Cochrane Street United Church
Congratulations on your decision to get married. We know this is an important
step to starting your married life together and we welcome the opportunity to
assist in making your marriage ceremony a treasured memory. We realize that
there are many questions that arise when planning your marriage and this
information is designed to assist you. Please take time to read through this
document and if you have any questions, contact the Office Administrator or Rev.
Bowlby, both of whom are only too glad to speak with you to offer assistance.
Cochrane Street United Church
Reserve the Date
When you make your decision to marry, reserve the date for your marriage
ceremony at Cochrane Street United Church by contacting the Church office at
722-3023, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to Noon or by e-mail,
firstname.lastname@example.org. A $100.00 non-refundable deposit is required to
reserve the date. The rehearsal is generally held 1 or 2 days prior to the date of
the ceremony and is often arranged when the wedding date is reserved. There
are no Friday night rehearsals. The office administrator is available to answer
any questions you may have with your marriage reservations at the Church.
Please complete the online form with the information required by the Church and
the Vital Statistics Division of the Government of NL records and submit it to our
Equal Marriage was enacted into law in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2004.
Cochrane Street United Church welcomes all couples who wish to be married.
Cochrane Street United Church recognizes that you may have a clergy person
that has had a special influence in your life. We are happy to include that
person; however the decision to invite the guest clergy must first be discussed
and approved by the church council. In order to aid this process, we ask that you
send a letter to the Church outlining the date of your wedding; the reason you are
requesting this minister; and a letter from the clergy you wish to invite requesting
permission for to her/him to take part in or to perform the ceremony. This
documentation will be forwarded to the Church Council for approval and you will
be advised of their reply.
All persons wishing to be married in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
must have a valid marriage license issued by the Government of NL. There are
several issuers in the St. John’s and Mount Pearl area however; the most
commonly used issuer is Service NL – Vital Statistics Division – 149 Smallwood
Drive, Mount Pearl, NL. (Motor Vehicle Registration building) It is important to
note that marriage licenses are only valid 30 days from the date of issue. For
more information on the issuance of marriage licenses, fees and procedures,
please contact Vital Statistics. The marriage license is required at least 5 days in
advance of the marriage ceremony.
Consultation with the Minister
Rev. Bowlby meets with the couple at least once, prior to the wedding. This will
give all parties the opportunity to get to know each other and to plan the marriage
ceremony so that it suits the needs of the couple and the church. The meeting
will last approximately one hour. Approximately 6 weeks in advance of the
wedding is a sufficient time, however, if you wish to meet earlier than that,
contact Rev. Miriam Bowlby or the church office at 722-3023 or at
Minister’s Right to Refuse to Marry
The minister reserves the right to refuse to marry any couple for reasons of
professional ethics, serious incompatibility of the couple, or failure of the couple
to agree to the guidelines established by Cochrane Street United Church. The
law also requires that the officiating ministers refuse to marry a couple when
there is suspicion of intoxication by way of alcohol and/or drugs.
Music is an integral component at marriage ceremonies. Cochrane Street United
Church is the home to one of the largest Casavant pipe organ east of Montreal.
Our church organist is a part of the marriage staff and is available for your music
consultation. All wedding music should be discussed with the church organist
and mutually agreed upon. Marriage is a sacred event and the music choices
should reflect those suited for a church environment.
The lyrics of all “songs” to be performed during the ceremony must be provided to Rev. Bowlby prior to the rehearsal for approval. Should you decide to incorporate other musicians such as a String Quartet, harpist, vocal soloists, etc., our organist may be able to assist you to identify musicians; however the contracting and fees for these
musicians will be your responsibility. Soloists/singers who require
accompaniment from our organist/pianist will receive one rehearsal as part of the
organist fee and must attend the rehearsal. The organist at Cochrane Street
United Church has first right of refusal. If you wish to use another organist that
organist must be approved by the Minister of Music at Cochrane Street United
Church. If approval is given for “your organist” to perform at your ceremony, the
fees normally paid to our organist must still be paid and payment to “your
organist” will be the responsibility of the couple.
Photography and Videos
Photography and videography may be taken during the ceremony by the official
photographer. Photographers/Videographers are asked to speak to the minister
prior to the ceremony to review guidelines for photographs taken during the
Decorations at the Church
The couple is welcome to decorate the church pews with flowers or pew ribbons
or have a wedding decorator come to the church to do so. Fresh flowers are
always beautiful around the altar and rails. The decorator must make an
appointment or come to the church during regular business hours Monday –
Friday 9:00 am – Noon. In case there are two weddings on the same day, the
second wedding must make arrangements with the church caretaker to book a
time for decorating the church in between the two ceremonies.
Each couple must make arrangement to have the decorations taken out of the church directly after the ceremony. The wood surfaces of the pews, altar and rails are made of
oak that is 100 years old and requires delicate treatment. For this reason, please
do not use tape or pins on the oak or plastered walls. We request that you tie
your pew markers with ribbons and loop them over the ends of each pew. Open
flame is not permitted in the sanctuary unless it is on the table at the altar.
Tossing of rice, seed, confetti and petals or blowing of bubbles following the
ceremony is an age-old tradition at weddings. Unfortunately it is messy and at
times, dangerous to your guests and the public. Please refrain from these
traditions on the stairs outside or anywhere in the sanctuary. If you wish to have
flower petals real or artificial scattered down the aisle during the processional, an
additional charge of $100.00 will apply to the wedding fees for clean-up following
the ceremony by the church custodian.
The couple is responsible for purchasing and producing the bulletins for use at
their marriage ceremony, although bulletins are not a ceremony requirement.
Blank wedding bulletins can be purchased at the United Church Bookstore, 320
Elizabeth Avenue, St. John’s.
The Church Staff and Fees
The minister is the person who will guide you in your marriage preparation and
perform the ceremony.
The organist is the person who will assist you with the music compilation for your
ceremony and play the organ for your marriage ceremony.
The custodian and worship committee representative are the people who will
guide/assist you at the rehearsal, and at your ceremony. They will also set up
the sanctuary in preparation for your ceremony and actually are the first to arrive
and the last to leave your rehearsal and ceremony. They will tidy and return the
sanctuary to order for the next congregational event in the church.
The Church and its’ administration hosts and coordinates all aspects of your
ceremony from the rehearsal to the ceremony and also the official document
control. The administrator ensures that all of the official documents are recorded
in the church and are completed, signed and returned to Vital Statistics for the
legal registration of your marriage.
Fees are to be paid to the CSUC office administrator at least 5 days before the
date of the wedding ceremony. (Not at the rehearsal) Fees are to be issued
individually as outlined. Cash or individually issued cheques are acceptable. If
you are issuing cheques, please contact the office for the names of payees to be
written on the cheques.
($25.00 per hour for rehearsal with soloist, if required)
*Church fee and administration fees………………........….………$ 200.00
Additional Clean-Up fees for rose petals, if necessary $100.00)
* Marriage Fees are subject to change
Click here for printable PDF Marriage Application