Scheduling a Wedding
Preparing for your Wedding
The Wedding Ceremony
We at First United Methodist Church are delighted to be part of this special time in your lives. In deciding to have your wedding in the church, you are choosing to make your covenant with each other before God, your family, and your friends. First and foremost, weddings here are a Christian worship service. We are committed to ensuring that your wedding glorifies God and serves as a proclamation of the divine love which is the ground of all lasting human love.
Please read through these policies carefully. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.
Wedding Reservation Form: Once a date has been set and confirmed, please download and print off this wedding information form and mail it to the address noted on the form along with a $50 deposit.
Scheduling a Wedding
- Contact the church office by phone (517-265-5689) to determine the availability of the date and time you desire for your wedding. Please note that weddings may not be scheduled on the following days: Sunday’s, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, the week prior to and following Easter, Thanksgiving weekend, the week prior to and following Christmas. Only in mitigating circumstances will exceptions be made.
- While it’s up to the discretion of the pastor to determine the necessary amount of time needed to complete the pre-marriage counseling, it’s preferable that wedding dates be set at least 6 months in advance.
- Contact the officiating pastor to make sure he is available. Before a wedding date is confirmed on the church calendar, it must also be confirmed on the officiating pastor’s calendar. It’s OK to pencil in a date on the church calendar, but it will not be final until you’ve spoken with the officiating pastor to make sure it’s clear on his calendar. Weddings cannot be scheduled on dates during which neither AFUMC clergyperson is available.
- Once everything has been set with the officiating pastor and the date is clear on the church calendar, fill out and submit your Wedding Reservation form found at the back of this packet. Sign it and mail or bring it in to the church office with a refundable deposit of $50. If paying by check, please make it out to “Adrian First United Methodist Church.” This $50 will be applied towards the total cost of the wedding.
- If you need the use of the Fellowship Hall, please reserve it at the same time you schedule your wedding.
Preparing for Your Wedding
Counseling before the marriage is crucial in setting the right tone for your marriage. Depending upon the pastor who officiates at your wedding, you will generally be required to participate in multiple pre-marriage counseling sessions.
These sessions are led by the officiating pastor, unless other arrangements are made with the officiating pastor. An example might be that some couples may opt to receive their pre-marriage counseling through a certified counseling center.
Couples who receive pre-marriage counseling through the pastor will make all arrangements directly with the pastor, not the church office.
There may be a financial cost for certain pre-marriage resources used by a pastor.
Weddings will not be scheduled for couples who do not want to receive pre-marriage counseling.
The marriage license must be brought to the rehearsal so that it is in the possession of the officiating pastor, and so that it can be prepared prior to the wedding ceremony. It must be obtained from the office of the Lenawee County Clerk. Without the license, no marriage will take place. Period. Signatures of the bride, groom, and two witnesses are required.
A Wedding rehearsal will always be utilized as they are a very important part of making sure the ceremony goes well. It is generally scheduled the evening before the wedding itself. Here are the guidelines and general information.
- The rehearsal time will be set in consultation with the officiating pastor, although it’s typically around 5pm or 6pm.
- It usually takes about 60 minutes to complete.
- AFUMC clergy and/or the wedding coordinator will be in charge of the rehearsal. An outside wedding consultant (if you are using one) may be present but does not preside at the rehearsal.
- The marriage license should be delivered directly to the pastor at the rehearsal.
- A kneeling bench is available for the bridal couple if they wish to use one during the ceremony. Please let the pastor or wedding coordinator know in advance so that the bench may be in place for the rehearsal.
- The following people shall be present for the entire rehearsal:
- The bride and groom
- Any parents who are a part of the ceremony, such as walking the bride down the aisle.
- All members of the wedding party, including the ring bearer and flower girl, if applicable.
- All ushers and attendants.
- All musicians
- Those coming from out-of-town must make arrangements ahead of time to be present at the rehearsal.
- Please keep in mind that children participating in the service who are very young (ages 3-6) are often quite uncomfortable with what they are asked to do, and their protests can detract from the worship service and cause embarrassment.
- Any audio recordings used as part of the service must be brought to the rehearsal and in working order.
- Customarily, First Church pastors who are officiating at wedding services do not attend rehearsal dinners.
The Wedding Ceremony
A wedding performed at Adrian First United Methodist Church is understood to be an act of divine worship, directed by and centered on Jesus Christ. We believe marriage is a covenential relationship created and blessed by God. The pastor officiating at your wedding will give the highest priority to helping to make your wedding a meaningful and spiritual celebration.
Clergy on staff at First United Methodist Church will officiate your wedding. We are not a chapel, and therefore cannot be rented simply for the sake of providing space for weddings for those who wish to provide their own clergy. If you have a family member or friend who is a clergyperson and would like for them to participate in the leadership of your wedding, they may do so at the invitation of our clergy. In situations where guest clergy are invited to help officiate, the AFUMC clergyperson will always participate in the ceremony, and will take the lead in running the rehearsal.
