Marriage is a gift God-given to all humankind for the well being of the entire human family. Marriage is a civil contract between a woman and a man. Christian marriage is a covenant through which a man and a woman are called to live out together before God their lives of discipleship. In a service of Christian marriage a lifelong commitment is made by a woman and a man to each other, publicly witnessed and acknowledged by the community of faith. (W-4.9001)
Marriage is “instituted of God, regulated by His commandments, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and to be held in honor among all people.” Your wedding will be most meaningful to you and your families and friends when there is careful concern for the sanctity of the church and its services.
With the above statement as our guideline, we welcome your interest in having your wedding at The Bowling Green Presbyterian Church. The Church has been deemed an historical landmark by the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Presbyterian Historical Society, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior, as well. It is a meaningful setting for a traditional wedding.
Your wedding is a worship service. As such, it falls under the rules and jurisdiction of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Book of Order and the policies of this church’s governing body, the Church Session. One of the ministers of this church MUST OFFICIATE at weddings held in this church. A minister, priest, rabbi or other clergy may be invited to assist in the service if you wish. However, you must make application to the Session of this church who will invite that person to participate.
If a reception is planned at the church, this, too, must be scheduled with the Church Administrator and Coordinator and all appropriate fees paid.
Ordinarily, weddings at The Presbyterian Church are for members of the church, their children, grandchildren, or other family members. All couples MUST receive pre-marital counseling from the Pastor of this church who has been selected to officiate. This counseling must begin no later than three months prior to the date of the wedding.
Non-members may be married here, but must receive pre-marital counseling from one of our pastors (even if they have received/are receiving counseling elsewhere). Couples planning to be married in The Presbyterian Church should be active participants in the work, study, and worship of this church for six months prior to their wedding.
All those planning weddings at the church must present a duly authorized marriage license to the minister at the rehearsal.
I. Scheduling the Wedding
You must call the church and speak with the Administrator. You may reach the Administrator by phone at 270.843-4707 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. At this call, you may submit your choice for dates and ministers. The administrator will check the minister’s schedule and church plans and within a few days let you know if the church is available. Weddings will not be scheduled during Holy Week, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, national holidays, Thanksgiving weekend or at times when the church is being heavily used for programs (i.e., Vacation Bible School). The church will not be available for more than one wedding a day.
The Administrator will call you as quickly as possible to inform you if the date and time is acceptable. A meeting will be arranged between the minister, administrator, church coordinator and the bride and groom as soon as possible to discuss the wedding rules as set forth in this booklet. Fees will be explained to you. One-half of the costs are to be paid to the church administrator upon establishment of the wedding date. The remaining half of the costs are to be paid to the church administrator two weeks prior to the wedding day. This meeting is mandatory.
If a reception is planned at the church, this, too, must be scheduled with the Administrator and all appropriate fees paid.
II. Wedding Coordinator
The church will appoint a coordinator whose responsibilities will be to insure that all regulations are clearly explained and followed by all those participating in the wedding. The Coordinator will be in charge and decisions will be final.
Meetings with the Coordinator must be arranged on a timely and reasonable basis at the convenience of both parties and are necessary for effective planning. The Coordinator should be regularly updated as plans progress.
The Coordinator will be present at the rehearsal and at the wedding. If desired, she/he will start persons down the aisle as a service to you. Outside coordinators are welcome to attend the rehearsal; however, the Church Coordinator has the final responsibility for the rehearsal and wedding.
The Coordinator will have forms that must be filled out by the wedding party at least thirty (30) days prior to the wedding and returned to the church office. These forms will list the persons or businesses participating in the wedding and other pertinent information.
III. Availability of Church Building
The church will be opened no more than two hours total for the rehearsal, beginning one-half hour before the scheduled starting time. Please have all members of the wedding party attend the rehearsal and explain to them that there is a time limit on the use of the building.
On weekdays, florists, caterers, photographers, and other members of the wedding party should be aware that the church is open only during office hours.
On the wedding day, prior arrangements must be made with the custodian to open the building for florists and others.
The church will open three hours prior to the wedding for dressing and photography. Following the ceremony the church will be open a maximum of one hour. These limits will be strictly enforced. Please do not ask for exceptions.
