Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, its staff, Ministries Council, and Board of Trustees wish to extend every possible courtesy to you as we share in the excitement of this momentous event in your lives. In planning your marriage, you will work with members of the Church staff who are dedicated to helping make each wedding a significant and joyful act of Christian worship. The following procedures have been established in order to assist wedding parties in their use of our facilities to the best possible advantage of all concerned.
Best Wishes and Blessings!
The Purpose of a Wedding
A wedding in the setting of a church is considered to be a service of worship. It is to be distinguished from weddings in other settings (e.g., Justice of the Peace ceremonies) in that it indicates the special interest on the part of the couple to proclaim their faith in God through Christ and to witness their belief that no human relationship is ever truly fulfilled without calling upon divine guidance. Therefore, those who are seeking to be married in the church are expressing their commitment to lives in faithful response to God’s love and are pledging to continue their relationship as part of the Christian community after the marriage service.
A service of Christian Marriage should explicitly and symbolically emphasize the Christian view of marriage. Customarily, “The Marriage Service” found in The Book of Worship or The United Methodist Hymnal will be followed. Any proposed alteration or addition to the service should express the Christian understanding set forth in that service. The pastor in charge of the service will be happy to discuss the service with you.
“Holy Communion may or may not be celebrated. If it is, it is most important that its significance be made clear. Specifically: (1) The marriage rite is included in a Service of Word and Table. (2) Not only the husband and wife but the whole congregation are to be invited to receive Communion. It is our tradition to invite all Christians to the Lord’s table. (3) There should be no pressure that would embarrass those who for whatever reason do not choose to receive Communion” (The United Methodist Hymnal).
Couples are required to use one of the pastors on staff. A United Methodist pastor outside of the staff may be invited to assist or perform the wedding service only with the approval of the Senior Pastor of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church.
The Pastoral Staff of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church shall have the authority to make decisions to insure appropriate and responsible implementation of the marriage celebration liturgy and/or other items covered by the wedding policy.
Premarital counseling is a requirement of all wishing to be married in Plymouth Park United Methodist Church. Those couples receiving permission to acquire the services of pastors outside of the Plymouth Park United Methodist Church staff must show evidence that they have fulfilled the counseling requirement.
Plymouth Park United Methodist Church requires the use of a church wedding coordinator even if you hire another outside wedding consultant. The coordinator’s role is to ensure your wedding is as special and individual as possible. They can answer any questions concerning florists, photographers, and church policy. Responsibilities include opening and closing the facilities for the rehearsal and wedding, assisting the bridal party during the rehearsal, directing ushers in the seating of guests, assisting with the processional and recessional, handling emergencies, and performing other duties as needed.
The facilities of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church are available for members and non-members. A member is defined as one who as joined our church at least a year prior to the scheduling of the wedding. Members may schedule a wedding at any time pursuant to the church calendar. Non-members may schedule a wedding no more than six months in advance.
Weddings and rehearsals cannot be scheduled on days when the church is officially closed or when other worship services and church ministries have scheduled use of the facilities. Such days include: Sundays, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday) July Fourth, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, etc.
How to Schedule
The first step for both members and non-members is to contact our Office Manager to inquire about available dates.
Church Phone: (972) 255-4185
Fax: (972) 594-8693
Once a date is determined to be available, fill out a Reservation Form and fax or e-mail it to the Office Manager. Dates may be held for members of the congregation on a tentative basis pending availability of the pastor. For non-member inquiries, the Office Manager will outline the wedding procedures and refer the couple to one of the church’s pastors. Upon recommendation of the Pastor, the date of the marriage celebration will then be held on a tentative basis.
The dates and times for the rehearsal and wedding will not be entered officially on the church calendar until the following steps have been completed:
- Pastor availability confirmed and, in the case of a non-member wedding, the couple has met with church staff and received a recommendation.
- A signed Agreement to the Wedding Policies of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church has been received.
- A deposit of one-half of the projected fees has been received. The balance is to be paid 30 days prior to the wedding.
Once officially scheduled, any changes in rehearsal or wedding dates and times MUST be made through the Office Manager.
An informal wedding may be conducted by one of the pastors of Plymouth Park without charge for use of the building. Approval and arrangements for an informal wedding are handled by the officiating minister.
An informal wedding is defined as:
- Without music, flowers, or candles
- No sound technician
- For which there is a limited guest list
Since the marriage service in the church is a sacred service, only music that is suitable for a worship service may be used. If solos are to be sung, the texts should be either songs in praise of God or prayers for God’s presence, blessing, and/or guidance in the founding of a Christian marriage. Since the focus of worship is on God, show tunes, secular songs, and love songs are NOT appropriate. A particular musical selection is not sacred just because it has reference to “love,” to “justice,” or even to God. If it is sacred, the text must be a witness to the Gospel. It must be recognized, by Christians, as consistent with the core of their belief. The organist will be able to assist you in selecting appropriate music. ALL decisions regarding the appropriateness of suggested music are the specific responsibility of the organist. There are NO exceptions to this policy.
A CD of organ processional and recessional music has been prepared to help you make decisions regarding music selection. Copies of the CD and the accompanying worksheet are available from the Office Manager.
ORGANIST – The staff organist of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church will play for all weddings. NO taped music is allowed in the Sanctuary. The organist does NOT attend rehearsals.
