Weddings"...clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony." - Col. 3:12-14 Church OfficeWedding Coordinator
The Meaning and Purpose of a Christian Wedding
For Christians marriage is a covenant which calls the couple to live a life of discipleship before God. A Christian marriage is a lifelong commitment, made by a couple and publicly witnessed by the community of faith. The wedding ceremony is a service of Christian worship in which the gospel is proclaimed and the promise of blessing through Jesus Christ is affirmed.
Marriage at First Presbyterian Church
The church staff and the session rejoice with you as you set about planning your marriage ceremony. This booklet will introduce you to the basic provisions for planning a wedding at First Presbyterian Church. The officiating pastor and wedding coordinator will help you carefully plan and prepare for your wedding ceremony to insure that it is consistent with the worship of God.
Initial Procedures for Planning a Wedding
- Request a date and time for the wedding. When the Wedding Coordinator has confirmed that your date is available, secure it with a $50 nonrefundable deposit. Members may reserve a wedding date up to two years in advance; nonmembers may do so six months in advance.
- Plan your use of the building and available optional items with the wedding coordinator. Complete and return all forms to the Wedding Coordinator.
- Choose the officiating Pastor of First Presbyterian Church and contact her/him for a consultation.
- Schedule the premarital counseling program with the officiating Pastor.
- Plan appropriate music for the worship service of marriage with the Pastor.
- Plan the worship service with the officiating Pastor.
- Secure a State of Iowa marriage license.
- Pay all fees no later than 35 days before the wedding.
Preparing For Marriage
The Sanctuary seats approximately 600 people. Small weddings may be held in the Chapel or Chancel, if desired. The bride’s room, the Donaldson Room, and the Parlor are available for use by the wedding party.
Because of concern for the environment, the safety of guests, and insurance regulations, the throwing of rice, seeds, and confetti are all prohibited inside and outside the church. The Wedding Coordinator can advise regarding the distribution of “favors” immediately following the service. Alcoholic beverages and
recreational drugs are not permitted on church property at any time. Food and drink are not permitted in the Sanctuary. Smoking is not permitted on church property at any time. In cases where these policies are ignored or violated, the damage deposit will be forfeited.
The Pastoral staff and Session of First Presbyterian Church believe that proper preparation is essential for a strong marriage; therefore, participation in a counseling program is required in order to be married at the church. The couple should contact the officiating Pastor to schedule their counseling sessions. In some cases, the Pastor will counsel the couple; in others, counseling may be provided by a suitable outside counselor.
The Wedding Coordinator
The Wedding Coordinator is the liaison between the church and the wedding participants in all matters other than counseling, music, and the worship service. The coordinator is your consultant on matters of decorations, flowers, candles, photography, etiquette, and all details on the day of the wedding. The Wedding Coordinator will also set-up a fee payment schedule.
The Officiating Clergy
One of the clergy of First Presbyterian Church officiates at the wedding. After the couple selects a Pastor, they should contact her or him to schedule premarital counseling and plan the wedding service. If a couple has a relative or close friend whom they would like to participate in the service, this may be arranged at the invitation of the officiating Pastor.