INTRODUCTION: Marriage in the church is a religious ceremony, therefore, all elements of the service have religious significance. Your wedding will mean more to you, your families and friends when there is careful concern given for all the reverential aspects of this holy occasion.
In order that you may have a sacred and dignified wedding ceremony you are urged to make thorough preparations, addressing your spiritual life as well as the details of logistical matters. The pastor and staff of the church wish to extend every possible assistance to you, toward the end that your wedding in the church will be a memorable and blessed event in every detail.
Careful judgments have been made in preparation of the church's wedding policy. These have been adopted by the church as the official policy and suggested guidelines relating to rehearsals, wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions, and building use. You are urged to read the following material carefully and to cooperate fully with the church in upholding the high standards which the church desires.
REQUIREMENTS: Because this is a Christian church, all of the weddings taking place here are to be glorifying to God and in accordance with Scripture.
We do not require that you be a member of this church in order to have your wedding here. However, membership/affiliation with some Christian congregation is considered to be one witness to your personal faith commitment to Christ
Premarital counseling with the pastor is a requirement well in advance of your wedding date, you will need to arrange time for a series of counseling sessions. They are usually three in number (lasting 1 to 2 hours each) with time in between for additional reading and ceremony preparation. A couple should allow a time frame of about three to six months for these sessions to occur.
The pastor, as the official representative of this church, has the right and authority to refuse to marry any couple. If after agreeing to perform a wedding ceremony, the pastor discovers sufficient reason to warrant refusal, refusal may be made, even at the last moment.
If you are divorced, you need to understand divorce is not God's intention for the marriage bond. However, divorce isn't an unforgivable sin. Scripture allows for divorce under certain conditions. We invite you to discuss the matter of your divorce with the pastor. You must produce documented proof of your final divorce decree.
SCHEDULING: Never plan the details of timing for your wedding ceremony without first scheduling the date and time with the pastor. The pastor will cooperate with timing as best as he can, but you have to recognize there are rare times when the pastor just can not be available, no matter what your circumstances may be.
Permission to use the church facilities for a wedding should be secured from the Pastor and Church Secretary at least two months in advance. Call the church office and you will be put in touch with the right persons. The church prefers that weddings not be scheduled on Sundays or major holidays. Only the most extenuating circumstances would be considered for exception.
Evening weddings should be scheduled to begin no later than 8:00p.m. All weddings require there be a rehearsal of the ceremony. The pastor alone will be the person to determine if there would ever be an exception to this requirement. Rehearsals are normally scheduled for the evening on the day preceding the wedding ceremony. Any changes from this time must be agreeable to both the church and the officiating pastor.
All receptions conducted at the church facility are to be conducted by 10:00 p.m. Alternate arrangements must be agreed upon in advance. Additional fees may apply.
OFFICIATING: The pastoral staff of the church will officiate at all weddings. If a couple desires to have another minister conduct the ceremony, or to participate with the church's pastor, that request is to be known to the pastor at the time of requesting the marriage ceremony. Pastoral protocol requires that this church's pastor write an invitation of participation to all outside officiating clergy.
The officiating pastor will conduct all rehearsals and explain all procedures for the wedding ceremony.
The Marriage License must be in the pastor's possession before the ceremony and should be given to him one week prior to the date of the rehearsal, along with all donations and fees.
MUSIC: If music is to be a part of your wedding ceremony, it is to be in keeping with the reverence observed in the House of the Lord. As Christians, we are concerned that music be meaningful and worshipful to all who share in the experience of a wedding ceremony. Couples are responsible for arranging their own instrumentalists, organist, or vocalists. The church organist may be asked to do the task, but is free to refuse if there is good reason to do so. The church piano and organ are available for use (we assume only qualified musicians will use these instruments).
REHEARSALS: Rehearsals will begin promptly at the time scheduled. Delay in beginning on time consumes the time of the pastor, the organist and everyone scheduled to participate. The bride and groom are responsible for insisting that members of the wedding party be prompt for the rehearsal and the wedding. The following guidelines will help to prepare for a rehearsal:
· The pastor is in charge of the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony. If a couple has secured the service of a wedding consultant it is their responsibility to inform the consultant that the pastor has full and complete control and responsibility.
