Weddings

Wedding Policies

A wedding is one of the happiest and most sacred moments in life.  As two Christian people join their lives to establish a Christian home, the church rejoices with them.  Spanish Fort United Methodist Church is eager to make the occasion of a wedding both beautiful and memorable.  Remember that a wedding is a service of worship as well as one of  celebration. Our church wedding policies further reflect our desire to uphold the sanctity of wedding ceremonies.  Please keep the following policies in mind when planning your wedding at Spanish Fort United Methodist Church.
Arrangements
 

As soon as you select the date for your wedding, please come by the church office and fill out a Wedding Reservation Application.  Upon application approval, you will be given a Wedding Data form, which will be used by the Wedding Director.  Complete this form and bring it to the church office.

Wedding fees will be based upon membership status the day we receive your application.

Due to facility and personnel constraints, we are unable to schedule weddings during Holy Week, on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, or New Year’s Day.  Weekends close to these days may be unavailable, as well.  No weddings will be scheduled later than 6:00 p.m.

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Decoration Guidelines

Sanctuary:

  • The Wedding Director will explain which of the furnishings can be moved or removed.
  • The church has several items which may be used during the ceremony. The Wedding Director will make you aware of these items.
  • Mechanical candles are required except for the unity candle. Plastic must be placed under the unity candle stand.
  • Pew bows and other decorations must be attached with proper clamps. Nails, wire, and scotch tape are not permitted.
  • Flowers may be left for the Sunday Service. If the couple desires to leave their flowers, please inform the Wedding Director.
  • Contact your florist prior to the ceremony to ensure that policies regarding decorations are understood. Arrangements will also be made for the florist to access the church facilities in order to decorate.
  • Church decorations may not be removed during the Advent Season (between Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
  • Pew & aisle candles may not be used.

Fellowship Hall:

  • Those who decorate the hall are responsible for removing the decorations.
  • Nothing may be attached to the walls.
  • The custodian will set up tables and chairs in the Fellowship Hall. The bride must meet with the custodian to discuss and make written plans for the arrangement of the various items. 
  • The kitchen is not available for use and kitchen utensils cannot be borrowed or removed from the kitchen area.
  • No open flame or candles may be used.

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Facilities

The Sanctuary will seat 600 persons. The Fellowship Hall will accommodate a reception of 175 persons. Tables & chairs in the Fellowship Hall may be used at no additional charge. Table linens and service items are not available.

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Protection of Personal Property
The church will make every reasonable effort to protect personal property brought to the church. However, we will not be liable for items lost, stolen, damaged, or left after the ceremony or reception.

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Regulations for all Buildings

  • Smoking is not permitted in any church building or on any of the church property.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the church property. Anyone who is intoxicated will not participate in the wedding service. 
  • Food and drink are allowed only in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Rice may not be thrown. Birdseed may be used

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Clean-up


Church custodial staff is required.  The custodian will clean the bathrooms, vacuum the carpet, clean the kitchen and Fellowship Hall floors, remove trash, replace altar furniture, sweep birdseed, and ensure that the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall are returned to their original condition.

Wedding participants are responsible for:

  • Clearing dressing rooms and bathrooms of all clothing and articles
  • Collecting all trash and placing it in receptacles
  • Removing all flowers and decorations
  • Disposing of food items used in the Fellowship Hall

Any damage caused by wedding participants or guests will be the financial responsibility of the bride, groom, and families.

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Music

A Christian wedding is first and foremost a service of Christian worship. The music in your wedding should express the depth of your commitment to each other and the sacredness of the occasion. If you need help choosing music for your wedding, the officiating pastor will be glad to provide suggestions. While we respect the personal taste of the bride and groom, Spanish Fort UMC reserves the right to disallow any particular song that the officiating pastor feels is inappropriate for a Christian wedding. Accordingly, please submit all requested music selections to the officiating pastor before the final choices have been made.

The Wedding Director will help you contact one of our church accompanists. No other accompanist may use the organ or piano. If the couple chooses to use other types of musicians, the couple is responsible for contacting them.

Access to the church sound system is limited to authorized persons only. The Wedding Director will help you arrange for an authorized sound technician to be available for your rehearsal and wedding.

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Photography and Videography

The use of cameras with flash attachments is not permitted in the Sanctuary during the wedding ceremony. The photographer may take a picture in the Narthex as the bride begins to process with her escort, and then as the couple recesses down the aisle following the ceremony. Contact your photographer prior to the wedding to ensure that policies are followed. The photographer may make an appointment with the Wedding Director to see the Sanctuary before the wedding day.

Use of video equipment is permitted only in the balcony during the ceremony and the videographer must remain stationary during this time. Videography or photography is not permitted on the altar or in the choir loft. during the ceremony. These policies in particular are to protect the sanctity of the marriage ritual.

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Officiant

A minister of Spanish Fort United Methodist Church is expected to participate in any wedding held at our church. If you, however, have a special minister or family member whom you desire to preside over the wedding ceremony, please contact the pastoral staff at SFUMC for approval prior to the wedding. Our pastor may then formally invite your pastor or family member and discuss arrangements.

Our ministers require that those desiring to be married complete 3 pre-marital counseling sessions, which include general counseling about the wedding and marriage and the completion of the PREPARE/ENRICH INVENTORY. This should be completed at least 4 months prior to the wedding. Scheduling the appointments for these sessions is the responsibility of the persons getting married; these appointments can be made by calling the minister’s administrative assistant. We recommend that counseling sessions be scheduled as soon as you receive approval of the wedding date. Punctuality at counseling sessions and the rehearsal is expected due to the minister’s tight schedule. 

The marriage license should be brought to the officiating pastor as soon as it is acquired. The pastor will not marry a couple unless the counseling sessions have been completed and the license has been received at least two days prior to the wedding.

Please note: The United Methodist Book of Discipline in par. 241.6 (p270) reads, "ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches."

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Forms 

Wedding Application Form

Wedding Data Sheet - Members

Wedding Data Sheet - Non-Members

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