Wedding Guidelines (Click here for a printable pdf)
The members of Immanuel United Church of Christ wish you God’s blessing as you plan your wedding. We hope this information will make planning for your wedding easier.
Marriage is considered one of the highest forms of contractual agreement between two persons. It is a legal contract authorized by civil authorities and recognized by the State. As a legal contract, it can be entered into in the presence of a civil authority designated to perform marriages or any recognized minister or rabbi.
A marriage ceremony conducted in a Christian church is a service of worship offered to God. At least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian to be married in the Church.
For those who choose to be married in the church, may you recognize:
1. The marriage contract is more than a civil contract; it
has a sacredness that is acknowledged at the altar of
God and in the presence of those symbols which
represent our faith in God.
2. The covenant of love is nurtured by the love God has
for all humans. Your family and friends come to share
in this service of worship and to be witnesses of your
promises to each other, demonstrating their love and
support for you.
The minister will assist you in creating a service that will be meaningful and in keeping with the traditions of the Christian church.
MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION
Immanuel United Church of Christ is located in Cook County, Illinois. A valid marriage license issued by the Cook County Clerk’s office is required.
The minister meets with the couple for either one long or two short sessions prior to the wedding to establish arrangements for a meaningful service and to assist in determining if your marriage will be successful, based upon mutual respect, love, and faith in God.
WORSHIP AT IMMANUEL
If you have not found a church home, you are welcome here. The minister will be happy to give you information about becoming a member.
THE WEDDING SERVICE
A wedding service traditionally consists of a declaration of intentions, the exchange of vows and rings, prayer, the pronouncement of the marriage, and a benediction.
Additions to the service may include:
Congregational singing of hymns
Roses presented to the mothers
The wedding service ordinarily lasts 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of attendants and the design of the service. Personalizing the ceremony will be discussed at your first meeting with the minister.
The resident minister of Immanuel UCC officiates at all weddings. Exceptions to this rule must cleared with the Church Council.
If additional clergy are to be included in your ceremony, be sure to clear this with the minister at your first meeting.
Whenever possible, rehearsals will be held the night before the wedding. A rehearsal takes approximately one hour. The rehearsal requires the presence of the bride, groom, bride’s father, attendants, and ushers. It is helpful to have the parents of the bride and groom present.
The minister, assisted by the church wedding liaison, will instruct all who are involved in the ceremony.
The organist and soloist are not required to be present, but may be asked to attend if rehearsal is needed.
The church wedding liaison assists the minister and the wedding party during the rehearsal and on the day of the wedding. She will advise you on arrival times, arrangements for dressing at the church, and seeing that the procession is ready at the proper time.
All music should complement the spirit of Christian worship and must be approved by the church Music Director. He can assist you in choosing your music.
The church organist will play at all weddings in Immanuel UCC. Any changes in this policy must be approved by the minister and the organist.
FLOWERS and DECORATIONS
Decorating the church is the responsibility of the bride and her family. Your florist must make arrangements with the Church Wedding Liaison to access the building at a mutually convenient time. If you are leaving your flowers to be shared at the Sunday service, please inform the minister at your first meeting. Arrangements for removal of decorations must be made with the Church Wedding Liaison. Pew decorations must be attached with elastic bands; NO wires permitted. No church decorations may be taken down.
If you are planning to use one, you will need a 50' runner. Please arrange this with your florist.
Altar candles are provided by the church. A unity candle and stand must be arranged with your florist.
Wedding bulletins make it possible for your guests to participate in the liturgy of the service. It also facilitates identification of your attendants. The church office will prepare these bulletins for you at a cost of $40.00, plus the cost of the bulletin materials. Copy must be submitted two weeks prior to the wedding. You may prepare the bulletins yourself and have them printed elsewhere. Catalogs from which to order bulletins are available in the church office. Payment must accompany bulletin order.
PHOTOGRAPHY – VIDEO TAPING
Recording your wedding ceremony with video tapes, audio tapes and/or photography preserves precious memories. Please advise your photographer of the following guidelines prior to your wedding:
Video taping is allowed from a stationary position only.
Church will be available one hour before and after the wedding. No exceptions.
Please advise your guests that no flash pictures are allowed during the service. Your photographer may take photos during the service –no lights or flash.
The use of rice, confetti, or bird seed is not permitted in the church or anywhere on the property.
The minister will discuss the costs of providing for your wedding at your first meeting.
Use of facilities $350.00
Church wedding liaison 100.00
Music Director/Organist* 150.00
Minister’s honorarium 250.00
*Organist receives $25 per additional song to
accompany a soloist
A non-refundable deposit of one-half the facilities use fee ($175.00) must be paid when the date of the wedding is booked. ALL REMAINING FEES and the MARRIAGE LICENSE must be turned in to the church by the Monday prior to the wedding. Please issue separate checks to the church and the individuals involved. Holiday weekend weddings are subject to availablility of staff.
Smoking is not permitted within any of the church facilities. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the church premises. The sanctuary seats 175 comfortably, using the balcony (42 seats). Ample parking is available. At this time, our church is not handicapped accessible.