We are delighted for you and your families. Other than the love of God, there is no greater gift we give one another than that of family, and marriage is the way in which that gift is given.
You’ve been asked by your sweetheart to contemplate marriage. With joy and tenderness and much excitement you said yes. Now the reality of it all hits, and you understand that you have a gazillion things to do before the day comes when you plight your troth to your beloved in front of family and friends.
You’re looking at our webpage because you’re thinking of using our church facility for your wedding. We’re flattered; we think it’s a beautiful church too.
But it is a church, not a wedding chapel. It is reserved for the weddings of Christian couples who, in line with the teachings of Scripture, wish to join their lives together as disciples of Christ. That means that a wedding in our church or any other is first and foremost about worship of the God who creates us and sustains us and does this through the covenant of marriage.
Covenant is a word that means “promise”. When we marry we promise before God and our loved ones to love, honor, and cherish our spouse to be. We promise to love our spouse as God loves us, with compassion and respect, willing to forgive our beloved’s faults as he or she forgives ours. We promise lifelong faithfulness to our spouse as God is always faithful to us, holding ourselves only for our spouse for as long as we both live.
These beliefs have certain implications for you and your fiancée. First, the church is available for the weddings of members in good standing, who worship with us regularly, pray with us, share the Lord’s Supper with us, and support our ministries. On rare occasions we will allow the building and its pastor to be used for the wedding of nonmembers when the parties involved can demonstrate church membership elsewhere and sincere belief. There is a significantly higher fee for the use of the church by nonmembers than members. There is also a fee for the sexton, who will open doors for you prior to the wedding for your preparations and clean up after your wedding is over.
Second, the promises made of lifelong love and faithfulness are easy to make in the flush of new love but difficult to keep as the years roll by. We require bride and groom to attend premarital counseling through the pastor or an individual or agency the pastor designates. Both experience and research demonstrate that premarital counseling makes for more stable and loving households.
Third, we worship first, celebrate the wedding second. Since the wedding service is a worship service there are rules about the sorts of music that can be allowed, dress, behavior, vows, and pictures. Those rules are listed below.
Date and time for the wedding must be set with the pastor, and will take the church’s worship and event schedule into account. Once chosen, that date will be held for your wedding unless you change it with the pastor or change your mind about the wedding. In the latter case, please contact the pastor. We need to know the wedding is off and the date is free, and you may need some loving care.
All music including solos must be approved by the church’s Music Director. The music must be faith appropriate, which means that “She’s Having My Baby” is out as a processional piece. The Music Director will play unless other arrangements are made. The Music Director sets his or her own fee, and will be paid prior to the wedding. Rehearsals with soloists or other instrumentalists will be arranged with the Music Director.
Dress, including that of bride and attendants, groom and attendants, must be church appropriate. That means reasonable necklines and hemlines.
You may not move church furniture around, most especially that in the Sanctuary, paraments, hymnals in racks, and so on unless you explicit permission from the pastor to do so ahead of time. So, the paraments or clothes on the altar will be the color of the day for the church year, not whatever color best goes with the bride’s color scheme. Sorry.
You are welcome to use our fellowship space for your reception. Again, please speak with the pastor about the use of this space and fees. While we understand it is customary in some places for alcohol to be available to the bride’s or groom’s attendants prior to the wedding, no alcohol is to be brought into this church or its parking lot. We suggest too that you watch yourself and your friends the night before your wedding. Commonwealth law prohibits the marriage of people who are intoxicated. So, no matter how many people are sitting in the pews and how much you have spent on the wedding, if you are clearly worse for the wear that way the wedding will not go forward.
No flash photography is allowed over the course of the wedding. Flash photography makes it very difficult for people in the pews to see your wedding and impossible for the pastor to read his or her text. You may arrange to have your wedding videotaped, but will need to speak with our technology/audio-visual people about placement of cameras. We strongly suggest you arrange to have most of your pictures taken a couple of hours before your wedding, so when your wedding is over you are free after a few last shots to head off to your reception.
Okay, so those are the rules. They are there to make sure your wedding goes off smoothly and the right things happen by God and Church.
Again, congratulations on your wedding, and many blessings on it and you.