Weddings cannot be scheduled on dates during which neither AFUMC clergyperson is available. In rare cases, it may be permissible for an outside clergyperson to solely officiate at weddings in our sanctuary. These will always be handled in a case-by-case manner, and no precedent shall ever be set. The decision to permit an outside clergyperson to solely perform a wedding in our sanctuary shall always be at the discretion of the AFUMC Sr. Pastor, and after consultation with the AFUMC Sr. Pastor.
When permission has been granted for an outside clergyperson to solely officiate, it will likely require that at least one other person from our church be present before, during, and after the wedding. There will be an extra $100.00 fee to cover their time. This fee is in addition to the other fees noted on the fee section.
Because a wedding is a worship service, all music before, during and after the service should magnify the glory of God and affirm a Biblical understanding of human love, the marriage relationship, and the love of God that undergirds our Christian covenants. The pastor officiating at the wedding has final approval over any and all music. There may be instances where certain pieces of music will be more appropriate for the reception rather than the ceremony.
Our staff organist/pianist will play for your wedding. Please contact the organist with the date of your service. Contact information will be given to you by the pastor. If the organist is unavailable, she/he will arrange for a substitute. Guest organists must be approved by the church organist. Please contact the organist for a consultation on the music that will be used for your wedding. At the consultation, the following music will be selected:
- Pre-service music.
- Processional and recessional music.
- Vocal and/or instrumental music (performed by a soloist, instrumentalist, or ensemble).
The organist’s fee includes:
- The wedding music consultation.
- A rehearsal with a soloist or instrumentalist one hour prior to the wedding rehearsal.
- The wedding rehearsal and ceremony.
Remuneration for a soloist is not included in the church costs and must be paid separately.
If you would like to have music performed that out outside of the scope of what our staff organist/pianist can provide, please talk with the pastor about what you would like. This might include a vocal soloist, an instrumental vocalist or ensemble. Where our staff organist/pianist needs to provide accompaniment, music must be provided well in advance in order to give amply time to practice. In these situations, the guest musician must be at the rehearsal in order to practice with our organist/pianist. If they are unable to make the rehearsal, arrangements MUST be made ahead of time to practice with the accompanist prior to the wedding date. Failure to do so may result in the removal of this musical portion of the ceremony, even if bulletins have already been printed.
It’s OK to use pre-recorded music, but really only as a last resort. Please talk with the officiating pastor well ahead of time if this is something you’re considering.
Because of the nature of technology, there’s no guarantee that using pre-recorded music will go off without any problems. In order to lessen any possibility of technological issues, it’s mandatory that all pre-recorded music be available and ready for the rehearsal. Failure to do so may result in the possible malfunction of these portions of the ceremony.
It is recommended that arrangements with a photographer be made well in advance of your wedding day. Pictures may be taken before and after the ceremony as the church calendar permits. All pictures taken beforehand must be completed at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the wedding.
We permit photography only under conditions that maintain the reverence and dignity appropriate to a service of worship. Please inform your photographer of these guidelines:
- A single, designated photographer (usually professional) may only take flash photographs in the church sanctuary of:
- the bride’s entrance
- entrance of the attendants
- the bride and groom’s exit (shot at the back of the church).
- For entrance photographs, the photographer may not be more than half-way down the center aisle. He/she must be seated in the aisle and stand only to take the photograph.
- No other flash photographs are permitted during the service. Available light exposures may be made from the back of the sanctuary or the balcony during the ceremony.
- Once the wedding party is in place, photographs may only be taken from the rear of the lower floor or the front of the balcony, as long as they are not standing the view of a seated guest.
- Family members and wedding guests are requested not to take pictures (flash or otherwise) during the ceremony. The bride and groom are responsible for seeing that this requirement is made clear to those attending the wedding.
- Photographers should not place equipment on the pews or other church furniture.
- If previously requested, clergy will be available briefly after the ceremony for photographs.
Video recording of your ceremony may be done with the limit of 2 stationary cameras located in inconspicuous places. Placement of the cameras is up to the discretion of the pastor, and must be made during the rehearsal. Only existing light may be used for taping during the ceremony.
Flowers and Decorations
Please be sure that you have a clear understanding of the following requirements and guidelines before planning decoration of the sanctuary. We recommend that a florist or any other persons involved in decoration of the sanctuary come to see the facility before planning decorations during office hours, Monday – Friday, 9am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-4:30 p.m.
- Any candles used must be of the dripless variety and placed in candelabra that catch and contain any drippings. In addition, the floor and carpet must be thoroughly protected. Florists or others decorating the sanctuary will be held responsible for the cleaning of wax from all flooring and furniture.
