Creating a Wonderful Life Journey
First United Methodist Church
5005 Chicago Road
Warren, MI 48092
Welcome to Warren First United Methodist Church. We are blessed that you have decided to begin your marriage with a wedding service in our building. The information contained in this booklet will help you in making this sacred occasion a joyful and memorable time in your life.
What is a Wedding?
A wedding is a ceremony that publicly recognizes two people who are entering into a marriage relationship. It is first and foremost a civil service in the State of Michigan that includes one couple, two witnesses and someone to officiate the ceremony.
To be married in a civil service requires:  The intent to marry through the exchanging of vows,  a recognized official to pronounce the couple husband and wife, and  a valid marriage license.
A wedding within a church adds a new dimension to the basic requirements—God. The ceremony is seen as a “covenant,” a sacred promise to value the other person in an everlasting relationship as much as we value ourselves. It is a self-giving and mutually affirming relationship that is sustained by the presence of God and God’s people, the church.
To have a strong marriage we would encourage you to find a church home that will support you in this wise and wonderful decision you have made to live all of your life together. Of course, we would like to be your church home, but it is not necessary to be a member of the First United Methodist congregation in order for us to be in ministry to you.
What is Required of You?
- You must meet with a pastor before your date can be established on the church calendar.
- You will also be required to complete a premarital personal and relationship evaluation inventory known as “Prepare.” The cost of the inventory is $35 and is payable at the time the inventory is taken. This inventory is designed to help you learn more about yourself, your partner, and your relationship. The results of “Prepare” are confidential and will be seen only by you, your partner and your pastor.
- A deposit of $100 is required after your introductory session in order to reserve your wedding and rehearsal dates on the church calendar. The deposit and your wedding contract are submitted to the Church Office. The deposit is fully refundable if the contract is canceled more than six months prior to the reserved date. If the contract is canceled after that time, the deposit will be forfeited. The remainder of the financial obligation is due one month prior to the wedding.
- You will continue to meet with a pastor for a minimum of three  counseling sessions. Not only will you work on your wedding service, but you will also be exploring what a solid foundation for a successful marriage. Counseling sessions are confidential and will be arranged according to your personal schedule.
- You are required to attend two  worship services prior to your wedding. This is not to make you a member of this congregation, but to challenge you to think about your life, and how you are going to decide about finding a church home that will support your marriage relationship.
Setting a Date
- Call the Church Office  264-4701 to see if the date you desire is available. Members of First United Methodist Church are given first priority to dates. No more than two weddings can be scheduled for any day. Because of the necessary counseling sessions, you need to request a wedding date at least three to four months prior to the desired wedding date.
- Remember, the date is not firmly set until you have met with a pastor, paid your deposit and received confirmation from the church.
- Weddings must be scheduled at least 2 1/2 hours apart. In planning your wedding day schedule, you may enter the building up to 2 hours prior to the service and remain up to 1 hour afterward. This should provide adequate time for dressing and photography.
Choosing a Minister
The Pastor of First United Methodist Church will officiate at all weddings. If you wish a pastor of a different church (or former First United Methodist Church pastor) to participate, please make this known in advance. The invitation for another clergy to participate must come from the current pastor.
First United Methodist Church provides the Sanctuary, which seats 225 people. The Bride’s Room will be made available where the Bride and her Attendants may dress. A room will also be provided for the Groom and Groomsmen.
Planning for the Ceremony
You will have the opportunity to plan the wedding service with the pastor. This includes the words of the service, as well as the options within the service.
The following is a traditional format of a wedding service:
Seating of Parents & Grandparents
Declaration of Intention
Response of the Families and Friends
Exchange of Vows
Blessing and Exchange of Rings
Unity Candle [optional]
Declaration of Marriage
Blessing of the Marriage
Wedding Coordinator will assist you and our pastor in the details of the wedding. She will talk with you in advance to discuss your specific arrangements, coordinating those details with the pastor, office, musician, and custodian and assisting at the rehearsal and will assist the wedding party before, during and after the wedding service.
If you require a pianist/organist to provide live music at your wedding, our organist is given priority. Our music director will also be available to assist you in the decisions regarding the wedding music. If you request a guest organist, the music director must approve them for use.
