Wedding Policy

Grace Community United Methodist Church recognizes the marriage ceremony as one of the most sacred services in the lives of a couple as it is celebrated in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  We are glad you have asked to have your wedding at our church and as we rejoice with you we are committed to assisting you in preparation for marriage as well as assisting you in planning your wedding.

The Administrative Council of Grace Community United Methodist Church has approved the following guidelines to ensure that your wedding fulfills this high meaning and purpose.

Pastor
Kim Eanes
803-548-4078

 

Worship Pastor/Music Director
Cathy Trotter
803-548-4078

Wedding Coordinator
TBD

Scheduling
Contact the Pastor to check his availability for the chosen wedding date.  Speak with the Pastor concerning premarital counseling.  This consultation should be held as early as possible, and before any definite plans are made.  Pastors from other churches may conduct or assist in conducting the wedding, provided that Grace Community‘s pastor grants permission and issues the invitation.  The wedding license should be turned in at least three days prior to the rehearsal.

Contract & Wedding Application
Completion of the Contract and Wedding Application (forms attached) for use of Grace Community Church facilities should be returned to the Wedding Coordinator who will then place the date for your wedding on the church calendar.  Generally, at least a two month time interval between the reservation date and the wedding is required.  A $100.00 security deposit is required at the time of the reservation to hold the dates of your rehearsal and wedding; this applies to Grace Community members and non-members alike.  Any costs incurred for any damages or clean-up beyond regular maintenance will be deducted from the security deposit; balance if any will be applied to other charges set forth in contract (see below.)

Wedding Coordinator
The use of a wedding coordinator appointed by Grace Community Church is required.  As soon as the wedding date is scheduled on the church calendar, our Wedding Coordinator will contact you for a personal conference to discuss policies and answer questions.  The Wedding Coordinator of this church must be used, even if choose another Coordinator to be involved.  Our Wedding Coordinator will assist you with rehearsal and wedding details, help you with matters of policy, coordinate other Grace Community personnel who might be required (see details below) and provide access to church facilities when needed.  The Wedding Director’s fee is not optional and must be paid.

Music
As soon as the wedding date has been reserved, you should contact the Worship Pastor/Music Director of our church concerning the dates, program, and fees that will apply.  If another musician is to be invited, he or she must be approved by the Worship Pastor/Music Director.  All music to be performed must have prior approval of the Worship Pastor/Music Director.  Live music is preferred.  Recorded music and other media must be approved by Worship Pastor/Music Director and technical staff.  All media must be provided in acceptable format at least seven business day in advance of your wedding date.   Reserving the church does not include reserving the Worship Pastor/Music Director nor other church staff members.  Worship Pastor/Music Director and Senior Pastor must be contacted by you personally.

Audio & Video Technical Services
Any use of the worship center sound system, CD player, video, PowerPoint, microphones, amplifiers, etc. requires a trained Grace Community sound technician be present at the wedding service, and most likely at the wedding rehearsal.  The sound technician(s) fee(s) includes attendance at the rehearsal and wedding.  Grace Community can provide at an additional charge a digital audio recording.  Grace Community can prepare audio visual presentation at additional charges.

Decorations
Wedding decorations should enhance the church as a place of worship.  The following policies are provided to guide you in decorating the worship center:

  • The florist must furnish whatever equipment is required, such as suitable vases, stands, etc. for arrangement of floral decorations.
  • No tacks, nails, tape or glue should be used to fasten decorations on the woodwork, furniture or walls.
  • Small pins may be used on the back of cushioned congregation chairs.
  • The furnishings, floor, and carpet should be carefully protected at all times from moisture, wax and marks.  Candles must be of the non-drip type and must be placed in a candle holder.
  • No candles or decorations are to be placed on the piano.
  • The piano may not be moved.
  • Equipment and furnishings on the stage may be moved only by Grace Community staff members.
  • Seating and furnishing arrangements must be approved by the Wedding Coordinator or Pastor at least seven business days in advance of the rehearsal date.  The seating arrangement of the worship center may not be changed without approval of the Wedding Coordinator or Pastor prior to the wedding day.
  • When the worship center or building has been decorated for Advent, Christmas, Easter or other liturgical seasons, these decorations may not be removed or changed without special permission of the Wedding Coordinator or Pastor.
  • Flowers and decorations should be in place at least 90 minutes prior to the wedding.
  • All flowers, decorations, personal and contractor belongings must be removed immediately following the wedding and the building returned to its original condition.
  • The bride and groom are responsible for notifying the florist, or other persons handling decorations, of these rules.

