WEDDING PLANNING

The information below is taken from the West Des Moines United Methodist Wedding Planning Guide.  If you are interested in holding your wedding at West Des Moines United Methodist Church, please review this information and contact the church office at 515-279-0826 to set up a time to meet with our wedding planner and Pastor Cindy Hickman.

West Des Moines United Methodist Church Wedding Planning Guide

WEDDINGS AT WEST DES MOINES UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

A wedding is a Christian service of worship celebrating and witnessing the covenant — vows made by a man and a woman before Almighty God and in the company of family and friends.

It is assumed that your reason for requesting a Service of Marriage in the church is because of your own Christian faith and a desire for a service in praise of God and asking God’s grace for your life together.  Therefore, the following policies and counsel are provided with great care by your pastors and church to assist you in making your wedding most meaningful.

It is the responsibility of the couple to inform all members of their party of these policies and procedures as appropriate to them and to do so well in advance.

Your pastors and church staff have considerable experience that is available to you in planning for a meaningful wedding service.  We wish to be as accommodating to you as possible.  Consider us part of your planning team and consult with us no later than 6 months prior to your wedding date. Both the bride and groom should read and be aware of the guidelines presented in this packet.

 

BEGINNING YOUR WEDDING PLANS

 

Scheduling

Reserve your wedding date on the church calendar by consulting with the office as early as possible.  Non-member weddings will be allowed at the discretion of the pastors.  If you schedule as a non-member you will be required to pay non-member rates regardless of your membership status at the time of the wedding. 

Weddings must be scheduled for no later than 4:00 p.m.  No weddings or rehearsals may be scheduled on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, or the days immediately before or after these holidays. Certain days will also be exempt ie; the Saturday after Vacation Bible School week, the Saturdays before Cantata presentations, the Saturday before the children’s Christmas program.  Weddings held during the special seasons of the church year will be required to use the decorations found in the sanctuary at that time. Church decorations – including pictures, decorative wall hangings and banners – may not be removed. 

Once it is determined that one of our pastors is available on your preferred date, you will need to meet with that pastor to review the wedding guidelines and ask any questions you may have about being married at West Des Moines United Methodist Church. Your wedding date will be tentatively held until this meeting occurs (usually within 10 days of your initial inquiry), but won’t be fully confirmed until after your meeting with the pastor.

 

Deposit

As an assurance of a scheduled wedding date and as a protective measure that all guidelines outlined in this document will be followed, a deposit of $125 must be paid at the time of confirmed scheduling. The wedding date will not be entered on our calendar until the deposit is paid. The deposit will be refunded to the person paying it a few days after the wedding ceremony, provided all the following conditions have been met:   

  • No property damage inside or outside of the church
  • No rice is thrown
  • No birdseed inside the building
  • No smoking inside the building
  • No alcohol consumed on the premises of the church
  • The wedding party will use only the rooms assigned to them.

If the wedding is canceled within one month of the date, the deposit may not be refunded.

 

Wedding Coordinator

One of our wedding coordinators will be assigned to you soon after your wedding date is secured. The wedding coordinator will be your point of contact for all matters other than counseling, music and planning the ceremony. The wedding coordinator will be present at your rehearsal and on your wedding day during the time your wedding party is present.  Your wedding coordinator will help with such things as opening rooms for the bridal party, training your ushers, organizing your processional and arranging the chancel.  

 

Clergy

A pastor of West Des Moines United Methodist Church will officiate at all weddings.    Our pastors will be open to including another pastor in the service if requested. Consult about this early with the assigned pastor.   

 

Consultations with Pastor

The couple should contact the WDM UMC pastor soon after the assignment is made to arrange several (usually at least 3) pre-marriage consultation dates.  The purpose of these sessions is to:  1) become acquainted as pastor and couple, 2) plan the details of the wedding, and 3) discuss marriage, relationships, and your faith.  The sheet entitled “Wedding Information for the Pastor”(located on pages 9-10 of this document) must be taken to the first consultation session. All pre-marriage consultation meetings must take place during normal business hours, with the latest consultation scheduled no later than 4:00 p.m.  

United Methodist pastors are appointed to their churches from July 1 through June 30.  This could necessitate a change in the officiating pastor for a particular wedding. 

