Wedding FAQs

Who may arrange for a wedding ceremony at All Souls Church?

A wedding ceremony at All Souls must satisfy the requirements of the District of Columbia.  It is not necessary that you be members of All Souls. It is not necessary that you be religious or associated with a religious faith.

May same-sex couples be married at All Souls?

FentySignsBillYes!  Our congregation has celebrated and practiced marriage equality long before it became federal law. Couples of all religious backgrounds and orientations are warmly welcomed at All Souls, where the first publicized service of same-sex union in DC history was held.

Mayor Fenty officially legalized same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia at a ceremonial signing held in the Sanctuary of All Souls Church in December of 2009.

Will there be pre-marital counseling?

Non Church Members: All Souls Church does not require each couple to attend pre-marital counseling. Nonmembers with external officiants will need to ask their officiant if it a requirement by that officiant.

ASC Church Members: All Souls ministers may request that ASC church members wishing to marry meet with him/her to discuss their views, religious needs, and to learn more about the couple to help craft the ceremony.

How is the wedding scheduled?

While weddings are often held on Saturday, other days of the week are available.

Couples should first complete the inquiry form to check the availability of their preferred date.  The date for the wedding ceremony should be secured before you make any commitment to a reception space.

For ASC Members wishing to have one of the ASC Ministers officiate, they should check with the church Event Manager about possible dates, then contact the minister they would like to work with directly to ensure they are available.

Once both the date (and the minister) have been determined, the Event Manager will work with the couple to outline their space needs, create a quote, put together the Wedding Contract, and finalize the reservation.

Can my wedding be performed by a minister not on staff at All Souls Church?

Yes. You are welcome to have any officiant you choose conduct your ceremony, as long as the officiant meets the legal requirements in Washington, DC to conduct weddings.

Who selects the music?

You do! You are welcome to bring in musicians of your own choosing, and work with them directly. The fees for musicians are negotiated and paid directly by the couple.

If you need help finding a musician, we have a list of contacts that we can help connect you to, including vocalists, pianists, organists, and more.

If you would like to use the Reiger Organ or Baby Grand Piano during your ceremony in the Sanctuary, it will be an additional fee of $150 paid to the church.

How may we decorate the sanctuary?

Our sanctuary tends to require very little additional ornamentation other than flowers. Your own florist should arrange with the church to visit the church during open hours to view the space you selected for your ceremony well in advance of the ceremony.  On the day of the wedding, the florist will be granted access to the sanctuary at the beginning of your rental period.

Aisle runners, should you choose to use one, should be provided by the couple.

You may use pew clips or loops of ribbon, twine, or string to decorate the ends of the pews at each side of the center aisle.

If you would like to donate your flowers on Saturday to the church for Sunday service, you are welcome to leave them.  All other decorations (and flowers on other days of the week) must be removed by the end of your rental period.

You may not tack, staple, or otherwise damage the walls, floors, pews, or other fixtures of the church to hang decorations.

How much time will we need at the church?

The wedding ceremony may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the music and readings chosen, and any other activities you choose to add. Generally, we reserve a three-hour time block for each wedding ceremony: one hour before the ceremony to arrive and prepare; one hour for the ceremony itself; and one hour after the ceremony for photographs and cleanup.

It is possible that more than one wedding will be scheduled on the same day, and we ask that rental times be strictly adhered to.  Additional time may be added for a fee of $215 per hour.

What is the fee for an All Souls Church wedding?

Please visit our Wedding Pricing Page.

When is the wedding rehearsal?

A one hour wedding rehearsal is included in the rental of All Souls Church for weddings.  It is usually scheduled in advance for the afternoon or evening the day before the wedding at a time agreed upon with Event Manager (and ASC Minister if applicable). All members of the wedding party, parents of the couple, and any readers should attend. Musicians and Photographers are also welcome to attend to see first hand the spaces being used and the run-of-show.

Is there parking available?

Sadly, no. We do NOT have a parking lot, and are surrounded by street parking only.

We are conveniently located along several metro bus routes, and are two blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro Train station, which runs along the Yellow and Green lines.

There are also community neighbors close by who are sometimes willing to rent parking spaces for use during weddings or events.  National Baptist Church, at the corner of 15th St NW and Columbia occasionally has spots available in their parking lot.

The nearest parking garage is DC USA Parking, which is accessible at 3100 Irving St NW.  The rates are extremely reasonable, at $5 for 4 hours, $12 for 4-12 hours, of $20 for the day. The garage is closed between the hours of 1AM and 5AM.

May we take photographs during the Wedding?

Of course! Photographs and video recordings of the ceremony must be taken by a professional photographer or designated person, who will communicate with the Event Manager the day of.  You may also set time for photographs before or after the wedding if you would like to have them on site, as long as it is within your rental window.

What documents are necessary?

As of March 3, 2010, it is possible for same-sex couples to legally marry in the District of Columbia. Here is some basic information on marriage in the District:

To apply for a marriage license in the District of Columbia you must visit the DC Court Marriage Bureau located in H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room #JM690. The office hours are 8:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

All marriage licenses are issued three days after the date an application is filed.

Each party in the marriage must bring proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, government issued non-driver’s identification, birth certificate, passport or a similar official document. The application requires the parties to identify the name of the officiant who will perform the marriage ceremony. The officiant is any District of Columbia Judge or anyone who is authorized by a religious organization to officiate marriages, such as a minister, priest, rabbi or imam, so long as he or she is registered with the Marriage Bureau to officiate marriages. In addition, the couple should bring the $35 license application and an additional $10 if you would like a certified copy of the marriage certificate. The fee must be paid in cash, credit card or by a money order made out to “Clerk of the Court, DC Superior Court.”

The $35 marriage license application fee is waived if you are already registered as Domestic Partners in the District of Columbia. If you are part of a District of Columbia Domestic Partnership, upon marrying, your Domestic Partnership automatically dissolves and you are simply married. If you are part of a Domestic Partnership or Civil Union from another state, the other state’s law may require you to dissolve it prior to marrying in the District of Columbia. Check the other state’s law about your responsibilities and obligations relating to dissolving that legal relationship prior to marrying.

You must have your receipt to pick up the license. Marriage Licenses are not issued by mail.

For more information visit the DC Court online or call (202) 879-4840.

SELRES_988978b8-9ce3-4e72-8a69-825e5841ee78SELRES_e0fae2de-29ec-4bb6-8f29-6b60b1af27c2SELRES_506a5346-70c0-4ee3-99ae-2e45484772c0Can we hold our reception at All Souls Church?SELRES_506a5346-70c0-4ee3-99ae-2e45484772c0SELRES_e0fae2de-29ec-4bb6-8f29-6b60b1af27c2SELRES_988978b8-9ce3-4e72-8a69-825e5841ee78

Yes, we hope you will!  You can hold your wedding reception at the church for an additional fee.  We offer wedding packages for ceremony only or ceremony and reception.  Please visit our wedding space page to learn more about what areas are available.