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Wedding Policies

We are pleased that you have chosen Griffin First United Methodist Church for your Christian wedding.  We will try to do everything possible to make this the joyful, Christian experience it should be. 

The following guidelines and policies are designed to aid and facilitate making this a happy and memorable occasion for all concerned.  There are certain church policies which must be strictly followed – no exceptions. 

It is the bride’s responsibility to become familiar with these policies and see that they are observed by the wedding party, florist, photographers and musicians.  THESE POLICIES CANNOT BE CHANGED ON THE WEDDING DAY BECAUSE THE BRIDE DID NOT CONSIDER THEM IN HER PLANS. 

Our church, through its Worship Committee, has organized a Wedding Committee.  The people on this committee have been trained and are there to help you make this day a very memorable one.  Shortly after you make your wedding arrangements with the church, a member of this committee will call you.  This person will be your Wedding Director.  If you have chosen a commercial bridal consultant, it is understood that the bridal consultant will work within our church policies and with the Wedding Director from our church. 

SCHEDULING

All initial reservations for church facilities are to be made with the church office (770-228-3020).  Tentative dates may be cleared by phone, but to reserve a definite wedding date, a deposit of $200.00 must be made within one week of the phone conversation.  A copy of the Wedding and Reception Policies and Procedures will be furnished, as well as a wedding form that is to be returned with the deposit.   

Weddings are not permitted on Sundays and major holidays due to church programming.  There will be no weddings during Holy Week.  Sanctuary weddings during Advent must use the decorations already in place.  Nonmembers of Griffin First United Methodist Church may not schedule a wedding more than six months prior to the desired date. 

The wedding license is to be in the church office one week in advance of the wedding. 

OFFICIATING MINISTERS

Only Griffin First United Methodist ministers are allowed to perform weddings in the church.  A guest minister may assist with approval by our clergy staff.  The bride must furnish the name and address of the assisting minister.  All couples being married in the Sanctuary or Chapel are required to have one or more counseling sessions with the minister who is performing the service.  The sessions must be scheduled directly with the minister. 

The minister’s fee is listed under fees.  This fee is for services rendered for counseling, the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony.  This fee will be included with the total money due to the church. 

ORGANIST

It is strongly suggested that the bride engage the church organist.  If a guest organist is desired, the Director of Music must be contacted for approval of this person and the musical selections.  Arrangements of rehearsal time must also be made with the Director of Music.  Vocalists or instrumentalists must arrange rehearsal time with the organist. 

MUSIC

A wedding is a sacred service, and the music must be conducive to the worship of God.  It should be in keeping with the seriousness of the purpose, yet reflect the festiveness of the occasion.  Classical and contemporary selections should emphasize not only the love shared by the couple, but also the love that God has for them.  Secular love songs are more suitable for the reception following the service.  Taped or recorded music is discouraged. 

FACILITIES

Rooms for the bridal party and groomsmen are available for the convenience of all members of the wedding party.  Your Wedding Director will show you these rooms.  The church, however, does not guarantee the security of these rooms and cautions all persons that it cannot be responsible for valuables left in these rooms.  All personal items should be removed and the rooms left clean. 

DECORATIONS

Care must be taken to protect all church property.  The following guidelines must be observed.  It is the responsibility of the bride to relay information to the proper individuals and to make sure people connected with the wedding abide by these regulations. 

  • No furniture or fixture may be moved or removed from the Sanctuary or Chapel.
  • The church has a kneeler and two seven branch candelabras.  Lighters are also available.  Scheduled use of these items must be made with the Wedding Director.  
  • All candles must be mechanical.  Mechanical candles are available from the church at no charge.  Candelabras and candles may only be used inside the chancel rail.  No extra candles may be placed on the altar.  If you wish to use a Unity Candle, you will need to rent this from your florist.  Unity candleholders must use mechanical candles.
  • No nails, tacks, staples or tape may be used to attach decorations to the walls, floors, pews, woodwork, furniture or doors.  
  • Live arrangements may be placed on the altar table in the Sanctuary or under the cross in the Chapel.  The height limit is 36 inches for the Sanctuary and 18 inches for the Chapel.  Artificial flowers are strongly discouraged.
  • All decorations must be in place two hours prior to the ceremony and removed immediately following the ceremony.  You and your florist are responsible for removing all decorations from the church.  If your reception is at another location, the decorations must be removed before you leave for the reception.  It is a good idea to assign this task to a close family member or friend.  If the altar arrangement is to be used for the Sunday morning worship, it may stay in place.
  • The Flower Girl may not drop live flower petals in the sanctuary.  Silk or any other material is allowed.
  • Seasonal decorations placed by the Worship Committee may not be removed.
PHOTOGRAPHY

