It is assumed that couples who request the service of the minister and the facilities of the Guilford Community Church desire that their marriage ceremony will be a Christian one. In the Christian tradition, a marriage ceremony is a service of worship in the church and as such is open to all church members. As a rule, it is the minister of the Guilford Community Church who performs weddings here; other ministers participate by invitation or agreement of the GCC pastor. The Christian marriage calls upon God, through the Holy Spirit, to bring the couple together and bless the marriage. Couples may be turned down for marriage at the church if their reasons for requesting a wedding do not fall within the Christian guidelines.
Please contact the minister regarding your request for a wedding at least six months in advance. Plan on visiting with the minister at least twice before the wedding. Please do not send out wedding invitations until after the second meeting with the minister, since determination about performing the ceremony is not made until the minister has done pre-marital counseling with the couple. Your license must be obtained between 60 days and one day before the wedding from your local Vermont town clerk. Give the license to the minister at the rehearsal; if there’s no rehearsal, give it to her/him before the wedding ceremony.
Use of the Building:
The fee for use of the sanctuary is $125, which is due at the rehearsal; if there’s no rehearsal, before the wedding ceremony. There is no fee if you are a member of the Guilford Community Church or immediate family of a member. Due to the small space, you should plan to have your receiving line at the reception site rather than the church. Additional rental fees are due if the reception is here.
No outside organist shall play for a wedding without first consulting with the GCC pastor. The fee for the organist is negotiated with the organist, plus additional costs if extra rehearsals with a soloist are required. The fee is given to the organist and to any soloists, at the rehearsal or immediately before the wedding service. Soloist’s fees vary. The minister has a list of organists and soloists available.
The minister shall receive an honorarium of at least $150.00 for the wedding, given to her/him at the rehearsal or immediately before the wedding. Honorariums for the pastor from members of the GCC are at the discretion of the member.
It is requested that no member of the wedding party show up for the rehearsal or wedding service under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the bride or groom seems to be under the influence, the minister can refuse to perform the service.
Photographers and others are requested to refrain from taking photographs during the ceremony, other than the processional and recessional. The minister will assist the couple in “re-staging” the wedding after the ceremony for photographs. If videotape is being produced, the video camera operator must remain stationary during the service. The video camera operator is asked to arrive at least one hour before the service to set up so as not to disrupt the service by moving around during or just before the wedding.
Rice, Confetti, Etc.
Rice, confetti, and plastic sprinkles are not environmentally friendly, and birdseed is slippery. Both also create a cleanup problem when tracked back into the church. Please inform your guests to refrain from throwing these items. Blowing bubbles outside is a good alternative.
Please leave the sanctuary in a condition ready for the Sunday Service.
We are pleased that you have chosen the Guilford Community Church, UCC, and its minister for your wedding service. We hope the above information will help clarify what you need to do before the wedding so you can have a meaningful and relaxed wedding day.