We of First United Methodist Church are pleased that you have contacted us regarding your wedding. We are happy to help you in every possible way, so that your wedding will be a joyous and memorable experience. The following policies and procedures are designed to ensure that your wedding service will be beautiful and appropriate for all concerned. A representative of the church will review this policy in detail with the bride or her representative. The bride or her representative and the church representative will initial each page of the policy as it is discussed to signify an understanding of the terms. The bride will receive a copy of this policy and the original will be kept on file in the church office.
Christian marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. They fulfill each other, and their love gives birth to new life in each and through each. This union is possible when Jesus Christ is the basis and bond of unity. Christ becomes that bond of unity when the couple is centered on Him. Christian marriage confirms this grace-filled equality of female and male in Christ.
The Christian marriage ceremony is a Service of Worship before God, the direction of which is the responsibility of the pastor. Reverence shall be expected on the part of all participants.
Anyone seeking to be married at FUMC should begin by contacting the Administrative Assistant with the requested dates. If the dates are available on the church calendar, a meeting will be scheduled, first with a pastor, followed by a Policy Review meeting with the Administrative Assistant. A reservation is considered to be tentative until the signed Wedding / Reception Reservation Request Form and deposit are received. Tentative reservations will be held for 14 days. In the event of a need to cancel, deposits are refundable up to 60 days prior to the wedding. All forms must be completed in their entirety and returned to the Administrative Assistant no less than 60 days prior to the wedding date.
A deposit of half the total charges will be collected at the time a reservation is confirmed. The balance of the total charges is due 30 days prior to the wedding date.
The couple shall participate in a minimum of four hours of instruction and discussion relative to the privileges and obligations they will assume in Christian marriage at the direction of the pastor. It is the responsibility of the couple to schedule these sessions to be completed at least 30 days prior to the wedding.
It is expected that an FUMC pastor will officiate all weddings. The participation of any others in the ceremony is at the discretion of the FUMC pastor.
The FUMC Wedding Director will attend and take a leadership role in both the rehearsal and wedding. The director is familiar with the building, wedding etiquette, and the traditions of FUMC. Consultation between the bride and the wedding director is required no less than 30 days prior to the wedding. The bride is responsible for scheduling this consultation.
FUMC offers two locations depending on the atmosphere and number of guest anticipated.
- The Sanctuary provides a traditional setting that can accommodate up to 725 guests.
- Clayton Hall provides a more contemporary setting that will accommodate 300 guests in theater seating.
The facilities will not be available for weddings during the following times:
- Palm Sunday Weekend
- Holy Week
- Easter Weekend
- Thanksgiving Weekend
- New Years Eve
- New Years Day
- Weddings in December are approved subject to church activities
In addition, the facilities will not be available for non-member weddings during the following times:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend
- Memorial Day Weekend
- Independence Day Weekend
- Labor Day Weekend
- Month of December
Non-member weddings will be limited to one per calendar month January through November and will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis no more than 1 year in advance.
In addition to the reservation deposit, a $300 security deposit is required for non-member weddings 30 days prior to the wedding date. This deposit will be refunded within 14 days following the wedding, provided there has been no damage to the facilities, all policies have been adhered to by all parties associated with the wedding, and the building has been vacated according to the policy guidelines. Parties subject to these policies include the wedding party, guests, musicians, caterer, florist, photographer, videographer, and anyone else associated with the wedding.
A signed Facilities Use Agreement must be returned with the Wedding Reservation Form at the time the wedding is confirmed. A certificate of insurance naming First United Methodist Church as an additional insured is required in the amount of $1,000,000. This certificate must be received by FUMC 30 days prior to the wedding.
CARE OF PREMISES
All parties associated with the wedding are obligated to leave the building in good condition. Church property shall not be marred or defaced in any manner. The responsible person will be liable for damages. No one in the wedding party shall attempt to make any repairs. Necessary repairs will be coordinated by FUMC and any amount over the security deposit will be invoiced.
No rice, birdseed, confetti, sparklers, or bubbles may be used anywhere on the premises including sidewalks. No real flower petals may be thrown inside the sanctuary.
The chancel furniture will be removed for the ceremony by the church staff. Movement of any other furniture (including choir chairs), fixtures, kneelers, or musical equipment will not be allowed.
