Marriage is an institution of divine appointment which was sanctioned and honored by Jesus Christ. Christian marriage is monogamous (one man and one woman) and permanent (“till death do us part”). The solemnization of marriage in the church places the marriage relationship under the blessing and commandment of God. Therefore, a church wedding is essentially a religious service and should reflect the elements of joyful worship.
The following church policies and procedures concerning weddings have been established to make the wedding ceremony a meaningful service of Christian worship. All parties to the wedding should familiarize themselves thoroughly with these requirements and recommendations:
- Select the date and hour for the marriage ceremony and contact the Church Office to reserve the space(s) desired. Due to the many and varied activities held in the church facilities, early reservations are recommended.
- As the spiritual leader of the congregation, the Pastor normally participates in the required counseling sessions. However, in the event the couple to be married wishes another minister to conduct the ceremony, verification is requested that the required counseling sessions have been performed
- Regardless of who is officiating the wedding, arrangements for a personal conference between the engaged couple and the Pastor should be made as early as possible in advance of the wedding date. Several counseling sessions may be required and times must be scheduled accordingly. The couple to be married often has questions regarding marriage itself and/or the wedding ceremony which should be discussed with the Pastor at these sessions.
- A wedding rehearsal is necessary if the ceremony is to be conducted with proper dignity and beauty. A person who has full knowledge of church wedding procedures should be chosen to direct the rehearsal and to act in an advisory capacity to the Pastor, who is in charge of the ceremony. The director should be thoroughly conversant with all details of the wedding and decisions about the rehearsal should be made before the rehearsal begins. All-members of the wedding party are expected to be resent at the scheduled rehearsal time.
- Furniture on the Sanctuary platform may be temporarily moved to accommodate Individual wedding preferences. The pulpit is very heavy, however, and requires several adult men (4 are suggested) to move it safely. It may be placed against the Sanctuary wall or relocated to the Sanctuary corridor. The armchairs on the platform and the communion table may also be moved to the corridor outside the Sanctuary. lt is essential that all furniture be replaced immediately following the wedding in order to prepare the Sanctuary for the next scheduled worship service.
- Music to be used in the wedding ceremony must be appropriate for a worship service. Desired musical selections (both vocal and instrumental) must be discussed with, and approved by, the Minister of Music at least one (1) month prior to the wedding date. The church organist will normally be available to play for weddings and is contracted through the Church Office for a specified fee. In the event the couple to be married wishes to use another organist, the Minister of Music must be contacted and he, together with the church organist, will make every effort to accommodate that request.
- Use of the Sanctuary public address system is recommended for all but the most intimate wedding ceremonies. A qualified audio engineer is available for referral by the Church Office and should be contacted by the bride as soon as a wedding date has been booked.
- A florist should be selected who is thoroughly familiar with church wedding procedures and who will abide by the specific requirements of this church. Floral decorations should harmonize with the worship atmosphere of the wedding and should conform to the design and size of the worship space. Dripless candles only may be used in the Sanctuary. Nothing may be tacked/taped to the walls, pews, or other furnishings which will deface them. Persons responsible for the wedding decorations shall be liable for any damage done to the building or its furnishings.
- Since weddings are usually conducted at an hour when the custodial staff is not on duty, it is necessary that prior arrangements be made to clean-up all spaces used in conjunction with the wedding and/or reception and replace moved furniture to its original location. This may be done by wedding participants, family, friends, etc. under the supervision of a Church Hostess or may be contracted with the Church Custodian at a specified fee through the Church Office.
- The consumption of alcohol on church premises is strictly prohibited. No alcoholic beverages may be served at a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception held in church facilities. In addition, smoking is not allowed inside the church buildings.
- To prevent the possibility of accidental falls by wedding guests, no rice shall be used on church premises – either indoors or outdoors. The use of birdseed is permitted, provided a thorough clean-up takes place following the event. The wedding policy outlined above is designed to address the most common areas of interest regarding this sacred occasion of worship. If there are questions regarding any of the items discussed, please contact the Church office (706-7784412)for clarification.