If you are thinking about getting married at Grace United Methodist Church,
here is our “How to” manual:
We are pleased that you have chosen Grace United Methodist Church of Valley Stream for your wedding. Marriage is ordained by God as a gift for men and women. Marriage is strengthened greatly when God is made a partner to the covenant. Your wedding in the church will signify to all how sacred you deem this event.
HOW TO PROCEED
First, call the Pastor to secure a date on the Church calendar. Since there is some demand for specific dates, and since marriage should be carefully and thoughtfully prepared for, you are requested to make your initial contact with the Pastor far in advance of the preferred wedding date. Non-members must find someone who is a member of Grace Church who will be willing to act as a sponsor, who will personally accept responsibility for the fulfillment of the requirements set forth in this brochure, and who will be present at the wedding.
The Pastor, by agreeing to officiate at your wedding, is thereby accepting responsibility for your marriage. The Pastor wants to help you in making the very best beginning possible. Accordingly, you — both bride and groom — will be expected to meet with the Pastor at least three times before the actual wedding date. If you would like to have a guest pastor assist or officiate at the wedding, such an arrangement will be made with the pastor’s consent and at her written invitation.
The wedding ceremony is an act of divine worship. The music should therefore be selected with this purpose in mind of making this a holy and reverent event. Since the ceremony is both a joyous celebration and a worship service, music which is scriptural and which gives glory to God is most appropriate. Hymns are being used increasingly, giving the wedding guest greater participation in the service through such music. Hymns like “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,” “Now Thank We All Our God,” and “O Perfect Love” are appropriate for use as processionals, recessionals or at some other point in the service. There is a wealth of music, both classical and modern, which is suited to the wedding service. You are most welcome to make an appointment with the organist to discuss the music for your wedding, including any request you may wish to make. The Organist’s telephone number is (516) 825-1940. The conference with the Organist should take place well in advance of the wedding date. In the absence of such an advance conference the choice of music will be at the sole discretion of the organist. Soloists are available to sing at your wedding. Arrangements should be made through the organist.
SOME HELPFUL HINTS
The couple should bring the marriage license to the Pastor at the time of the rehearsal. The fees for the use of the church, and the services of the pastor, organist, and sexton should also be presented at the time of the rehearsal. Bulletins appropriate to the proposed wedding ceremony are available to list the order of worship, the participants, and greetings from the couple. All information must be given to the Church Office one week prior to the wedding. Again, we are happy that you have chosen Grace Church. We join you in the prayer that your wedding will be a most beautiful beginning to an even more successful marriage.
DECORATIONS AND FLOWERS
The Church needs very little to decorate it. One or two bouquets will be sufficient for floral decorations. The Communion Table, Pulpit, Cross, and Baptismal Font should not be moved or hidden in any way. Flowers may be affixed to the pews only with ribbons or rubber bands. If you wish to leave the flowers for the Sunday service, notice will be given of your gift in the Sunday announcements. The flowers will be taken to shut-ins after the service and delivered with your best wishes. No rose petals of any color (even white), may be thrown on the carpets or runners.
The very special significance of your wedding service should not be intruded upon by a photographer who, in doing his job, walks about the Church to get the right angle. The photographer is not permitted to block the view of any of the guests, to be near the altar during the ceremony, to use any type of flash/lighting, or to set up equipment that would block the view of the guests. You will want a wedding, and not merely the record of a wedding. Photos/Videos of the wedding ceremony can be taken following the actual wedding. The officially designated photographer may, as the one slight modification to this rule, take pictures during the ceremony, using existing light from the following places: balcony, side aisles, rear half of center aisle. These rules also apply to the individual taking videos of the ceremony. Both the Photographer and Videographer must speak with the Pastor prior to the wedding ceremony.
You are encouraged to read and consider carefully the following wedding vows you will exchange, bride and groom, during the wedding service: “I, N., take you, N., to be my wedded wife (husband), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.” When exchanging rings, the couple says: “N., I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Church members are asked to make a $200 donation to cover the Church’s expenses. Non-members are required to give $400 for the Church and $375 for the Pastor. The fee for the organist is $300. Organist’s rehearsal with bridal party is $75. If a soloist is desired, an additional fee will be charged: $50 for rehearsing one selection with soloist; a 2nd selection (with same soloist) would only be $20 additional. The sexton will be given $100. Non-members of the Church will also pay a non-refundable deposit of $200 to reserve the date of their wedding.
Persons who have been divorced and now wish to remarry are welcome at Grace Church. THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE of the United Methodist Church provides that Pastors may remarry divorced persons when they [the Pastors] are satisfied by careful counseling that (1) the divorced person is sufficiently aware of the factors leading to the failure of the previous marriage; (2) the divorced person is sincerely preparing to make the proposed marriage truly Christian; and (3) sufficient time has elapsed between the divorce and the contemplated marriage for adequate preparation and counseling. More simply put, come and talk with the Pastor.
If for any reason outside of Grace Church’s control, the wedding ceremony begins more than 30 minutes past the scheduled time, there will be an additional fee of $200.
WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED
1. Smoking in the Church or on the Church grounds.
2. The serving of alcoholic beverages in any of the Church buildings.
3. Confetti. It is very difficult to sweep up especially on damp or rainy days, and it will stain the carpets/sidewalk.
4. Rose petals (any color). They stain the carpet.
5. Bubbles are not to be used in the Church.
6. Glass containers of any type are not be used in the Church or on the Church grounds.
7. Flat Bird Seed is permitted (no hard kernals, etc.). Rice is not permitted.
8. If horses are used the bridal couple will have someone clean up immediately after departure.
Reverend Gertude Nation, Pastor
Eileen Robertson, Church Administrator
21 South Franklin Avenue
Valley Stream, New York 11580
Telephone: (516) 825-1182