Your wedding is a sacred occasion which involves you and many of your family and friends in a Christian ceremony with lifelong implications. Because of the nature and importance of the occasion, careful planning is necessary to ensure that the event is conducted smoothly and meaningfully. Since there are so many details, the following guidelines and procedures have been formulated and adopted by the church to assist you in your planning.
Use of the Church Facilities
No utility fees are charged for the use of the church facilities when either the bride or groom or their parents is a member of First Baptist Church. However, a deposit, professional and custodial fees will be charged. Non-members are charged these fees as well as a fee to cover the cost of utilities.
The sanctuary may be used for wedding ceremonies when available. If a previously scheduled church event requires the use of the same facilities following the wedding, the wedding should be scheduled early enough to allow for rearrangement of the room without undue pressure on any individual or group. The facilities may not be scheduled for Sundays, holidays, during weeks of special services or during the month of December. All weddings must take place before or no later than 7:00 p.m. and if the reception is to be in the church fellowship hall, the wedding must be scheduled before 5 p.m. No slide shows or PowerPoint presentations of any kind may be shown in the sanctuary on a projector brought in or on any of the church’s equipment, and the drop-down screen may not be used. Observance of the Lord’s Supper is not permitted during wedding ceremonies unless a minister of First Baptist Church officiates.
Only the pulpit, ministers’ chairs, handbell tables and communion table will be removed from the stage area for wedding ceremonies. All other stage furniture will remain in its place. Furniture in the church’s hallways or classrooms may not be moved.
The fellowship hall and kitchen may be used for wedding receptions provided such usage does not conflict with regular church use and fees are paid in advance. It is understood that the persons using these facilities will be responsible for the removal of flowers, decorations, food and washing dishes. (The church dishwasher may not be used.) The use of a DJ is not permitted at receptions held in the fellowship hall and dancing is not allowed. The Music Minister shall have final authority over all music at the reception. The wedding party is responsible for ensuring that caterers provide at least one week’s advance notice concerning the desired room arrangement for receptions held in the fellowship hall. Caterers must provide all items necessary except tables and chairs. The church does not provide punch bowls or cups, coffee service, tablecloths, dishes, trays, ice chests or silverware. The kitchen may only be used for serving and cleaning up following receptions; cooking is not permitted. Banquet style dinners and/or dinner parties are not permitted due to the time needed to clean and setup for other church activities. The caterer, under the supervision of the wedding coordinator, is responsible for cleaning and caring for the kitchen facilities.
** SMOKING IS PROHIBITED INSIDE THE CHURCH BUILDINGS AT ALL TIMES**
Employing the Wedding Coordinator
Consultation with Pastor
Marriage is a lifetime commitment. To help the bride and groom with life adjustments that come with marriage, they must go through a program of premarital counseling with a certified marriage counselor, the officiating minister, or some other certified Christian counseling professional. If the officiating minister is not a member of the Pastoral Team of First Baptist Church, the minister and/or counselor must submit a letter to the Pastor verifying the couple has participated in a program of premarital counseling.
If our Pastor is to perform the ceremony, consultations should be arranged with him at the time you are setting the date for the wedding. At these meetings, attended by both the bride and the groom, the form of the ceremony and other details may be discussed. First Baptist Church’s Pastoral Team has final authority over the content of your marriage ceremony and the worship experience. The content of the wedding service must conform to the church’s beliefs. Wedding ceremonies that are conducted as a social event or in the same manner as a civil ceremony will not be allowed.
Employing the Sound System Operator
In keeping with the reverence of the wedding service, no flash pictures may be taken once the ceremony begins (pictures of the bride entering and leaving excepted). Photographers shall not stand on pews. Only the first two rows of hymnals may be removed from the pew racks while taking pictures.
Video taping of the ceremony is permitted if no special lighting is used and the camera operator is inconspicuous. All technical support personnel (e.g. photographers, videographers, etc.) are under the authority of the wedding coordinator.
Setting the Time of Your Wedding
Planning your wedding as far in advance as possible will help minimize the demands on your time at this busy juncture in your life. It also facilitates arranging for the use of church space and avoiding conflicts in schedules. Careful attention should be given to setting a convenient time for the wedding. It is important that the exact time indicated for the rehearsal and wedding be observed in order to avoid conflicts with other church activities.
You may submit the date of the wedding to the church wedding coordinator, who in turn will clear the date with the church calendar of events. The Wedding Reservation Form (see page 7) should be filled out as soon as possible. The church wedding coordinator will confirm the wedding date after this form has been completed in full, submitted and processed, and a security deposit paid. Individuals wishing to use the church facilities for weddings must read and agree to all parts of this policy before a wedding will be placed on the church calendar. A consultation time should be set with the coordinator at this time to discuss church policies and ceremony arrangements. Attention brides: To ensure the coordinator’s availability, please call ahead to make an appointment before dropping by the church.
Employing the Housekeeper/Custodian
Your Wedding Music
It is most important to keep in mind that a church wedding is a service of the church, and the music should be in harmony with the reverence that is observed upon entering the house of God. All ceremony music selections must be approved by the Music Minister of First Baptist no later than 30 days prior to the ceremony.