Photography and Videotaping
The bride and groom are responsible for making Grace Community policies known to photographer(s), family and wedding guests.

When the wedding ceremony begins, flash photography in the worship center is discouraged, and is expressly prohibited during the banns and vows.  Flash photography may be used in the rear of the worship center as the wedding party begins processional (ingress,) and as the wedding party begins recessional (egress.)  Photographs may be taken in the gathering area before the ceremony.  The wedding party may return to the worship center after the ceremony for pictures which should last no longer than one (1) hour following the conclusion of the wedding service.

Photographers may not be moving at the front of the church once the actual ceremony has begun.  If they are located on the stage, they must remain stationary.

Videotaping is permitted, provided the equipment is discretely and inconspicuously placed.  Video equipment placed in the front of the worship center must be preset or operated by remote control.  Cameras are not to be placed in front/center, directly behind the pastor.  An operator is permitted with equipment placed in the back of the worship center or discreetly seated among guests.  The Wedding Coordinator or Pastor can discuss and review your special requests and plans for recording, photographing and videographing your wedding, but must be done so in advance.

Wedding Programs
If you desire a printed program as part of your wedding, the preparation and printing is the responsibility of the bride and groom.  The Pastor will work with you to determine the order of worship.

Reception
Facilities are very limited at Grace Community Church for a reception and therefore any plans for a reception at the church must be fully discussed and planned with the Wedding Coordinator.  If you are planning to have more than 50 people in attendance at your reception, the church may not be used for your reception.  Depending on your plan, limited refreshment services may be planned and provided by Grace Community hospitality staff at additional charge.  Use of outside caterers, contractors, family, friends and others must be discussed and planned with Wedding Coordinator in advance.  Limitations apply; additional charges may apply.

Dressing Areas
Dressing areas will be available for all members of the wedding party and will be shown by the Wedding Director during the initial conference.  Please do not have dresses and tuxedos delivered to the church prior to the arrival of the wedding party.  All personal items and clothing should be removed from the building immediately after the wedding service.  Grace Community is not responsible, will not be held liable, and will be held harmless for loss or damage of your personal belongings and property, and those of your guests.

Additional Guidelines

  • In fairness to the Pastor, Worship Pastor/Music Director, Wedding Coordinator and others involved, the rehearsal should begin promptly as scheduled.
  • The Church does not assume responsibility for personal clothing and other valuables left in the church building before, during or after the rehearsal, ceremony, or other times.
  • No alcohol of any kind may be served, consumed, or present on church property.  No one (including any member of wedding party) is permitted on church property under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants, and will be escorted away.
  • Smoking and tobacco products are not permitted anywhere on church grounds.
  • Nothing may be thrown within the building to celebrate the marriage.  Bells may be used within the building or outside and bubbles may be used outside the building.  Rice, confetti, birdseed, sparklers and similar items may not be used outside the building.  All other items must be approved in advance by the Wedding Director.
  • Please make sure all members of your wedding party are informed of these guidelines.

User Liability
The family reserving the church premises and equipment is responsible for any damages that may occur during the course of the rehearsal, set-up, wedding, reception and clean-up.  The wedding party is responsible for restoring all spaces and equipment to proper order.  Any damages must be reported to the Wedding Coordinator as soon as possible.

Grace Community Church will not be responsible for the loss or theft of any valuables or personal property.  It is suggested that valuables not be left in the dressing areas during the wedding.