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Bishop Budde offers her garden for weddings displaced by shutdown

Bishop Budde offers her garden for weddings displaced by shutdown

All over the country, wedding plans have been, well, shut down by the shutdown of the federal government. Anyone planning an October wedding at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for example, or Golden Gate National Recreation Area or any other federal site is scrambling to come up with an alternative. Twenty-four weddings had been scheduled to take place on the National Mall this month. What are disappointed brides and grooms to do?

Well, in Washington, D.C., Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde has offered the expansive garden outside of the diocesan offices on the grounds of Washington National Cathedral free of charge to couples who were forced to cancel their weddings when the federal government shut down. A statement issued today from her office says:

“The shutdown’s impact on people’s lives is incalculable, and we’re all struggling to find ways to support our neighbors,” said Bishop Budde. “As one modest gesture, we invite those whose outdoor wedding plans were unexpectedly changed to consider the Bishop’s Garden as an alternate site, and we offer it to them free of charge.”

Budde said she made the invitation after a member of the diocese proposed the idea after reading of the plight of Mike Cassesso and MaiLien Le, whose wedding was scheduled to be held on the west lawn of the Jefferson Memorial. …Couples whose weddings are affected by the shutdown are invited to contact Cheryl Wilburn in the Bishop’s office at or by calling 202-537-6543.

What a nice gesture. What federally managed wedding sites are closest to your church, and might your sanctuary or garden be made available in a similar fashion?

It’s also worth nothing that tourists in our nation’s capital who expected to spend this week at museums on the mall might want to check out the National Cathedral, a wonderful historic site that is of course not affected by the government shutdown.


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Kurt Wiesner

Not sure if anyone was planning on getting married in The White Mountain National Forest (NH), but if your wedding site has been compromised by the shutdown, give the All Saints’ Littleton office a call and we’ll talk!


(The Rev.) Kurt C. Wiesner

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