Arch Street Presbyterian Church (ASPC) would be honored to be a small or large part of your wedding day! Whether we can serve as a beautiful venue or a community to walk alongside you in Philadelphia, consider how ASPC may partner with you. ASPC’s prime location in Center City Philadelphia offers world class hotels and reception venues within walking distance, the convenience of being next door to Suburban Station, and popular photo shooting locations like Love Park and the Philadelphia Art Museum nearby. To inquire abbout celebrating your marriage with us, please fill out this form and Rev. David Norse will be in contact with you shortly.
We realize couples consider ASPC for their wedding ceremony with different reasons in mind. We welcome wedding inquiries whether couples are interested solely in the location and beautiful sanctuary or in the thoughtful worship service our pastors and minister of music can provide. ASPC understands marriage to be a gift for people of all faith traditions and no religious affiliation, all sexual orientations, gender identities, races, ethnicities and cultures. We extend a warm invitation to not only find a venue for your wedding ceremony but also a growing, diverse, and innovative faith community to support you. Below is a brief overview of three ways ASPC may partner with you in celebrating your wedding and marriage. Details of the wedding policy, including fee schedule, follow.
ASPC as Venue
Host your wedding in our stunning sanctuary.
ASPC will need to talk briefly with the clergy person or other officiate for your ceremony and include a brief statement about our congregation in your wedding program.
Primary contact: Rev. David Norse
ASPC and Ministers
Enjoy working with our thoughtful pastors and/or talented minister of music to host your wedding ceremony in our stunning sanctuary.
ASPC will coordinate with you when one of our pastors may officiate your wedding ceremony, arrange pre-marital counseling, and/or when ASPC’s Minister of Music and the Arts Dr. J. Donald Dumpson may provide beautiful and sacred music for your worship service.
Initial contact: Rev. David Norse
ASPC and Community
Host your wedding in our stunning sanctuary, and engage in community with thoughtful pastors, talented music minister, and a diverse group of Christians.
We welcome you to consider joining ASPC as a diverse community of worshippers, learners, and world-changers. Find a community to walk with you as you enter the amazing and hard work of married life.
Initial contact: Rev. David Norse
In conversation with your officiant, the church, and the musicians, you may choose the day and time of your wedding. You will be given two hours before the wedding to place flowers and get dressed if desired. There is an allotted time frame of two hours for setup and pre-ceremony photographs, up to one hour for the ceremony, and 30 minutes following for further photographs and clean-up, for a total of three and a half hours on site the day of your ceremony. More time may be negotiated if needed.
The pastors and staff at Arch Street Presbyterian Church consider it a privilege to assist you in planning and executing your wedding ceremony. In addition to ensuring that the service is a beautiful beginning to a vital and successful marriage, the pastoral staff will continue to be available to you for care and support as your married life unfolds. ASPC’s ministers proclaim that marriage is a gift for all people, that everyone should be able to marry the person of their choice, and that all couples who wish for a minister to officiate and pronounces God’s blessing upon their union are welcome to be married at ASPC. If you have any questions, please reach out to one of our pastors.
Couples may have another clergyperson or public official officiate the wedding. Provide contact information to the Director of Operations at least three months prior to the wedding so that she may convey basic information about our church and answer any questions. ASPC asks that the following brief statement about our community of faith to be included in the wedding program:
Arch Street Presbyterian Church is a growing, diverse, and welcoming community in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. It is a part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Learn more about ASPC at archstreetpres.org
Whether an ASPC pastor or another officiant presides over the wedding, you will be assigned an ASPC wedding coordinator to handle the details of the worship service.
The Wedding Service
If an ASPC pastor officiates your wedding, he/she does so with the following understanding: A Christian wedding involves a community of family and friends who come together to seek God’s blessing upon the life-long promises made between two individuals who have chosen to enter into a loving, faithful marriage. If an ASPC pastor presides, your wedding will be an expression of your own faith and desire that God be an ongoing part of your lives together. The pastor will work with you to plan a worship service based on the Service for Christian Marriage of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with your unique personalities in mind.
Pre-marriage counseling is a requisite of all weddings presided by ASPC pastors. Rev. David Norse, Minister for Pastoral Counseling and LGBTQ Belonging, is available for pre-marriage counseling for couples of all sexual orientations, family structures, cultures, and ages. An optional component that explores the role of a faith community in your married life is available if you wish, but is not necessary. These sessions are offered on a sliding scale and serve as an invaluable pre-marital resource as you address issues such as finances, family dynamics, and mutual expectations in regard to children, sex, and vocation. If you would prefer to be referred to another therapist, or have a therapist you would like to conduct your pre-marriage counseling, it must be approved by the presiding minister. Contact the Rev. David Norse, Minister for Pastoral Counseling & LGBTQ Belonging, with questions or for more details at [email protected]
Wedding rehearsals are customarily on the late afternoon or early evening the day before the wedding and are scheduled in consultation with your minister. The minister will ordinarily conduct the rehearsal with the assistance of the musician and sexton. Your entire wedding party, including family members involved in the processional or recessional, ushers, and readers, should be present for instructions. Rehearsals last no longer than 45 minutes. Should your wedding party be more than 20 minutes late, the rehearsal is canceled. Bring wedding programs along with the marriage license and minister’s fee to the rehearsal.
