It is the desire of the church to be helpful in guiding persons in their wedding plans and service. All arrangements pertaining to the service of marriage are to made in consultation with the Pastor.
- A wedding is a special service of worship within the community of faith. The policy of Topsail Presbyterian Church is that weddings are performed for members of the church family. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Pastor in consultation with the Worship Committee and Session.
- It is understood that the Pastor of Topsail Presbyterian Church officiates at all weddings. If the bride and groom wish to include another minister in the wedding, they should discuss this with our Pastor. He may then extend an invitation to the guest minister. Even then, our Pastor presides as the official host during the rehearsal and wedding and selects the liturgy and service to be used in consultation with the couple.
- At the time of the initial interview, the Pastor will go over their wedding plans and the church policy with the prospective bride and groom and will make arrangements with them about pre-marital counseling.
- Flowers used on the altar are dedicated to the Glory of God, but may be removed by Bride. If flowers are left they will be delivered to shut-ins or used for another church service.
- The sanctuary has a seating capacity of 260. There are 5 rooms available for wardrobe changes and 1 nursery room that could be staffed and must be cleaned.
The Church Secretary handles all reservations and processes applications. Reservations may be made as far in advance as necessary (but no later than six weeks before the wedding date). The wedding information form, completed and signed, should be sent promptly to the Church Secretary. If, two weeks before the wedding date, the fees and information form have not been received, the reservation is subject to cancellation. Should the wedding party wish to cancel the reservation at any time, the Church Secretary should be notified immediately.
In order to avoid any misunderstanding about the exact dates and times of your wedding and rehearsal, YOU are responsible for confirming these with the Church Secretary prior to ordering invitations.
When a reservation for a wedding is made, the church is reserved for a 2 hour rehearsal the day before the wedding and a block of time on the wedding day beginning one hour before the Service and ending one hour after the service. Should a reception be planned at the church, more time can be arranged. NO DATES WILL BE RESERVED FOR EASTER WEEK , HOMECOMING WEEKEND (THIRD WEEKEND IN AUGUST), CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEARS EVE.
The music is a traditional and beautiful part of the service. Since the wedding is a sacred religious service, only music of appropriate character is to be used. The minister and choir director will be glad to give assistance in choosing appropriate music. All music is subject to approval of the Pastor and Music Director.
The sanctuary is a place of exquisite and dignified beauty. It does not require over-elaborate decorations. The following regulations are given to preserve the spiritual atmosphere and to safeguard the furnishings.
- All candles are to be drip-less and should be furnished by the florist or the bride. Candles must always be lighted and extinguished with the brass snuffers supplied by the church. Decorations are limited to the altar area: any exceptions must have prior approval of Worship Committee and/or the pastor.
- No type of decorations may be used in front of the pulpit that hinder its view.
- The organ, piano and furnishings attached to the floor or walls are not to be moved. The Communion table, the Baptismal Font and the Pulpit may be moved, but not removed from the sanctuary. Other furnishings may be moved but all furnishings must be returned to their proper places after the service.
- Floral deliveries and pickups should be as close to the time of the wedding as possible and should in no way interfere with, nor distract from, any other service of the church.
- The persons being married are responsible for making arrangements for the return of all furnishings to their proper places as soon after the wedding as possible. The sanctuary and building must be in proper order for services on Sunday morning.
- When the wedding is over, YOU are responsible for leaving the church exactly as it was prior to the service. Florist boxes or paper, garment bags, programs, etc. are to be removed from the church. Please ask a friend or relative to remain behind after the service to see that the church is left in proper order. The church is not responsible for any valuables left anywhere at any time in the church.
At NO time during the service will flash pictures be permitted. If pictures are to be made after the ceremony, the wedding party should assemble at the chancel. This is a matter of courtesy to the wedding guest and the church staff. Stationary mount videotaping locations are to be approved by the Pastor. The wedding service is considered to begin after the processional and it ends prior to the recessional. Video cameras may be used discretely to record the service only if (1) the equipment is stationary, (2) the equipment does not obstruct the view of worshippers, and (3) no lights are used. An out-of-sight, remote-controlled video camera may be placed in the chancel. Videographers must wear appropriate dress.
The bride and groom are requested to advise the members of the wedding party that they shall refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages both before the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony. No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the church grounds or property. If any member of the wedding is determined to be intoxicated, the pastor has the discretion of removing the offending person or canceling the service.
- When requested, plans for receptions should be made with the Church Secretary. The Church Secretary will advise you on available equipment. If an outside caterer is used, the Church Secretary or a member of the kitchen committee will be present to open, supervise and close the kitchen. An additional fee may be required, with the proceeds going into the general fund of the church. Cleaning up is the responsibility of the caterer.
- We encourage you to consider using bird seed to be thrown after your wedding. Rice, confetti, etc. is not to be thrown in any part of the church building or thrown in such a manner as to enter the building.
- Food or drink provided for the wedding party prior to the ceremony is allowed only in the Gathering Area.
- The church is not responsible for valuables left unattended during or after the wedding. Please assign someone to gather valuables from rooms prior to the ceremony.
Since weddings require special services on the part of the church staff, the following fees will be involved.
- Building Use: $250.00
- Custodian Services: $100.00
- Organist: $150.00
- Minister: $200.00
- Building Use: $ ——-
- Custodian Services: $100.00
- Organist: $150.00
- Minister: Honorarium Suggested
The above fees mentioned should be paid by check made payable to the individuals involved and given to the pastor two weeks prior to the wedding.
Further guidelines for weddings are found in the Book of Order, section W 4.9000 and should be consulted by any couple seeking to be married in the church.