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Weddings

Celebrating love.

Policies & Procedures

Center Church has a very open and liberal policy toward weddings in the church.  We invite couples that are not part of our church or our denomination to celebrate their marriage in the church with our pastor officiating.  Since we recognize that divorce sometimes happens and that life moves on, we do celebrate the weddings of persons who are divorced.  We are also an “Open and Affirming” congregation, which means that we support the full rights and dignity of gay and lesbian persons to marry.

All wedding requests are initially handled by our minister, so you must contact them to discuss your plans.   The church’s policy is that wedding ceremonies are performed by our minister, but in certain cases, exceptions can be made.  However, the decision is the minister’s and must be discussed with them.

Once you have spoken with the minister and the date has been set, the church sexton will forward a contract to you to fill out and return.  This is most easily handled by email, but hard copies can also be mailed. We ask for a $250 deposit, which will be fully returned should you cancel, unless the cancellation is less than a month before the wedding date.

 

Music

We have a beautiful Fisk pipe organ, and if you would like organ music, you must use the services of our organist.  However, you are free to make other music arrangements.  Some people hire string trios or other musical groups.  Sometimes a friend or family member provides piano music.

We also have a Steinway Grand Piano, which a competent pianist can use without charge.

Please note that Pratt Hall has a sound system available, but the Meeting House does not.  The Sexton can provide details.

 

Process

A few months before the wedding, the minister will ask the couple to come in for a discussion about marriage.  This is not marriage counseling, as much as it is a way for the minister to become acquainted with the couple so they can write a service to reflect the couple’s identity.

The minister will also ask questions to encourage the couple to think deeply about the meaning of the commitment they are making.  Questions can include: how the couple met; religious affiliation and background, if any; what the family of origin is like—siblings, parents, childhood; strengths and weaknesses of the relationship; hopes and dreams; how anger and finances are handled.

The minister will also go over the order of service, and decisions about readings, vows, etc. are made.  Usually this takes at least a few hours, and sometimes a couple will come in more than once to finalize plans.

As anyone can see from the pictures, Center Church is a beautiful space for a wedding.  But it is more than a beautiful space; it is a house of worship, where, since 1638, people have been gathering to hear and ponder God’s Word and to celebrate and mark the joys and sorrows of life.  A wedding is certainly a great joy, and those who marry at Center Church become part of a long history.

For more information or to get the process started, please contact us.