If the reception is held at the church, the church will be open for three hours following the wedding service.
The church is a non-smoking facility. Alcoholic beverages may not be served or consumed within the building.
The wedding music should direct attention to God and should reflect a sacred nature. At lease one month prior to the wedding a meeting must be scheduled with the Organist and/or the Music Director to plan the music for the service. All selections must be approved by them including solos, etc. No taped music, auxiliary amplifiers, or speakers may be used in the sanctuary.
Only the Church Organist or Music Director will play the organ for the wedding unless he/she approves a substitute. If using instrumentalists or vocal soloists in addition, they must be approved by the music staff and practice arranged at a convenient time.
The Christian symbols in the Sanctuary will remain in place and must not be moved (Pulpit, Baptismal Fond and the Cross). They may not be hidden or obscured by decorations. The Communion Table may be moved straight back to allow used of the chancel, if necessary. Following the service it must be returned to its original place.
If candles are used during the service, they must be either dripless or mechanical and great care must be taken to avoid the danger or fire or melting wax damage.
The use of an aisle runner is strongly forbidden for safety reasons.
Decorations (flowers) may not be fastened to any permanent furniture, walls, or doors by means of nails, staples, screws, wires or clamps, tape, or anything that would leave a permanent mark.
The florist must make arrangements with the Church Custodian to schedule decorations on the day of the wedding and must remove all flowers from the sanctuary immediately following the service so that it may be prepared for the Sunday morning worship service. The sanctuary must be returned to its customary appearance.
Florists and/or the wedding party should check with the Coordinator to assure that the decorations in use are not damaging the furniture or building. The Coordinator’s decision is final.
VI. Photography and Videography
Pictures may be taken in the sanctuary up to 45 minutes prior to the service and following the service. (All photographic equipment must be removed from the sanctuary during this time limit as well.) Only non-flash photography may be used during the service and that must be from the balcony. During the processional and the recessional the photographer may go no farther forward to take pictures of the wedding party than the second pew from the entrance and must conclude immediately after the entrance of the bride. Photographers are not to move about taking pictures during the service.
Video recording is to be as inconspicuous as possible. All video cameras must be used in the balcony. No special video lights are to be used during the service.
It is the duty of the wedding party to insure that the photographers and videographers are aware of these policies. Guests at the wedding will be asked to refrain from using flash photography during the wedding and the wedding party should advise them of this.
The Minister will conduct the rehearsal, and all members of the wedding party are expected to attend. Your promptness is expected, and the rehearsal will begin on time. Please insure that proper attire for a church is explained to the participants. Please bring the marriage license, the unity candle (if using one) and stand, and a list of the wedding party to the rehearsal. If using a guest register, please have it available, although signing will stop 15 minutes prior to the service to expedite seating.
VIII. Receptions at the Church
The church Fellowship Hall is generally available for use for a reception following the wedding. There is some equipment available for use by church members only. The Coordinator will have a list of those items that may be used. The caterer must furnish all other items.
Most food preparation should be done elsewhere.
No rice, confetti, or birdseed may be thrown inside or outside the building.
Taped and secular music is permitted at the reception.
After the reception, the kitchen and the Fellowship Hall must be left completely straight and clean. All items such as food and equipment, linens, and decorations must be removed from the church following the reception.
IX. Dressing Facilities
The church parlor is set aside for use as a dressing room for the bride and her attendants prior to the service.
The groom, groomsmen and others in his party may use the 10th Street Parlor as a dressing room
These dressing rooms must be returned to their original state following the service. If possible, bring shopping bags for the attendants to keep their clothes in so that they may be quickly removed after the service. Please appoint a person to assist you in this responsibility.
The Coordinator will have a small supply of emergency items such as scissors, needle and thread, tape and pins on hand.
Pastor: An honorarium is appropriate if a church member so desires.
Organist: $250.00 for consultation and performance at wedding and rehearsal.
Custodian: $100.00 for wedding only. $150.00 for wedding and reception.
In addition, for non-members:
Security Deposit: $500.00
(returned upon inspection and release by wedding committee)
Fellowship Hall: $100.00
One-half of the costs are to be paid to the church administrator upon establishment of the wedding date. The remaining half of the costs are to be paid to the church administrator two weeks prior to the wedding day.