We Are About Relationships
Wedding Guidelines for Christ United Methodist Church
The Christian Wedding
Christ United Methodist Church welcomes and supports you as you prepare for your wedding ceremony in our facility. Marriage is a serious commitment, a meaningful worship service and a statement of your personal faith. As the Sanctuary is a place of worship, and because we believe your wedding is important, we have the same standards for weddings that we have for Sunday morning worship services. This document outlines our church’s guidelines and official policy for weddings, wedding rehearsals and wedding receptions. These guidelines are intended to help your wedding be a beautiful, Christ-centered worship experience.
The first steps in preparing for your wedding involve initial planning for available dates and meeting with the wedding coordinator and pastor. Members, regular visitors, or their family members may have weddings at Christ United Methodist Church. An outline of the process is as follows:
Pre-Marital Counseling and Clergy
It is the philosophy of the church that preparation for your marriage is vital to the success of your marriage. For this reason, pre-marital counseling with the officiating pastor is required, and it is important to schedule adequate time prior to the wedding date. Visiting pastors are welcome; however, the invitation for the visiting pastor to participate in the wedding should be made by the pastor of Christ United Methodist Church. Please discuss this in your initial appointment with the pastor.
The wedding date and time is scheduled in the order of requests that have been properly confirmed through the initial consultation with a pastor of Christ United Methodist Church as outlined previously. Only one wedding can be scheduled per day. We will make every effort to accommodate your desired date and time, but care will be taken to ensure that previously scheduled weddings and church programs are adequately protected. The rehearsal for the wedding party is normally scheduled the evening before the wedding. One hour is the normal time allotted for the rehearsal; therefore, we ask that the bride and groom emphasize to the participants that everyone needs to be on time. In order to adequately prepare the facility for the next day’s activities, Saturday wedding parties must vacate the premises not later than 9:00 p.m. Other days may be flexible, but this must be arranged in advance with the wedding coordinator.
Weddings at Christ United Methodist Church require that the church’s Wedding Coordinator be present at the rehearsal, wedding and reception (if held at the church). The coordinator’s compensation is included in the church fee. The services of the coordinator include:
The bride will need to update the designated Wedding Coordinator with any revisions to plans.
The reception or rehearsal dinner may be held in either the Fellowship Hall or the Commons of the church. If you should desire to have your wedding reception or rehearsal dinner at the church, please initially reserve the date with the church Administrative Assistant. Details will be coordinated with the wedding coordinator at the time of your planning meeting. Additional custodial fees are required for these activities and are outlined in the Finance section of the guidelines. The caterer is responsible for providing all items required for the reception. It is expected that the caterer will professionally care for the church facilities and that all equipment will be removed immediately after the catered event. The kitchen and all areas used for the reception must be cleaned up by the caterer immediately following the reception. Food and beverages cannot be taken into the sanctuary. Alcoholic beverages and smoking are not permitted in the building. Rice, birdseed and confetti are safety hazards and should not be used when the couple leaves the church or at any time before, during or after the service. Bubbles are an appropriate alternative but must be used only outside of the church building.
Music is a wonderful way to enhance the worship experience and celebrate God’s love in a tangible way. The music should direct attention to God, who sanctifies marriage, and special care should be taken to assure that it is appropriate. The music may begin up to 30 minutes prior to the service. As this is a service of worship, the congregation may be invited to join in the singing of hymns at appropriate times in the service. Vocal and/or instrumental solos are another way to enhance the wedding music. As a rule, secular ballads, love songs, and popular music are not considered appropriate for Christian worship. Please be sure to select music and musicians that will enhance the worship experience of your wedding. Our church accompanist may be available to play for your wedding. Please contact the church to check on his availability.
To preserve the integrity and incarnational nature of the worship service, pre-recorded music (including accompaniment tracks) is not permitted.
If an audio recording of the service is desired, note this on the reservation form. Arrangements will be made with one of the Christ United Methodist Church sound technicians to insure the tape is properly made.
Floral Decorations and Sanctuary Furnishings
Christ United Methodist Church is pleased to work with your florist to preserve the theological symbols of the sanctuary. The following policies are provided to guide the family and the florist in making plans for the wedding:
The photographer is an important person in weddings and we welcome them to our church for their work. In keeping with the sanctity of the service, the Worship Committee has established the following policies:
It is the responsibility of the couple to inform the photographer/videographer of these policies prior to the wedding. The Wedding Coordinator will review the policies with the photographer/videographer upon his or her arrival at the church.
If a printed bulletin is to be part of the wedding, the preparation and printing is the responsibility of the bride and groom. The order of worship will be determined while meeting with the officiating pastor. Please have the wedding bulletin reviewed by the officiating pastor prior to printing. Please include the following statement in your wedding bulletins: “We request that there be no flash pictures during the service.”
Dressing areas are available for all members of the wedding party. The Wedding Coordinator will show these areas at the time of the initial meeting. Dresses and tuxedos should not be delivered to the church prior to the arrival of the wedding party. Food and drink (non-alcoholic) are welcome to be brought in for the wedding party. Food and drink is restricted to the dressing areas. Please designate someone to be responsible for cleanup of the dressing areas prior to leaving the building.
If guests bring gifts to the wedding, arrangements should be made to take the gifts with you when you leave.
Nursery & Custodial Services
If a nursery is required, a Christ United Methodist Church nursery worker must be in attendance and paid at our normal rate. This must be arranged a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the wedding with the Wedding Coordinator. Our childcare policy states that there must be a minimum of two workers to care for children, so please coordinate whether you will provide a volunteer or if other paid personnel must assist. The church will provide custodial services within the building. Please designate someone in the wedding party to be sure that the grounds are left in the same condition as when you arrived, especially if you are using the Pavilion for any part of your wedding.
Finances Related to Your Wedding
A security deposit is due upon completion of initial Pastor meeting and acceptance of wedding guidelines. The wedding party is responsible for insuring that the areas of the church are left in good condition. This will be promptly refunded if there are no damages. The following fees are due to the church office 3 weeks prior to the wedding unless noted otherwise:
If the couple is experiencing serious financial hardship, please make this information available to the pastor.