Tables, chairs, and other furnishings, which have been set up for the reception (members only), may not be changed by anyone associated with the wedding. The Facilities Manager or Assistant must be contacted for any changes that need to be made. Use of any church equipment must be approved by the church priorto use.
A rehearsal is necessary for most weddings and is usually conducted on the evening before the wedding. The rehearsal time should be scheduled with the Administrative Assistant at the time the wedding is confirmed. The rehearsal shall always begin at the appointed time as a courtesy to all involved. The doors to the sanctuary or Clayton Hall, as well as the east entrance off the parking lot, will be open 30 minutes prior to the rehearsal time.
The church building shall be open 3 hours prior to the ceremony to allow sufficient time for the wedding party to dress and for pictures to be made before guests arrive. The FUMC Wedding Director will arrive 1½ hours before the ceremony.
The bride’s parlor, which is adjacent to the passage to the sanctuary, is available to the bride for dressing. Another room, which is in close proximity, is available for the bridal attendants. Location for the groom and his attendants to dress is dependent on the area designated for the wedding.
Food for the wedding party may be served prior to the wedding from the counter and adjacent table in Newman Center. The individuals providing the food should also clean up. It is understood that members of the wedding party will not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. No alcoholic beverages are to be served on church premises, including parking areas, at any time. The use of tobacco is prohibited inside the church facilities.
The bride and / or her family are responsible for all personal items of the wedding party brought to the church for use in the wedding or reception. While every effort will be made by the church to assist the wedding party in protecting personal property, the church will not be liable for items that are lost, stolen, or damaged.
To ensure that all phases of your event progress seamlessly, we ask that you adhere to all time schedules.
Weddings that include a reception on-site will be scheduled no later than 6:00 pm. Weddings that do not include a reception at FUMC will be scheduled no later than 7:00 pm. The facility must be vacated no later than 9:00 pm.
Clayton Hall is available to members only for wedding receptions. Reception space is not available for non-member weddings. Clayton Hall can accommodate a maximum of 200 guests with table seating. Scheduling of the facilities should be coordinated with the Administrative Assistant. A diagram of the reception set-up must be submitted to the Facilities Manager no less than 7 days before the wedding.
Catering needs should be coordinated with the Food Service Director.
Outside caterers may, for a fee, use the church kitchen for staging and serving only. Church equipment and food may not be used.
FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS
First United Methodist Church provides a place of dignity and beauty for weddings. Care should be taken to ensure that the decorations do not hide or obscure the Christian symbols.
Adherence to the guidelines for decorating the church is the responsibility of the person requesting use of the facilities. The florist / decorator should be made aware of the church policies and indicate a willingness to comply by signing a copy of the decoration guidelines (see separate form). The church reserves the right to remove any items that are not consistent with this policy.
To prevent any scheduling conflicts, decorating for the wedding must be coordinated with the Administrative Assistant (Regular hours are 9 am to 5 pm on Weekdays and 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday). The church staff will not be available to assist with decorating.
Please note that the facilities temperature will not maintain flowers overnight. The coolers / refrigerators in the church are not available for use.
Specific Decoration Guidelines:
- Decorations should be limited to the sanctuary and reception area only.
- In preparation for the service, the church staff will remove all chancel furniture except the altar and baptismal font, place steps in front of the platform, and place the wedding kneeler on the platform. Movement of any other furniture, fixtures, or musical equipment will not be allowed.
- Chairs cannot be removed from the choir loft.
- All equipment must be furnished by the wedding party including candelabras.
- Covered candles are required or the floor and furnishings around the candles must be thoroughly protected. Candles must be placed at least one foot from any woodwork or furniture. Special precautions should be taken to prevent candles from igniting adjacent foliage or paraments.
- Decorations shall not be fastened to the pews, woodwork, or other furnishings in a manner that would mar the surface. Nails, screws, tape, glue, and tacks are prohibited.
- Decorations shall not be placed on the organ console or piano, or placed in such a manner as to obstruct the musicians’ view of the wedding party.
- Candles may be placed in the windows if they are covered by glass shades.
