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WEDDING POLICIES

Effective 10/4/09
Approved by the Administrative Board

St. Mark United Methodist Church congratulates you on your upcoming marriage and offers its facilities to be used in the sacred service of Holy Matrimony. We are excited that you have chosen St. Mark for your wedding and will work with you in every way possible to make this a positive experience for you and your family. Please understand that these rules are applicable for everyone that uses the church to allow it to be a joyous experience for everyone. The church will be used the day following your wedding for normal worship services or other activities and everything has to be ready for normal operation. This is the reason why these rules have been put in place. Please understand that they protect you as well as others, and if they appear to be negative, please be patient with us as we express to you the concerns of the church. The marriage service is one of the most sacred and beautiful of all the services of the church. It is always a Christian service in which two persons, in the company of their loved ones and friends, pledge themselves to each other under the blessing of God and are united by God in Holy Marriage.
A service of Christian marriage should explicitly and symbolically emphasize the Christian view of marriage. Customarily, “the marriage service” found in The United Methodist Book of Worship will be followed. Any proposed alteration or addition to the service should express the Christian understanding of marriage set forth in that service.
There will be no weddings during the Advent season or Holy Week due to numerous church activities at this time.

MINISTER

All arrangements pertaining to the service of marriage shall be made in full consultation with the Senior Minister of St. Mark. The Minister will counsel the couple (usually three sessions) and officiate at your marriage ceremony unless there are extenuating circumstances.
If the couple wants another minister to perform the ceremony, this should be cleared with the Senior Minister of St. Mark. He will be pleased to extend an invitation to a visiting minister upon receipt of completed Visiting Minister form and his being informed of St. Mark wedding policies. They are required to receive pre-marital counseling from a qualified counselor or minister before the wedding is to take place.
If the couple desires to celebrate the service of Holy Communion during the wedding ceremony, not only the bridal couple, but the whole congregation will be offered Communion. If the couple wishes to take Holy Communion privately, they may do so before the wedding ceremony in consultation with a pastor of St. Mark UMC.

MUSIC

All music to be performed in the St. Mark Sanctuary should be appropriately religious in nature. The St. Mark Music Director is in charge of all music used during the service and must approve any requested music and/or musicians (if the St. Mark musicians are not being used). The bride and groom need to schedule a consultation with the Music Director to discuss music and performers immediately following the consultation with the Wedding Coordinator.
The St. Mark organist and pianist are available to coordinate music and to play for your rehearsal and wedding ceremony. They have the right of first refusal. Their fees are based on the salary guide as set by the American Guild of Organists and paid to them directly.

DIRECTOR/COORDINATOR

The Wedding Director/Coordinator must be someone designated by St. Mark who will assist you in planning your wedding and answer questions. She will instruct the wedding party in carrying out the couple’s plans in accordance with church policy at the rehearsal and the wedding.

REHEARSAL

The purpose of the rehearsal is to review the process of the service, and placement of the wedding party. Those in attendance from the church will be the minister(s) officiating the service, the Wedding Director, and the Sound System Technician. The musicians will be there also. One hour will be scheduled for the rehearsal. All participants must be on time. Ask your wedding party to arrive fifteen minutes earlier than the scheduled time.

SOUND SYSTEM

The Wedding Director will make arrangements for a Sound System Technician to be present for the rehearsal and the wedding.

CUSTODIAN

The Custodian is responsible for moving any furniture before the wedding and returning it to its proper location. He will clean the church, halls, and bathrooms. The Church must be prepared for Sunday services.
If refreshments are served to the wedding party during the wedding day photo session, you are responsible for cleaning up which should be done before the wedding.

FLORIST

The Sanctuary is a place of beauty and dignity and is suitable for a Christian wedding. Any decorations should lead the eye to the Lord’s Table. Flowers, candles and other decorations should not obscure or overshadow the cross or interfere with the movements of the Minister.
The Church cross, candlesticks and paraments will remain on the Altar and the Altar must remain in its designated area. Everything else can be moved from the Altar area.
Candles used must be dripless and you must use nonflammable material to protect floors and carpet from candle drippings.
No candles may be carried.
Flowers or greenery that shed (i.e. ferns) should NOT be used in the church.
Flowers and decorations must be taken down immediately after the service. Arrangements may be made with the Church Office and the Wedding Director to leave the flowers for the next Worship Service, which will be deeply appreciated.
Nails, tacks, pins, tape, screws, etc. are not to be used on any part of the building or equipment.
If anything is placed in the windows, the plaques must be covered to protect them. No open candles are permitted.
Flower girl may only drop artificial petals.
Seasonal decorations placed in the Sanctuary by the Altar Guild may not be removed.
Only live flowers and greenery may be used in the Church.
The florist is responsible for any leftover debris or damage to the church building, furniture, floors, carpets or property due to decorations. Should there be any damage, the florist will be responsible for all repairs or cleaning, subject to the church’s approval.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Flash photos may be taken three hours before the service or immediately after the service. There is NO flash photography from the entrance of the bride to the verbal dismissal by the minister. The bridal couple must inform family and friends that no photography is permitted during the ceremony.

VIDEOGRAPHER

Videotapes may be recorded during the wedding ceremony. The camera may be positioned in the crow’s nest or at the back of the Sanctuary.

CATERER

All food must be prepared off premises. However, each reception facility provides the use of a kitchen to aid in serving. The kitchen must be left clean and ready for use.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

    It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to inform your musician, florist, caterer, photographer, videographer, and family of St. Mark’s policies.
    Nothing is to be thrown inside the Church buildings. Birdseed or bubbles may be used outside the Church buildings. No rice or confetti may be thrown.
    All personal belongings must be removed from the Bride’s Room /Parlor/ Groom’s Room as soon as possible – preferably before the wedding.
    No food or drinks are allowed in the Sanctuary.
    NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE PERMITTED ON CHURCH PROPERTY.
    NO SMOKING INSIDE THE CHURCH BUILDINGS OR DOORWAYS.

WEDDING FEES

WEDDING

A $200 refundable security and damage deposit – made payable to St. Mark United Methodist Church - is due when you return the application to secure your date. The deposit will be refunded after the church is inspected following the wedding. Your date is NOT reserved until your deposit is in the church office along with your application form.
A Wedding Package for members, which includes the Sanctuary, Bride and attendants’ room, Groom and groomsmen’s room is free. Custodian, Sound and Light Technician, and Wedding Director package is $400. The full amount is due one month prior to the wedding – payable to St. Mark United Methodist Church. In the event your plans change, your money will be refunded unless the wedding is cancelled one week prior to the event.
This does not include musician’s fee (negotiated with the musician) or honorarium for the minister (generally $150+).
*Non-members are required to pay a $400 rental fee for use of the Sanctuary, Bride and attendants’ room, Groom and groomsmen’s room.

RECEPTION
A $200 refundable security and damage deposit is due when you book your reception in one of the church facilities.
At this time a Sunday School class is meeting in the Bell Hall. It is impossible to remove all of the Sunday School furnishings.
Bell Hall or The Parlor - $200.
Family Life Center - $250.
The full amount for the reception is due one month prior to the wedding. In the event your plans change, the full amount will be refunded unless the wedding is cancelled one week prior to the event.
The United Methodist Women (UMW) has serving items available (i.e. linens, silver, plates, cups etc.). Check with them directly. See the Financial Secretary for details.