on your engagement! As you prepare for your special day, First Baptist invites
you to explore the amenities we offer for creating a wedding that will celebrate
the sacred union you are making together in God's presence. We pray that
your marriage will be a life-long celebration of love, commitment and faithfulness.
the text in the box "Weddings at First Baptist" to jump ahead
at any time.
To arrange for your wedding
to be held at First Baptist, first you must contact our pastor and make
an appointment to meet with him. At this meeting you will discuss the nature
of a Christian marriage, including your religious backgrounds, past and
present involvement in church life, where you two are in your spiritual
journeys and why you wish First Baptist to be the location for your wedding.
Both members and non-members, including those of non-Baptist backgrounds,
are welcome to be married here. The final determination as to who may be
married at First Baptist is left up to the discretion of the pastor.
If the pastor
agrees to officiate and is available on the date you have chosen, contact
the church office to schedule the event. Reservations should be made well
in advance of your wedding to ensure the availability of your date. The
exact time for the rehearsal, the ceremony, and reception (if being held
at the church) must be established when the church facilities are reserved.
Your reservation will be confirmed and the wedding day officially scheduled
when your date has been approved. No announcements should be made publicly
or invitations sent out until the date has been confirmed to you by the
church. Weddings cannot be scheduled that will conflict with church services
or prior scheduled events. Weddings may be held during certain special events,
such as the Christmas season, with the understanding that any decorations
already in place cannot be removed or changed. Once a wedding is placed
on the calendar, church activities will not be scheduled which will conflict
with or disturb the wedding or reception.
Both the Sanctuary and the Hull Chapel are available as possible sites for
your wedding. The Sanctuary seats up to 300 people, while the Hull Chapel's
more intimate setting holds a maximum of 60 people. Brides and their bridesmaids
may dress for the ceremony in the church library. The pastorís study is
available for the use of the groom and his party. Both the Sanctuary and
Hull Chapel may be heated, as weather permits. There is no central air-conditioning.
of the Pastor
Weddings at First Baptist are performed by our
pastor. The marriage ceremony is a worship service and is one of the most
sacred rites the pastor performs under the authority of the church. We do
allow guest clergy to assist or perform the service on a limited, pre-approved
basis. If our pastor is unavailable for your wedding date or you wish for
another minister to perform the service, either jointly or singly, permission
must first be granted by our pastor and the Board of Deacons. Please remember
that allowing a guest clergyperson to officiate is the exception, not the
norm. If a joint service is held, our pastor reserves the right to set the
order of the service, the theological content and the responsibly for assisting
or leading the ceremony. An honorarium is expected for the pastor's services,
which includes pre-marital counseling.
the rush to prepare for the wedding day, sometimes it is easy to forget
that marriage is a gift from God and signifies the beginning of a new life
together, founded in your Christian faith. Preparation for the deep and
loving commitment you are making is an investment in each other. To offer
you support and encouragement in developing skills that will promote a strong
Christian marriage, a minimum of four sessions of counseling with the pastor
is an essential part of preparing for your marriage. The pre-marital conferences
you will embark on will be spent not only talking about the specific details
and the significance of your wedding ceremony, but will also focus on your
marriage relationship within the context of the Christian faith. The bride
and groom should arrange sessions with the pastor as far in advance as possible
in order to enjoy an adequate period of time for planning and consultation
regarding the wedding ceremony. If another clergy-person is performing the
ceremony, our pastor will consult with him or her to ensure counseling has
To ensure that your wedding service goes smoothly,
we provide at least one church host to assist with the rehearsal and
your wedding day. The host is a liaison between you and the church.
They will assist the minister prior to the ceremony, care for church
property, and ensure that appropriate communication regarding the churchís
policy takes place. The host may direct the ushers before the ceremony,
as well as guests unfamiliar with the church building. Additionally,
they are on hand to assist with any last-minute emergencies. If you
choose to hire a wedding consultant or coordinator, that person will
work directly with the church host.
wedding rehearsal should be scheduled when the wedding date is set. Rehearsals
are usually held the day or evening before the wedding, and typically last
one hour. The purpose of the wedding rehearsal is to assure that each participant
in the wedding party can contribute to the spirit of worship during the
wedding ceremony. As such, all persons involved in the service should be
present and on time. The bridal party, speakers, parents and anyone else
directly involved with the wedding ceremony should be present to learn of
their special responsibilities and to ensure that everyone is well-prepared
for your wedding day. The rehearsal is held under the direction of the pastor,
assisted by our wedding host and any wedding consultant you may provide.
Our church organist
and choir director coordinates the music for weddings at First Baptist.
