To Those Getting Married...
Welcome! First Christian Church extends warm greetings and best wishes as you approach your wedding day. A wedding ceremony is a service of worship celebrated by two individuals who, in Christian community, seek the blessing of God upon their lifetime commitment to each other.
We are happy to share these special moments with you. In order to make this significant occasion as smooth and uncomplicated as possible, we have established the following policy statements. Please read them carefully, then contact us for additional information or concerns.
A wedding is a commitment between the bride and the groom, and a covenant between the couple and God. Whether the wedding takes place in a sanctuary, a garden, or in a home, it is a sacred occasion to be entered into thoughtfully.
Friends, we are gathered together in the sight of God to witness and bless the joining together of (Name and Name) in Christian marriage. The covenant of marriage was established by God, who created us male and female for each other. So begins the Service of Christian Marriage, expressing the understanding of the Christian community: a wedding is a sacred and holy event.
It is important to schedule the date and time of the wedding and rehearsal as early as possible. This is done by calling the church office [423-267-4506] to check the availability of the church and the minister. The application/wedding information form should be returned promptly, along with a deposit of $100.00, to:
First Christian Church
The deposit is a property deposit, and will be held until after the wedding. If there is no property damage and/or no extended services required, your deposit will be refunded within 10 working days after the wedding. Should you need to cancel, the deposit will be refunded with written notice received at least 15 days prior to the wedding date.
The first step in wedding preparation is to take time to discuss your plans with the minister who will be performing the service. Each minister requires different procedures for wedding preparation, and it is important that you understand what those are.
It is customary and appropriate that one of the ministers of First Christian Church officiate. If you choose to ask a clergy person from another church to officiate or assist in the service, our minister will extend an invitation to the clergy person.
A host from First Christian Church will be required to be present at the rehearsal and the wedding, with an attendant fee being charged. (See Fees.)
In keeping with theological understandings of the church, all music chosen for any service should be appropriate for a religious service. The church considers a wedding to be a service of worship; therefore, this worshipful atmosphere must be maintained. You will want to consult with the church organist and minister about the music.
When a wedding is being planned, arrangements should be made to meet with our church organist at an early date to discuss all parts of the service that involve music. Our church office can provide contact information for the organist. It is preferred that the church organist play for all services. Requests for other organists to play must be referred to the minister and church organist.
Because of the many hours of work beyond the regular duties of the church organist that are needed to plan and prepare the music for a wedding, it is necessary to charge a fee for this service. (See Fees.)
In the case of a visiting organist, practice time should be scheduled with the church organist. Hours of practice will be limited to the office hours of the church. Exceptions will be made only when it is possible for a staff member or a designated responsible person to be in the building at the time of practice.
Secular music may be used in the church parlor, fellowship hall or any other room not specifically designated as a room of worship. It is suggested that brides wishing to use secular love songs on their wedding day could use them in good taste at their wedding reception.
As much as you may desire photographs of each moment of your wedding, camera flashes and the movement of a photographer from aisle to chancel and back to the narthex can turn a sacred moment into a circus. No flash pictures are permitted during the wedding once the processional music has begun. Following the closing prayer, photographs may be taken during the recessional.
Video recording is permitted within limits. Only one camera may be placed in the chancel area (unmanned) and one camera in the balcony (may be manned). The camera in the chancel area must be out of the normal staging area of the wedding party. Please talk to the minister or church administrator about your intentions to use video equipment.
Microphones are available for vocalists and speakers. A wireless microphone is available for the minister(s). There is a sound technicianís fee for this service (See Fees.)
We acknowledge the importance of flowers in making the wedding beautiful. However, to maintain the beauty and care of the church property, the florist and wedding party must adhere to the following guidelines:
Candles are to be dripless. Plastic covering of adequate size must be placed under all candle bases for protection of carpet and furnishings.
Decorations may not be fastened by tacks, staples, glue, or any other damaging material.
No furniture in the church is to be moved without the permission of the minister or church administrator. The altar cross and candles must remain on the communion table. Note: No flowers may be placed on the communion table, except a single rose for parents or small floral ring around a unity candle.
Altar flowers may be left for Sunday morning use, if prior arrangements are made. All other flowers and decorations are to be removed within two hours after the beginning of the ceremony. This is your floristís or your responsibility Ė please make sure this rule is observed. You will be charged a fee for any time the church remains open after the two-hour time period. (See Fees.)
The Fellowship Hall, Crane Lounge and Church Parlor are available for use at a charge. Since janitorial services are required, a fee is charged not only for the use of the space, but for those services as well. (See Fees.)
Private caterers must be employed and must use their own equipment at their own expense. Financial arrangements should be made directly with the caterer for his/her charges. The janitorial fee for a catered wedding reception is still applicable. It should be noted that no crystal, silverware, cloths, etc. belonging to the church shall be used. Preparation of food may not be done in the church kitchen, although the kitchen may be used for placing the prepared food on platters, etc. for the reception tables. Use of the refrigerator and ice machine is permitted.
The sanctuary may not be decorated until the day of the wedding. Florist-supplied items may not be delivered and placed until the day of the wedding and must be removed within two hours from the beginning of the wedding.
In placing flowers, plants or other decorative materials, care must be taken at all times that the floors, walls and furnishings not be damaged in any way. Waterproof protection must be placed under all pots, plants, and vases to protect the carpet.
The chapel, sanctuary, or fellowship hall usually are decorated for special seasons of the year, such Advent, Christmas, and Easter. There may be additions to the decoration, but these decorations may not be moved. The seasonal decorations may include poinsettias, banners, wreaths, or other appropriate decorations for the particular season.
No real or artificial flower petals or potpourri may be scattered down the aisle.
Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, etc. may not be mixed, served or consumed on the church property. The wedding party is responsible for enforcing this policy.
A Wedding Coordinator/Director may be used, but must be approved by the minister or church administrator before the wedding rehearsal.
Food and beverages are prohibited in the sanctuary, narthex, chapel, and hallways. Food may be consumed in the fellowship hall only.
First Christian Church is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is prohibited in all church buildings.
We do not permit rice, birdseed or confetti to be used inside the building. Birdseed may be used with discretion outside.
Persons reserving the facilities at First Christian Church are responsible for seeing that directors, florists, caterers and others whom they employ for a wedding are aware of these policies, and understand that they are responsible for any and all damages.
Liability: The church assumes no responsibility for materials, equipment, clothing, money, jewelry, or other items left at the church at any time.
Please call the Church Administrator at 423-267-4506 for a copy of the current published fee schedule.
The recollection of your wedding day will be with you forever. We will do everything we can to help it be a memorable occasion! If you have questions about this policy, or about our church, please do not hesitate to call us at 423-267-4506.