Wedding Policies

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Wedding Policies

We are happy that you have chosen to be married at Bluegrass United Church of Christ. Marriage is one of the most important steps that you will ever take.   In Christian marriage, this step is taken before God.  Hence your marriage is of concern to the faith community as well. The religious wedding service is the public commitment to the union before family, church, community and God.

Marriage is a venture of faith.   Promises are made to bear with each other’s infirmities and weaknesses, to rejoice in each other’s strengths, to stand by the other in both good and troubled times. The wedding service is a sacred service in which the couple pledges life-long faithfulness.

The staff of Bluegrass United Church of Christ stands ready to make your wedding day a most happy and memorable one.  We will be happy to consider any special requests you may have regarding the ceremony within reason.  It must always be remembered, however, that the service is first of all a Service of Worship.  We want to feel close to God in the wedding ceremony.  We ask God’s blessings upon your marriage through this act of worship.

We make preparations for various events in life.   The church feels that preparation is also needed for marriage. The Pastor expects each couple to give time for pre-marital counseling.  Dates for these sessions will be scheduled for mutually convenient times. Once these dates are set, it is expected that every effort shall be made to keep them without interference from other commitments.  Generally, the pastor meets with the couple three separate times (approximately one hour each time) and then attends a rehearsal and of course, the wedding ceremony.

The date of the wedding itself should be set early – several months or more in advance if possible.  This will ensure the availability of the church on the date of your choice. If a wedding coordinator will be used, s/he should arrange to meet with the minister in a timely fashion to ensure consistency with the planning.

It is expected that the services of the Pastor will be used. Another minister may perform a ceremony in the church or share the ceremony with our Pastor only with the permission of the Church Council and the Pastor of the Congregation.

LEGAL RESTRICTIONS

Apply for your marriage license several weeks before your wedding date. Marriage licenses are issued by the Office of the County Clerk.   The Pastor will ask that you bring your marriage license to the church office no later than one week prior to the wedding in order that it not be forgotten on the wedding day and so she might have time to complete it before the ceremony.   For same-sex weddings, the Pastor can bring into the service a blessing of a legal marriage certificate from another state since Kentucky currently does not allow for legal same-sex marriage.   However, it is not required that a same-sex couple have a ‘legal’ marriage in order to have a wedding ceremony at Bluegrass UCC.

WEDDING COSTS

Bluegrass UCC has adopted the following schedule of fees for use the Pastor and the church for a wedding ceremony.

When either the bride(s) or groom(s) – or both --are Members of the Church:

Wedding Only Wedding & Reception At Church

Minister

$100.00

Minister

$100.00

Accompaniest

$100.00

Accompanist

$100.00

Custodian

$75.00

Custodian

$125.00

Wedding Coordinator

$75.00

Wedding Coordinator

$75.00

Total

$350

Total

$400

When neither the bride(s) nor groom(s) are a Member of the Church:

Wedding Only   Wedding & Reception at the Church  

Minister

$250.00

Minister

$250.00

Accompanist

$150.00

Accompanist

$150.00

Custodian

$75.00

Custodian

$150.00

Wedding Coordinator

$100.00

Wedding Coordinator

$100.00

Use of Church

$100.00

Use of Fellowship Hall

$50/hr

Total

$575.00

Total

$900.00

**Audio/video use results in additional fees.

Reception Only

Custodian Only

$150.00

Use of Fellowship Hall

$50/hr

Total

$150 + Fellowship Hall Costs

One check for the above fees, made out to Bluegrass United Church of Christ should be given to the Pastor no later than the rehearsal date.  Non-members are asked to make a 40% deposit when arrangements are first made. The deposit will apply to fees to be paid.

MUSIC

Music plays a very important part in the marriage ceremony.   Hence the selection of the music to be used is very important.  It must be remembered that the ceremony is first of all a service of worship of God. The music should contribute to the dignity, meaning, and spiritual basis of the marriage service.  Wedding music should be “God-Centered” rather than “romance-centered”. Not all romantic secular music or popular music with special meaning for the couple will be suitable for use in the church.  The Pastor has the authority to make the final decision in this matter.  Please consider using your favorite music at the rehearsal dinner or reception if it cannot be used in the ceremony.

If you do not use the services of the congregation’s accompanist, the arrangements must be approved early in the consultation concerning the wedding.   It is expected that any organist be familiar with the organ and the wedding practices used in the congregation.

