Guidelines for Couples Planning Weddings
in our beautiful, historic church building built in 1756.
Recently restored. Air conditioned. Across from the town gazebo.
We believe that the decision to marry is a major life decision, best made as a joyous response to the grace of God. The guidelines below are intended to help you deepen your appreciation of that grace and to celebrate it with the officiating minister(s), the other members of your wedding party, and the community which gathers to help you begin your marriage, within the sacred space used and maintained by Community Congregational Church in Greenland.
Before the Wedding
In the months before the wedding, it is expected that you will have at least two conversations with the Pastor of Community Congregational Church. If you wish another minister to officiate, that person must be approved by this church’s Pastor, who will be involved in the planning of the wedding service to the extent he or she deems appropriate.
The purposes of these pre-wedding sessions are: (1) To build a relationship between you and the officiating minister(s) so that all may share meaningfully in this important event; (2) to help you prepare for some of the changes marriage will bring to your lives; and (3) to plan a wedding service which will glorify God, reflect some of your own uniqueness, and express the significance of the covenant you make with each other and with God.
“A church wedding” is often taken to mean a ceremony in a particular building. A church, however, is a community of people. Regardless of whether members of this congregation are involved in your wedding, the sanctuary where you will be making your sacred vows is this congregation’s spiritual home. In order that you may meet this congregation, we ask that you worship with us at least once before the wedding and invite you to join us at times afterward as well.
The Wedding Service
A wedding is a service of worship. During the service God is glorified, thanked for bringing you two together and asked to bless your marriage with spiritual presence and guidance. As you plan the service with the minister, together you will find meaningful ways to express your love for each other and your personal beliefs. Also, this service is an opportunity for others to witness and support your entrance into marriage, to praise God and to be reminded of the significance of spirituality in their own lives.
For your planning, the sanctuary seats about 170 persons comfortably (210 if they sit 5 to a pew section) and perhaps another 20 in the balcony if necessary. There is no central aisle, but two aisles approach the front, where three steps lead up to the chancel. A pulpit on the left and a lectern on the right frame a communion table graced by a cross and two candlesticks. Above these one faces a screen that features organ pipes. A single restroom is available off the vestibule. A ramp provides accessible entry to a side door of the vestibule. A railed walkway approaches the building’s front; this entrance includes a roofed porch and seven steps.
Because your wedding is a worship service, music should be appropriate for worship. If you plan to have organ or piano music, this church expects that you will ask our Director of Music to play and will supply her with published scores as needed well in advance of the wedding. If you plan to engage other musicians, permission to do so must be secured from this church’s Pastor. Other instruments may be used instead of or in addition to organ or piano. Vocal soloists are also welcome.
Again because a wedding is a worship service and it is important that all present be able to participate in the ceremony without being distracted, flash photographs after the Processional and before the Recessional will not be permitted. However, video-recording and non-flash photographs may be taken from a fixed location in the balcony at the discretion of the officiating minister(s) if arranged in advance. Please be sure that your photographer and your friends understand these restrictions and that arrangements are made to take the photographs you desire before or after the service.
Usually a rehearsal will be held before the wedding at a time convenient to those involved.
If you would like to hold your reception in this church’s Parish House (a one-minute walk from the sanctuary building), please arrange it with the Pastor well ahead of time. The fellowship hall and kitchen are available for this purpose. There is an additional fee of $150 for the use of this building.
Smoking and Drinking, Rice and Confetti
No alcoholic beverages are to be used on either of these properties, nor is smoking allowed in its buildings. The throwing of rice or confetti is not allowed. Birdseed, flower petals, and biodegradable confetti may be thrown outside, but must be swept from porches, steps, and walkways. Please be sure your wedding party, photographer, and musicians are informed of these policies.
Please assign someone in your party to be responsible to see that decorations, flowers, flower boxes, candles, wrappers, and anything else brought in for the wedding are picked up after the service.
If neither the bride nor the groom is a member of this congregation or a child of a member, the fee for the use of the sanctuary is $500. If the Pastor of our church officiates, the honorarium for the minister is $250, giving consideration to the time spent in pre-marriage conversations, worship preparation, rehearsal, and the service itself.
The basic fee for the services of this church’s Music Director is $250. If he accompanies other musicians, additional amounts for rehearsal may be required as he determines. Fees for other invited musicians are to be negotiated with these persons when you engage them unless they are provided by the Music Director.
Payment of all fees is to be made before the rehearsal.
We wish you congratulations on your marriage. May you be blessed.
Pastor: Rev. Robert Fellows
Church Office: 603-436-8336