 

THE WEDDING SERVICE 

A wedding is a Christian worship service and should be planned with the best worship arts and sensitivity. 

The order for The Service of Marriage of the United Methodist Church will be used.  You are encouraged to review the wedding service on page 864 in the United Methodist hymnal.  It enables congregational participation.  Any exceptions to this must be done in consultation with and approval of the officiating pastor. 

To ensure appropriate sound amplification for a sanctuary wedding, an audio technician is employed. The technician will be in attendance at the rehearsal as well as the wedding.   

The church office does not provide or print wedding folders for the service.  If a printed wedding folder is used, consult carefully with the pastor before submitting a final copy to the printer.  An outline is provided on page 7 of this document. 

When guests are unfamiliar with the church building it can be helpful to have someone (Host/Greeter) at the building entrances to greet and give directions.

 

MUSIC FOR THE SERVICE 

A piano and organ are available for use during the service.  The West Des Moines United Methodist Church organist will play for all weddings if his/her schedule allows.  If our organist is not available, the couple may secure a qualified musician of their choosing to play piano and/or organ for the ceremony. Call the church office to receive contact information for the WDMUMC organist.  It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to contact the organist and arrange a meeting time.  Please contact the organist a minimum of 3 months prior to your wedding date. 

Music for the wedding is not limited to an organ or vocal solos but may include strings, flute, trumpet, piano and other instruments, as well as recorded music.  However, the role of music is to enhance the wedding-worship-celebration, not to entertain.  Only words and music consistent with the sacred tradition of the church will be used. The organist and pastor will determine the appropriateness of wedding music if there is uncertainty or question.  

Soloists should be prepared prior to the rehearsal and feel comfortable performing in public. The organist will meet for a one-hour rehearsal ahead of the wedding weekend if so desired. (Extra fee for this service). 

Congregational singing is appropriate during the wedding ceremony. 

 

CANDLES, FLOWERS, ETC. 

Brass candelabra are available for your use if you wish.  Altar and candelabra candles are provided by the church and included in your facility rental fee.  Attachments to the brass candelabra must be made with protective fasteners that will not mar the finish. 

Couples may choose to use a unity candle.  The church does not provide the unity candle but you may use the church’s unity candleholder.  The candleholder should not be removed from the church. 

The use of bows, flowers, etc. on pew ends or in other areas in the church is permitted only with proper pew brackets available through the Wedding Coordinator. 

Flower arrangements placed between the candlesticks on the altar can be 32 inches high and 44 inches wide.  Flowers may be delivered to the church Narthex. The Wedding Coordinator can help in the distribution of the flowers. 

A kneeler for the wedding couple is available, upon request. 

Throwing rice is not permitted.  When birdseed is used it must be distributed to guests outside the church as they depart.  It is extremely dangerous underfoot on stairs or tile floors.  

The center aisle of the church is approximately 60 feet in length.  Consult with your photographer regarding placement and condition of an aisle runner and candles for picture taking.  The church does not provide an aisle runner. (The aisle runner is usually available through your florist.) 

 

THE WEDDING LICENSE 

To be married in Iowa, a wedding license must be secured from the Clerk of Court in any county courthouse in Iowa.  A phone call to the Court House is advisable (Polk County–286-3781) to confirm wedding license procedure and Court House hours. 

Basically, application for a wedding license may be made within 6 months of the wedding by the bride and groom (accompanied by a witness); or by mail with a signed affidavit by another person verifying age, etc.  A three day waiting period between application and picking up the license is required.  The day of application is not counted in the three day waiting period but the day of receiving the license is.  (Example: If the application is on Monday the license may be received and used on Thursday.)  The license and marriage certificate, along with a check for wedding fees, must be delivered to the church office not less than ten days prior to the date of the wedding.

 

THE REHEARSAL 

The rehearsal provides an opportunity to become familiar with the order of service and physical arrangements for the wedding.  Ushers, all members of the bridal party, and parents of the couple should be present and punctual. 

