Romeo United Methodist Church
Monday, November 20, 2017

Wedding Ceremony Guidelines 2017

Wedding Ceremony Guidelines

From the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church,

2012, paragraph 161B.

 

Marriage: We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman.  We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union.  We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage.  We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Having Your Wedding at Romeo UMC

  The marriage covenant is the most sacred of trusts and commitments a man and woman make to one another for a lifetime.  “The Christian marriage ceremony is a Christian service of worship in the church, where we are asking God’s blessing upon our marriage and choosing to honor God with our lives through the covenant of marriage; we are inviting God to partner with us in our marriage, as we commit our lives unto Him.”  During your engagement period, it is our prayer that God will confirm to you as an engaged couple that you are ready for this blessed union and serious commitment at this time.  In order to assist you as a couple with your wedding plans, the Romeo UMC has gathered this information, policy and guidelines packet to answer many of your questions.

Who Can Get Married at the Church?

Weddings at the church are designed for individuals who have been members of the church and actively involved in the life of the church at least one year prior to setting a date for the wedding.  A member is defined as one who has joined the church and whose name appears on the official register.  The pastor of the church will gladly meet with members of the Romeo UMC congregation to discuss their future wedding plans.

For those who are not members of the Romeo United Methodist Church and would like to use the church site, if the date is available, approval may be possible by filling out a building usage form (signed and approved by the Board of Trustees) and reserving the church with a non-refundable security deposit.  (Please see fee schedule.)

Getting Started

For members of Romeo UMC, all dates must be arranged and approved by the pastor before it is accepted and marked on the master calendar.  The pastor requires an initial get acquainted meeting with all couples before committing to any wedding date.  If the pastor and couple agree to work together (par.340.2 (3)a), if applicable, a deposit will be secured, future pre-marital counseling dates will be established and a wedding date is placed on the church calendar.

Christian Marriage Ceremony

The Christian marriage covenant is viewed very seriously with the highest regards, as we believe the covenant of marriage was established by God.  Therefore, the wedding ceremony in the church will be a Christian ceremony of worship which honors God.  Marriage from a Christian perspective is a sacred covenant which reflects Christ’s covenant with the Church as the body of Christ.  Both the husband and wife are equal partners in their relationship to one another.  The ceremony in the church is offered as a service of worship.  Those present at the wedding as family and guests, are understood as an active congregation, who not only witness the union of the couple, but add their blessing and join in both prayer and praise.

 Pastor’s Role

Your time with the pastor will allow time to talk about your marriage goals, your likes and interests and responsibilities as you blend your lives together.   Usually one session is all that's required and this can be done at your initial meeting with the pastor if you wish.  

Maid/Matron of Honor, Best Man Role’s

The role of the maid/matron of honor and best man are to attend to the needs of the bride and groom.  It is strongly suggested that no other duties are delegated to them such as attending to children or ushering etc.

What our Wedding Coordinators will do for you.

Our wedding coordinators play an integral role in the smooth operation of the wedding event and the many behind the scenes details.  Once our wedding coordinators are assigned to you, they will introduce themselves and initiate the following:  All weddings must be assisted by our coordinators.

  1.  Give you a church tour, placing special emphasis on the flow of the ceremony in the sanctuary    along with the two dressing rooms.
  2.   Answer your periodic questions over the phone.
  3.   Assist you if you have any questions filling out your information sheet.
  4.   Answer any questions your florist may have.  Open the church for the florist on the day of the wedding.
  5.   Discuss policies regarding decorating the church. 
  6.   Assist you in deciding upon the placement of flowers, guest book, unity candle, aisle runner and candles.  You will examine whether it is better to have a receiving line at the church or your reception hall. 
  7.  Help you determine the date and time of your rehearsal and wedding.
  8.  Discuss the fee schedule with you, the various church staff needed for your wedding, along with collecting the fees and distributing them to the appropriate parties. 
  9.  Review your musical requirements with you.  Do you wish an organist?  Do you need someone to accompany a soloist on the piano?  Do you desire to use our sound system to play a CD?  (The coordinators can arrange for a sound technician if required.)  Will you be bringing in your own musicians?  Where will the musicians sit or play during the wedding ceremony?
  10. Discuss guidelines with your photographer and/ or videographer.
  11. Discuss the flow of your wedding with you, reviewing the wedding outline.
  12. Open the church for you and your wedding party on the night of rehearsal and the day of the wedding.
  13. On the night of the rehearsal, the coordinators will lead the practice.  On the day of the wedding, the wedding coordinators will direct the wedding event from the back.  (Examples: reminding ushers of duties – lighting candles, when to pull the runner, whom to escort, getting all of the bridal party into position such as bridesmaids, groomsmen, grandparents and parents).  The wedding coordinators will direct the wedding party to rooms to dress in (or waiting rooms) and call them to the sanctuary when it is time.
  14. If you decide to have a catered or light reception in the church’s fellowship hall including your rehearsal dinner, the Custodian will oversee the usage of the kitchen and fellowship hall.

 Policies

Church building usage is limited to 90 minutes for the wedding rehearsal and 3 hours for the wedding including pictures.  Time parameters shall be arranged with the couple and the wedding coordinators as to when the church shall be opened and closed for the rehearsal and wedding. {Example: 4pm wedding, church is available from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.} 

Wedding Coordinator

Romeo UMC requires that every couple retain the services of a Wedding Coordinator. 