Please inform the photographer and friends that ample time will be allowed for the pictures before and after the ceremony.  It is a service of worship and NO FLASH PICTURES may be taken during the ceremony.  The photographer and equipment must not be visible, so that all attention is focused on the wedding party and the ceremony taking place. 

AUDIO/VIDEO

Video cameras may be operated from the balcony as long as excessive movement is not distracting.  Cameras on the main level must be stationary and must be completely hidden in the decorations.  Operators may not be visible.  Your Wedding Director can help you with good locations for this equipment. 

POLICIES

By order of the Fire Marshal, smoking is not permitted inside any of the church buildings. 

Alcoholic beverages of any kind are prohibited on the church premises, including the church grounds and parking lot.  

Due to the hazard involved, rice, confetti, and fresh flower petals are prohibited from being thrown anywhere on the church premises.  Birdseed is permitted outside the buildings.   

Food and drink are to be confined to the reception area.  No food or drink is permitted in the Sanctuary or Chapel. 

WEDDING AND RECEPTION FEES

Fees for weddings are charged in accordance with the following schedule for the use of the church facilities and personnel. 

In accordance with First United Methodist Church Trustees regulations, a six month membership is required in order for member fees to apply. 

As stated earlier, tentative dates may be cleared by phone, but to reserve a definite wedding date on the church calendar, a deposit of $200.00 must be made within one week of the phone conversation.  The deposit is refundable after the wedding if no damage has occurred to the church, or the church’s equipment, and the building is left clean.  The balance is due thirty days prior to the wedding date.  All checks for fees should be made to Griffin First United Methodist Church. 

A set-up sheet for receptions must be turned in to the Church at least two weeks prior to the wedding date. 

The bride is responsible for relaying all information regarding the wedding policies of the church to the proper individuals and to see that they are followed.

FEES FOR MEMBERS OF GRIFFIN FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Minister: $150.00

Organist: $200.00

Sanctuary or Chapel: No Charge

Fellowship Hall: $50.00

Reception Room: $25.00

Kitchen Fee: $100.00

Use of Reception dishes (includes dishwashing): $25.00

Wedding Director: $100.00

Sexton Fees

   Wedding only: $30.00

   Wedding with rehearsal: $50.00 

   Wedding, rehearsal & reception: $65.00

Mandatory Janitor Fees

   Without reception: $100.00

   With reception: $150.00

A security deposit of $200 is required.

FEES FOR NON-MEMBERS OF GRIFFIN FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

 Minister: $150.00

Organist: $200.00

Sanctuary: $600.00

Chapel: $200.00

Reception Room (under 125 people): $100.00

Fellowship Hall: $200.00Kitchen Fee: $100.00

Use of Reception Dishes  (includes dishwashing): $75.00

Wedding Director: $150.00

Sexton Fees:   Wedding only: $30.00 

   Wedding with rehearsal: $50.00  

   Wedding, rehearsal & reception: $65.00

Mandatory Janitor fees  

   Without reception: $100.00  

   With reception: $150.00 

A security deposit of $200 is required.

CHECKLIST FOR THE BRIDE
  • Tentatively schedule the wedding date on the church calendar.
  • Schedule minister for the wedding.
  • Return wedding form and deposit within one week of initial phone conversation.
  • Call Wedding Director and set up meeting time.
  • Schedule organist.
  • Contact Minister of Music.
  • Decide on appropriate personnel: Florist, Photographer/Videographer, Caterer, Guest Musician
  • Schedule pre-wedding counseling session with minister.
  • Pay balance of wedding fees 30 days prior to wedding date.
  • Wedding license to the church office one week prior to wedding date.