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Congratulations on your engagement! We are happy to hear you are taking such an important step in your life! We hope you find the following information useful as you consider planning your wedding at First United Methodist Church of Geneva. We see each wedding as an important ministry of the church. Our goal, however, goes beyond the day of your wedding -- as we hope to help each couple prepare for a lifetime of growth in love and faith. The wedding itself is a service of worship that celebrates the life-long covenant the bride and groom are making with each other. A wedding evokes many emotions for it is, at the same time, a culmination of hopes and dreams, the beginning of a new experience, an occasion of deep commitment, and an expression of your faith. Many of the following guidelines are aimed at creating an atmosphere of joy and reverence appropriate for such a celebration.

All weddings at our church are performed by a United Methodist pastor using a United Methodist service. Church Wedding Staff PastorAll weddings are performed by a United Methodist pastor using a Methodist service. The pastor for your wedding will meet with both of you before the service to talk about Christian marriage and details of the ceremony as well as to conduct premarital counseling. It is highly recommended that you call two months before the wedding to schedule your first meeting with the pastor. Pianist Robyn Samuelson will help you plan your wedding music. If you have a special request, please bring the music to your meeting so Robyn can determine whether it is appropriate for a wedding ceremony at our church Custodian A member of our staff will open and close the facilities, set up and take down church equipment and do normal cleanup after the wedding. Fees for extra cleaning or taking down and storing rental or personal equipment remaining after the wedding party has left the premises will be deducted from your wedding deposit. Flowers and Decorations Flowers You may use fresh or artificial flowers, including silk rose petals in the aisle. Flowers or greenery may be attached to the candelabra using plastic or ribbon -- no tape or tacks. All plants and floral arrangements must be in waterproof containers. Decorations All decorations should blend in with the dignity and beauty of the sanctuary. No arches, columns or other artificial settings are allowed. The cross, candles and white altar cloth may not be handled, moved or removed. Nothing may be taped or tacked onto walls or furnishings, and pew-end clips must be plastic or plastic-coated. Candles must be spring-loaded or oil -- no wax except unity candles. No glitter or other small pieces that are difficult to vacuum are permitted. Church Availability for Deliveries and Decorating The church facilities are opened two hours before the wedding. If decorators would like to come earlier, we will attempt to accommodate them, provided there are no other events at the church that day. Florists may use Ward Hall for finishing touches; it is air conditioned and has access to the kitchen for running water. Supplies in drawers and cabinets belong to the church and may not be used. Cleanup and Removal of Equipment Our custodian does routine cleanup after weddings. Costs for extra cleaning or removal and storage of rental or personal equipment left on the premises when the wedding is over will be deducted from the wedding deposit. Photography and Videography Purpose of these Guidelines A wedding ceremony is a worship service. These guidelines were created to keep the focus of the ceremony on the sacredness of the vows the bride and groom are making. Therefore we must ask photographers and guests to honor our rules. Arrivals The facilities and dressing rooms are opened 2 hours prior to the wedding, unless other arrangements have been made. For most weddings the women dress in the Burkett Room (North Side of the building). The men are in Ward Hall. Before the Ceremony The photographer/videographer may stand five rows from the back of the sanctuary and take shots with artificial lighting as the family, bridesmaids, and bride enter the sanctuary. After that, no artificial lighting is permitted until the bride & groom start down the aisle at the completion of the ceremony. During the Ceremony Photos and videos may be taken ONLY from the pre-approved and agreed upon locations. Following the ceremony, the pastor will be glad to return to the altar to recreate any parts of the ceremony for flash pictures or video. Bridal Consultant If you hire a bridal consultant, please advise your consultant that he or she is welcome to help, but the pastor is in charge of the rehearsal and wedding and will guide the ceremony according to our procedures. Family and Friends Attendants We do not limit the number of attendants but alternate dressing arrangements may be needed, depending on the size of the wedding party. Flower Girls and Ring Bearers We recommend (but don't require) that children participating in the service be at least four years old. Families and Blended Families We want everyone involved in your wedding to feel welcome and comfortable. If you have concerns about seating arrangements or other potential sources of friction, please discuss these with the pastor. If you have children from a previous marriage, the pastor can discuss options for including them in the service in a special way.
NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON CHURCH PREMISES AT ANY TIME. Persons violating this rule (including members of the wedding party) may be asked to leave the property immediately.
The Rehearsal All participants in the wedding must be present. Give your marriage license to the pastor at the rehearsal, as by law the pastors cannot perform a wedding ceremony without the license in hand. Lost Items As wedding days are hectic, it is not unusual for things to be left behind. Our church cannot be responsible for lost items, so please ask a friend or family member who is not in the wedding party to check the dressing rooms after the wedding party leaves. If something is left behind, please call the church office as soon as possible to let us know.