WEDDING GUIDELINES FOR
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF SUNBURY
CONGRATULATIONS! In planning to marry, you have made an important and life changing commitment. The Bible says that the faithful, forgiving love of marriage-partners is like the faithful forgiving love that God has for each one of us. That is the perspective of a wedding service of worship performed in a Christian sanctuary. During the time leading up to your wedding date, the Elders and Members of the church invite you to worship with us.
If you are not sure you want a religious/Christian wedding ceremony, or are not sure how you feel about Jesus, please have an honest conversation with the pastor about your feelings and beliefs. Though the wedding couple is not required to be members of FPC, the church expects at least one of them to be a practicing Christian, involved in a church, and that they will develop and improve their marriage within the context of a community of faith. Should the pastor become convinced that Christian conviction and responsibility are lacking and that this union is not one that promises to be blessed by God, the pastor retains the perogative to postpone the ceremony.
There are many beautiful and appropriate settings in which to begin your married life. If this church ceremony is not what you envision for your wedding, the pastor will be more than willing to explore options with you to assist you in finding a setting that is more appropriate to your needs.
The couple should understand that FPC is more concerned with the marriage than the wedding. At the wedding, people are gathered not to honor you, but to honor and worship God, giving thanks for this occasion as you solemnize your marriage vows. The couple is the occasion for the service; God, however, is the reason we are gathered. The pastor and Session of FPC look forward to working with you toward a meaningful wedding and a fulfilling marriage.
The following guidelines are standard procedure for planning a wedding ceremony at First Presbyterian Church of Sunbury:
The first step is for the couple to meet with the pastor to discuss the particulars of the wedding. This meeting should occur a minimum of six (6) months before the wedding date, but one year before is preferred. They will also be expected to meet with the pastor for two (2) or more counseling sessions.
If a couple wishes to have another pastor perform the ceremony, that pastor must be an ordained minister in good standing with his/her denomination and must be approved by the Elders. Upon approval, the Elders will send a written invitation to that pastor to perform the ceremony. The marriage ceremony will still remain under the direction of the FPC pastor and the supervision of the Session.
PLEASE NOTE: If another pastor is officiating, the role of the wedding hostess becomes all the more important. The wedding hostess will be present to coordinate both the rehearsal and the wedding. She will be able to answer any last minute questions regarding church property. It will be crucial for you to plan your first meeting with the wedding hostess to
allow ample time for decisions to be made. She will discuss with you the use of candles, bulletins, etc. There will be a charge if you wish the church office to prepare your bulletins.
Standard procedure calls for the couple to utilize the services of the church organist. It is also standard to hold the wedding rehearsal on the evening before the wedding.
Because the wedding service is a worship service, the pastor, organist and wedding hostess decide what is appropriate regarding music and decorations. If you wish to move the pulpit it will need to be done by members of the church property committee. Tape, tacks or pins may not be used in the antique pews. No Smoking or alcoholic beverages are permitted on church property.
If you plan to prepare your own bulletins the following must be included:
No videos are to be filmed by the congregation.
No flash photos during the ceremony.
Wedding guests looking for photo opportunities are a distraction from the worship service and the promises you are making to one another. It is the responsibility of your ushers to tell guests with cameras about this rule and to remind them that they can take photos after the ceremony is over.
Professional and/or amateur video recording is permitted during the ceremony from one or more stationary areas within the sanctuary. Please have your videographer attend the rehearsal if possible and determine where tripod/equipment will be set up.
In order to be sure that all your wedding preparations run smoothly and are not rushed, a one year time frame is requested for the planning.
One (1) year before the wedding or no less than 6 months: Meet with the Pastor.
Meet with the wedding hostess – begin discussion of appropriate decorum, music and photography.
The above steps need to occur before your wedding date can be firmly established. The date must be approved at a Session meeting and must not interfere with other church activities.
Pay Reservation Fee. This must be done in order to reserve your wedding date.
Schedule and attend two (2) or more counseling sessions with the pastor.
Attend worship services.
12 weeks before the wedding:
Phone/meet with organist.
4 weeks before wedding:
Meet with wedding hostess.
1 week before wedding:
Give marriage license and a copy of the event insurance to pastor.
Bring checks for organist, church use, etc.
Usually the evening before the wedding – be sure to reserve this date at the same time you set your wedding date. Forty-five minutes to one hour should be allowed for the rehearsal. If wedding music is to be provided for the wedding, it is recommended that the organist play for the rehearsal. Have your videographer determine where the stationary equipment should be placed.
All too soon . . . .
IT’S YOUR WEDDING DAY! RELAX AND ENJOY IT!
Please note: If any member of the wedding party is under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, the pastor will refuse to perform the ceremony.
Reservation Fee: $150.00
No charge for members
Event Insurance*: Check with your insurance agent
No charge for members
No charge for members
Wedding and rehearsal $100.00
Additional rehearsal or consultation $25.00
Use of the Church/Sanctuary: $150.00
No charge for members
Wedding Hostess: $150.00
Audio Technician: $50.00
Bulletins: Actual cost
Wedding bulletin charges are to be discussed with the wedding hostess.
All fees, a copy of the event insurance and the marriage license are to be given to the pastor one (1) week before the rehearsal.
*A certificate of insurance naming First Presbyterian Church of Sunbury as an
additional insured must be given to the pastor one (1) week before the wedding.
(Updated August 2012)
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. . . . Is not the bread that we break a participation
in the Body of Christ? We who are many are one Body, for
we all partake of the one loaf . . . . 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
WHEN & WHERE
238 Market Street
Sunbury, PA 17801