· If parents are to be part of the wedding ceremony, they should be at the rehearsal.
· All of the groom's party and the bride's party should be at the rehearsal.
LICENSE AND FEES
FEES: No fees will be charged to church members for facility use. The same will apply to "regular attending/participating in-the-life-of-the-church-people". For relatives of these same mentioned groups, and other non-members, there will be a fee of:
$100.00 for use of the Sanctuary
$150.00 for use of the Fellowship Hall (four hour max., $50.00 each additional hour plus
$175.00 Pastor’s fee
$ 45.00 Custodian (up to four hours. $15.00 additional after 4 hours.)
Since the church contract with the custodian and the music staff do not include services for weddings, the couple will be responsible for their fees separately.
The pastor gratefully accepts all honoraria offered. It is to be fully understood, however, that all members and "regular attending/participating people" are not required to offer honoraria. They are already paying the salary of the pastor and weddings are part of his pastoral duties. The pastor does, however, reserve the right to request a reasonable fee (set by him) of all outside people.
The Marriage License and all fees and donations should be given to the pastor no later than one week prior to the rehearsal.
* Fees are not intended to create a hardship for couples. If this is the case, please discuss this with the pastor so that a suitable arrangement can be made.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Flash photographs may be taken during the processional and recessional, but not during the ceremony itself. Stationary videos and time exposure photos may be taken during the ceremony, but there is to be no one moving around at that time. The pastor will gladly remain for posed photographs with the bridal party after the ceremony. The wedding party may return to the sanctuary following the ceremony for photographs, and parts of the ceremony may be reenacted if desired. It is requested that pictures involving the pastor be taken first so that he may attend to his other duties. The official photographer should be informed by the couple/families to check in with the pastor upon arrival at the church so a full understanding of this policy may be agreed upon between them.
A video or audio tape of the service may be made, but arrangements must be made no later than the day of the rehearsal.
DECORATIONS: All decorations are the responsibility of the couple/families. The church suggests simplicity with a minimum of decorations. Ribbons or simple floral ribbons or simple floral arrangements may be used to mark the family pews. No tape of any kind will be used to attach decorations. Soft coated floral wire, ribbons, or rubber bands may be used. There are to be no decorations placed on the walls, woodwork, or doors.
USE OF RICE or BIRD SEED: The use of rice, confetti, seed, etc., is prohibited inside the church building. If desired, birdseed or flower petals may be used only outside the building. Bubbles may be used anywhere except in the Sanctuary. Flower petals dropped in the aisle during the processional are also permitted. Arrangements are to be made by the couple/families to insure that no one re-enters the building carrying packets of birdseed.
DRIPLESS CANDLES Only drip-less candles are permitted in the church building.
FLOWER DELIVERIES: The couple/families are responsible for scheduling flower deliveries to the church when someone will be available to let in the florist and receive the delivery.
WEDDING GARMENTS AND PERSONAL VALUABLES. The church will not be responsible for wedding garments, purses, shoes, clothing, silverware, glassware, kitchen utensils, or any personal items brought to the church for use in a wedding or a wedding reception. The church will not be liable for such items if lost, stolen, or damaged. The church will, however, make every reasonable effort to assist the couple/families in protecting and securing such property.
Dressing rooms: The bride and her attendants may use designated rooms on the first floor of the discipleship wing, for a dressing or preparations room if desired. The Library is available for the groom and groomsmen.
RECEPTIONS: Fellowship Hall may be scheduled for reception use. Couple/families requesting the use of the church (sanctuary and Fellowship Hall) are responsible for making arrangements for set up and clean up of all facilities used. Couple/families requesting use of the church kitchen and Fellowship Hall must receive specific instructions on their use from the Fellowship Committee. It is understood that no smoking is allowed inside any of the facilities and alcoholic beverages in any form are not permitted on the church property. Prearrangement with the church must be made for designated outside smoking and clean up.
FACILITY USE carries with it a responsibility to repair or replace should any damage occur.