WEDDING INFORMATION [Non-Members]
September 1, AD 2013
We believe that marriage is a gift of God that is at once the act of two individuals and the community that nurtures and supports them. While it has civil consequences, we believe that marriage is fundamentally a covenant relationship through which individuals are called to a new way of life, ordered, blessed and sustained by God.This church is happy to be a part of that celebration. The following guidelines may help you in understanding some of our policies and procedures.
General: Weddings are held in the sanctuary (seats up to 750) or the chapel (about 160) at times and under conditions subject to the approval of a Minister. It is necessary to make an appointment with and discuss matters related to the wedding ceremony before a wedding date can be confirmed. Typically, a Minister meets with the couple two or three additional times.
Clergy: We do not “rent the church” for weddings, although on special occasions, arrangements may be made to have ceremonies officiated by other clergy. All such arrangements must be approved by the Minister.
Fee: The Fee for all member weddings is variable, according to the size and complexity of the services requested. An individual fee based on wedding particulars can be obtained from the Minister. It is payable in cash no later than at the rehearsal. [The fee always includes the use of Third Church worship space, Bride’s Room and related spaces, and the services of all Third Church staff including one minister, organist, maintenance personnel and wedding coordinator. It does not include incidental food for rehearsal, fees for a second minister, soloist or other instrumentalist(s), the use of the building for rehearsal dinner or reception or other extraordinary requests.]
Rehearsal: Typically, weddings are preceded by a rehearsal. This normally takes one hour and is often scheduled the evening before the ceremony. At that time, the Marriage License and balance of the Fee must be brought to the church. [It’s never happened, but please understand that the ceremony cannot proceed unless we have both Marriage License and Fee in our hands.]
Wedding Bulletins: Many couples wish to have a bulletin wherein the order of service is listed, along with the names of the participants. The minister can provide information about the order of service.
Music: All music must be appropriate for use in a Christian service and must be approved by the officiating minister. The church organist plays weddings held in the church, although special music performed by others may be permitted consistent with the spirit of the event. It’s very important that music to be performed by others is made known to the minister and the director of music so we can make sure that it fits comfortably into the time constraints of the service.
Photographers: Photographers may use flash when the couple is entering and leaving the front of the sanctuary, otherwise natural light must be used. There is sufficient light for almost every need and photographs may be taken in and around the church before and after the ceremony. We encourage couples to be judicious in the time they devote to photographs.
Video: Natural light video is permitted but must not distract from the ceremony (which means that cameras may be positioned in the front or hand-held from the pews, but not carried around during the ceremony).
Aisle Runners are not used.
Flowers: There is no particular restriction on flowers, but experience shows that one or two three-foot sprays is sufficient, plus perhaps some small arrangements for the pew-ends.
Candles: Normally, the only candles present are those present for couples who wish to light a unity candle as part of the ceremony. These candles (and holders) must be supplied by the couple.
Bride’s Room: The Church has a room equipped with mirrors and a bathroom, where many brides choose to dress. Brides and attendants often bring their dresses to the rehearsal and leave them in this (locked) room overnight.
Parking: The church lot has space for about 28 guest cars. We have traditionally been able to get permission to park cars along the church side of Fifth Avenue, but of course we can’t guarantee this will always be so.
Timing: The church will be open approximately an hour and a half before the start of the ceremony. Flowers are typically delivered at that time. The ceremony itself typically takes about half an hour. A receiving line will normally move six people a minute, so consider carefully whether to do that at the church or elsewhere. We request that everyone be clear of the building one hour after the end of the ceremony.
Throwing Stuff: Bubbles or balloons work very well, don’t get caught in people’s hair and clothes and don’t track into the church. The same is not true of rice or birdseed. Confetti is a no-no. We’ve had lousy luck with butterflies and mixed success with birds.
Reception at the Church: Subject to the Church’s calendar, the Social Hall may be available for a reception (or for a rehearsal dinner) for an additional charge, depending on the services requested. At a reception, a champagne toast is allowed, but otherwise no alcohol. Please make these arrangements as soon as possible.
No Smoking anywhere inside the church building.
These are our stated guidelines and cannot, of course, cover everything. If you have any questions, please see, call or e-mail the minister.