All music used in the wedding ceremony needs to be approved by her. A pre-wedding
consultation with the director will help you in selecting appropriate pieces
to enhance your special day. It is your responsibility to contact her for
an appointment, and we ask that you do so well in advance of your wedding,
preferably soon after the wedding date has been cleared. Any vocialists
or instrumentalists may be of your own choice. The use of an outside organist
is possible at the director's discretion, but our director has the right
of first refusal. Any guest organist will need contact ours to set up a
rehearsal time for use of the organ.
If you would like a sound technician to be available during the ceremony,
appropriate arrangements can be made with the director. Special materials,
such as a CD of music, must be approved by her beforehand and coordinated
with the sound technician assisting in your wedding. We ask that no equipment
be used without a sound technician or the director present.
is not allowed during the wedding ceremony, but is permitted during the
processional and recessional. Professional photographers should be inconspicuous
during the service. Videotaping of the ceremony is allowed as long as the
camera is stationary and unobtrusive. We recommend the view from the balcony
if you are using the Sanctuary. No artificial lighting is allowed. Please
arrange to have your photographers and videographers meet with the wedding
host prior to the ceremony to ensure the best positions can be accommodated.
Following the service, photographers are welcome to pose any portion of
the wedding ceremony. If interested in taking portraits prior to the wedding
ceremony, we ask that you inform the pastor and schedule a time that would
be appropriate in advance. Also, the pastor will be available for posing,
if desired. Pictures with the pastor in them should be taken before group
photos of the wedding party and families.
for the wedding ceremony should be kept within the bounds of simplicity
and good taste to enhance the quiet beauty of the Sanctuary or Hull Chapel.
Only candles may be placed upon the altar table. Two pairs of altar candelabras
with 14 tapers per set and a white linen runner in several different lengths
are available for rental. Please use protective coverings on the floor to
ensure that candle wax does not damage the carpet. Other equipment should
be provided by the florist or families. No pins, tacks, staples, glue or
tape are to be used, as they damage the finish and paint on the furniture.
We encourage the use of plastic hooks for hanging decorations, which can
be obtained from the church office. Additionally, the microphones hanging
above the choir loft and in the front of the church may not be touched (pulled
back, tied up, etc.), nor can pews or chairs be removed. All decorating
materials and debris should be removed from the Sanctuary or Chapel at the
conclusion of the wedding service. If any floral arrangements are being
donated to the church, please inform the pastor in advance.
You are welcome
to arrange for the printing of a wedding bulletin to pass out prior to the
ceremony. Although the church does not provide this service, the pastor
will consult with you in outlining the order of service and otherwise assist
you with the content of the program.
A valid marriage license must be obtained from the office of the Register
of Wills at the Washington County Courthouse. The license must be received
by the church office no later than one week prior to the date of the wedding.
This is an important detail, so be sure to obtain the marriage license well
in advance of your wedding date.
If you are interested in holding your reception at First Baptist, our Fellowship
Hall and commercial-sized kitchen are available for use. The church has
both rectangular and round tables available, as well as folding chairs.
The Hall can seat up to 125 people. Caterers should provide all other items,
according to your preferences. Please note that no dancing, tobacco, or
alcoholic beverages are permitted, and music played at the reception should
be "dinner music" only. Unless special arrangements have been
made, the kitchen is not to be used for the cooking or preparation of food.
Some couples choose to serve refreshments and a light luncheon prior to
the wedding for their families and/or the wedding party. If you wish to
use the facilities for this purpose, necessary arrangements can be made.
For custodial reasons, all food and drink needs to be confined to the Fellowship
Hall. Out of consideration for our custodial staff, we ask that receptions
conclude at a reasonable hour. Please consider that although most weddings
are on Saturdays, the custodian must prepare the church facilities for Sunday
morning use. Thank you for your understanding of the needs of the church
in these regards.
While theft is a very rare occurrence, you should not leave purses or other
valuables unattended in the church during the wedding ceremony. Unless the
wedding reception is being held in the Fellowship Hall, wedding gifts should
not be brought to the church. If your reception is being held at the church,
gifts brought by guests should not be left unattended. First Baptist is
not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged items.
Tobacco and alcohol in any form are not permitted on the premises. Food
and drink are not allowed outside of the Fellowship Hall. Throwing confetti,
rice, or releasing balloons are not permitted for custodial and environmental
reasons. We recommend using flower petals, birdseed or bubbles, and ask
that any remnants be used only outside and swept up after the service. Often,
couples wonder what hospitality should be extended to the pastor. Keep in
mind that it is not necessary to invite the minister to your reception,
and because of time demands he is sometimes unable to attend. If couples
wish to have the pastor attend their reception, with or without his spouse,
please be sure to send an invitation as you would to any guest. If possible,
he will attend your reception, and if desired, provide a blessing for the
meal. Any other special requests for your wedding ceremony must be granted
by the pastor prior to the wedding rehearsal.
contact us for further details regarding
the fee schedule and date availability.