THE WEDDING POLICY OF
ST. PAUL’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, TREXLERTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
A wedding conducted at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ (heretofore known as St. Paul’s UCC) is, above all, a worship service. As such, all weddings will be done in a tasteful, religious, and worshipful context.
Your wedding may be as elaborate or as simple as you desire. Whether public or private, large or small, you will want to make this ceremony as beautiful, meaningful, and reverent as possible. This requires careful preparation and planning.
SETTING THE DATE
Please call our office to inquire about the availability of a pastor and a date for the Sanctuary for both rehearsal and wedding. Weddings are not scheduled at St. Paul’s UCC until after an initial appointment between one of our pastors and the couple. Weddings are not scheduled on traditional holiday celebrations. We prefer not to do weddings during the six weeks of Lent (the six weeks prior to Easter). Weddings during the four weeks of Advent are approved with the understanding that the Sanctuary decorations will not be removed/moved for the wedding ceremony. The wedding ceremony will be conducted by one of our pastors. When it is the wish of the couple to invite another pastor to assist in the ceremony, the couple must first discuss it and have it approved by a St. Paul’s UCC pastor before an invitation is extended. In all cases, the invitation will be extended to other clergy only by a St. Paul’s UCC pastor.
INCLUDING THE WORSHIP LEADERS AT REHEARSAL DINNERS/RECEPTIONS
If you would like the pastor, organist, and/or their significant others to attend the rehearsal dinner and/or the reception, you must extend an invitation at least one week before the rehearsal. They will not attend without an invitation. Please be advised that they must coordinate it with their schedules, and as such, may not be available.
When ordering your invitations, the suggested wording for enclosing directions to the church is as follows:
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
1249 Trexlertown Road
(the intersection of Trexlertown Road and Church Lane,
0.3 miles south of Hamilton Boulevard)
Trexlertown, PA 18087
Written directions and maps for inclusion in your invitations are available on the church website.
The marriage license is obtained by the couple being married. The marriage license can be delivered to the church office in the week prior to the ceremony or given to the pastor at the rehearsal. Under no circumstances will the wedding be performed without presentation of a valid marriage license.
CONSULTATIONS WITH PASTOR
The pastor will require three meetings before a wedding is performed. The initial meeting with the pastor and/or wedding coordinator, is where general information regarding the wedding is acquired. You will be required to complete a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator inventory or similar inventory, and a personal/family background inventory. You will complete it at home and return it to the church office at least two days before your scheduled meeting with the pastor.
In any wedding, music adds dignity and reverence. The organist of St. Paul’s UCC will be happy to make arrangements for your wedding music. Music that is not considered a part of the normal organist repertoire may be used - per approval by the organist but it will be the wedding party’s responsibility to supply the music if the organist does not have it in his library. Mr. Randall Perry, our senior organist, needs to be contacted as soon as possible to discuss your wedding music. He may be contacted at (570) 325-9440. In the event that Mr. Perry is not available, St. Paul’s UCC has access to substitute organists that may be supplied. FYI, only St. Paul’s approved organists will be used to play for the wedding service.
Wedding music for use at St. Paul’s UCC should be evaluated with the following criteria: we take seriously the truth that this is above all a worship service and appropriate music is the standard. If you wish to use music not in the normal repertoire of wedding/sacred music, it must be approved by Mr. Perry. If he has questions regarding the appropriateness of said music, he will confer with the officiating pastor. Please note: you must speak with Mr. Perry no later tha n six weeks before the wedding. All music must be approved at least four weeks before the wedding. Last minute music substitutions are not permitted.
Some couples hire a professional photographer to take photographs on their wedding day; others ask a friend of the family who may be an amateur photographer. It is wonderful to be able to record this special day on film, whether still or video, in order to be able to relive the memories.
To insure that we maintain a sense of reverence during the service and to be sure that worshippers are not distracted by the photographer(s) during significant moments of the service, we have developed the following guidelines for photographers:
At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, the officiating pastor will bring a general welcome to the congregation and include in those remarks the following statement: Because this is a worship service, photos are not permitted during the ceremony by anyone other than the paid/selected photographer for the wedding.
For the designated photographer, the following criteria must be followed:
For still photographers, flash pictures may be taken only during the processional and recessional. Processional and recessional pictures may be taken by the designated photographer, provided the movements of the wedding party are not blocked in any way. Once the service has begun, available light photographs may be taken from the rear of the sanctuary. Following the service, if the couple so desires, portions of the service can be re-enacted and the photographer takes pictures at that time [Any photographs taken with the pastor must be taken at the very beginning of the after wedding photographs].
For videographers, we have designated two places in the sanctuary where video cameras may be set up. No artificial lighting may be used for video cameras. The video photographer must remain stationary throughout the entire service. The locations for videographers are: the area in front of the elevette on the left side of the Sanctuary, the open area between the front rail and the chancel rail, over next to either side wall, or, if available, the area that is used for those with disabilities may be used if it does not interfere with those needing that seating area.
ABOUT THE SANCTUARY
The center placed aisle (from the glass wall to the lower chancel step) is 64 feet long, and 4 feet 2 inches wide. There are seventeen rows of pews plus a privacy rail with pew ends. Please indicate to the wedding coordinator if you wish to use the front (Trexlertown Road) or rear (Church Lane/ramped) entrance for leaving the building.
