The sacrament of holy matrimony requires a deep look into ourselves as we prepare for this lifelong commitment. Because it is a serious decision, one that should not be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, we do require premarital counseling. We also require 30 days notice to the clergy person and we prefer that at least one of the parties is baptized. For remarriage after divorce or annulment, we may need to seek permission from our bishop. Weddings typically do not take place on Sundays or during the season of Lent (about 40 days prior to Easter). Please contact Mother Mary Lynn Coulson before you set a date. 


Receptions may take place in the parish hall or outdoor courtyard. Please make arrangements directly with our church office. Fees for receptions vary according to the number of people expected and the extent of the preparation. The use of alcohol on church grounds is permitted. Jesus did turn water into wine, after all!

20 parking spaces are included with the use of our church. They line the church property in the alleyway and provide the easiest access into the building. 

Photography and videography during the service are permitted. We strongly encourage a run-through prior to the big day. We are located just a few short blocks from the ocean -- another wonderful venue for wedding photos!

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can i be married here if i am gay/queer/lgbtqia+?

    Yes! We celebrate your love and would be honored to bless your union in the sacrament of holy matrimony. The Episcopal Church is known for its inclusive stance on gay marriage. 

  • What about flowers, candles and decorations?

    Please make arrangements for these with our altar guild. The office can put you in touch with them. We do have a preferred florist, but you can also use the florist of your own choice. All of these extras are the responsibility of the wedding party and are to be completed at least one hour before the start of the wedding. Anything not removed will be discarded by Sunday morning unless you make special arrangements with the altar guild. One arrangement customarily remains in the church for use on Sunday morning in thanksgiving for the marriage. 

  • How many people can sit comfortably in the church?

    St. Andrew's by-the-Sea holds 200 people comfortably. Currently we require masks for all people, vaccinated and unvaccinated. Please check with the office to find out the most up-to-date information. 

  • What is the ceremony like?

    We use the service for marriage in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The Prayer Book provides opportunity for friends or relatives to be readers, the inclusion of personal expressions, and the choice of scriptural readings. The priest will discuss all of these variables during the premarital counseling sessions. It is customary to include the service of Holy Eucharist if both parties are baptized.

  • what about music?

    You're invited to make all musical arrangements with our music director. We prefer two months' notice for all musicians to be able to practice with ample time. Be sure to discuss any soloists or instrumentalists with our music director. The ceremony is an act of worship in which the community gathered offers thanks and praise to God and asks God's blessing on this union. We encourage the use of music that reflects this reverence, but we are open to your likes and dislikes.  

  • Who handles the marriage license?

    Residents of California must apply for a marriage license to the County Clerk office in which one of the parties is resident. The priest who performs the wedding will sign your paperwork and return it to the clerk's office within two weeks. The clerk's office will mail your marriage license to you. It typically takes two to four weeks to receive the license. 

  • what about wedding programs?

    The use of a service bulletin is optional. However, a bulletin does provide wedding guests with an order of worship to guide them through the service and is an attractive memento of the ceremony. The church administrator can assist in the selection and purchase of appropriate and attractive bulletin stock. For a modest fee, the church office can assist you in the design and printing of the bulletins. If the church office is expected to prepare and print the bulletin, a four week notice is expected. In any case, the final proof copy must be approved by the clergy performing the marriage before printing. Please contact the church office during regular office hours for additional information.