VOCALISTS – The organist will arrange for a vocalist if desired. However, a vocalist may be secured through private arrangements by the wedding party. Vocalists must provide a copy of the music to be sung in the appropriate key no later than one week prior to the wedding. The organist will NOT transpose music. NO taped music is allowed in the Sanctuary. It must be assumed that the soloist has learned the appropriate selected music. One rehearsal period will be allotted with the organist. Vocalists will rehearse with the organist one hour before the wedding.
INSTRUMENTALISTS – Other instrumentalists may be secured by the wedding party (harpists, flautists, guitarists, handbells, string quartets, etc.) with the help of the organist.
It is not recommended to have children under the age of 6 years old in the wedding party as their behavior is unpredictable and their ability to understand the marriage service is limited. Any member of the wedding party aged 6 or under should participate only in the processional and recessional and demonstrate this ability at the rehearsal.
It is imperative that the wedding rehearsal begins promptly at the scheduled time. One hour will be reserved for rehearsals in the Sanctuary.
The wedding rehearsal is an integral part of the preparation of a wedding and should proceed in a reverent manner. The purpose of the rehearsal is to assist the wedding party in being as comfortable as possible with the arrangements and to enhance the visual beauty of the service.
The couple should bring the marriage license to the rehearsal.
As stated before, weddings are a worship service; therefore, the photographing and video taping of the wedding should not interfere with the flow of people or dignity of the service. NO FLASH PICTURES WILL BE ALLOWED after the Bride reaches the Chancel area. Non-flash exposures are permitted from the back of the Sanctuary. Photographers and videographers MAY NOT wander around the Sanctuary or Chancel area once the Bride reaches the Chancel area.
If pictures of the wedding party are desired, they should be taken before the wedding or by reassembling the wedding party at the conclusion of the service.
Video and audio taping of the service is permitted. Video cameras must remain stationary in designated locations against an outside wall or in the choir loft.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM TO REVIEW THIS POLICY WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND TO MAKE THESE GUIDELINES KNOWN TO THE GUESTS.
It is suggested the bride and groom consult with the photographer to predetermine the exact sequence, types, and number of photographs to be taken. This will not only allow for full coverage of the service, but also for the promptness of the bride and groom leaving for the reception.
The liturgical appointments, pulpit, and the “Lord’s table,” are reminders of God’s activity in Christ. Therefore, flowers, greenery, candles, and other decorations should be used with simplicity and dignity in the Chancel area and shall not be used in front of the Lord’s table. The Lord’s table, pulpit, baptismal font, and other liturgical fixtures may NOT be removed from their place. Banners and seasonal decorations (e.g. Advent candles, etc.) will NOT be moved or removed.
For safety reason, NO fresh or silk flower petals can be thrown down the main aisle.
- NO tacks, nails, tape, or glue are allowed on any woodwork.
- NO candles allowed outside of the Chancel area except the unity candle.
- Dripless candles with floor coverings placed under the candelabras are required inside the Chancel area.
- Aisle runners are not recommended and if used MUST have non-skid backing.
Outside decorators can be utilized but a proposal must be submitted and approved by the church wedding coordinator. Without prior approval no outside decorations will be allowed.
- Access to the building for decorating is limited to TWO (2) HOURS prior to the scheduled time of the wedding.
- All decorations in the Sanctuary must be removed within ONE (1) HOUR after the ceremony, unless other arrangements are made in advance with the Church Wedding Coordinator.
If staff is kept overtime because of the florist (such as removing table decorations, tables, etc.), the florist shall be charged a storage and handling fee, payable before items can be picked up.
The Fellowship Hall is available for wedding receptions. The hall can be reserved for a maximum of 2 ½ hours following the wedding service. Saturday events must be scheduled so that they are completed (including clean up) by 9:00 p.m. An additional charge will be added for each half hour over the maximum. The Bride will be held responsible and accountable for any damage to the church building, furniture, floors, carpets, or property. There is a custodial fee and a damage deposit for reception areas.
There are two nursery facilities (one for crib babies/toddlers and one for 2-3 year-olds). Either or both may be reserved through the church wedding coordinator for reasonable fees. They are staffed by trained and qualified caregivers hired by Plymouth Park United Methodist Church.
There is a NO SMOKING policy throughout the church.
The church cannot accept delivery of Bride or attendant dresses and cannot be responsible for personal items (such as wedding dresses, purses, silver, etc.) brought to the church.
For safety reasons, rice, confetti, fresh/silk flower petals and birdseed may not be thrown either inside or outside the building.
Alcoholic beverages shall not be consumed anywhere on the church property. Participants in weddings are expected to abstain prior to the service. If it appears to us that a person is intoxicated or disorderly, he/she will not be allowed to participate in the service.
All cellphones and pagers need to be silenced upon entering Sanctuary.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM TO INFORM THE WEDDING PARTICIPANTS ABOUT THESE POLICIES.
Weddings require special services on the part of the church staff and additional expenses related to the use of church facilities. The church will include the use of the Sanctuary for rehearsal and wedding, a room for the Bride and her attendants, a room for the Groom and his groomsmen, and a guest book table. Any additional space needed must be requested and may incur additional charges.
The following is a summary of necessary fees which cover Clergy, Organist, Church Wedding Coordinator, Sound Tech, Custodian and building use.
|Sanctuary (without reception) $550.00||Sanctuary (without reception) $950.00|
|With Reception: Add $150.00|
|With Reception: Add $350.00|
(building use and custodian)