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"EXPERIENCE GOD,

CELEBRATE LIFE IN CHRIST,

REACH PEOPLE"

The Market Street Presbyterian Church has a few guidelines for Christian Weddings.

1.  Pastoral Counseling
     The officiating minister must confer with both the bride and groom prior to the ceremony.  The minister cannot ordinarily commit to performing the marriage until after at least the initial interview.  Please plan to meet with the officiating minister before any public announcement is made of the wedding at our church.

     Every prospective bride and groom comes to the marriage ceremony out of a different background.  For this reason, no two sets of premarital conferences will follow the same pattern.

2.  Details and Arrangements
     
All details concerning the wedding and related arrangements must conform to such practices as are consistent with Christians and Presbyterian customs.

      It is expected that all members of the wedding party will refrain from alcoholic beverages immediately prior both to the rehearsal and the wedding.  The bride and groom are under obligation to make this rule known to all other members of the party.

3.  The Rehearsal
     
The bride and groom, their parents, attendants, and ushers are all essential to a good rehearsal.  During rehearsal, the processional and recessional are practiced and the officiating minister instructs each person as to what his or her part will be in the
ceremony.

      It is required that the wedding license be brought to the rehearsal.

4.  Decorations
     
No decorations of any kind (candles, flowers, ribbons, etc.) may be installed which are fastened to permanent furniture by means of nails, staples, gummed tape, or clamps.  The only decorations permitted are those set upon the floor or tied with ribbon to existing furniture.

     No decorations shall be used which will hide from view the items which make up the worship center:  the Communion Table, cross or standing candlesticks.

     It is not permissible to move any of the furnishings in the Sanctuary, including the Bible, or to use candles except in approved candelabra.

     Floral arrangements shall be kept simple and in keeping with the spirit of worship.

     If bride desires a white runner for the center aisle, she can rent it from the florist.  He also supplies any candelabra and candles which can be used.

     May not substitute another kneeling bench for the one in the Sanctuary.  The bride should advise her bridal consultant and florist concerning the decorations.

     Also, you should decide what to do with the flowers from the ceremony.
 

5.  Photographs
     
Only the following pictures may be taken:  Flash pictures of the wedding party may be taken as they enter and leave the sanctuary.  Time exposures may be taken from the balcony.  The use of a video camera is restricted to the balcony or on a fixed tripod placed in the Chancel.  With these exceptions, there are to be no other pictures taken during the ceremony.

     The bride and groom should consider it their responsibility to inform the photographer, family, and friends of this limitation upon this activity.

6.  Bridal Consultants
    
The church has no objection to this.  However, the officiating minister has the responsibility for the direction of all activities at the time of rehearsal and at the time of the wedding.

     Weddings are ordinarily permitted in the Sanctuary or Chapel only when either the bride or the groom or their immediate families are members of our church.  Exceptions can be made in individual cases by action of the Session.

7.  Fees   (We have a list for members & non-members)  Stop in at church office for list of fees.

8.  Receptions
    
We do not prepare or serve food, but the building may be available for a reception.

9.  The Wedding Day
     
Scheduling:  If a wedding is scheduled for "3 o'clock", this means the musical prelude will have finished and the procession will begin at 3 o'clock.

      Forty-five (45) minutes before the procession, the groom, best man, and ushers should arrive at the church.  The ushers begin their duties while the groom and his best man wait with the minister in a room designated at rehearsal.  20 to 30 minutes before the procession, the organ preludes begin. Five (5) minutes before the procession, the groom's parents and then the bride's mother are escorted into the Sanctuary.  Then follows the processional and the ceremony itself.

      Details of procedure will be worked out at rehearsal.  Officiating minister will supply all the guidance that may be necessary.

10.  The Service
       
The service will follow The Book of Common Worship.

11.  Music for the Wedding
       
The first and most important function of music in the church is "to glorify God".

12.  A Concluding Word
       
Remember that marriage is infinitely more important than the wedding.  You will discover that your wedding is like a rolling snowball.  It always tends to get bigger and more involved that you expected at the start.  Develop your wedding plans early and come to your wedding day relaxed and rested.