“Live music” (piano, organ, instrumental) must be used for all ceremonies. NO tapes or CD’s can be used in the sanctuary. All instrumentalists and vocalists MUST attend the wedding rehearsal.
Employing the Organist
A First Baptist organist shall be employed for all weddings where the organ will be played in order to protect this sensitive instrument. Exceptions are only made with the Minister of Music’s approval and require attendance by the potential organist to an organ orientation session (a fee applies). The Music Minister and Pastor are available for consultation on all matters pertaining to the wedding music.
When there are to be vocalists, it will be the responsibility of the bride to see that they contact the organist or pianist for music selections and rehearsals. These rehearsals must be during normal church office hours (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) only Tuesday through Friday.
The Wedding Party
It is expected that members of the wedding party will recognize the fact that the church is the house of God and will conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting the atmosphere of a place of worship. No alcoholic beverages may be served on the church premises at any time. Smoking is not allowed inside the church building at any time, nor are food or drinks of ANY KIND allowed in the church sanctuary.
Confetti, rice and birdseed are not to be thrown in the church building. Only birdseed may be thrown outside the church building.
It is the obligation of the bride and groom to make certain that these rules are made known to ALL members of the wedding party. By agreeing to these policies, you are held responsible for all damage done by the wedding party.
Flowers & Decorations
(Please Note and Give to Florist and Caterer)
In the church sanctuary, there exists a setting for a sacred service which is dignified and beautiful. Decorations should be carefully planned to enhance this setting.
Whenever candles are used, they must be of the dripless and smokeless variety and (just in case) must be in a candelabra which will catch and contain all drippings, and the floor should be thoroughly protected. Candles may be used in windows only when enclosed in globes. However, only greenery may be used to decorate the ledges (both the vestibule and sanctuary sides) of the Rose Window. The florist or decorator will be held directly responsible for the cleaning of wax from all floor coverings and furniture in every case. He/She shall be liable for any damage done to church properties through negligence. The wedding deposit may also be retained if candle or decoration damage occurs. The florist must provide their own labor for setting up and arranging decorations.
***Under no circumstances shall decorations be attached to the pews or other furniture (such as fellowship hall tables!) by pinning, gluing, nailing or taping.***
Church decorations that are in place for seasonal celebrations (e.g. Easter, Christmas, etc.) will remain in place and will not be moved. The wedding party must accept the church as decorated. During these special seasons, any decorations brought in should be coordinated with existing decorations.
All decorations, flowers, plants, and other equipment shall be removed from the church building immediately following its use (within one hour after the ceremony). The wedding deposit will be retained if these arrangements are not made known to the coordinator by the Friday before the wedding, or if the coordinator is left with removal/disposal. (Flower arrangements may be left for the next worship service. Please arrange this through the church wedding coordinator.) All facilities must be left “broom clean” after removal of flowers, candles, etc.
Air conditioning or heating will be turned on only at a reasonable time before any scheduled event (in any case, not more than four hours in advance). Florists should note this and not bring flowers too early.
Furniture may be moved ONLY BY THE CUSTODIAN. IF ANYONE ELSE MOVES ANY PIECE OF FURNITURE THE DEPOSIT WILL BE RETAINED.
Wedding fees are divided into two categories, depending on whether the bride or groom, or their parents are members of the church. A “non-member” refers to the bride or groom who is not a member of First Baptist, nor are his or her parents. A $150.00 damage deposit* must be paid at the time of booking in order to reserve a date. All other fees are to be paid to the church office at least 30 days in advance of the wedding. Please see the wedding coordinator concerning the payment of fees. In the event of cancellation, the deposit and part or all of the fees (depending on the situation & time frame) are refundable up to two weeks before the wedding.
View Fees for Members
$250 Custodial Fee
Fellowship Hall / Kitchen:
$250 Custodial Fee
$50 Custodial Fee (excludes workers; if FBC workers are employed, they must be paid at their current hourly rate and will be paid for a minimum of two hours)
Pastor(s): $500 honorarium; additional accommodations covered: mileage and per diem at current government rates
Wedding Coordinator: $250 (mandatory fee)
Sound System Operator: $200 (mandatory fee)
*A $150.00 damage deposit is to be paid at the time of booking to the church office. Five to seven days after the wedding the deposit will be reimbursed, provided there has been no damage incurred to the facilities, all fees have been paid, and the sanctuary, DRESSING AREAS and/or kitchen have been left in proper order and all personal belongings, decorations, etc. were removed within one hour after ceremony/reception (if at FBC).
View Fees for Non-Members
Pastor(s): $500 honorarium; additional accommodations to be covered: mileage and per diem at current government rates
Sound System Operator: $200
Wedding Coordinator: $250
Fellowship Hall / Kitchen:
$75 (excludes workers; if FBC workers are employed, they must be paid at their current hourly rate and will be paid for a minimum of two hours)
*$150.00 damage deposit is to be paid at the time of booking to the church office. Five to seven days after the wedding the deposit will be reimbursed, provided there has been no damage incurred to the facilities, all fees have been paid, and the sanctuary, DRESSING AREAS and/or kitchen have been left in proper order and all personal belongings, decorations, etc. were removed within one hour after ceremony/reception (if at FBC).