes before your scheduled wedding time. The Bride’s Room is available for the bride and her attendants to await the start of the wedding.

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How long is my wedding ceremony likely to take?

We suggest you check with your presiding clergy on this question. Normally, a ceremony takes approximately 30 minutes. If there is to be a Eucharist (Holy Communion) either for the bride and groom or for the whole congregation, the service will probably take longer than 30 minutes, but weddings rarely last more than an hour.

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How long can we take pictures at the church after the ceremony?

We try to be accommodating, however, we encourage you to complete your photographs promptly after your wedding (and/or perhaps consider taking some pictures before your ceremony). You need to remember you have guests waiting at your reception and there may be another wedding following yours. We suggest that a bride and groom who feel they are going to have a great many pictures to take after the ceremony, please do not take time to greet their guests after the ceremony so that they can begin pictures immediately. All photographs must be completed by at least one hour after the end of the ceremony. Please inform your photographer accordingly.

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What rules apply to my photographer and videographer?

There is a sheet of rules which we require that you make copies of and share with your photographer and videographer. The taking of FLASH pictures during the actual wedding is not permitted — by either photographers OR guests. If you are having an order of service or a bulletin/program printed for your ceremony, we encourage you to list this rule on that leaflet. Flash photographs during the ceremony distract the wedding party and the congregation and are inappropriate to the joy, reverence, beauty and worship of the liturgy. Photographs can be taken by professional photographers WITHOUT flash during the ceremony, however photographers and videographers are not allowed to approach or stand within the altar area. In respect to videotaping the ceremony, the most appropriate location for this taping is the rear of the church.

Please encourage your photographers and videographers to remember that the on-site Wedding Assistant is representing the church and she should be consulted with any questions. She has the final authority concerning the appropriate use of photographs and videotaping. We understand this is an important day for you, that you are hosting this event at considerable cost and that you want to preserve your memories of it; however, a bride and groom also need to remember that this is a worship service between themselves and God with the witness of their family and friends. It is not a theatrical performance or the Academy Awards.

We will post a sign in the entryway asking guests not to take flash photography during the ceremony (and also asking them to please turn off cell phones and pagers!).

Also please note: You MAY NOT use the adjacent property directly to the south of the church belonging to the Black Canyon Inn (the pond and bridge — clearly marked “Private Property”) for photographs UNLESS you have made prior arrangement with the Black Canyon Inn to rent this area. You are, however, welcome to use OUR surrounding property, our front area with our bridge and rocks and the back area with rocks and wildflowers in the summer, for photographs.

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Where can the bride, groom, and wedding party get dressed?

Although there is a Bride’s Room dressing area for the bride and her attendants, we suggest that make-up be applied at home as the lighting may not be suitable for the application of make-up. There is also a separate dressing area for the groom and his attendants. Both areas have restrooms adjacent to them. Ice water and glasses will be supplied for your convenience. Please DO NOT bring alcohol of any sort to the church. You will be expected to leave these dressing areas clean after the ceremony. Please designate someone to remove items from these areas after the ceremony is finished.

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How many guest will the church seat?

St. Bartholomew’s will hold a maximum of 120-140 guests. Please plan to limit your attendance accordingly. Our experience is that the altar rail and altar area will best accommodate no more than 5-6 attendants on each side.

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Can our wedding guest throw rice or birdseed after the ceremony?

NO! Rice, paper confetti, silly string or birdseed are NOT allowed either inside or outside the church or anywhere on the church grounds, including the parking lot. It is permissible for bubbles to be blown outside the church or for flower petals or aspen leaves to be thrown. Also please note: our grounds and building are a designated NO SMOKING area.

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Can an aisle runner be used? What about flower girls dropping flower pedals?

Aisle runners are not allowed due to the hazard of tripping; however, it is permissible for flower girls to drop flower pedals ahead of the bride. NO potpourri is allowed to be mixed in with the flower pedals.

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Are there any restrictions about flower girls or ring bearers?

We have no restrictions — you are welcome to use children in your ceremony; however, we would urge you to consider the age of the children. From our extensive experience, we have found that children under the age of four are very often reticent to participate when the wedding day arrives (no matter how well they do at the rehearsal) and very young children can often cause delays or confusion in the ceremony. Young children also tend to attract attention that should more appropriately be focused on the worship ceremony. If you are including children younger than four in your wedding party, please be prepared to be patient and understanding — we will try to be. Please also have a back-up plan for children under age four when they refuse to participate in the ceremony. (Note: no animals are allowed to participate in the ceremony, even if you love your dog like a child! Dogs assisting the handicapped would, however, be allowed.)

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Are we allowed to have a Eucharist (holy communion)?

It is certainly acceptable to have Holy Communion at weddings, however, this decision is between the bride and groom and the minister who is performing the ceremony. If the minister and the couple choose to have Holy Communion between the bridal couple and/or with the congregation, you should be prepared to supply any necessary items which are needed. St. Bartholomew’s does have a white “wedding kneeler” available if the couple and their minister desire to have the couple kneel for a blessing at some point during the ceremony.

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Can groomsmen double as ushers?