Musicians should practice before or after the rehearsal or at another time.  The organist will be present to play for the processional and recessional at rehearsal.  The rehearsal should not take more than one hour.  Participants’ prompt arrival is essential.  The rehearsal must begin on time out of respect for the schedules of all involved. The Wedding Coordinator will be in attendance. 

 

DRESSING ROOMS 

Rooms are available for the bridal party to dress at the church. The Wedding Coordinator will show you the location of these rooms at the rehearsal. If food and beverages are consumed in the dressing rooms, it is the responsibility of the bridal party to clean up and properly dispose of all trash. Please note, alcohol is not allowed anywhere on church property (church building, parking lot, and church grounds). The church is not responsible for purses, valuables or other items left in the dressing area.  It is recommended these be left under surveillance or in a locked area. 

Telephones are available for local calls in the Bride’s room (#106), in the first-floor kitchen and in the second floor kitchenette off the Friendship Room. You must dial 9 to get an outside line. 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY 

Professional photographers are instructed not to take any pictures after the processional or before the recessional, except for available light exposure from the balcony or rear of the Sanctuary.  Others should be reminded not to take flash pictures during the ceremony.  Flashes and camera noise during the service detract from the ceremony itself.  A more opportune time for picture taking is before and after the service and/or at the reception.   

You may have your wedding videotaped. A remote control camera may be placed in the chancel area.  If using a photographer-operated camera, it must be operated from the balcony or on floor level at the rear of the Sanctuary.   

Many couples arrange with their photographer to do most of the picture taking before the service, allowing more time during the reception for visiting with family and friends.  

Without exception, the photographer and bridal party are to be advised by the couple that all picture taking in the Sanctuary prior to the wedding must be completed and all personnel and equipment removed from the place of the wedding at least 60 minutes before the service begins.   

 

A RECEPTION AT THE CHURCH 

Wedding receptions may be held at the church.  Please see the separate document entitled Reception Guidelines. Please note, alcoholic beverages are not permitted anywhere on church property. 

 

CHARGES AND HONORARIUMS FOR A WEDDING 

All fees and honorariums should be paid with one check made payable to West Des Moines United Methodist Church.  The check, along with the marriage license, wedding certificate, and any recorded music, should be brought to the church no less than ten days before the day of the wedding.   

Members – M    Non-Members – NM

Use of Sanctuary

M – No charge    NM – $500

Wedding Coordinator 

 The Wedding Coordinator attends both the rehearsal and the wedding; serves as contact person throughout the planning process; assigns dressing rooms to the bridal party; prepares the altar; adjusts lighting; arranges the processional line-up; and assists the wedding party in other ways. 

 M – $250   NM – $250     

Organist

 Organist fee includes meeting with the couple well ahead of the wedding date to consult about music for the ceremony; rehearsal and wedding.

 M – $175   NM – $175

The organist will meet for a one-hour rehearsal ahead of the wedding weekend if so desired. (Extra fee for this service).

 M – $50   NM – $50

Custodian (present for both rehearsal and wedding)

 M – $150    NM – $150  

Pastor  

Pastor involvement includes pre-marital counseling sessions; preparing order of service and homily; conducting rehearsal and officiating wedding ceremony.

 M – For members, the honorarium is at the discretion of the couple or family. It should recognize the investment of time by the pastor.

 NM – $350

  Audio Technician (present for both rehearsal and wedding)

 M – $125   NM – $125

 Total Fees           

M – $700 plus pastor honorarium.  Optional rehearsal with Soloist for additional fee.         

NM – $1,550 Optional rehearsal with Soloist for additional fee.

SAMPLE WEDDING PROGRAM

 

A Service of Christian Marriage

 

The Wedding of

 

Prelude

Processional

Greeting

Declaration by the Man and the Woman

*Response of the Families and People

Prayer

Scripture

Homily

*Solo

Intercessory Prayer

Exchange of Vows

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

Declaration of Marriage

*Unity Candle & Solo

Blessing of the Marriage

Dismissal with Blessing

Recessional

 

*optional

 

 

 

(Print on facing page)   The Wedding Party

 

Parents …………………………………………………………………………………  Grandparents ………………………………………………………………………..
Maid of Honor………………………………………………………………………  Bridesmaids………………………………………………………………………….
Best Man ……………………………………………………………………………..  Groomsmen ………………………………………………………………………….
Ushers …………………………………………………………………………………

Pastor(s) ………………………………………………………………………………

Organist ……………………………………………………………………………….  Soloist …………………………………………………………………………………
Other Musicians ……………………………………………………………………  Host/Greeters ……………………………………………………………………….

