Wedding Fees and Guidelines

It is our desire to assist you in making your wedding as beautiful and meaningful as it can be and one that will always live fondly in your memory. Grace United Methodist Church extends its best wishes to you as you celebrate this special time in your lives. We pray that God will bless your marriage, grant you fulfillment in it, and establish your home in peace.

Reserving the Church and Use of Its Space and Appointments: If you wish to be married at Grace United Methodist Church, you will need to make arrangements for a date and time for your wedding through our Church Office. It will be necessary for the office to refer your request to our Senior Pastor to confirm dates and times. Please note that weddings are not scheduled on holiday weekends or during the month of December. It is sometimes necessary to "juggle" dates and times to provide service to the maximum number of persons. This provides time for necessary preparations for your wedding (one hour prior, the wedding itself, and post-wedding events) for a total of three hours. This time frame needs to be strictly followed if there is a wedding or activity before and/or after your wedding. However, if there are no other weddings or activities scheduled for that day, you may ask the ministerial staff about arriving a little earlier or staying a little later.

Wedding Fees: Contact the Church Office for current wedding fees. The fee includes use of the sanctuary, our minister, our organist, the custodial staff, and premaritial counseling. A reservation fee (half of your wedding fee) is required before a date is entered on the church calendar. The deposit is due when the contract is signed. All remaining fees are  due eight weeks prior to your wedding day.

Opening the Church: The church will be opened on the date of your wedding one hour before the scheduled ceremony time. Please be aware of this and make necessary arrangements with your florist, photographer/videographer, etc. to honor this time frame.

Conference with the Minister: After a date and time for your wedding are confirmed, the officiating Grace Church minister will want to hold one or more pre-marital conferences with you. The service for your wedding will be a traditional Christian service. If you have other expectations, please be prepared to share them with the minister at this conference. Your wedding plans are not complete until this conference has occurred.

Premarital Counseling Services: Each officiating pastor reqiures at least three hour long premarital counseling sessions. This interactive, informational experience is required by all couples choosing to be married at Grace Church, unless the Pastor approves an appropriate substitute. The counseling/interview sessions should begin approximately 3-4 months in advance of your wedding service.

Guest Ministers: Under appropriate circumstances, we will permit a guest minister of your choice to officiate at your wedding. Your request needs to be made known at the time you schedule the date and time of your wedding. This privilege is, of course, subject to approval from our Senior Pastor.

Music: Tom Colao, the Principal Organist of Grace Church, provides music at all weddings requiring organ/keyboard music. Recommendations for professional instrumentalists are available as desired. It is the responsibility of the couples to contact the Principal Organist for available professional soloists. Guest vocalists may be invited to participate in the wedding.  It is the responsibility of the soloist to provide the score if it is not in the Grace Music Ministry library.

Wedding Coordinator: A wedding date is scheduled with our Wedding Coordinator, Katie Smith. Approximately a month to two weeks before the wedding, she will go through the details of the rehearsal with the couple to make sure it, like the wedding itself, goes as smoothly as possible. At the actual rehearsal and on the wedding day, the Wedding Coordinator will tend to the bride and groom and wedding party, guiding them as to where to go, what to do, and when, and generally maintain a sense of calm and organization for the best wedding ceremony possible.

Florist: All meaningful and necessary symbols for your wedding service are already in place in the sanctuary. Simplicity provides an elegance that enhances the beauty of the service. Flowers may be placed on the sides of the altar using pedestal stands that are provided by the church. The two sizes available are 25 inches and 32.5 inches tall. When floral arrangements have been placed in the Sanctuary for special church days or seasons, weddings may be held in the Sanctuary with the use of these floral arrangements already in place. Removal of chancel furniture of the disguising of Sanctuary furnishings, fixtures, or appointments is not allowed at any time. Please inform your florist that the use of wire or tape of any sort on the pews is not allowed. If you plan to have pew-end bows or flowers, they must be secured with clips or rubber bands.

Candles: The church has a pair of single altar candles. The cost of these candles is included in the wedding fee. The church also has a pair of seven-branch floor candelabras with a use cost of $25.00. If a unity candle is to be used, it is to be provided by the wedding couple or their florist.

Photographer/Videographer: We recognize how important the role of the photographer is at your wedding. We request that during the ceremony itself, the photographer take only available light photos from the back of the sanctuary. We ask that no flash-aided photos be taken during the ceremony. If you plan to have a printed program, we recommend that you include a note to this effect in the program.

Holy Communion: It is possible to place the marriage service in the context of Holy Communion. This gives added opportunity to express the oneness we have in Christ the Lord. In United Methodist practice, the worshiping congregation is always invited to participate in the receiving of the sacrament.

Rehearsal: The rehearsal is an important part of the preparation for your wedding, but we encourage you to make certain members of the wedding party know the exact time of the rehearsal and plan to be on time so that your rehearsal can begin as scheduled. Your rehearsal is scheduled for one hour. It is necessary, in order to accommodate others, to insist that your rehearsal be completed and the sanctuary be vacated in the designated one-hour time period.

The Marriage License: On the night of the rehearsal, please bring the marriage license with lines 1-15 completed. The license is obtained from the Office of the County Clerk, 421 County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL, 60187. For further information, contact 630-682-7035.

Rice and Other Seeds Not Permitted: Due to the possibility of legal complications and additional clean-up required, we are compelled to prohibit the throwing of rice, bird seed, grass seed, flower petals, or any other items, whether in the church or anywhere on the church grounds. You may blow bubbles, ring small bells or release butterflies, but this may occur outside on the church grounds only. Please inform your wedding party of this policy. There will be a fee assessed for clean-up of rice or bird seeds.

Alcoholic Beverages Forbidden: The customs and usages of the United Methodist Church absolutely forbid the possession and/or use of alcoholic beverages--beer, wine, champagne, liquors--on the property or in the building of Grace Church. Please advise your wedding party and guests of this prohibition.