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Wedding Planning at WUMC

So you’re getting married! Congratulations!

If you’re interested in holding your wedding ceremony in our church sanctuary, we hope this page will assist in your decision-making and planning process. We at Williamsburg United Methodist Church (WUMC) believe a marriage ceremony is an act of worship. With this in mind we’re eager to work with you to make certain that your wedding reflects praise and thanksgiving to God. After all, God is ultimately the One to whom everything in your service of holy matrimony is dedicated.

Our church offers you more than a place to have your wedding. We also offer the services of ordained clergy who are professionals in pre-marital counseling and in planning and officiating wedding ceremonies. We encourage you to take advantage of their years of expertise. In addition, as you prepare for your wedding, we invite you to attend one of our Sunday morning worship services. There’s perhaps no better way to get a feel for our worship space than coming in person. By worshipping God with us, you’ll see where your wedding would take place, and watch our clergy in action. Of course, you’re also welcome to become a regular part of our worshipping community. We believe that’s one of the best ways to prepare for a lifetime of marriage.

Again, congratulations on your engagement, and may God bless you as you plan your wedding.

Here’s how to schedule a wedding ceremony at WUMC:

1. Contact our Administrative Assistant Nancy Reynolds (nreynolds@williamsburgumc.org or (757) 229-1771) concerning the availability of the church for your tentative wedding date, and the learn more about our church and officiant reservation policies. Please note that we do not schedule any weddings during Advent (December) or during Holy Week and Palm Sunday/Easter Sunday weekends (late March-early April). In addition, only one wedding will be scheduled on any individual day.

2. Secure your reservation and date immediately (if it's available) by completing the Building Use Agreement Form for Weddings, enclosing the Sanctuary and/or Fellowship Hall fees, and then mailing these items to

Williamsburg UMC

Attn: Nancy Reynolds

500 Jamestown Road

Williamsburg, VA 23185

You may access the church for two hours before your wedding and for one hour after. If you are using the kitchen for your reception, you are responsible for clean-up.

3. If you choose to use Williamsburg United Methodist Church clergy, ask Nancy Reynolds to put you in contact with our Senior Pastor, Bill Jones, for an initial consultation. If you wish to have outside clergy officiate your wedding ceremony, your request should be made when scheduling your wedding. In addition, as a courtesy, your clergy person will need to contact our Senior Pastor. Please note that all clergy must be licensed to conduct a religious wedding ceremony in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

4. Once you’ve completed the first three steps, ask Nancy Reynolds to put you in contact with the Wedding Coordinator for our church. They will assist the minister and you during your rehearsal. They will also ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible on your wedding day. After speaking with them, fill out the Wedding Registration and Information Sheet and send it to them.

Please notify the church and coordinator of any time changes that are made prior to your ceremony.

5. Go a local county or city courthouse in Virginia, and obtain a VA marriage license within 30 days of your wedding day. Remember, it is your responsibility to obtain and provide your marriage license.

6. Finally, arrange for all additional fees involved for the services provided for your wedding, to be paid to Gwen Hamrick at least two weeks prior to your wedding.

For a copy of the Wedding Ceremony itself, click here. For Guidelines for use of Kitchen Facilities, click here. For the Music Agreement, click here.

Other Available Services and Information

Candles

The church has a pair of floor standing candelabras which you may use for a fee of $25.00. The church has unity candle holders available at no charge, but you must furnish the candles if you plan to use them.

Tablecloths

The UMW has tablecloths available for in-house usage for receptions.

Organist

The Church Organist, Thomas Marshall (oct4@aol.com or (757) 713-0584) can provide organ music for your wedding and will be available for your rehearsal. His fee is $250.00. If Mr. Marshall is not available, he will supply you with a list of other organists to contact.

Vocal Soloists

Should you wish to have a soloist offer selections during your wedding, the service can be arranged for you. As in all music for weddings in the church, selections should have a sacred text. You can expect the fee to be from $100.00 to $150.00 depending on the number of selections you wish.

Aisle Cloth

Should you desire to use one, you should consult your florist to secure it.

Sound System Sanctuary

A trained technician is required for use of the sound system in the Sanctuary. A fee of $50.00 includes one hour for rehearsal and one hour for the day of the wedding. Taped or recorded music is not allowed; live music only.

Sound System Fellowship Hall

A trained technician is required for use of the sound and audio/video system in Fellowship Hall. A fee of $50.00 is required.

Decor/Flowers

The altar is the focal point of every service of worship in the Nave (the inner part of the worship space/sancutary). You should bear this in mind as you advise your florist. Flowers may be placed beneath the cross (on the ledge) or on side tables. Flowers or other decor are not to be placed on the Communion table. Also no tacks, nails or tape which leave traces of use are to be used anywhere in the church. Should you use lighted candles other than those on the altar, a protective cover must be placed over the carpet beneath and over any other vulnerable areas. Repair cost of any damage resulting to the church or to its furnishings will be the responsibility of the wedding couple. It is important that you instruct your florist carefully.

Video photography

Video photography is permitted during the ceremony within the following guidelines. Use available lighting only. The ceremony may be taped from the balcony and/or from the chancel area; however, the person and equipment taping from the chancel area must be in place thirty minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony in a place agreed upon with the coordinator and must remain stationary during the ceremony.

Photography

Make arrangements with a competent photographer. You should advise your photographer that no flash pictures are allowed in the Nave (the inner part of the worship space/sancutary) during the ceremony itself. All photography in the sanctuary prior to the ceremony should be completed no later than 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the wedding service.

Farewells

Rice or confetti is not to be used in showering the bride and groom with good wishes as you leave your wedding. Bird seed is recommended for such use should you wish to make preparations. In no instance are any materials to be thrown inside the Church’s facilities.

Time Limitation

To honor the schedules of everyone involved in your rehearsal and wedding, punctuality is most important! The church will be open two hours before the starting time of your wedding and will be secured not later than two hours after the start of your wedding. This includes all photographs taken after the ceremony. Should your reception be held in the Fellowship Hall, a maximum of three hours from the stated time of your wedding will be allowed for all activities related to your wedding.

Alcoholic Beverages

In deference to United Methodist tradition and teaching, no alcoholic beverages of any kind are allowed in any part of the Church’s facilities. This means no toasts or refreshments containing alcohol are allowed at a reception held in the church or in any of the dressing areas.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any part of the Church’s facilities.

For more information, contact the church office (757) 229-1771.

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