Regarding church pipe organ and music: 

Our church organist shall play at all weddings unless mutually agreed upon by the organist and our pastor.  If the church organist cannot perform at the wedding event, only qualified organists shall be allowed to play our church organ.  A list of approved organists shall be offered to the wedding party if our regular church organist is unavailable.  Requests for outside organists to play the church organ must first be approved.  Couples are allowed to bring in their own instruments and musicians for their wedding or they may use the sanctuary piano/keyboard upon approval.

Wedding groups are allowed to use our sound system only with the assistance of one of our church sound technicians.     (Example: work with soloists, special readers.)

Music chosen for the wedding ceremony must be appropriate for a Christian worship environment.  It must be sacred, classical or contemporary Christian.  Any exceptions must be approved by the Pastor.

Use of the Fellowship Hall:

The fellowship hall is available for catered rehearsals or receptions and light rehearsals or receptions offering hors d’oeuvres, punch, cake, etc.  Wedding groups are allowed to use the fellowship hall only, including the tables and chairs.  Due to health and Michigan State Safety Department regulations – the church’s kitchen stoves, dishwasher, deep fryers, refrigerator and coffee pots are not available for use except with RUMC kitchen staff.  Use of the kitchen is restricted to counters, sinks for washing hands (but not for washing dishes), and temporary use of refrigerator on the day of the event.  The kitchen shall be left in the condition it was found.  All serving pieces, plates, cups, silverware must be brought in from the outside.

Prohibitions at Romeo UMC:

Decorations such as pew bows are allowed.  They can be attached with a pew clip (we can provide about 14 of them),  rubber bands or pipe cleaners, but the use of tape, glue, pins, nails, tacks, staples, screws or any substance or device that will scar, discolor or ruin furnishings, carpeting or walls is strictly prohibited.

All decorations and equipment must be removed from the building immediately following the ceremony including flowers, unless prearranged to be left for Sunday Service.

Child Care

Child care will not be provided by Romeo UMC.  All children must be supervised by an adult.

Photography/Videography

No flash photography (by photographer or guests) is allowed during the ceremony with the exception of the entrance and exit of the wedding party.

The wedding may be videotaped if existing light is used, and the camera remains stationary and relatively inconspicuous during the ceremony.

Liabilities

For liability reasons there is no throwing of (but not limited to): rice, bird seed, confetti, or blowing of bubbles at Romeo UMC.  Our insurance policy requires no smoking in the church building.  Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on church property.

Valuables

Romeo UMC is not responsible or liable for lost or stolen items such as computers, cameras, purses, dresses, jewelry, coats, silver, dishes, glassware, decorations or any other personal property brought to the Church for use during the wedding.                                                                                                                    

Suggestions

If you wish to have your Marriage License typed professionally, you need to bring it to our church secretary one week before the wedding. You will need to provide full names, including the middle name of your best man and maid or matron of honor.  If not, the license needs to be brought to the rehearsal for the Pastor to fill out with black ink.  The wedding couple, best man, maid or matron of honor, and the Pastor, will sign the license in black ink on the day of the wedding.  One copy of the license will be given back to you on your wedding day.  Two copies will be sent by the church office back to the County Registrar’s office after the wedding license numbers have been recorded in our church books.

We can provide you with the brass candle holders for the unity, bride and groom candles.  The wedding couple will provide the necessary candles.  The wedding couple may also purchase their own unity candle set for the day of the wedding.  The church can also provide a pair of candelabras (seven candles each) at no additional charge.  You will need to indicate on your information sheet whether you would like to use these.

Two elevators are conveniently located from the ground level to the sanctuary level (2nd floor) to assist anyone needing a lift.  One elevator is large enough to accommodate pieces of musical equipment.

You may wish to provide some healthy snacks, such as cheese and crackers, fruit, mints, gum, tissues and water for the wedding party while preparing for the ceremony, but limited only to the dressing rooms.

Wedding Fee Schedule

*Members

Sanctuary                                                                 TBD

**Organist   (Including Rehearsal)                        $300

Wedding Coordinators                                           $300

**Sound Technician – Rehearsal                          $50

**Sound Technician – Wedding                           $50

Custodian (Wedding)                                            $75

Pastor                                                                       $250

**Use of Fellowship Hall (Rehearsal Dinner)     TBD

**Use of Fellowship Hall (Reception)                  TBD

** Custodian (Rehearsal Dinner)                          TBD

** Custodian (Reception)                                       TBD

 *Non-Members

Sanctuary                                                                 $500

**Organist (Including Rehearsal)                          $300

Wedding Coordinators                                            $300

**Sound Technician – Rehearsal                            $50

**Sound Technician – Wedding                             $50

Custodian (Wedding)                                               $75

Pastor                                                                        $300

**Use of Fellowship Hall (Rehearsal Dinner)      TBD

**Use of Fellowship Hall (Reception)                   TBD

**Custodian (Rehearsal Dinner)                            TBD

**Custodian (Reception)                                         TBD

* See guidelines   “Who Can Get Married at the Church?”)

(** Optional)

A non-refundable security deposit (50% of sanctuary fee) is required, if applicable, to secure a wedding date on the church calendar.  This deposit will be applied to the sanctuary fee.  Final wedding fees should be given to the Wedding Coordinator at the beginning of the rehearsal.  Payments must be made in cash and put in separate envelopes labeled Sanctuary Fee, Pastor, Coordinators, Sound Technician, Musician or Custodian).