Weddings

CONGRATULATIONS!


We are pleased that you are seeking to be wed at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

We hope your wedding will be one of the happiest occasions of your life. Westminster rejoices in this celebration and is eager to make each phase of the service one that will be remembered with deep satisfaction. Here at Westminster, a wedding is a service of Christian worship, meant to evoke the presence of God and inspire both participants and the gathered congregation. We hope the service will inspire memories of your commitment in the years to come and will be an experience of the presence of God at the onset of your covenant ceremony.

The content on this page has been written to help you formulate your plans for this occasion. It sets forth specific procedures, guidelines, and policies for all weddings held on our campus. Please review it carefully.

Interested in getting married at Westminster?


Wedding Policies

Weddings will be scheduled for active members of Westminster or the children of active members. Complete the wedding application here – please note that completing the application is the beginning of the process, not a guarantee of facility or pastoral availability. Submitting the application indicates that you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions in the wedding policy.

Within a week of your application, the office staff at Westminster will contact you to confirm facility availability, including confirming the pastor who will officiate your service and conduct your premarital counseling. Upon verification of wedding date, a $500 deposit is due to hold the date on the church calendar.

Review and select your music for the processional and recessional here. The Organist will confirm your selections via email. If other music requests are made, the Music Director will contact you to assist in making those arrangements.

Two months before the service you will be contacted by a representative of the Wedding Committee at Westminster to schedule an on-site meeting to review service logistics.

Once available, and before final confirmation with your printer, please send a proof of the
wedding bulletin to the officiating pastor and Director of Music.

Final payment and the wedding license are due to the Church Office ten days before the service.

“In civil law, marriage is a contract that recognizes the rights and obligations of the married couple in society. In the Reformed [Christian] tradition, marriage is also a covenant in which God has an active part, and which the community of faith publicly witnesses and acknowledges.”
—The PCUSA Directory for Worship W-4.0601

A wedding is a service of worship where God is glorified, the good news is proclaimed, marriage vows are made, rings are exchanged, and prayers are offered for the couple, the community, and the world.

Since the Christian wedding is an act of public worship by the couple and their church, the church’s pastor is responsible for the ordering of the ceremony. In a Christian wedding ceremony, the worship of God is central. The general order of service is below. Pastors may add items at their discretion and in conversation with you. The Director of Music will confirm placement of hymns and other music.

Prelude
Processional
Call to Worship
Statement on the Gift of Marriage

Prayer
Declarations of Intent

Affirmation of the Families/Congregation (if desired)

Readings from Scripture
Homily
Vows
Exchange of Rings
Prayer

Announcement of Marriage
Charge and Benediction
Recessional

Prior to your wedding, you will be required to complete three hours of premarital counseling with the officiating pastor. The pastor will work with you to schedule premarital counseling sessions.

If you wish to have a pastor from another church assist in the ceremony, please make that desire known to the officiating pastor of your ceremony. Once discussed and approved by the Session of the church, the pastor will be sent a formal invitation by Westminster requesting their participation.

Once the wedding date is set, the rehearsal is scheduled for the prior day. If you would like to request a change in the time of your rehearsal or wedding after the Wedding Application has been completed, you must contact the Church Office and the Wedding Committee. A pastor, wedding committee member(s), and the organist will be present at your rehearsal. They are responsible for guiding you through the service and interpreting our policies as necessary.

The music selected for the wedding must be sacred in nature and held to the same standards as music chosen for other worship services. If available, the Organist at Westminster will play for your wedding. If not, the Director of Music will find a suitable substitute.

Once your wedding date has been confirmed with the church office, please review samples of organ pieces suitable for prelude, processional, and recessional here . Select your preferences and submit the form. The Organist will contact you to verify your selections and to answer any questions you have. If you have special requests for hymns, soloists, or instrumentalists, please indicate those as well. The Director of Music will assist in making those selections.

Please note that the fee for your wedding includes an honorarium to the Organist. Requesting additional musicians will require additional payments. The standard fee for soloists and instrumentalists is $175 each.

The Wedding Committee performs the tasks of a wedding director for all weddings at Westminster. The Committee, in consultation with the officiating pastor, will be in charge of all rehearsal and wedding day arrangements pertaining to the service and use of space. There is no charge for the Wedding Committee’s service. The committee will schedule a meeting with you on Westminster’s campus two months prior to your service to ensure that you are spared unnecessary confusion or extra cost.

The committee seeks to be of valuable assistance to you and your partner. The committee will direct your rehearsal and wedding, instruct attendants and readers, and guide the timing of entrances. The committee does not organize or coordinate receptions.

Westminster’s sanctuary is designed as a place of dignified beauty and reverence. It does not require extravagant decoration. The following policies are strictly applied, and seek to preserve the proper atmosphere in the Sanctuary and safeguard the furnishings.

  • The couple may order two flower arrangements to be placed on the chancel (flanking the communion table).
  • The arrangements should be in florist-supplied containers.
  • The containers will sit on two large wooden stands.
  • Arrangements may be delivered two hours before the wedding.
  • Neither flowers nor candles will be allowed to mark pews.
  • Nothing may be placed on the Communion Table that is not regularly in the the sanctuary.
  • Following the service, the flower arrangements may be taken for use during the reception or at home. If left at Westminster, a church committee will distribute the flowers to elderly members.
  • Should you wish to have the flowers in the chancel remain during the next day’s worship service, please notify the Wedding Committee.
The church facility will be open two hours prior to your service. The Wedding Committee will arrive at Westminster one and a half hours in advance of the service. There are two spaces available to wedding parties in the hours prior to the service: The Choir Room adjacent to the Sanctuary Atrium and the Charter Room across from the Library.

Westminster is an alcohol-free campus.

In order to maintain an atmosphere of worship, the following guidelines must be carefully observed by photographers and videographers:

  • Photography of the wedding party may only begin an hour and a half prior to the time of the ceremony.
  • The photographer should work with the Wedding Committee to time pictures of the couple and their attendants.
  • Photography from the floor of the sanctuary during the service is strictly prohibited. Flash photography during the service is prohibited from either Loft or floor. The Choir Loft (balcony) is available for a wedding photographer and videographer provided they work without distraction.
  • Only one picture of the couple may be made by the designated photographer during the recessional from the Narthex door. No other pictures or video may be made in the Narthex before or during the wedding.
  • Following the service, the wedding party and family members should return to the sanctuary for pictures.
  • A photographer who deviates from these procedures will lose their privileges at Westminster.

Your cooperation in helping make this a time of worship and celebration is greatly appreciated.

The Worship Committee requests that you place the following sentence in your wedding program, “Wedding guests are asked to silence all cell phones and honor the Westminster policy prohibiting photography during the service.”

Westminster will provide a sound technician to run the sanctuary sound system. Westminster will also provide a video file of your service recorded using our high-definition cameras.

Please note that weddings will not be scheduled on Sundays or the following days: New Year’s Day, Holy Week (through Easter Sunday), Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve/Day, or weekends during Advent and Christmas seasons.

Covered in the cost of a wedding at Westminster are pastor, organist, custodial, and sound technician fees.

  • Member 15 months or less: $2350
  • Member 16+ months: $1350

Please note that a soloist fee is $175 above the listed cost and should be paid directly to the soloist. Ensemble and other fees should be negotiated with Director of Music and relevant musicians.