You may use your own musicians or engage our music staff.
ASPC’s Minister of Music and the Arts Dr. J. Donald Dumpson draws together the highest level of skill and passion to coordinate music with the theme of each worship service. To hear a sample from Dr. Dumpson’s work at ASPC click on the music tab on ASPC’s homepage. If you would like Dr. Dumpson to offer his gifts to your wedding service, the date of the wedding must be coordinated with him through the Director of Operations. All music and musicians must be approved three months prior to the wedding by Dr. Dumpson. An additional fee will be charged for soloists and instrumentalists that Dr. Dumpson hires in coordination with the couple.
Guest musicians must contact Director of Operations to discuss production needs and to coordinate insurance coverage if any of ASPC’s instruments are to be used.
Professional photography and videography is welcome in our space. We suggest you print in your wedding program that other photography is prohibited during the ceremony. Professionals may take non-flash silent photography and stationary video without artificial lighting from the rear of the worship space without disrupting the service. Photographer or videographer must stay behind the gathered congregation during the ceremony. The balconies may be used in consultation with the organist. The photographer may photograph the recessional from the aisle, but not the processional. You may gather for photographs before or after your wedding ceremony within the reserved timeframe.
Flowers, Candles, etc.
You may bring two flower arrangements to set up on either side of the Communion Table. Consult with the church wedding coordinator to discuss permission for additional decorations. All seasonal church decorations must remain in place. A unity candle may be used given the candles are non-drip and the floor is protected. No decorations may be placed on the Communion Table. Due to safety concerns of our specific church, aisle runners are discouraged. No materials of any kind (flower petals, birdseed, rice, etc.) may be scattered or thrown inside or outside of the church buildings. Decorations may not be taped or nailed to the pews, walls, or columns.
The sanctuary seats 1,000 and is appropriate for any size wedding and is not air-conditioned. The Welsh Chapel seats 100 and is air-conditioned.
The church can accommodate small receptions in the Social Hall. This space can accommodate 50 persons seated or 100 persons standing. All food must be prepared by a professional caterer acknowledging the confines of our small kitchen. Additional fees apply.
The best means of transportation to the church is public transit as we are adjacent to Suburban Station. Parking is limited, but special permission may be attained for parking on 18th Street on weekends (approx. 15 spaces). There are paid lots and garages in close proximity to the church that offer highly affordable weekend rates.
Both the sanctuary and the chapel are accessible by wheelchair. Unfortunately our first floor restroom does not currently accommodate wheelchairs; however, we do have a wheelchair accessible restroom in another space. Our coordinator will show your ushers how those using wheelchairs can navigate the building.
Marriage License from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
A marriage license from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is required to marry at Arch Street Presbyterian Church. Please bring your marriage license to the rehearsal. The presiding minister is the only one that signs the license following the service. The officiant is responsible for returning the signed license to the state. Note that licenses in the state of Pennsylvania must be used within 60 days and that there is a three-day waiting period prior to your wedding date. For information on obtaining a marriage license to be married in Philadelphia County, visit http://secureprod.phila.gov/wills/marriagelicense.aspx.
The Marriage after the Wedding
It is our hope that Arch Street Presbyterian Church will be as much a part of your marriage as we are a part of your wedding—where together in Christ, we claim hope over despair, prefer truth to complacency, and seek to grow in faith and compassion for the world. We pray God’s blessings and love for your life together!
Timeline and Fees
All fees are due no later than thirty-days prior to the wedding date. Checks should be made payable to Arch Street Presbyterian Church. The security deposit is due before a wedding can be confirmed and will be applied to the final fees due to the church. In thanksgiving to God, couples are encouraged to give ten percent of the total cost of their wedding as a gift to the church.
Security Deposit $500 (due to secure a date, applied toward the total)
Building and coordinator fees
– Sanctuary use: $1000 or chapel use: $600
– Sexton: $150
– Church Wedding Coordinator: $300
Minister honorariums, if using ASPC
– Pastor: $500
– Minister of Music: $500
– Pre-Marriage Counseling (4-5 Sessions): $400-$500 (typically $100 per session)
– Inquire for cost
– Security deposit increases to $700
Total cost for sanctuary service without reception: $2350—$2950
Total cost for chapel service without reception: $1950—$2550
- Fill out our intial wedding inquiry form, and Rev. David Norse will be in contact with you shortly.
- Send $500 deposit payable to Arch Street Presbyterian Church to ASPC, 1724 Arch Street, Phila, PA 19103 once date is confirmed.
- If an ASPC pastor is assigned to you, please schedule a time as soon as possible to meet and arrange for approved pre-marriage counseling. If officiant is outside of ASPC staff, provide contact information to Manager of Operations three months prior to ceremony.
- If ASPC’s Minister of Music & the Arts is engaged with the wedding service, coordinate conversations at least three months in advice to discuss music.
- Between thirty and sixty days prior the wedding, obtain the marriage license.
- At least thirty-days prior to the wedding, send the balance due.
- Ten days prior, approve bulletin text with presiding minister.
- At the rehearsal, bring the marriage license and wedding programs.