Weddings at Eastminster

Weddings at Eastminster Presbyterian ChurchA wedding in a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation is considered to be a service of worship. Therefore the Presbyterian convictions about worship come into play. These convictions are certainly not the only way to worship, nor do we even claim they are the best way. They are simply our way. Generally speaking that means that God is central in all of our acts, the Word is instructive, and people play a vital role in the service. In weddings at Eastminster, the congregation is invited to participate through the hymns, psalms, and prayers.

The primary officiant at a wedding is, ordinarily, the installed Pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church and, according to our Book of Order, the service is under the sole direction of that officiating Minister. Other Ministers may be invited and are graciously welcomed to assist the primary officiant in the service.

The form of the service is based upon the Book of Common Worship of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). A sample worship bulletin showing the framework of this service is available from the church office. To adequately lead the service ordinarily the church keyboard musician or someone secured by the church is the primary musician for the service. Fees for the use of this staff member are assessed based upon the “going rate.” This fee is listed on the Building Reservation Form (form follows).

Music included in the service should be appropriate to any service of Presbyterian worship. Vocal music is chosen so that its text reflects an awareness of God who is the Source of all life and love, and/or the images of life and love expressed are consistent with a Presbyterian understanding of Holy Scripture. Instrumental music should reflect the distinct nature of a service of worship. Music need not be limited to that which is “traditional” in nature, nor is it limited to organ or piano. All music is offered by people who are part of the service, and therefore recorded music or accompaniment is not appropriate in this service. (Music of a purely secular nature is inappropriate in our understanding of the wedding service. This includes those pieces that have in former days been known as the “traditional” processional and recessional. We suggest that the wedding reception may be an alternative place where such music, which might not otherwise be appropriate in the wedding service itself, could be used.)

Decorations used in the sanctuary are not to be unduly elaborate—certainly not obscure the symbolism of the sanctuary itself. General guidelines may be found in the building Covenant of Agreement).

Photography of the wedding provides an important record of the events. But the wedding must not be dominated by the mechanics of photographic or video record. Specific regulations for photography will be provided for those who wish to use Eastminster’s facilities for a wedding.

Some Information for Non-Members

Weddings at Eastminster Presbyterian ChurchThe nature of the design of our church sanctuary has made it a setting where many who are not a part of the Eastminster family have envisioned their wedding. Those who are not members of Eastminster are welcomed—not merely tolerated—but welcomed to share our church “home.” We serve a gracious God, and we want our welcome to reflect that same graciousness.

The fees that are charged non-members for the use of the building do not, in our own understanding, constitute a rental of space (as one rents a room at the Holiday Inn). The members of the Eastminster family have paid for the construction and maintenance of these facilities in their regular giving as tithes and offerings which are received at each Sunday service. These fees simply give non-members the same opportunity as members to have a part in the maintenance and care of these facilities. You become, in a sense, a “temporary part of the family.”

In sharing our church home, we ask only that you also be willing to share our family traditions as well. Whatever happens within our home reflects upon our own values and beliefs as a congregation.

One’s wedding is one of the most important moments in life. It should fit the desires of those who are being married and should provide happy memories. If those desires and memories may be accomplished within the framework of the family traditions of this congregation, then we are happy to discuss being a part of it. For a complete overview, we encourage you to review the Building Reservation Form, Building Covenant of Agreement, and sample Order of Worship.

Should you decide that Eastminster is the place for your wedding, please return the necessary documents to the church office and schedule the required consultations with the Minister.

Some Notes for Wedding Photographers

It is the responsibility of those employing a wedding photographer to assure that a copy of these notes is in his/her hand and the principles agreed to prior to the wedding day.

Weddings at Eastminster Presbyterian ChurchFirst of all, let us say that you are most welcome to this celebration at Eastminster Presbyterian Church. Your good work will provide the visual memories of one of the most significant events in the life of two people. We realize also that your livelihood is based upon your work at events such as this.

Weddings at Eastminster are considered to be a service of worship. Priorities associated with worship are not contradictory to your priorities in pursuing your livelihood, but may take different directions. We want to do everything we can to be gracious hosts to everyone and to work in harmony together.

In establishing the following guidelines, we are not trying to be unduly restrictive, but please understand that they, like most “rules and regulations,” grow out of prior experience.

  • The taking of pictures prior to the service is, of course, shaped by the wishes of the families involved and their alacrity (or lack of it) of their being dressed and otherwise prepared for those pictures. However, whatever the circumstances, all pictures are to be concluded in the sanctuary 30 minutes prior to the scheduled beginning of the service, and elsewhere 10 minutes prior to the service. Under no circumstance shall the taking of pictures delay the timely beginning of the service.
  • Families have reserved particular areas in the building for activities surrounding their wedding celebration. If other areas not so reserved are used for picture-taking settings, please understand that those making the reservations may forfeit their building deposit as a result.
  • Once the call to worship bell has sounded and the processional begun, no flash pictures are to be taken at all until the recessional begins, and no pictures at all are to be taken during this time from the sanctuary chancel or nave. Under no circumstance shall the procession as rehearsed be interrupted or delayed by the taking of pictures.
  • This sanctuary is very light at almost anytime of the day before sundown and is usually conducive to pictures taken with “available light.” Such pictures may be taken during the service from the narthex at the main aisle door or from the balcony. Other shots which may be needed from a closer position during the ceremony itself may be “re-staged” after the service.
  • Videotaping of the service is certainly permissible. An operator-controlled video camera may be used in the balcony. If frontal views are needed, a “fixed” (without operator) may be placed on a tripod at the foot of the pulpit steps. These may be later edited together. They have been so done on previous occasions with very satisfactory results.
  • Pictures with flash may be taken from the main aisle door during the recessional.
  • Pictures taken following the service are a matter between the families and the photographer. Our experience indicates, however, that any picture-taking session that exceeds 30 minutes is disrespectful of the time and patience of wedding guests who are waiting for a reception to begin.

Sunday Schedule

  •   8:30 AM Breakfast
  •   9:30 AM Church School
  • 10:30 AM Fellowship Time
  • 11:00 AM Service for the Lord's Day