Westminster United Church Marriage Procedures
We thank you for choosing Westminster United Church as the location for your wedding. This is a very special day in your life as you make your marriage covenant before God, family and friends. A marriage covenant is intended to join you for life in a relationship so intimate and personal that it will change your whole being. As a congregation and staff, we are happy to help to make this day meaningful.
We feel that it is important to:
- Help you to prepare for your new life together
- Help you to understand the significance of the Christian Marriage Ceremony and the value of participating in a community of faith
Requirements for a Wedding at Westminster United Church
We require the following:
- PREMARRIAGE COURSE: You are required to attend a pre-marriage on-line course (or arrange with minister)
- MEETING WITH THE MINISTER: You are required to attend one or more personal interviews with the Minister
- MARRIAGE LICENSE: The law in the Province of Ontario requires a marriage license or the publication of banns. A marriage license is valid for three months and may be purchased at any city or town hall in Ontario. Westminster United Church requires that you deliver the license to the church office no later than three weeks prior to the wedding.
Booking Fee: Westminster United Church requires that you submit a NON – REFUNDABLE Administrative Booking fee of $50.00 in cash. This amount is separate from the fee for the sanctuary. (This fee is non-refundable up to six months before the wedding).
Sanctuary: $150.00 (includes rehearsal)
Officiating Minister: $250.00 (on site) $300.00 (off site)
Minister of Music: $200.00 (wedding only) OR $250.00 (includes rehearsal)
Custodian: $ 75.00
Sound Technician $ 75.00
Please place all payments (CASH ONLY) clearly marked in separate envelopes and leave them in the church office with your Marriage License THREE WEEKS prior to your wedding. Thank you.
For Further information please contact our administrative co-ordinator at 519-941-0381 or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marriage Ceremony
The Role of the Officiating Minister
The Minister of Westminster United Church shall be responsible to perform all weddings or will arrange for a substitute in his/her absence.
The Minister will meet with the couple to discuss the content of the marriage ceremony.
The minister shall conduct only the marriage liturgies that are keeping with the approved liturgies of the United Church of Canada.
The couple will be required to show proof of pre-marriage training.
The Minister reserves the right to refuse to marry any couple for reasons of professional ethics, serious incompatibility of the couple, or failure to agree to the guidelines established by Westminster United Church.
The Ontario Law states that the officiating Minister must refuse to marry a couple when there is suspicion of intoxication by way of alcohol, drugs or other substances.
The church recognizes that you may have a clergy person that has a special influence in your life that you may wish to be included in the wedding ceremony. We are happy to include that person. The couple is to present the name to the officiating minister and he/she will issue the invitation to the guest clergy and consult on what role he/she will play in the ceremony.
The Westminster United Church fee for the minister is still required to be paid even if another minister has been invited to share in the wedding.
Music for Your Wedding
The Role of the Minister of Music
Our Minister of Music shall play all weddings at Westminster United Church. He/she will have the first right of refusal for all weddings. If the Minister of Music is unavailable to play at your wedding, then an alternate musician will be chosen in consultation with the Minister of Music.
In addition to our Minister of Music, we understand that you may have a musician in your life that is special to you and you may want to have that person be included in the wedding. It is the policy of our church that the Minister of Music must be consulted about sharing the musical ministry of your wedding. The Westminster United Church fee for the Minister of Music is still required to be paid even if another musician has been invited to share in the wedding.
Since all of the wedding music, both vocal and instrumental, is an integral part of the wedding service, a suitable selection will be made or suggested and confirmed by the Minster of Music, in consultation with the couple well in advance of the ceremony. A Baby Grand Piano and a Casavant Pipe Organ are used in the Sanctuary of Westminster United Church.
Photography, Videography and Sound
In order to maintain the sacredness of the wedding ceremony, flash pictures are not permitted during the wedding ceremony. The minister shall approve the location and operation of all photographic and video equipment to be used during the wedding ceremony.
Westminster will provide the sound technician.
If soloists, readers or instrumentalists are part of the ceremony, a sound check will be required.
The Minister will assist the couple with the preparation of a wedding bulletin or programme if they so desire.
The couple is responsible for purchasing and producing the bulletins for use at the wedding.
Religious and stationary stores carry appropriate products.
The couple is welcome to have a decorator come to the church or decorate the church themselves. Arrangements for time of decorating can be made through the church office.
The church will be open one hour prior to the wedding to facilitate the delivery of flowers.
We ask that if you are having decorations on the pews that you do not use tape or wire as not to damage the woodwork.
When there are two weddings on one day, the second wedding couple must make arrangements with the office to book a time for decorating the church in between the two ceremonies.
Each wedding party must make arrangements to have the church decorations removed from the church immediately following the ceremony.
Please Note: Confetti, rice or rose petals are not permitted on church property.
Westminster United Church supplies the two altar candles for the ceremony.
Westminster has a candelabra, and if you wish to use this you will be required to provide the candles for this. If you are using the family/unity candles, candles and holders are to be supplied.
Weddings Outside the Church
Many times people request offsite weddings. There is no United Church policy preventing such weddings and it is entirely up to the clergy person on staff if they perform these services.
To book your upcoming wedding either onsite or offsite, please call Westminster United Church at 519-941-0381.