New Hope Presbyterian Church
Wedding Policy


The people who are New Hope Presbyterian Church welcome you who wish
to be married in the sanctuary of our church!
A wedding ceremony is a service of worship and is, therefore, subject to
these policies established by the Session of our church and to the
requirements of the Directory of Worship as found in the Book of Order of
the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The policies and requirements are
intended to ensure that the service is as reverent, dignified, and meaningful
as possible for the couple entering into the covenant of marriage and those
who witness the wedding.

setting the date of the wedding

As soon as you begin formulating plans for your wedding, you should confer
with our church office to set a date. The minister will relay your requested
date to the Session. Permission for the use of the sanctuary and/or fellowship
hall must be granted by the Session. Following that approval, a
representative from the church (Wedding Consultant) will contact you. As the
authorized representative of the church, this person will ensure all church
policies are met. The person will also attend the rehearsal and the wedding
service to be available to answer facility questions that might arise during
your planning.

wedding rehearsal

The church will be opened fifteen minutes before the scheduled rehearsal
time. One hour is allotted for wedding rehearsals which will be held at 6:00
p.m. the day before the wedding. Any variation from this time must be
submitted in writing and approved at least one month before the date of
rehearsal. Please remind participants that this is not a venue, but a place of
worship, and appropriate behavior is expected. Rehearsals should begin
promptly, and though this is an exciting time, the expectation is all guest
behave in a professional manner.

wedding ceremony

In the Presbyterian Church (USA), the wedding ceremony is a service of
worship and should reflect the dignity and solemnity of the worship of God.
For that reason, the wedding service, even for a non-member wedding will
reflect a Christian understanding of marriage. This most commonly will follow
a wedding ceremony as outlined in the PCUSA Book of Common Worship,
and the PCUSA Book of Order.

All wedding ceremonies, which are not taken directly from the Book of
Common Worship must be approved by the minister at least two weeks
before the wedding. The modified changes must be submitted in writing for
the minister’s approval.
It is perfectly appropriate to observe the Lord’s Supper during a wedding
ceremony as long as the celebration of Communion is offered to all
individuals present.

meeting with the minister

Our pastor will be eager to know you and help you in any way to prepare for
this important step. At least two meetings with our pastor after the initial
phone meeting will be required prior to the wedding. At least one meeting
will be used for planning your wedding ceremony. The other meeting will be
used to offer you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and the
relationship you are seeking to seal in marriage.

If the pastor is convinced that Christian commitment and responsibility are
lacking, and that the marriage is not one that offers promise of being blessed
by God, he/she shall not officiate at the service.

It is also understood that many couples that have no connection with New
Hope Presbyterian Church may wish to use ministers other than the pastor
of New Hope. This is acceptable provided requested minister(s) are
approved by the Session and minister of New Hope. All names of outside
ministers who wish to participate in the ceremony must be submitted in
writing along with their respective churches or denomination.

church wedding consultant

The Wedding Consultant of New Hope Presbyterian Church is a church
member who feels called to serve God and couples as they plan and
participate in a Christian wedding. The members of the wedding party and
the Wedding Consultant will be in contact throughout the planning of the
wedding, and the Wedding Consultant will be present at the wedding. At least
a month prior to the wedding date, the Wedding Consultant will communicate
with the wedding party to finalize plans by receiving information pertaining to
the ceremony, and be available to go over church polices or facility
questions. To clarify, our Wedding Consultant is not a wedding director or
coordinator, but available only to answer questions as the relate to the
church or facility.


Since a wedding ceremony is a service of worship, the music selected for
the wedding should embody the same high standards applied to the music
for worship generally.

A meeting with the church organist/pianist must be held to discuss and plan
music for the wedding. Music for the service is to be chosen with the pastor
and church organist/pianist. If the couple wishes the services of another or
additional musician, the church organist/pianist must be consulted in
advance and approve the request. All final music selection must be approved
by the church music director.


