PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
A Christian marriage ceremony is a service of worship offered to God. The essence of marriage is a covenanted commitment that has its foundation in the faithfulness of God’s love. The marriage ceremony is the glad occasion on which two people unite as one in the mutual exchange of covenant promises. The minister acts as an official representative of the church and gives the marriage the church’s blessing. The congregation joins in affirming the marriage and in offering support and thanksgiving for the new family. Family and friends of the couple may be invited to share the leadership of the service by reading scriptures or by offering prayers or in other ways. To prospective brides and grooms who entertain such a regard for marriage, Newman Congregational Church offers a joyful, beautiful, meaningful and sacred ceremony as can be planned and conducted. To you who desire to celebrate your marriage in our church, we propose the following procedure:
We invite couples to come to Sunday Worship and approach the minister during Coffee & Covnersation with your wedding date request. Your reservation is not confirmed until the conclusion of your first meeting with a pastor. Do not assume that the date is reserved even if you have been told the date is open on the church calendar. One of the ministers must confirm your reservation.
- Weddings may not be scheduled on the following days:
Ash Wednesday Easter weekend Maundy Thursday, Christmas, or the day before Christmas
- No wedding may be scheduled after 5:00 pm on a Saturday except by special arrangement.
- The wedding rehearsal is under the direction of the officiating minister in consultation with the bride and groom. It is usually held the evening before the wedding – though other arrangements can be made in consultation with the officiating minister. Due to a busy church schedule, rehearsals will begin at the planned time even if all participants are not present.
- The entire fee for the wedding is due no later than the wedding rehearsal. The wedding license must be in the officiating minister’s hands by the rehearsal.
- The couple is obliged to secure a wedding license. Please check with your town/city clerk about the license. East Providence and out-of-state residents should obtain the license from East Providence City Hall. Out-of-town residents secure a license at the town/city clerk in the hometown of the bride.
The bridal couple should arrange for a conference with a minister of Newman Congregational Church as soon as a date has been selected. The marriage is to be performed by a minister currently on the staff of the church. In cases where an immediate member of the bride or groom’s family is an ordained minister and the wedding couple would like him/her to perform the ceremony, the marriage may be performed by this person in conjunction with a current minister of Newman Congregational Church. Newman Church may not be “rented” for wedding services by outside churches or clergy.
The bride and groom should arrange a conference with the church organist, who is in charge of ceremony music. Music must meet church standards. No recorded music is allowed. For an additional fee, soloists from the church are available, or, the couple may secure soloists. The Newman Church organist has right of first refusal for every wedding at the church. Guest organists may be permitted upon approval by the Newman organist. In such cases, the Newman organist will receive his/her usual wedding fee.
Decorations should not be ostentatious. The beauty and sanctity of our Sanctuary are enhanced more with simple floral arrangements than over-decoration. Decorators should work with existing furniture placement and appointments. No tape may be used to affix decorations. Since the center aisle is carpeted, an aisle runner is not necessary. Should you still desire an aisle runner, please make arrangements with your florist. The center aisle is 40 feet long. The use of rice, confetti, bird seed and flower petals inside, at the doors, or anywhere on the church grounds is forbidden.
Photographers should be advised that flash pictures may not be taken during the ceremony as this can be very distracting to the couple. Wedding guests are asked to refrain from taking flash pictures during the ceremony as well. Pictures may be taken during the processional and recessional. After the bride has proceeded down the aisle at the beginning of the wedding, all photographers are to leave the front of the chancel area. If time-lapse pictures are to be taken during the wedding, the photographer should stand behind the last pew or in the back of the balcony. Video photographers may record the ceremony but only at the predetermined location designated by the minister. The photographer should be dressed appropriately for the occasion and, together with the photographic equipment, be as inconspicuous as reasonably possible. After the wedding, pictures may be posed for in front. Please inform the minister ahead of time is you wish him/her to be in any pictures.
Though unfortunate to even add this paragraph, experience has proven it to be necessary. Wedding parties are to refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages immediately prior to the rehearsal and wedding. Alcoholic beverages are not to be brought on the church premises. The bride and the groom will be under obligation to make this rule known to the members of the wedding party.
|CHARGES FOR USE OF SANCTUARY OR CHAPEL|
|Use of Church||$300||$0|
|*For weddings away from the church, the fees for the minister shall apply.|