JPC Wedding Guidelines
1. SETTING YOUR DATE - The church secretary will help you find a day and time for your wedding on the church master calendar. You’ll need to complete a wedding information form that, with the REQUIRED DEPOSIT and your signatures, will hold the date for your wedding and will become the wedding contract with JPC. To make all involved JPC personnel aware of your wedding date, a signed copy of this contract will be forwarded to the pastor, the wedding coordinator, the organist-pianist who will help you select appropriate music, and the sound technician. Other assistance and information can be provided via the wedding coordinator. The church is not available on Sundays, December 24, December 31, and major holidays such as New Years Day, Good Friday, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas. There also may be other days that for local reasons the church is not available for weddings.
2. WEDDING SERVICE - The ceremony we provide is both joyful and reverent as befits this important step in your lives. Several options within the wedding service can be discussed with the officiating pastor. Examples are: A family member or friend may read a scripture passage, appropriate poem or prose, etc. All options must be discussed with and approved by the JPC officiating pastor.
3. FACILITIES - Our sanctuary seats approximately 300 people. No furniture (choir pews, communion table, lectern, pulpit, or baptismal font) may be moved in the chancel area because generally, only the bride, groom, maid of honor, best man and pastor go inside the chancel area for any part of the service. The remaining attendants stand in or near the chancel area on the steps as rehearsed.
4. FEES - MEMBERS - Members WILL NOT BE CHARGED for the use of the sanctuary. The only fees incurred by a member will be for the minister, counseling, organist or pianist, wedding coordinator, sound technician, and custodian. The member, wedding package includes two brass candlesticks with candles, kneeling bench, bride’s dressing room and groom’s waiting area Two seven-branch brass candelabras are available with the purchase of candles from the church. (See section 23 for definition of member and nonmember.)
FEES – NONMEMBERS - Nonmembers will be charged for the use of the sanctuary. The nonmember, wedding package includes the minister, counseling, organist or pianist, wedding coordinator, sound technician, custodian, two brass candlesticks with candles, kneeling bench, bride’s dressing room and groom’s waiting area. Two seven-branch brass candelabras are available with the purchase of candles from the church. (See section 23 for definition of member and nonmember.)
5. PAYMENT SCHEDULE - A $50 DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED to reserve your wedding date and time on the master calendar. This $50 deposit is NONREFUNDABLE and will be applied to the cost of the listed wedding fees. The BALANCE IS DUE TWO (2) WEEKS PRIOR to the wedding date. Check should be made out to The Presbyterian Church of Johnstown.
6. COUNSELING - All couples being married at JPC must participate in pre-marital counseling. Counseling appointments are made directly with the pastor. If approved ahead of time by the JPC pastor, an outside pastor may be permitted to do the counseling.
7. GUEST PASTOR - If a guest pastor is requested to share in the wedding service, the JPC pastor must approve. We are happy to accommodate other guest pastors with the understanding that he/she will assist the JPC pastor, who will be in charge of the wedding service and who will work out the wedding service details. On rare occasions a Presbyterian pastor or other certified pastor might conduct the entire wedding service if the JPC pastor approves him. JPC personnel as listed in section 4 will provide all other criteria and services.
8. FLOWERS and DECORATIONS
FLOWERS: Most families like to arrange with a local florist for floral enhancements for the wedding. Flowers must not cover up the brass cross that complements the front stained glass window. Floral enhancements can be placed on the communion table. The wedding coordinator can assist you with ideas and placement of floral and other permitted decorations. The decorations selected for the sanctuary should reflect the integrity and simplicity of Christian life. No floral enhancements may be placed on the organ, organ speaker, piano, lectern, or pulpit. We would prefer that no floral enhancements or wedding bows be attached to the pews. However, if pew decorations are used they MUST be padded so as not to scratch the finish on the pews. The scattering of flower petals is NOT permitted in the sanctuary.
DECORATIONS: Choir pews, communion table, lectern, pulpit, baptismal font, or palms may not be moved from their existing locations. Aisle runners are NOT permitted for safety reasons. If floral arrangements or ribbon bows are attached to the candelabras, they must be attached with pipe cleaners. NO tacks, nails, tape, staples or other damaging materials may be used on any walls, woodwork or furniture of the church.
9. RICE, SEEDS, ETC. - Rice, birdseed, confetti, and similar materials are NOT permitted. We recommend that souvenir “wedding bubbles” be used at your reception; however, if they are used at the church, they must remain outside the buildings and all refuse from them must be collected by someone in the wedding party/family.
10. SMOKING - NO SMOKING IS ALLOWED anywhere in JPC.
11. ALCOHOL/ILLEGAL DRUGS - NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND/OR ILLEGAL DRUGS are permitted anywhere on church grounds. In addition, there is to be NO ALCOHOL/ILLEGAL DRUG CONSUMPTION PRIOR TO YOUR REHEARSAL OR WEDDING SERVICE. The wedding WILL BE CANCELLED IMMEDIATELY WHEN ALCOHOL OR ILLEGAL DRUGS ARE DETECTED ON THE BRIDE OR GROOM OR MEMBER OF THE WEDDING PARTY.