- All decorations, flowers, plants, and equipment must be removed from the church building immediately following the service. The church will not be responsible for anything that is left following the ceremony. The church must be completely vacated no later than 9:00 pm.
- Arrangements for flowers to be used by the church on Sunday should be made in advance with the Administrative Assistant.
- The dropping or throwing of real flower petals is prohibited in the sanctuary. No rice, birdseed, confetti, sparklers, bubbles, etc. may be used or thrown inside or outside the facilities including sidewalks.
- Tables, chairs, and other furnishings, which have been set up for the reception, may not be changed by anyone associated with the wedding. The Facilities Manager or Assistant must be contacted for any changes that need to be made. Use of any church equipment must be approved by the church priorto use.
A church wedding is a service of worship. The same standards of musical and theological integrity applied to Sunday morning worship also apply to wedding ceremonies at First United Methodist Church. Music used before and during the wedding ceremony should be chosen with attention paid to the sacred nature of the covenant made before God. It is important to discuss musical selections with either the pastor or, if expertise is required, the Director of Music and Worship Arts early in the planning process to avoid any misunderstandings. No less than 30 days prior to the wedding date, all musical selections used before and during the ceremony and at receptions held on church property as well as any audio equipment needed must be finalized and approved in consultation with the Director of Music and Worship Arts.
Vocal music with sacred texts and sacred instrumental music is most appropriate. Standard classical repertoire is appropriate, as well. Non-sacred music may be allowed with or without lyrics at the discretion of a pastor or the Director of Music and Worship Arts.
Services of the FUMC Organist are included in the wedding fee. If the FUMC Organist is unavailable to play the wedding or a different organist would be preferred, the bride will be responsible for securing an organist. Compensation to an outside organist should be paid directly to the organist and will be deducted from the wedding fee. A list of local organists is available from the church office.
Instruments other than organ and piano are often used during weddings and can add variety and beauty to a wedding ceremony. Some of the most often used instruments include: harp; trumpet; violin; viola; cello; string duos, trios and quartets. Any additional instruments will need to be contracted by the bride and compensation paid directly to the instrumentalists. A list of local instrumentalists is available from the church office. If an instrumentalist is performing with the organist/pianist it is the bride’s responsibility to arrange for them to rehearse prior to the wedding rehearsal.
Vocal solos or duets are often sung during weddings. Any singer/s will need to be contracted by the bride and compensation paid directly to the singer/s. It is the bride’s responsibility to ensure that arrangements are made for the soloist/s and organist/pianist to rehearse prior to the wedding rehearsal.
If any musician (organist, instrumentalist or vocalist) needs to purchase sheet music or recording for use in the wedding, the bride will need to consult with the musician to ensure the correct arrangement is purchased. The bride will also need to reimburse the musician for this expense in addition to their standard compensation.
SOUND AND LIGHTING
- FUMC reserves the right to deny the use of any projected material or music deemed inappropriate for a church setting.
- A church technician will set all microphones and control all sound and lighting for wedding ceremonies.
- Video projection and audio services are available for receptions in Clayton Hall. An additional fee will be assessed for a trained technician from FUMC. Neither audio nor video capabilities are available for use without a trained technician from FUMC.
- Materials for projection, such as photographs, videos, or computer presentations, and audio requirements, such as the number of microphones needed, scheduled music groups or instrumentalists, or background music from a CD must be submitted to FUMC no less than 30 days before the event. Items for projection must be submitted on a CD, portable USB drive or other digital format with clear instructions and descriptions of their desired use.
PHOTOGRAPHY / VIDEOGRAPHY
The church will be open three hours prior to the wedding for photographs. Because a wedding is a Service of Worship before God, every effort is made to maintain an atmosphere of reverence.
- Once the music begins, no flash photography will be allowed by family, guests, or commercial photographers. Video taping of the ceremony must be unobtrusive.
- All photographs or videos must be made from the balcony or the back of the room once the ceremony has begun.
- If photographs are being made prior to the ceremony, all photography must be completed at least 30 minutes before the music begins.
- FUMC video equipment is not available for use by outside videographers.
The photographer and/or videographer must agree to the terms of this policy in writing at least 60 days prior to the wedding.
This policy and associated fees are subject to change at the discretion of the pastor and church administrator.