Yes, this is certainly acceptable. Ushers will be asked to inform guests who arrive with cameras in hand that “no flash photography is requested during the ceremony.” Ushers should also encourage guests who arrive with gifts to please take these to the reception rather than leaving the gift at the church.

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Are there any restrictions as to which music we can choose? or which musicians? Is there a sound system?

On the list of “Resources for Weddings” we have offered suggestions for organists/pianists and/or alternative music sources. If you are using an organist/pianist who is not on our “Resources” list and who is not familiar with our instruments (especially our pipe organ), we would request that he/she consult with John Cannon, (970-224-4641-home; 256-599-9743-cell) our 10:30 a.m. organist or John Breed, (970-586-2697-home; 970-586-3341 x 1022-work), our 8:00 a.m. organist, prior to your wedding. In addition to the pipe organ, there is an electronic keyboard and a traditional piano available for your use. We expect each couple to make arrangements with their musicians prior to their wedding to choose music that is “appropriate” to a Christian wedding ceremony. No recorded music may be used for your processional or recessional music. The timing of the processional and recessional is tricky and we have found from experience that having an on-site organist/pianist or musicians for these two pieces of music helps the service to run more smoothly. Recorded music may be used during the ceremony (for solos or special music), however, the Wedding Assistant cannot be responsible for turning such recorded music off and on. You must designate someone else to be responsible for this recorded music and you must bring your own player for the recorded music. There is a sound system in the church, however, the acoustics are wonderful and we have found that using a sound system is not necessary. The sound system does not accommodate playing recorded music through the system.

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Can we use pew bows? What about candelabra? Where can flowers be placed?

You are welcome to use pew bows or greenery. Please ask your florist to ‘gently’ attach these to the pews and please appoint someone in your wedding party to be responsible for removing these after the ceremony. For your use at no additional charge, the church owns two seven-branch candelabra which can be used alone or decorated with bows, greenery or flowers. We supply white candles for these candelabra as we require dripless, oil candles. If you are using our candelabra, please appoint someone to light the candles before the ceremony and have that person(s) check with the Wedding Assistant at the rehearsal about where the candle lighters are kept and what the best procedure is to do this. There are two flower stands which can be placed in different locations near the altar and/or flowers can also be placed on the altar. Please consult the Wedding Coordinator for suggestions regarding flower placement. Some photographs of ideas of flowers from prior weddings are available at the church if you will ask the Wedding Coordinator for her help in viewing these. Sample Orders of Service or bulletins/programs are also available for viewing.

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Can we have a unity candle?

You are welcome to bring a Unity Candle, however, you should talk with your presiding clergy regarding this concept. Your Unity Candle can be placed on the altar (we will put down wax paper to protect our altar cloth) or we have a side table which can be used. Please consult with your Wedding Assistant on the day of the rehearsal about how to proceed with using a Unity Candle. NOTE: We do NOT supply the actual Unity Candle or side candles — the actual Unity Candles are your responsibility; however we do have some Unity Candle holders available for your use, if you wish. Plans should be made in advance concerning how the side/family candles will be lit so this can be practiced at the rehearsal.

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If we are bringing a guest book, is there a place to put it? What about a place to put gifts?

We have a small table in the entry area that can be used for a guest book table. Some brides may wish to supply flowers for this table (perhaps the “throw-away” bouquet could be used here?). Ushers will encourage individual guests who bring gifts to the wedding to instead please take these gifts to the reception site.

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Is it possible to have the church bell rung as we leave?

YES, if you will designate someone to be in charge of ringing the bell as you exit down the front walkway. The Wedding Assistant will show that person how to BRIEFLY ring the outdoor bell.

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How clean do we need to leave the church?

Our janitor is responsible for vacuuming and general cleaning, however, we would ask that you appoint someone (a friend or a family member) to please stay for a few minutes after everyone leaves to walk through with the Wedding Assistant to make sure all personal items are out of the dressing rooms, that they are left tidy and that nothing is left behind in the church.

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Is there handicapped access to the church?

The upper parking lot nearest the church building is designated for handicapped parking. Handicapped accessibility is from the rear of the church (to the east, immediately above the handicapped parking area). Wheelchair seating in the church is at the back of the church.

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Is there any other information I should share with my wedding party?

Please be aware of altitude sickness especially if your wedding party is arriving from a lower elevation. Getting plenty of sleep, drinking lots of WATER (not tea, coke, etc.) and limiting alcohol consumption will help to avoid altitude sickness. Also, please be aware that Estes Park has MANY large animals on the roads. Encourage your guests and wedding party to watch for wildlife as accidents are common. In some of our busier tourist seasons, our roads can be very crowded, even for a small town! Encourage your wedding party and guests to make adequate arrangements to arrive at your rehearsal and wedding on time. We request that attendants (and the bride and groom!) PLEASE DO NOT chew gum, this is especially important if the ceremony is being videotaped!

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Couples are expected to supply a valid Colorado marriage license to the minister who performs their ceremony. If you are a Colorado resident, you can obtain information on licenses at your county clerk’s office or non-residents can contact Larimer County, 970-498-7866.

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