It is mandatory that all florists and/or friends decorating for a wedding touch
base with the Wedding Consultant before doing any decorating. It is
impossible to list all the “do’s” and “don’ts” of decorating the sanctuary.
Therefore, the Wedding Consultant has complete discretion in what may or
may not be allowed. Any damage to the church will be billed to the wedding

Here are a few specifics to keep in mind.
• No nails, screws, thumbtacks, or other such fasteners that make holes
are allowed.
• Candles are allowed only in candelabras, or as unity or memorial
• You must use dripless candles or battery candles.
• All floral and/or rental equipment must be removed from the church
premises immediately following the wedding.
• Chancel furniture next to the organ/piano or in choir loft may not be
• The Baptismal and Communion Table may not be removed from the
sanctuary (they may be moved within the room).


Flash pictures may be taken during the procession and/or recessional. No
flash pictures are to be taken during the ceremony itself, either by guests or
by professional photographers. A designated photographer may discreetly
photograph the ceremony with existing light from the back of the sanctuary,
side of the chancel, or the balcony. Videotaping the ceremony utilizing
natural light is permissible. Video cameras are to remain stationary during
the service. Pictures may be taken in the sanctuary either prior to or
immediately following the service of worship.

clean up

The church custodial service will clean up after all weddings. However, before leaving for the reception, it is the responsibility of the wedding party to:
• Return all furnishings and any other items moved to their proper
position as they were in the sanctuary and narthex.
• Be sure all personal belongings are removed from the church.
• Remove all rental/florist equipment from the church premises.
• Check with the Wedding Consultant that church is in perfect order
before leaving.


The use of the church is available to church members at no cost, but must
be scheduled through the Church office. All church polices are required to
be followed by church members. To receive the no cost policy, you must
have been an active member for at least one year prior to the wedding
request. When you receive notice that Session has approved your wedding,
a $200.00 non-refundable deposit is required. The remaining balance as
described below is required two weeks before the wedding rehearsal.

• Church No Cost
• Fellowship Hall No Cost
• Pastor (Wedding & Rehearsal) Honorarium
• Wedding Consultant $300
• Church Pianist (Consultation, Rehearsal, & Wedding) $250
(Additional music rehearsals $50 per hour)
• Sound Tech (Wedding & Rehearsal) $100
(Additional music rehearsals $50 per hour)
• Cleaning Fee $200

New Hope Family (See definition)
• Church $400
• Fellowship Hall No Cost
• Pastor (Wedding & Rehearsal) $300
• Wedding Consultant $300
• Church Pianist (Consultation, Rehearsal, & Wedding) $250
(Additional music rehearsals $50 per hour)
• Sound Tech (Wedding & Rehearsal) $100
(Additional music rehearsals $50 per hour)
• Cleaning Fee $200
“New Hope Family” means the parent, child, grandchild,
sibling or grandparent of a member.

• Church $800
• Fellowship Hall $400
• Pastor (Wedding & Rehearsal) $300
• Wedding Consultant $300
• Church Pianist (Consultation, Rehearsal, & Wedding) $250
(Additional music rehearsals $50 per hour)
• Sound Tech (Wedding & Rehearsal) $100
(Additional music rehearsals $50 per hour)
• Cleaning Fee $200


• Tobacco products/vaping is not permitted within the church facilities.
• No rice may be thrown on any part of the church campus. Suitable
substitutes such as birdseed or bubbles may be used outside of the church.
• No alcoholic beverages may be used or served on church premises.
• No wedding or rehearsal will be conducted when any member of the
wedding party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• It is the responsibility of the person making arrangements for the wedding
to see that all members of the wedding party are informed concerning the
above policies.


The Church has thirteen pews on each side of the sanctuary, and can hold
around 200 people under normal circumstances.

Wedding Policy Updated 9/14/20

This policy is subject to change as the church feels necessary.