Our staff will make every possible effort to assure your wedding celebration is meaningful and enjoyable . . . we are here to serve you. Christian marriage is a “covenant” relationship between a woman and a man that embodies and re-presents God’s relationship to His people. Thus it is characterized by a spirit of generosity, trust, commitment, and forgiveness. It involves unique (“holy”) levels of expectation, openness, intimacy, vulnerability, cooperation, and fulfillment. Because of this, the ceremony is a “sacred” and meaning-filled occasion which celebrates all that God has done for the couple in the past and seeks God’s presence and blessings for the future. The following guidelines exist for weddings held here:
Initial contact must be made with the wedding coordinator, Cheryl Firth to set dates for the wedding and rehearsal. The couple will be expected to meet with the minister 3-4 times to get acquainted, discuss the meaning of the ceremony, and design the service. You may also be invited to participate in a Marriage Enrich survey, or a couple’s workshop.
Membership at Bel Air UM Church is not required in order to be married in the church, but faithful attendance at worship prior to your wedding is expected.
We encourage you to use the traditional ceremony of marriage of the United Methodist Church. Changes to the service may be discussed with the pastor in charge.
The wedding rehearsal is usually held the evening before the wedding. A wedding coordinator may officiate the rehearsal. The rehearsal usually takes an hour. All wedding participants, including the bridal party, ushers, and the parents of the bride and groom, should be there. Please don’t be late.
All wedding music must be appropriate for this worship celebration. The organist will assist in the selection of all instrumental and vocal pieces. He/she, with the minister’s approval, is responsible for all music included in the service. (Additional information is available from the organist.) Arrangements are to be made with our organist very soon after the date is secured. He/she will usually serve as the organist for the wedding. The services of other organists must be approved by Bel Air UMC ‘s organist.
Pre-recorded music can be played on our sound system. Vocalists, organists and/or pianists may be recommended by the church, unless you wish to select your own. You will need to contact and arrange for these musicians yourself. Final decisions regarding all the music and vocalists will be made through the church. The wedding coordinator will contact the sound technician for your rehearsal and service, if needed.
You may choose your own floral arrangements. The wedding coordinator can give you ideas for your décor. If the florist is unfamiliar with our sanctuary, have that person inspect the church prior to delivery.
The church has brass candelabras and unity candle holders which can be used. You may leave flowers to adorn the sanctuary for Sunday Worship services. Your celebration may be noted in the church bulletin.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO RECORDING
The couple is responsible for making arrangements with a photographer and/or videographer and for informing that person of the Church’s policy regarding wedding pictures. Only time exposures from the rear of the church may be taken during the actual ceremony. Videotaping during the ceremony (following processional, prior to recessional) must be done from the area at the rear of the church. All photographers and/or videographers are expected to respect the ceremony and practice common courtesy to guests.
Photography: No photographs are to be taken in the Sanctuary during the ceremony. Your official photographer may take pictures of the bridal party in the processional and recessional and prior to the wedding. Following the ceremony, after receiving and greeting your guests, the wedding party may return to the Sanctuary for any desired photographs. Please let guests and your photographer know that taking photos in inappropriate during the worship service.
Video Recording: Your wedding may be videotaped to add to your treasure of memories. We ask all video equipment remain stationary throughout the service.
The use of wedding bulletins is recommended. They not only provide an order of worship and names of the wedding party, but also can serve to remind the congregation not to take flash pictures during the ceremony, etc. These bulletins can be purchased by you or a local printer. Normally, you can have them printed where the covers are purchased.
The couple is expected to provide directions to the Church to all guests. These are usually inserted in the invitation.
The wedding license is available at the County Courthouse in Bel Air. A 48-hour waiting period is required.