Our accompanist will be happy to talk with you and aid you in selecting appropriate prelude, processional, vocal, and recessional music. You may wish to leave the selection to the accompanist. If you desire a soloist, he or she will be of your own choosing.  Remuneration should be arranged between you and soloist.  The soloist must contact the accompanist as early as possible to arrange rehearsal time.

INVITATIONS

If you desire that members of the church be invite, an announcement will be printed in the church newsletter or bulletin prior to the wedding. One of your invitations sent to the church would be helpful in preparing this announcement. If your wedding will be by invitation only, the congregation will not be so invited.

FLORAL DECORATIONS AND OTHER APPOINTMENTS

Arrangements can be made with a florist to meet your decorative needs. We suggest the use of a local florist who knows our sanctuary and who would also be available should any last minute problems arise.

If decorations are used on the pew ends to mark special seating, or if the florist provides aisle candle, please see that proper precautions are taken to insure that pews – or any chancel furnishings – are not marred.   Tacks – or any fastening of any sort, to include sticky tape which will result in damage – are NOT permitted.

Many couples choose to leave flowers from the wedding for the use in the next regular Worship Service.  If you so choose, this will be made known to the congregation.

For a beautiful and orderly wedding, a rehearsal is necessary for all but the smallest wedding.  The time will be set in consultation with the Pastor.   Usually it is best to schedule this the evening before the wedding.   To have it earlier may make it impossible for all to be present – or that important details will be forgotten by participants.   To have the rehearsal the day of the ceremony crowds an already busy day.   When a dinner is planned for the wedding party, it is convenient to have the dinner either prior to or immediately after the rehearsal.   Allow an hour’s time for the rehearsal.  It is essential that all participants be present and on time, including the users parents of both the bride(s) and groom(s), bride(s) and groom(s), and all attendants.   The bride(s) and groom(s) are expected to notify each person of the rehearsal time.

THE WEDDING DAY

ALL participants should be at the Church promptly.   Ushers should arrive an hour before the ceremony is to begin, to have time to familiarize themselves with final arrangements, get their flowers (if used), etc.

The bride(s) and her attendants should also be at the Church at least one hour before the ceremony is to begin, possibly earlier if she plans to dress at the Church and photos are to be taken.  The Pastor will designate a room for this purpose at the time of rehearsal.

The groom(s) and his attendants should arrive no later than a half hour before the ceremony, earlier if they plan to dress at the Church and photos are to be taken. Pastor will designate a room where the men can meet on the wedding day.

Parents of the bride(s) and groom(s) might want to assist their children and should arrive early.   Other relatives should plan to be at the church at least 15 minutes before the appointed time so there will be no delay in the ceremony.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Some photographs are permitted during the marriage service itself , however an appropriate staging and placement must be approved in advance by the Pastor.   The ceremony is a Worship Service, not a performance.  It is recommended that photos after the service requiring the minister(s) be made first, thus freeing the minister(s) for other obligations.

THE RECEPTION

The Church Fellowship Hall is available for receptions, if desired. Arrangements should be made well in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts.  Table coverings, if desired, should be provided by the wedding couple.

If you plan decorations for the Fellowship Hall, we ask that tacks and tape not be used. Such fasteners damage walls and ceilings, or may pull paint from the surface.

The services of the church custodians must be used if the reception is at the church. Custodial services are also required to clean the church after all but the smallest wedding.  The custodians will set up tables and chairs in the Fellowship Hall as desired.   The washing of dishes and basic kitchen clean-up is the responsibility of the caterer or other persons providing the reception.   If your reception is on a Saturday evening, the premises MUST BE VACATED no later than 8 PM to give the custodians time to prepare for Sunday worship.

If there is any breakage or damage to any church equipment, furnishings, or facilities, the wedding couple is expected to reimburse the church for same.

RICE AND CONFETTI

Confetti is all but impossible to clean up.  It is asked that it NOT be used.  Rice is often thrown at the couple as a wish that they have many children.   However, it is recommended that bird seed be used rather than rice. It is safer and also provides food for God’s creatures.  If throwing rice, it MUST be outside the building.  The bride(s) and groom(s) are  expected to make this rule known to the wedding guests.

USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

It is expected that the wedding party will not use alcoholic beverages immediately preceding either the rehearsal or the wedding ceremony. Any member of the wedding party who is intoxicated will NOT be permitted to take part   NO alcoholic beverages are to be used in any refreshment if the reception is in the Church Fellowship Hall. 

Smoking, drinking and/or eating is NOT permitted in the Sanctuary.  Smoking is ONLY allowed OUTDOORS The bride(s) and groom(s) shall make these rules known to all members of the wedding party and guests.