The Presbyterian Book of Order states: “Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family.” As members of the human family, we welcome you as you come to join your lives together in Christian marriage.
A marriage is a civil contract between two people. But it is also a covenant made before God and witnesses. In coming to the Church, you announce your desire to seek the blessing of God upon your marriage. That blessing is given joyfully, in the confidence that your new relationship will lead to the establishment and maintenance of a Christian home.
A strong marriage is created by keeping God central in your lives. Your lifelong commitment to one another is one way in which you honor God and express the love of God to and for each other.
The following information is offered to help you in your planning and to make possible a worship service that is Christian in nature and appropriate for the celebration of your joyful union with one another.
The pastor of Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church shall perform the ceremony. At the request of the couple, a guest pastor may be invited by the host pastor to assist. Approval by the Session (the church governing board) and the pastor is required for a guest pastor to conduct the wedding without the participation of Chapel Lane’s pastor.
The wedding shall be held only when the pastor of the church has counseled with the couple and this wedding booklet has been reviewed. The pastor needs to confirm the availability of the date and secure proper approval for the ceremony. The couple shall make themselves available for as many sessions as may be required to discuss all matters relating to the marriage and the wedding ceremony.
The marriage license and all other necessary legal documentation must be delivered to the pastor at the time of the rehearsal or earlier. A marriage ceremony will not be performed without the license in hand. A license is obtained from the clerk of the county in which the bride resides. Check with the clerk to confirm current time requirements and limitations for license validity.
If Chapel Lane is printing the wedding bulletin, bulletin covers, chosen by the bridal party, and the contents of the bulletin, must be to the office administrator 10 days in advance of the wedding. Proofreading will be done by the bridal party.
The sanctuary of Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church seats approximately 160 people. Chairs can be set up to increase the seating capacity to approximately 250 people.
Floral decorations may be placed in the sanctuary but restraint is to be exercised in the amount and the placement of the decorations. The bride should discuss her plans with the pastor well in advance of the ceremony. If you will be leaving the flowers for the church service on Sunday, please notify the office administrator early in the week before the wedding so that the gift can be acknowledged in the Sunday bulletin.
If a candlelight ceremony is desired, the church has two seven-tier candelabras which may be used. It also has end-of-row candelabra that attach to the center aisle arm rests of every other row. Please notify the pastor should you desire to use these items.
If a unity candle is desired, the church has a three-candle holder that may be used. The candle/candles must be supplied by the bridal party. Again, please notify the pastor if you plan to use this candle stand.
Aisle runners are available from your florist or a rental center. The aisle runner should be 50 feet long.
We have dressing rooms and bathrooms available for your wedding party. Plan to arrive NO EARLIER THAN TWO HOURS prior to the ceremony. Please notify the church office of your planned arrival time. Feel free to use these conveniences but please clear these rooms of all personal property following the ceremony! It may be convenient to assign this task to others in the bridal party.
Note: It may be helpful to provide water bottles and light snacks in the dressing rooms for the bridal party. But care should be given to leave the rooms as you found them.
Pictures may be taken as the bridal party enters the sanctuary and as the bridal party leaves following the benediction. Photography that disrupts the ceremony is not allowed. Flash photography is not permitted. The couple is asked to instruct the official photographer, family and friends of these policies. The pastor may also remind participants of this policy.
Videotaping is permitted by one video camera on a tripod only. The person videotaping should speak with the pastor at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony regarding the location of the camera and the church policies regarding videotaping.
A receiving line may be formed in the foyer of the church or on the front walk, weather permitting. No items may be thrown indoors. Throwing rice, confetti or other non-digestible items is prohibited on church grounds. Bird seed or bubbles are permissible outside the church building.
No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the church grounds at any time. Cigarette smoking is permitted outside the building only. Please use care is disposing of cigarettes.
If requested, the Presbyterian Women's organization of the church will serve a simple reception consisting of punch, coffee and cake. Presbyterian Women will provide the punch bowl and cups and will set up, serve and clean up. Reception size is limited to 250 people. The bridal couple must provide all food and beverages, plus any decorations.
This service is provided to church members at no charge. When the service is provided for non-church members, the bridal couple is requested to make a contribution to Presbyterian Women of $2 per guest.
The date and time for the rehearsal will be set by the pastor in consultation with the bride and groom. The rehearsal requires about an hour. It is important that all members of the wedding party be present at the rehearsal including the parents of the bride and groom. It is also essential that all arrive on time for the rehearsal. The pastor is in charge of the rehearsal as well as the wedding.
When an organist is required, the church organist will play for the ceremony. (A guest organist may be invited, but only upon permission from the pastor. An instrument usage fee of $50 will apply.) The bride is expected to contact the director of music to arrange a consultation regarding the music at least one month prior to the wedding. All music must be approved by the director of music and pastor, including music to be performed by guest organists and any other musicians.
Remember that the wedding ceremony is a sacred service and the music should be chosen accordingly.
Music from motion picture sound tracks, popular vocal music and country western music is generally not appropriate in a church wedding ceremony. It is recommended that this music be performed at the wedding reception.
Recommendations for music are available from the director of music.
A church wedding necessarily incorporates the use of church facilities and the assistance and guidance of professional individuals to serve you. Please make separate payments directly to the individuals involved in the service. The fee for building use and related additional costs for candelabra, etc., may be made out to Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church. The Session has determined the following fees are appropriate:
The suggested fee for the pastor is $300 for non-members. There is no fee for members. Custom leaves the matter of an honorarium in the hands of the groom.
Non-member use of the building: $200.00
All fees are due at the time of the wedding rehearsal.