Members of North Congregational Church and their families are always welcome to celebrate their marriages at North Church. Friends, visitors and other guests may make arrangements for a wedding with the permission of the Minister. All weddings at North Church will be performed by Rev. Mary Biedron. For information on availability and costs, please contact the church office.
The fact that you are considering North Church for your wedding indicates that you have special values and concerns. You desire to have a ceremony characterized not only by dignity, reverence and joy, but also by the spiritual nature of a marriage ceremony that is an act of worship. The guests will gather not only to celebrate your marriage, but to give thanks for God’s blessing that you share. Understanding this, it follows that the ceremony is a service of worship in which certain forms will be observed.
There is some flexibility in choosing parts of the service, the music, decorations, pictures, etc. There are also guidelines that should be followed. Exceptions and alterations of these guidelines should be discussed with the Minister as she will make the final determinations.
PASTORAL INTERVIEWS AND CONCERNS Couples should plan to meet with Rev. Biedron well in advance of any public announcement of the wedding date in order to avoid scheduling conflicts. The Minister expects the opportunity to counsel with the couple regarding their readiness for marriage, the meaning of Christian marriage, and their plans and expectations concerning the ceremony itself. The number of sessions varies in each individual case.
All weddings will be conducted by a Minister of North Church. If a guest minister is to be invited to participate, Rev. Biedron must be consulted first. An invitation will then be extended by North Church to the visiting clergy. The Minister of North Church reserves the right to provide a replacement to officiate at the service and rehearsal if their personal or professional schedules make such a substitution desirable or necessary.
FACILITIES The Sanctuary of North Church has a seating capacity of about 300 persons. The Colby Pipe Organ and a piano are available for the ceremony. A candelabra can be provided. Rooms are available for the bride’s dressing room, and the groomsmen. In NO INSTANCE is it permissible to smoke or serve alcoholic beverages in the church building.
FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS You may provide floral decorations, special candles, a unity candle, bows, and a center aisle runner as desired; however, no nails, tacks, staples, clamps or scotch tape may be used on church furnishings. If necessary, masking tape may be used if removed immediately following the wedding. It is preferred that decorations be attached with ribbons or elastic bands. Arrangements for the delivery and set-up of the flowers must be made by the Monday prior to the wedding, through the church office. The church building is locked on Saturdays, so arrangements must be made for the florist to have access to the building. If you wish to donate the wedding flowers for the Sunday morning service, please inform the church office as soon as possible.
PHOTOGRAPHS Pictures of the wedding party are often taken before the ceremony, if time is allowed, or following the ceremony after the guests have exited. NO photographs may be taken while the service is in progress except: time exposures from the back of the Sanctuary or balcony pictures of the bridal party as they enter the Sanctuary. The recessional may be photographed from the back of the Sanctuary The taking of photographs is not to inhibit the movement of either procession or recession. It is the responsibility of the ushers to inform guests with cameras that no pictures may be taken during the ceremony. The Minister may halt the service if these guidelines are not observed.
MUSIC The music for your wedding service should be in keeping with the dignity and joy of such an occasion. Remember, it is a service of worship for the congregation you’ve asked to be present for this ceremony.
There are many fine pieces of music suitable for your service. A partial listing is available from the office should you wish to review these and make a selection prior to consultation with the minister.
The North Church Organist is available to play for weddings. You may use an organist of your choice with prior approval of the Director of Music. Please make arrangements for organist, musicians and soloist as soon as possible; do not wait until the last minute.
If you desire to have a soloist for your wedding service and do not know of one, the Director of Music will be happy to recommend soloists. Soloists’ fees are separate from the Church wedding fees.
THE REHEARSAL The rehearsal is an important part of the wedding preparation. It should be held no more than a day or two before the wedding and preferably before any dinner or other festivities. All planning for the wedding should be complete by this time. All those who have a part in the wedding should attend, including: bridal couple, attendants, soloists if they are new to the church, guest musicians, parents and any others assigned special parts in the service, and ushers. The marriage license should be given to the Minister at this time. All fees should be paid prior to the rehearsal. The usual order for the processional is: bridesmaids, maid of honor, flower girl, ring bearer, bride and escort. The groom and his party enter with the Minister. The rehearsal should begin promptly and will last no more than one hour.
THE WEDDING DAY Please discuss the time for opening the building with the church office. The Bride and Bridesmaids should arrive at least one hour before the service. The Groom and Best Man should be at the church 30 minutes prior to the service. Family and special honored guests should be assembled in the Narthex 10 minutes before the wedding. Ushers are to arrive 45 minutes before the wedding. Duties include ushering guests, lighting candles 15 minutes before the ceremony, informing guests of directions within the church and to the reception, ushering special guests in and out. A Reception Line may be formed in the Narthex, in the courtyard, or at the reception. The usual order for this is: bride’s mother, groom’s father, groom’s mother, bride’s father, bride, groom, maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids. We suggest that no rice be thrown as the couple leaves the building. Birdseed has been used at recent weddings for this ancient fertility custom. Nothing is to be thrown inside the building.