Please complete the “Wedding Music Information” form and mail it to her at least two months prior to the wedding. The selection of music, whether it is sacred or secular, must be appropriate to the nature of a covenant wedding. Chosen music will be agreed upon between the couple, the organist, and the pastor.
When desired, worship programs can be ordered and printed through the church office. Office staff will assist with ordering bulletins from available publishers and printing from the information you submit. Please allow one month for this process. The cost will be $25. You are also welcome to design and print your own worship bulletins through commercial printers. Please submit a draft of your program to the pastor prior to the printing.
You are responsible for all flower arrangements used in the wedding service. If you desire to leave some flowers to be used in the Sunday morning worship service, please notify the church office. Your names will be placed in our church announcements.
Ribbon bows (or similar type of arrangements) may be placed on the pews, but they may be fastened only with plastic clips, ribbon or elastic. Tape, tacks, or anything that might damage or mar the wood finish is not allowed. Plastic clips are available from the church.
If a white center aisle runner is to be used, it should be 55-60 feet in length and may be purchased from a florist. (The aisle is 55 feet long).
If you wish to use a Wedding/Unity Candle or other such ceremony to symbolize your union, it may be purchased through a florist shop or other store.
Pictures and Videos
Photographers and videographers are asked to consult with the wedding coordinator prior to the beginning of the service on where they can and cannot stand during the service. Photos can be taken before and after the service. No flash pictures are to be taken during the ceremony. Any photographs involving the pastor should be taken first.
Because of the complex audio/sound equipment used in the building, a trained tech person will need to be on-site to run it. They are responsible for sound setup and adjustment as well as running any visual slides. The visual slides are the responsibility of the wedding party. The tech person will not record the service or put together any slides.
At the conclusion of the service a receiving line is a courteous and efficient way to greet guests. The receiving line may be located in the narthex or the courtyard (weather permitting).
An alternative to a receiving line is for the bride and groom to greet the congregation after the recessional by dismissing them from the pews.
A wedding cannot be conducted without a valid marriage license. In Michigan, a marriage license is secured through the county clerk’s office of the county where either the bride or groom reside, is held three days after application, and is good for thirty days. The Macomb County Clerk is on the 1st Floor, 40 N. Main St., Mount Clemens, MI 48043, [586.469.5205]. Either party, without the other party present, may make application. No health instruction certificate is required, but you do need to take your birth certificates.
The wedding license must be given to the pastor or turned into the church office no later than three days prior to the wedding. The full name of the best man and the maid of honor (the witnesses) must accompany the license.
The Fellowship Hall is available for rental for wedding receptions. The cost for rental, catering, and custodial service is modest in comparison to commercial reception locations. No smoking or alcoholic beverages are permitted.
- The wedding rehearsal begins promptly at the designated time, lasting approximately 50-60 minutes.
- There is no smoking in the building and no consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises (including the parking lot or in vehicles including limousine services).
- If the pastor (and spouse) and/or the organist are invited to either the rehearsal dinner or the wedding reception, they should receive a written invitation.
- We discourage the use of rice. Alternatives such as throwing rose petals, bird seed or blowing bubbles are acceptable.
Wedding Fees (includes rehearsal)
Here you will find a list of comprehensive fees associated with having a wedding ceremony at the church. Note: Weddings under 25 guests may be done without a wedding coordinator and/or organist.
The fee structure is to cover the actual cost associated with your event. With the exception of the Sanctuary fee (which is paid to the church office,) all other fees should be placed in separate envelopes, addressed to the person by position (e.g., “Organist”) and given to the wedding hostess.
Sanctuary Use: A deposit of $100 must be made to hold the date.
$100 for Members
$250 for non-members
Members-at the Discretion of the couple.
$150—Includes rehearsal and wedding.
$100—Includes rehearsal and wedding.
$100—Includes set up and clean up.
$50—Includes rehearsal and wedding.
A Quick Reminder: Decorations for the Sanctuary are the responsibility of the wedding party. The aisle is 55 feet long. There are a total of 34 pews. All decorations will need to be removed before leaving the church after the service.
Wedding Music Information
Please complete this form and return to the church office at least two months prior to your wedding date. It can be mailed to First United Methodist Church, 5005 Chicago Road, Warren, MI 48092, or emailed to email@example.com.