- The altar candles are used for all wedding services and must be lighted prior to the lighting of other candles.
- A floral arrangement may be placed on the communion table.
- Candelabra and/or standing baskets may be placed on either side of the communion table.
- Any decorations in the chancel area must not obstruct the entrance of the clergy or wedding party or obscure the view of the organist.
- Church decorations for Christmas and other church festivals and seasons may not be removed.
- Pew bows or floral arrangements may not be attached in any way damaging to the finish of church furniture. No pins, glue, nails, staples, florist’s clay or tacks are permitted. Ribbon, wrapped wire, tape or plastic floral clips (made not to mar wood surfaces) may be used.
- If the bridal couple wishes to use a unity candle in the ceremony, please note that the church does not provide either the candle or a candle stand.
- Live birds or other animals are not permitted on the premises.
- Times for delivery of flowers and other decorations must be arranged through the pastor or the wedding coordinator. Decoration of the sanctuary or reception area may not disrupt scheduled church events.
- Those decorating the church are responsible for seeing that all flowers and decorations are removed from the building after the wedding. The custodian on duty is not expected to do the cleanup work for a florist or other decorator.
- On occasion, far too many floral arrangements have been used, and the effect has been one of chaos and excess. Please remember that simpler is often better.
- Florists unfamiliar with the sanctuary are welcome to come to the church to see the space they will be working with.
AFUMC will provide someone to coordinate the movements of people on the day of the wedding. This is person is under the supervision of the officiating pastor, and has the authority to enforce our wedding policies. Some couples hire an outside wedding coordinator to help them plan the details of their wedding. These persons are certainly welcome to be present at the wedding, but will not be in charge. The officiating pastor and our in-house coordinator will be in charge.
It is at the discretion of the officiating pastor to not use an in-house coordinator. Generally, this will only be the case when the wedding party and guest list is quite small.
Rooms are available for both the men and the women for those wanting to dress at the church. They will be made available at the time the building is unlocked until 1½ hours after the ceremony has ended. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to recruit someone to remain in the dressing rooms if there is concern about items being stolen. It is also their responsibility to recruit someone to remove all personal belongings from the rooms at the end of the day.
Birdseed, Confetti, Rice, and Balloons
For environmental and maintenance reasons, the throwing of birdseed, rice, confetti, or the releasing of balloons is not permitted inside or outside the building. An alternative is the use of bubbles outside of the building. NOTE: If using bubbles, guests would appreciate some way to clean their hands!
Smoking and Alcohol
Neither smoking nor the consumption of alcohol is allowed in the building nor on church grounds. If the use of alcohol or illegal drugs is detected on a member of the wedding party at the rehearsal or on the day of the wedding, that person will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. If the use of alcohol or illegal drugs is detected on the bride or groom on the day of the wedding, the wedding will be cancelled! If a guest shows up for the wedding clearly under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, they will be asked to leave, and the police will notified if the situation warrants it.
Lost or Stolen Items
AFUMC will not be held responsible for any personal items lost, damaged, or stolen at the rehearsal, wedding, or reception.
- Sanctuary Capacity: 400-450 (including the balcony)
- There are 26 rows of pews on the main floor
Our sanctuary is air conditioned.
Fellowship Hall Capacity: 225
The church provides facilities only, though tables and chairs are available for use. The bridal couple or caterer must provide everything else (table linens, decorations, etc.) necessary for the reception. The facilities must be left in a clean and orderly condition. An additional fee will be assessed if facilities are not left as found.
- Aisle runners are discouraged for safety reasons. They’re very easy to trip on.
- If flowers are to be left for the Sunday service, please inform the pastor so that recognition can be printed in the worship bulletin.
- The church will be opened two hours ahead of the wedding service for dressing, photographs, etc. Exceptions to this will be made at the discretion of the officiating pastor.
Date Reservation Fee: $50
- Refundable if wedding is cancelled
- Will be applied to the Base Fee
Base Fees: $275 (church member); $575 (non-member)
- $300: Sanctuary use (waived for members and children)
- honorarium: Clergy (includes counseling, rehearsal, wedding)
- $125: Organist/Pianist
- $50: “Coordinator” (mandatory for large weddings)
- $50: Custodian
- $50: Sound/Video technician
Other Possible Fees:
- $35: Prepare-Enrich pre-marriage assessment materials
- paid online with personal credit card
- $150: Fellowship Hall and kitchen, if desired for reception
- $50: damage deposit – refunded if there are no damages
Payment of fees is due in the church office 1 week before the wedding. Checks for non-personnel should be made payable to “First United Methodist Church.” Checks for individual persons (clergy, organists, etc.) should be made out to the individual. Names can be obtained from the officiating pastor.