Congratulations! You are about to experience one of the most exciting events of your life. With Christians everywhere, we celebrate the sanctity of marriage and family. Our deepest desire is to make your wedding a beautiful and sacred occasion. Please understand, however, that our church is a house of worship, and we do not rent our worship facilities. Instead, we offer weddings in our sanctuary and chapel as a ministry of our church, charging nominal fees to recover part of the cost of maintaining our building. 

Suggestions and Guidelines

  1. All reservations for our facilities must be made through the church office. These should be made well in advance so the schedule of the both the building and the pastor can be checked and cleared.
  2. All weddings at the Harrisburg First United Methodist Church must be approved by the resident pastor.
  3. The date of your rehearsal and wedding will not be set until your application is returned and deposit paid.
  4. Your marriage license must be given to the officiating pastor prior to your rehearsal. In Illinois, these licenses must be obtained at least 24 hours prior to the ceremony from the county in which the wedding will occur. In other words, all weddings held at the Harrisburg First United Methodist Church must obtain their license in Saline County at least a day before the wedding.
  5. Only an experienced organist approved by our resident organist or music director may play our sanctuary organ. If you’d like, we have an organist who might be available to play for your wedding for an appropriate honorarium.
  6. Use of candles in the sanctuary and chapel:
    • All candles must be dripless. These special candles may be purchased through your florist.
    • A plastic floor covering must be placed under any candelabra, even when using dripless candles.
    • When candle lanterns are used, they must include hurricane glass coverings.
    • Pew candles must be attached using a method that does not scar the pew. (The church has 20 pew candles that can be rented for $5 each, including candles.)
    • No candles are to be carried by the wedding party or guests.
    • No candles are to sit on the window ledges.
  7. No nails, tacks, duct tape, or glue are to be used on the pews or any other part of the church for any reason.
  8. Only rooms designated by the pastor or activity coordinator are to be used by the wedding party and guests.
  9. No rice or birdseed is to be used as it tracks back into the church and is hard to remove. Bubbles are acceptable and often very nice.
  10. All tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and illicit drugs are prohibited inside the building and on all church grounds.
  11. All church furnishings, altar cloths, items on the altar, and all other fixtures may not be moved without prior permission from the pastor or activity coordinator.
  12. No food or drink is permitted in the church parlor, chapel, or sanctuary.
  13. The church sound system may only be operated by trained church personnel. All microphones are preset and not to be changed. Please notify the church office, pastor, or activity coordinator several weeks prior to your wedding if you wish to secure a trained sound system operator for an appropriate honorarium. The same is true for our video projection system.
  14. Our Wesley Center (Fellowship Hall) is available for wedding receptions but must be scheduled in advance through the church office.
  15. Dancing is permitted and welcome in our Wesley Center. If the church calendar permits, decorating for your wedding may be done during church office hours on the two days prior to your wedding. Additional time for decorating can be negotiated with the pastor or wedding coordinator for an additional $50 per hour.
  16. Two hours are allotted for the wedding rehearsal. There is a $50 per hour charge for any time over two hours and must be approved in advance by the pastor or activity coordinator.
  17. Up to four hours prior to the start of the wedding ceremony are allotted for dressing, pictures, etc. If you need to start earlier, an additional $50 per hour will be charged. This must be approved by the pastor or wedding coordinator and the extra fees paid prior to the rehearsal.
  18. The use of flash pictures and/or video cameras with light bars will be at the discretion of the residing pastor, who will also instruct all photographers and videographers where they may and may not stand during the wedding ceremony.
  19. All fees are nonrefundable, with the exception of the damage deposit. All checks must be made payable as directed by the pastor or activity coordinator. The cost of repairing any damage to the church property during the wedding, reception, and/or rehearsal will be deducted from the damage deposit, with the bride and groom responsible for any damage exceeding that damage deposit.
  20. No church doors are to be left standing open the day of the wedding, including the large front doors.
  21. The bride and groom are responsible for informing all attendees and other parties of these agreed upon arrangements.
  22. An extra utility fee may be added at the time you meet with the pastor due to increased rates in utilities bills.
  23. The wedding coordinator will be assigned by the resident pastor.
  24. Those wishing to be married by the resident pastor must attend worship at the Harrisburg First United Methodist Church at least three times prior to their wedding.
  25. Those wishing to be married must not live together for at least one month prior to their wedding.

Fees:

* No charge for Active Church Members

 

All honorariums must be paid to the individuals at the rehearsal.

 

The church is not responsible for any personal injury, or any lost or damaged personal property used in the wedding, rehearsal, or reception.