Weddings at First Church
Your wedding should be a most memorable occasion -- both happy and holy. We at the church will do all that we can to help and assist you to plan so that your marriage will start as a truly high and holy occasion. Certain policies have been established to accomplish that purpose and assist you in the planning of your wedding:
Plan well in advance for the use of the church. The minister will help you with your personal wishes concerning the wedding. A time for the bride and groom to talk things over with the minister should be arranged and the date for the wedding set before any other plans are made. The church organist, a trained musician and part-time employee of the church, will normally be used for all weddings in the church and should be contacted to select music as soon as the church has been scheduled.
A minister of this church will officiate at all weddings. If a family desires another clergyperson to conduct the ceremony, the request should be made to the minister. It is the minister’s prerogative to extend an invitation to the other clergyperson to assist or perform the wedding.
The minister will meet with the wedding party for rehearsal and will explain all procedures. During the service itself, the minister will give directions and there is nothing the bride and groom have to memorize.
Music for the Wedding
A wedding is a religious service and it is expected that the wedding music will be in keeping with the standards of the church’s regular service music. Wedding music usually includes a short program of music while guests are assembling, a processional and a recessional. Less often there is also music during the ceremony, a congregational hymn or a short solo.
Although the organist is willing to make all the musical choices, some brides wish to have a part in the selection of appropriate music and find it helpful to consult with the organist. Because the organist is a part-time employee of the church, an appointment should be made WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE WEDDING for the consultation. At this time the bride can make any special requests and the organist will offer some musical choices. If you have a soloist, the music must be given to the organist AT LEAST two weeks prior to the service.
The organist’s fee (payable in advance of, and not later than the wedding rehearsal) covers the consultation with the bride, attendance at the wedding rehearsal, and a wedding of normal length. Where additional time must be provided by the organist (see following) there will be an additional charge.
EXTRA TIME needed for:
1. rehearsal with soloists and instrumentalists;
2. preparation of special music;
3. a wedding that takes more than the normal amount of time either because it started late or involved a much longer service.
A form may be filled out and left with the minister or in the church office. To make an appointment with the organist or ask any musical questions phone the Church Office, 860-388-3008.
The bride arranges for the florist. We suggest simplicity, with a minimum of decoration. Ribbons or simple floral arrangements may be used to mark pews. No nails, thumbtacks or tape are to be
used in church. If candles, in addition to the two altar candles of the church are to be used, they must be “no-drip."
This is not needed due to carpeting. Our policy is that there will be no runner.
The use of confetti or rice should be avoided. Grass seed or birdseed (without sunflower seeds!) is an acceptable substitute.
The bride is asked to instruct her photographer that the taking of still pictures is prohibited during the service except for non-repeatable moments as designated by the minister. Moving around by the photographer during the service is not permitted. A time-exposure of the ceremony may be taken from the rear. A flash picture of the bride and groom exiting up the aisle after the service is permissible. Video-taping is restricted to designated areas. Re-enactment pictures can be taken at the altar immediately after the people are out of the church at the end of the ceremony.
Ushers are expected to be present at rehearsal, when the minister will instruct them as to their responsibilities. On the day of the wedding, they should be at the church about 30 minutes before the service. When guests start arriving, they should make sure all candles, including altar candles, are lit. It is important that the usher who shows the bride’s mother to her seat also be responsible for telling the organist it is time to start the processional.
The marriage license must be applied for by both parties from the Town Clerk in the town in which the wedding is to take place, or the town in which the bride or groom live.The license is good for 65 days from the date of application. Legal copies may be picked up a short time after the wedding from the Town Clerk if they are desired. The license should be brought to the church at the time of rehearsal or the day before the wedding and given to the minister.
The Fellowship Hall is available for receptions. Information can be obtained by calling the church office, 860-388-3008.