12. FOOD/DRINKS – NO food or drink are permitted in the sanctuary or narthex at any time. Only bottled water is permitted in the bride’s room and groom’s area.
13. MUSIC - A church wedding is a religious ceremony in a sacred place, and the music, whether classical or contemporary, should spiritually uplift those present. Our organist’s services are part of the wedding package and conference with the organist is a must. The organist will be prepared to play appropriate pre-wedding, processional, recessional, and bride and groom entrance music, as well as music for soloist(s). Additional musicians are permitted with the approval of the organist and wedding coordinator. If there are any questions regarding the music, the final decision is made by the organist and/or officiating pastor. If the JPC organist is unavailable, the JPC organist must give approval to the selected organist or piano player.
14. PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER - The wedding coordinator must have the opportunity to discuss with your photographer/videographer the picture-taking policies at JPC. One hour after the ceremony is provided for pictures inside the church. NO FLASH photography is permitted during the ceremony. The photographer may use flash photography as the wedding party proceeds down the center aisle. Once the wedding party has taken their positions in the front of the church the photographer may NOT move about the sanctuary during the service. If you engage a videographer, his recording MUST be done with available light. The videographer may NOT move about during the ceremony. The wedding coordinator will be glad to meet with both the photographer and videographer to discuss areas where these activities can be done to ensure reverence for the service and respect for the wedding party and guests. Failure to comply with these policies can result in the ceremony being interrupted and/or a request for the disruptive party to leave. You will be asked to sign a church photographer/videographer policy.
15. LICENSE - We recommend you begin arranging for your license at least one month before the wedding. The wedding license is valid for 60 days. Please give the license to the pastor at the last premarital counseling session or at the latest bring it to the wedding rehearsal. Without the license in hand, the wedding cannot be held. Once the wedding service is over and signatures are affixed, the JPC pastor will mail the signed document to the county recorder's office.
16. REHEARSAL – The rehearsal is usually held late in the afternoon the day before the wedding. You need to notify all members of the wedding party of the date and time of the rehearsal. One hour is set aside for your rehearsal and will be conducted by the wedding coordinator and JPC pastor. The rehearsal is vital to ensure that the ceremony goes smoothly. It also allows the bride and groom to make final changes and decisions. It is crucial that the entire wedding party be present and on time – that includes parents of the bride and groom.
17. BUILDING ACCESS - The church will be open two (2) hours before the scheduled wedding time. Please arrange with your florist, photographer and/or videographer to arrive accordingly. One (1) hour following the conclusion of the wedding service the building needs to be vacated and locked.
18. DRESSING ROOMS - The church provides a bride’s room for the bride and her attendants to use and to wait in until the wedding service begins. There is a separate waiting area for the groom and his attendants, whom we request arrive dressed. The bride needs to arrange for a responsible person to clear her belongings from the bride’s room following the service. The groom should also arrange for someone to clear the groom’s area of personal articles. Each attendant is responsible for his/her own belongings.
19. PARTICIPANTS - Thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled wedding time, the bride and all attendants, the groom, best man and groomsmen must be in their reserved area(s) for the start of the ceremony. Twenty (20) minutes prior to the start of the service, the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom will be asked to wait in the narthex (foyer area) for seating or further instruction. Ten (10) minutes prior to the ceremony the grandparents will be seated. At the designated time for the wedding to begin, the groom’s parents will be escorted down the aisle. Immediately thereafter, the organist will play 3 bells as a signal that the bride’s mother is being escorted down the aisle to her seat. The organist plays the wedding party processional as the JPC pastor and groom enter from the side door and the wedding party processes from the back. The organist then plays 3 bells again to announce the bride and plays the bride’s processional signaling the entrance of the bride and her father/escort.
20. RESPONSIBILITIES - The bride and broom are responsible for seeing that all members of the wedding party and any outside contracted persons are aware of these policies. Any church property damaged or destroyed becomes the full replacement or repair responsibility of the bride and groom. JPC reserves the right to modify these policies at any time.
21. SOUND - JPC provides a complete sound system for each wedding ceremony in the sanctuary. For an additional $20.00 fee, JPC can provide a cassette tape recording of the wedding service, as a courtesy only. It is not part of any contractual obligation and, therefore, we do not guarantee the quality of any such recording that is provided. We recommend you discuss any other desired recording of the wedding service with your videographer.
22. RECEPTIONS/REHEARSAL Dinner - For an additional fee the fellowship hall and kitchen may be rented. Tables and chairs are available. See fee schedule in this booklet.
23. MEMBER / NON-MEMBER
MEMBER – It is expected that at least one of the couple to be married (or the parent of one of the couple to be married) has been an active member for the last six (6) months prior to the wedding. Members must have consistent attendance and stewardship.
NON-MEMBER – If a non-member chooses to be married at JPC, they must follow the guidelines in our wedding policy brochure. Non-members who are contemplating marriage at JPC are encouraged to attend weekly church services prior to and after the wedding service. We would hope that you would choose to make The Presbyterian of Church of Johnstown your home.