Wedding Policy and Guidelines
We encourage our church family to use of our Sanctuary for weddings. We are convinced marriage is a sacred act and ought to take place with the full blessing of the Church and in the House of God. A wedding ceremony is a time of worship. Nothing in your life is more sacred than your relationship to God and each other. There are only two institutions that God has ordained, the church and the home. Therefore, marriage is a sacred institution, ordained by God Almighty. Marriage is always a three-way relationship involving Almighty God, man and woman. It should never be entered into lightly. In His Word, God said:
It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a help meet for him. -Genesis 2:18
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one ﬂesh. - Genesis 2:24
The Apostle Paul said: Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. - Ephesians 5:25
To make the sacred ceremony marriage most meaningful Fellowship Baptist Church has adopted the following policies:
1. Both the bride and groom must be a Christian and active in the Fellowship family. There is a minimum one year waiting period for those who become a part of the Fellowship family before the Sanctuary may be used for a wedding. Our sanctuary is not allowed for use of non-member weddings. Further Fellowship Baptist Church will not permit the use of the Sanctuary, facilities or staff for weddings that are in violation of the biblical positions as listed in the FBC Confession of Faith.
2. Hebrews 13:4 instruct us that marriage should be honored, and the marriage bed kept pure. Therefore to honor the God ordained institution of marriage the Church Sanctuary is reserved for marriages of couples that are not currently living together out of the bonds of marriage. If a couple is currently residing together out of the bonds of marriage and would like to use the Sanctuary, the Senior Pastor or one of our church staff will be happy to perform a private ceremony immediately. Then a formal public ceremony may be planned for a later date using the Sanctuary.
3. An appointment with the Senior Pastor or his designate should be made by the bride and groom as soon as convenient, before the date of the wedding has been finalized or announced.
4. Many times a bride and groom would like to ask a family member or a close family friend who is in the ministry to perform the wedding ceremony. The use of another minister as the officiant is welcomed. However, the bride and groom must first request this from the Senior Pastor during their initial appointment and the Pastor approves the requested minister. He must serve in a church of like faith and practice. Further, the minister must be bonded in the state of West Virginia to solemnize wedding ceremonies. Please note a staff pastor may be required to participate in the service along with the guest minister. The guest officiant must subscribe to the values of Article 21 of the Fellowship Baptist Church Confession of Faith that states:
Article 21. The Family. God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24: 15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51: 5; 78: 1-8; 127; 128; 139: 13-16; Proverbs 1: 8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13: 24; 14:1; 17: 6; 18: 22; 22: 6, 15; 23: 13-14; 24:3; 29: 15, 17; 31: 10-31; Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12; 9: 9; Malachi 2: 14-16; Matthew 5: 31-32; 18: 2-5; 19: 3-9; Mark 10: 6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7: 1-16; Ephesians 5: 21-33; 6: 1-4; Colossians 3: 18-21; 1 Timothy 5: 8, 14; 2 Timothy 1: 3-5; Titus 2: 3-5; Hebrews 13: 4; 1 Peter 3: 1-7.
5. The wedding date is not confirmed until the Senior Pastor signs the wedding checklist found at the end of this policy.
6. Most weddings will require rehearsal when all the participants and parents of the bride and groom can be present. Usually this, too, is held by appointment the evening before the wedding.
7. There is no charge for the use of the sanctuary to a member in good standing. A member in good standing is defined as a person/persons who attends FBC consistently and regularly supports this ministry thru giving tithes, lives a life of morals compatible to the values expressed in Scripture, and publicly professes Christ as Savior, has followed Him in Believer's Baptism and is in agreement with the FBC Confession of Faith. For Church members in good standing there is a $65 clean up fee for the use of the Sanctuary if you are not using the church facilities for your reception. However, if you use the Sanctuary and a Fellowship Hall to cover the expense of the janitorial services the following fees are in place:
Room 204 ~ 75 - 100 guest capacity - $100
Rooms 210 ~ 101 - 175 guest capacity - $200
Caterer Use of Kitchen Fee - $65
8. WEDDING SCHEDULE: There cannot be any weddings scheduled for a Sunday or a Holiday Weekends.
9. PHOTOGRAPHER: Flash pictures may be taken as the Bride enters the sanctuary and leaves the sanctuary. It is permissible for pictures to be taken from the rear of the sanctuary, if flash is not used. Photographers and persons with cameras are asked to follow directions of the Pastor and refrain from any distracting activity during the ceremony itself. The photographer and any assistants as a professional are asked to dress in a manner that is appropriate for a church wedding.
10. No Fellowship Baptist Church resource shall be used in any wedding function that serves alcohol, imitation wine or champagne. These resources would include ministers, support staff facilities and/or equipment. This policy would encompass the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the reception. It is expected of members of the bridal party will refrain from alcoholic beverages before the wedding and rehearsal. The bride and groom are responsible for making this rule known to their attendants. The minister reserves the right to refuse to permit members of the wedding party from participating in the marriage service if in his judgment they are intoxicated. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the church building (including the restrooms and dressing areas) or on the church grounds.
11. There shall be no rice or birdseed passed out or thrown. An increasing number of wedding parties are using "bubbles" in place of rice and birdseed.
12. Candles in all candelabras must be metal sheathed, and any other candles used must be metal sheathed. No decorations are to be hung or suspended from the lighting fixtures or ventilators. No pews or other furniture can be moved at any time. No nails, staples, tacks, glue or tape shall be used to fasten any decorations to the furniture, columns, building or carpet. Only wrapped wire or ribbon that will not mar the pew ends shall be used to fasten bows. Clamps for pew candleholders must be padded and not leave any residue or markings on the pews.