 

Please remember to turn off your cell phones.

There should be no flash photography during the service.

 WEDDING PREPARATION CHECKLIST

Did you remember…?

               ______    Check wedding and rehearsal dates on church calendar

              ______   Tentatively reserve date

              ______   Visit with Pastor to confirm scheduling of the wedding

              ______   Make deposit to secure date 

______   Arrange consultation dates with Pastor 

______    Contact Church Organist (see pages 3-4) 

______    Meet with Wedding Coordinator (she will contact you)  

______    Apply for wedding license and deliver (along with fees) to church office no later than 10 days prior to your wedding date

 

We look forward to working with you to plan your special day. If you have questions regarding any of the information in this booklet, please contact your Wedding Coordinator. 

 

WEDDING INFORMATION

(Please complete both sides and bring to first pre-marriage consultation) 

Pastor                                                                            

Rehearsal Date                                          Time            

Wedding Date                                           Time             

Location of Service                                                        

Reception location:                                                        

Why did you choose WDM United Methodist Church for your wedding?

WEDDING PARTICIPANTS:

GROOM______________________________________________________________  Email Address   _______________________________________________

Mailing Address_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Phone                        ________________________(H) ____________________________________                 (C)

Were you previously married?              ________   How terminated?  ___________________           

Church member of _______________________________________________________________  Birthdate: __________________________________

Father’s name                                                                       

Address:  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mother’s name                                                                         

Address:  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Parents’ marital status (if not married to one another):                                    

 

BRIDE______________________________________________________________  Email Address   _______________________________________________

Mailing Address________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Phone                        ________________________(H) ____________________________________                 (C)

Were you previously married?              ________   How terminated?  ___________________           

Church member of _______________________________________________________________  Birthdate: __________________________________

Father’s name                                                                       

Address:  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mother’s name                                                                         

Address:  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Parents’ marital status (if not married to one another):                                    

YOUR ADDRESS AFTER MARRIAGE:                                                                                             

 

For Office Use:  Pastor: _______________________  Couple:_______________________________________________ __

Rehearsal Date: ___________________________     Time: _____________  Location: ______________________________

Wedding Date:  ____________________________    Time: _____________ Wedding Coord. _______________________  _

 

MAID/MATRON OF HONOR____________________                           _________________________ No. of additional Bridesmaids:               

BEST MAN                                                                                                    _____________________ No. of additional Groomsmen:      _____

No. of USHERS                               FLOWER GIRL                                   ________    RING BEARER ______________________________________

PHOTOGRAPHER                                                                    AUDIO TECHNICIAN (office use) _________________________________________

SOLOIST                                                                                          ORGANIST (office use)  ______________________________________________                                                                                                                                                                             

VIDEOGRAPHER __________________________________________   WDG. ASSISTANT (office use)                                                                        

 

 

WEDDING DETAILS CHECKLIST

Church to be open by                           o’clock

Number of guests invited              (1/2 may be expected)

Who will escort Bride’s Mother: ________________________________________________________

Bride escorted by:  ______________________________________________________________________

Time of photos:   ________________________________________________________________________

 

Seating arrangements ie: grandparents, handicapped needs, hearing assistance, etc.

                        ____________________________________________                                                            

No. of Guest Register Tables                 /Chairs            

Aisle Runner? (not provided by church)                         

Pew brackets for bows? (provided by church)                    Rings: Single __       Double             Who has?   __________________________________              

Kneeler?                                  

Candles: Unity Candle?              Church’s holder?          

Candelabra? ________________

Candle lighters (2) ______________________________________________________

                                     _____________________________________________________

Host/Greeter? ______________________________________________________                                                 

Wedding License applied for?

Wedding Bulletin?    ______    Must be reviewed by pastor prior to printing.

Cc:  Office, Organist, Audio, Custodian, Wedding Coordinator

Updated Feb. 2016

 

NOTES:

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