You are not required to purchase flowers for the altar for your wedding. However, if you would like to do so, we recommend you call Macungie’s Posey Patch (610) 965-7673 in Macungie. This is the florist from whom we purchase altar flowers for our Sunday services and they know the exact size of bouquets that will look appropriate on our altar. They also have a key to our church building and therefore you will not have to make special arrangements for delivery.
If you choose to order altar flowers from another florist, you will need to arrange for their placement in the church. Normally, the church building is open 1.5 hours before the scheduled time of the marriage service.
If you would like your altar flowers or other floral display(s) to remain in the church sanctuary for the worship service the following Sunday morning (with a notice in our Sunday bulletin that the flowers are placed in honor of your marriage), please call the church office at least two weeks in advance to make these arrangements.
Please be advised that we have very nice embroidered pew caps to use for reserved pews. These are available for use to those who elect not to buy flowers or bows to mark and/or decorate the pews. Any flowers, bows, etc. used to mark or decorate pews should never be attached with any kind of tape.
The church provides two candles for the altar, along with a set of seven-candle candelabra, for all worship services.
Wall candle sconces are available for candlelight weddings. Candles for the wall candle sconces are obtained from the church. The cost per wedding for their use is $50. For safety reasons pew candle holders are no longer allowed.
Couples choosing to have a Unity Candle in their service must purchase that candle as well as two individual tapers from which to light the wedding candle. You also must provide appropriate candle holders.
Aisle runners are not permitted.
The service of the church sexton is needed to prepare the church facilities for the wedding and to clean following the ceremony. With no exceptions, the cost of this service is included in the cost of your wedding.
Many couples provide worshippers with a bulletin. If you choose to do that, we will print the bulletins here at the church or you may take them to a professional printer. The bulletins themselves must be purchased by the couple. The content, layout, and order of worship in the bulletin must be approved by the officiating pastor, or the wedding coordinator, prior to being printed. If the secretary of St. Paul’s Church is to print the bulletins, the content must be given to her two weeks prior to the worship service.
Two local stores that stock wedding bulletins are
Hackman's Bible Book Store, 1341 Mickley Road, Whitehall and
The Way to Emmaus, 1325 Chestnut St., East Penn Plaza, Emmaus.
A suggested order of worship might be:
THE WEDDING OF GROOM AND BRIDE
SEPTEMBER 2, 2020
HALF PAST FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON
ST. PAUL’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, TREXLERTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
THE ORDER OF WORSHIP
PRESENTATION OF THE BRIDE
DECLARATION OF INTENTION
PLEDGE OF SUPPORT
VOWS OF THE MARRIAGE COVENANT
EXCHANGE OF SYMBOLS (rings)
ANNOUNCEMENT OF MARRIAGE
A rehearsal date should be set at the initial meeting with the pastor and wedding coordinator. The usual time for the rehearsal is the evening before the wedding. One hour is allowed for the rehearsal. The entire wedding party is expected to be present and on time. For our purposes, the wedding party consists of: bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers, ushers and parents. In other words, anyone who will be in the wedding, or who will have a responsibility before, during, or after the wedding ceremony. The rehearsal will start at the appointed time and will conclude one hour later, regardless of whether or not all participants are present.
THE WEDDING DAY
St. Paul’s UCC provides changing space for the bride, groom, and their attendants. The entire wedding party is required to be at the church no later than one hour prior to the ceremony. This will allow time for last minute details. FYI, a wedding coordinator will be at the church at the appointed time for the rehearsal as well as the wedding day, so that last minute problems may be handled by her. The cost of this service must be included in the cost of your wedding. It is not an optional fee.
CHURCH FACILITY POLICY
The property and furnishings of the church will be respected. As such:
- The throwing of rice, confetti, or bird-seed following the service is not permitted.
- Any flowers, bows, etc., used to mark or decorate pews should never be attached with any kind of tape.
- Any substance that might prove harmful to persons, property, or nature, is not permitted.
St. Paul’s UCC does not allow smoking or drinking of alcohol in any part of the building. Failure to comply could result in the wedding ceremony being canceled at the last moment.
It is your responsibility to ensure that these policies are followed.
EXPENSES AND FEES
A wedding at St. Paul’s UCC costs $650 for non-members and $250 for church members.
All fees are due in the church office by Friday the week prior to the rehearsal/wedding.
Please note that the rehearsal will not take place - nor the wedding performed - until all fees are paid.
Please make all checks payable to St. Paul’s UCC Wedding Account.
(Member - Non-Member)
Deposit (non-refundable)* ($200 - $200)
Sanctuary (No charge - $200)
Pastor (Honorarium only - $200)
Organist ($150 - $150)
Sexton ($100 - $100)
*THE DEPOSIT WILL BE APPLIED TO TOTAL FEES
Please note that the bride and groom will be required to sign a contract at
the initial meeting with the Pastor or Church Secretary acknowledging
that they have reviewed the St. Paul’s UCC wedding policies at that meeting and
that they agree to follow these stated wedding policies for their wedding.
They will also need to read and sign the Facility Use Permit Form
mandated by the St. Paul’s UCC Property Board.
THE (REVISED) ST. PAUL’S UCC WEDDING POLICY
WAS APPROVED BY CHURCH COUNCIL OCTOBER 5, 2010.
You can download the Wedding Policy at the following link. Click Here to Download