Our wedding guidelines have evolved over time and are not meant to be restrictive, but are meant to answer your questions about what is appropriate for an All Souls wedding ceremony. Before contacting our Wedding Representative, we ask you to read through this page in order to be familiar with our policies, rules and regulations. These policies will be reiterated on your wedding contract, should you choose to hold your ceremony at All Souls.
Who may be married at All Souls?
The Cathedral of All Souls welcomes all couples assuming that the requirements of the state are met for the issuance of a marriage license.
At All Souls we understand a marriage to be a spiritual and physical union, entered into by mutual consent of heart, mind and will. We therefore seek to create a joyful environment of commitment and celebration. All Souls exists to serve God and the community. It is not necessary that you be members of All Souls, however, all ceremonies will need to be approved by one of the clergy of All Souls.
Types of Ceremonies
An Episcopal marriage will be conducted according to the rites approved by the Episcopal Church. In addition, the national canons of the Episcopal church require that one person be a baptized Christian, and, when one or both parties have been previously divorced, that permission to remarry be sought from the Episcopal Bishop of Western North Carolina. This permission must be sought at least four months in advance, in consultation with the priest performing the wedding. The national canons of the Episcopal Church also require pre-marital counseling with the priest. This is usually accomplished in about three to five sessions, though in some cases the clergy may require the couple to seek additional outside premarital counseling prior to the ceremony. The focus of the meetings with the clergy is mainly to help the couple explore their relationship in the context of the church, and to prepare for the joys and challenges of life together. In some cases, after initial consultation with the clergy arrangements may be made for a couple residing out of state to receive counseling from clergy in the community where they live. After the wedding date is on the church calendar, it is understood that by signing the application the couple is obliged to follow through with all subsequent counseling meetings advised by the clergy.
A couple anticipating marriage is required under church law to make application to the clergy at least 90 days before the intended marriage. While the minimum notice of application is 90 days, it is highly advised that the couple apply at least six months prior to their desired date. Clergy reserve the right to approve the marriage ceremony only after at least two of the three required premarital sessions have been completed. There is a span of time required between sessions in order for the couple to comple outside reading and other activities prescribed by the priest. When one or both of the parties seeking marriage have been previously married, applications must be made through the officiating priest to the bishop for judgment upon the previous marriage. A copy of the final Divorce Decree must be provided. It is required by canon law that a year has transpired since the divorce was final.
All Souls welcomes marriage ceremonies from all faith communities; these ceremonies must be approved in writing by All Souls clergy, no less than 45 days prior to the service and before any service bulletins are printed.
THE CATHEDRAL WEDDING REPRESENTATIVE
The Cathedral Wedding Representative is your contact and liaison with the Cathedral and will help facilitate your wedding rehearsal and ceremony, and will be present on the day of the rehearsal and the day of the ceremony to help coordinate.
The ceremony itself can last anywhere from a half-hour to an hour, depending on the amount of music the couple chooses, and if Holy Communion is included. We reserve a three hour time block for each wedding. During peak wedding season it is possible that more than one wedding will be scheduled on the same day.
The Cathedral Canon for Music or his designee is available to provide music on the historic Casavant organ or Steinway piano for your wedding. The musical offerings in the wedding service are selected and arranged in consultation with the Canon for Music of All Souls. Should there be interest in having additional musicians participate in the service, these individuals and their musical selections are also arranged in consultation with the Canon for Music. The Canon for Music has final authority in all music decisions.
Westminster Tower Bells
Every wedding at All Souls culminates with the ringing of the Westminster Peal Bells as the couple exits the church following the wedding ceremony.
All Souls beautiful interior tends to require little ornamentation other than flowers, and up to two arrangements are allowed. The Cathedral Wedding Representative will provide a list of suggested vendors.
Decor inside the church
All Souls provides banners, hangings, altar candles and needlepoint kneeling cushions for the couple.
The Wedding Representative will coordinate with the with the bride and groom and members of the wedding party a time for a rehearsal prior to the wedding ceremony at a maximum of two days prior to the ceremony. The rehearsal will take approximately one hour. The rehearsal is an important part of preparation for your wedding, as it helps participants better understand the events to take place during their wedding and also remove some of the nervousness of the day so you can enjoy your wedding.
Photography and Videography
During the service The Cathedral allows only photographers and/or videographers hired by the couple to take photos or video. Photographers and videographers hired must stand in discrete placements designated by the Cathedral Wedding Representative. Couples are required to print the following in programs: “We ask all guests to be fully present in our ceremony. Please turn off all cell phones, electronic devices and cameras.”
A Note about Construction and Repairs
As good stewards of the cathedral’s building and grounds, we are often involved in renovating or repairing the cathedral’s historic façade, roof and/or interior. Scaffolding, either interior or exterior, is typically needed to accomplish these repairs, and construction equipment may be staged inside or outside of the cathedral building. Because this upkeep is an ongoing process, it is possible that your ceremony will be scheduled at a time when repairs are being done. We will alert you of known, scheduled work. However, we cannot always predict the location of scaffolding or other equipment many months in advance or when repairs become necessary on an emergency basis. Please recognize that your wedding may fall at one of these times. In such a case, we can advise you on the best places to take pictures and how to best maximize the space.
- Limited private dressing areas with bathroom access are available for both members of the wedding party.
- The consumption of Alcohol by the wedding party prior to the wedding is forbidden.
- Food and Drink is not allowed inside the church.
- All parking is on-street parking in and around Biltmore Village.
- A police officer will be on the premises during your event.
A full list of the fees associated with reserving the Cathedral for a wedding (and a full description of each) are available upon contacting the Cathedral Wedding Representative.
Receptions at All Souls are available to Cathedral Members only. Your wedding coordinator will have more information on on-site receptions for members and potential reception locations nearby for non-members.
reserve the cathedral
To contact our wedding representative and schedule a date for your ceremony, please fill out the form on our Reservation page. Again, thank you for considering the Cathedral of All Souls for your wedding.