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Wedding Guidelines (Approved by Session May 20, 2019)

 

This is a wonderful and exciting time for you, your affianced, and your families! The staff and members of Nottingham Presbyterian Church are happy for you and want your wedding ceremony to be a cherished memory for all of you. These guidelines have been written with that purpose in mind and to help you understand what we hope to achieve in assisting you in this important event.

 

The Presbyterian Church (USA) defines marriage like this:

 

In Baptism, each Christian is claimed in the covenant of God’s faithful love. Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community. In civil law, marriage is a contract that recognizes the rights and obligations of the married couple in society. In the Reformed tradition, marriage is also a covenant in which God has an active part, and which the community of faith publicly witnesses and acknowledges.

(W-4.0601 : Christian Marriage)

 

We want this day to be special for you, worshipful, and a blessed beginning to a lifetime of loyalty and love. These guidelines are written to help ensure this happens for you. We look forward to meeting with you and your soon-to-be spouse to answer any questions you may have. Know that from our initial contact, you both will be in our prayers.

 

What Do We Need to Do?

Step 1 – Request and complete an application to let us know a bit about yourselves and the date you’d like to get married. Once availability is confirmed you’ll receive an email and a contact from the pastor.

 

Step 2 – Time to schedule pre-marital counseling. Why? Because we care a great deal about the ongoing success of your marriage. The sessions include at least four meetings with the pastor. While many balk at this initially, every single couple has seen value in these meetings and several request follow up contact. In short - it’s worth it.  

 

Step 3 - The pastor will report to Session on the proposed wedding and will seek approval for the service to be held in the Church Sanctuary.

 

Does Nottingham’s Pastor Have to Officiate?

Generally yes. However other officiates may be invited by the pastor to participate. Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the pastor and the approval of the Session. The two most important things session will do is to verify the guest pastor’s credentials and to ask if he or she intends to conduct a Christian service.

 

What about Music?

We know that the music you choose is special to you, as are any soloists or groups you’d like to invite into the service. All we ask is that you clear it with the pastor before any commitments are made. If you would like an organist, consider using ours, which depends on your wedding date and availability. Please understand that any rehearsals will need to be scheduled around the Wedding Rehearsal we will hold just before your ceremony. Music used in the service should be respectful that this is a worship service.

 

Why Hold a Wedding Rehearsal?

Because you’d be amazed at how nervous people wearing fine clothing can forget when to walk and where to stand. There will be two deacons present both for the rehearsal and for the ceremony to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

 

Can We Decorate?

Of course! Just be mindful that the sanctuary is being decorated to the glory of God and we should be good stewards of God’s house. Our stewardship does not only apply to the decorations chosen, but also the way they are put into place. No decoration or flowers are to be put on the Communion table. If there is any damage to walls, carpeting or furniture, it will be repaired at your expense. And please schedule the time you’d like access to the sanctuary with the church office.

 

Nottingham has the following items available for your use at no charge:

 

One pair of wrought iron candelabrum

Window Candles

Kneeling Bench

A room for the bridal party to dress

 

If the flowers from the wedding are to be left for the Sunday worship service, please inform the church office one month in advance.

 

Who Undecorates?

You, your family, or members of your bridal party should remove anything you want to keep before you head off to the reception. Our sexton will come in shortly thereafter to finish cleaning and prepare the sanctuary for the next worship service.

 

 

How Many People Can We Invite to the Ceremony?

Our sanctuary can seat up to 180 people if they sit really close to each other. A more comfortable number is 120-150.

 

May We Host the Reception At the Church?

Yes! Our Foundation Room would work well for weddings with less than 100 in attendance, including the bridal party. Please contact the church office before contacting a catering service.

 

Please note that there are no alcoholic beverages permitted anywhere on church property. NPC also does not permit smoking in the buildings or within 25 feet of any entrance.

 

Who Prints the Wedding Bulletins?

We can do this for you at a significant cost savings to having them printed elsewhere, though the options for production are limited. We’re not able to run gilded papers, embossed papers, or use metallic inks. If you’d like us to print them, we ask that you supply the paper, a print ready design, and pay $0.25/page.

 

May We Hire A Photographer or Videographer?

Of course you can! Please have whomever you hire contact the pastor at least one week ahead of the ceremony to go over our policy which is written to preserve the integrity of the worship service, ensure professionalism, and see that your day is well documented. In general, any photography or videography during the service must be done from a single position (wandering around distracts from the service). No flash photography during the service itself.

 

What If Aunt Millie Wants to Shoot Her Own Video On Her Phone?

We ask that all devices be silenced and stowed for the ceremony, and for two reasons. First, all those little screens held up in the air block the view of those sitting behind them. Second, if a professional videographer is used, that person is counting on sales to make a living. People shooting their own video lessen the chances of that person succeeding in his/her profession.

 

We Understand That People Like to Throw Things at the Bride and Groom After the Ceremony. That Sounds Painful.

It can be. Rice, when eaten by birds, can cause them to get sick and even die. Birdseed, when underfoot, can make the steps and sidewalk unsafe. We suggest bubbles.

 

THE WEDDING LICENSE: You are required to have a license. This license must be brought to be given to the pastor no later than the night of the rehearsal. If you are planning to secure a license in Chester County, you can receive information about the

procedure by calling 610-344-6000.

 

WEDDING COSTS: Attached is a copy of the fees associated with a wedding at Nottingham Presbyterian Church.

 

Wedding Costs

 

Church Member (and Immediate Family)

(Donation Suggestions)

 

                        Pastor’s Remuneration:                     $200.00

                                    (Counseling Included)

                        Organist Remuneration*:                    $150.00

                        Sexton Services:                                  $ 50.00

                                                                                   

Non-Affiliated

(Standard Minimum Fee for Non-Members): $1500.00

 

                        Pastor’s Remuneration:                       $600.00

                                    (Counseling Included)           

                        Deacons’ Services:                              $200.00

                        Organist Remuneration*:                    $200.00

                        NPC Sanctuary Fee:                            $400.00

                        Sexton Services:                                  $100.00

 

Separate envelopes (checks or cash) are due to each person

before or on date of service.

 

_ _ _ _

*This fee could change depending on the amount of music and number of rehearsals necessary.

Please speak with the organist to confirm.

 
© 2019 Nottingham Presbyterian Church
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