13. Please do not use the church furniture as ladders or move it as this may cause damage. If you are going to need a ladder, please contact church maintenance through the church office.
14. Persons whose weddings are held during special Christian seasons may not remove items or banners placed in the sanctuary for the observance of those seasons. Weddings within the two weeks prior to Christmas or four weeks within Easter are discouraged. We encourage couples to choose other times in consideration of the other activities within Fellowship Baptist Church during those seasons.
15. The bride and her family are responsible for all personal items brought to the church. If rented or borrowed property is used, it is their responsibility to see that it is returned immediately after the wedding. The church shall not be liable for anything that is lost, stolen or damaged.
16. THE MARRIAGE LICENSE - West Virginia law requires that a marriage license be obtained. It is the Bride and Groom's responsibility to get the Marriage License. Please check with the Wood County Clerk's Office for current fee requirement. There is a 24-hour waiting period, and the license is good for 60 (sixty) days. A Wood County marriage license is required for weddings conducted at Fellowship Baptist Church. The marriage license should be presented to the minister at the time of the rehearsal.
17. REHEARSAL DINNER - The minister and his wife never attends the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception unless invited. These invitations, if you desire to extend them, should not be made the night of the rehearsal or day of the wedding. Rehearsal dinner needs to be after the wedding rehearsal, and if Pastor Lands is performing the ceremony, the rehearsal will not last longer than one hour.
18. THE RECEPTION - Fellowship Hall and the kitchen may be used for simple receptions following the wedding service (no dancing, live bands, or D.J.'s'). No receptions shall begin after 3:00 P.M. on Saturdays in our Fellowship Hall.
19. USE OF CHURCH VIDEO EQUIPMENT- You are welcome to record your wedding ceremony using our video equipment. You will need to request this from the Media Director with at least a month's advance notice. A fee is charged for equipment usage, and suggested cash gift of $50 to video director and each camera operator would be appreciated for those giving of their time to video your wedding. There is a $10 charge per DVD of the recorded wedding.
20. SOUND SYSTEM - If it is necessary for you to use our sound system during the ceremony, please recognize that it will be necessary for a sound operator to be present for the rehearsal and service. Please remember they are giving up an evening and afternoon with their family for your wedding. While there is no fee charged, it is appropriate that you present the sound operator with a cash gift keeping with the amount of time in rehearsing and the ceremony itself. A suggested $75 cash gift for the sound operator and his family is always an appropriate gift.
21. MINISTER'S HONORARIUM - The Minister's Honorarium should be in keeping with the size of the wedding and the amount of time and responsibility involved in counseling, rehearsing, and officiating the wedding. If Pastor Lands is officiating the ceremony for an active church member, then the honorarium is not necessary. As the Pastor, he feels it is his God-given honor and responsibility to serve a church member in the capacity.
22. SNOW REMOVAL- If your wedding falls within the winter months and it happens to snow it is the wedding party's responsibility to cover the cost of having the snow removed - $100.
23. DECORATION OF THE CHURCH
The bride orders flowers from the florist of her choice.
Flowers for weekend weddings may be left for the Sunday morning worship service, if desired.
We do not furnish an aisle runner. An 80-foot aisle runner is needed for our sanctuary.
Unity candles may be used on the altar, and as part of the ceremony. The church does not furnish them.
You may begin decorating the church on the Friday before the Saturday wedding.
24. WEDDING MUSIC
Our sanctuary organ is an Allen Church Organ. If there is a friend or relative that you would like to have play, they must first be approved by our organist. Our sanctuary offers a Kurzweil Keyboard. If there is a friend or relative that you would like to have play, they must first be approved by our keyboardist.
The music is a very special part of your wedding ceremony so it deserves careful consideration. Since you have chosen to be married in the church and you are asking God's blessing upon your marriage, your music should reflect this in its character and style. We would encourage you to choose music of good quality, which is suitable for use in the church. This would include the text of any vocal music you wish to include in the ceremony. You may consult with the pastor to help you determine if your musical choices are appropriate. We hope this will help you in choosing your wedding music and making your ceremony more meaningful to you.
25. WEDDING PARTY DRESS
Most weddings are formal in the attire for the wedding. However, some are become more casual. Regardless, these are guiding principles to make certain your wedding is tasteful and appropriate to the setting the Lord’s Sanctuary. When selecting your wedding gown and attendant(s) dresses, please remember to maintain dignity along with grace and style. Excessively low-cut or cleavage-exposing style dresses and strapless or spaghetti strap style dresses are not allowed. For more information please speak to the Church Wedding Coordinator. Shorts are not allowed for the groom or adult groomsmen.
We are happy that you have chosen Fellowship Baptist Church as the place for your wedding. With these basic facts before you, and in consultation with the pastor, we trust that this high point in your life will long be remembered by all as a happy and sacred occasion.
What is the requested date of your wedding? _____________
Second choice? _____________
NOTE WEDDINGS CANNOT BE SCHEDULED FOR A SUNDAY OR A HOLIDAY WEEKEND.
I understand the policies set forth in the FBC Wedding Policies and Guidelines and agree to provisions set forth:
SENIOR PASTOR’S SIGNATURE:
Please return this document to the church along with the completed Wedding Check List.
Wedding Check List for Church _____________
Meet with Pastor and discuss wedding date and details. What time? _____________
Meet with Church Wedding Coordinator to discuss the usage of the facilities. _____________
What time? _____________
Meet with Church Wedding Coordinator approximately 3 weeks before the ceremony to finalize plans for the wedding. _____________