Asbury United Methodist Church, Greenville, NY

ASBURY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
GREENVILLE, NY

Helpful Information as You Prepare for Your Wedding

Welcome and congratulations on your upcoming marriage! We, as a church, see the accommodation and support of Christian marriages to be a valuable means of ministry to both our members and to all in our surrounding communities. We are glad to offer our assistance during this exciting and often confusing time, and offer these following guidelines if you choose to plan your wedding with us.

Our Minister:

Our pastor, the Rev. Dale Ashby, is responsible for the care and guidance of couples entering into Christian marriage at our church. Our pastor should be contacted as far in advance as possible in order to ensure the availability of your wedding date. It is our expectation that our current pastor will personally conduct all weddings held on our church grounds. On occasion, a couple requests that another minister, priest, rabbi, or officiant also participate in the service. Though guest co-officiants are always welcome, etiquette does require that all invitations to co-celebrants are discussed with a pastor in advance, and then he will offer the invitation personally. As part of our ministerial covenant in the United Methodist Church, it is important that former senior or associate pastors not be pre-contacted by the wedding couple or their families to offer participation in wedding ceremonies and receptions, prior to consulting with the current pastor. Ceremonies conducted in languages other than English are welcome here, although the details of the service remain at our pastor's discretion.

Our Facilities:

Our church is a picturesque structure that provides a beautiful setting for a wedding ceremony. There is seating for up to 200 guests, yet smaller gatherings will still enjoy a sense of closeness that would disappear in larger buildings. Ample parking is available in lots alongside and behind the church. A lovely Allen organ provides wonderful music for your ceremonies, though other types of instruments are welcome.

Those planning summer weddings should consider carefully that the sanctuary is not air-conditioned, though it has ceiling fans. Restrooms are available on the church main floor.

Preparing for Your Wedding:

It is important to explore potential wedding dates with the church office and minister as early as possible. A common frustration can arise from setting a wedding date based upon reception bookings, then learning that the church is unable to accommodate your date and time. Once a suitable date and time are determined, it must be reserved by submitting the enclosed forms and a $100 deposit, which is refundable if the ceremony is canceled. This will ensure that no other event will be considered for that date and time. It is also important to consult with the pastor in order to set a rehearsal date at this point.

The care of couples and families as they enter into Christian marriage is a precious ministry of the Church, expressing the joys and responsibilities of love and life. Although membership in the United Methodist Church is not required, we do ask that each couple pay close attention to their spiritual lives as they journey toward their wedding day. Worship, prayer, Scripture study, and sharing are not just other activities crammed into the busyness of planning a wedding, but rather are wonderful opportunities to grow and develop a much deeper bond of marriage. So often in the rush of getting married in God's name we miss that the heart of this union is God's work. Our pastor is here as a resource and counselor through the entire process. The final decision to perform the marriage service rests at all times with the pastor.

Couples will be expected to meet with our minister a minimum of four times prior to the wedding rehearsal date. The initial meeting will be a time to get acquainted, gather information about your wedding plans, and explain in detail both our policies and the steps required for a marriage license. A valuable time of reflection and counsel will begin, to be continued at the following meetings, which will conclude with the preparation of your wedding service.

We recognize the wide variety of choices before you in planning your wedding ceremony. Our pastor will listen and assist you in designing a service that truly reflects your wishes, and is meaningful to the couple and guests. The pastor will provide assistance in retaining a musician(s), soloist, and other hired persons that will best reflect your plans and wishes. Although many couples enjoy the solemn beauty of the traditional wedding service, there is ample room to personalize your ceremony as you reflect on the deep commitment of a marriage in the Church.

Photography and Video:

Picture taking and filming are welcome and unrestricted up until the minister, bride, groom, and wedding party are in place at the front of the sanctuary, as long as those doing do are courteous to other guests, and do not block the aisles. Please note and discuss with your photographer that during the ceremony, however, there is to be no flash picture taking, camera lights, or movement. This applies equally to guests and hired professionals. While the ceremony is being conducted, photographers and videographers may continue without flash or lights from a stationary position, in order to maintain the reverence of the occasion and prevent distraction. Professionals are welcome to contact us or visit our sanctuary in order to obtain further instructions, choose equipment, sample light levels, etc. Following the ceremony, portions of the service may be re-posed for portraits and close-ups, and the grounds surrounding our church are available for outdoor portrait settings.

Your Rehearsal:

This will typically be held the night prior to the ceremony, unless other arrangements are made. All who are participating in the conducting of the service or are in the wedding party are expected to attend. Please make all travel arrangements to arrive 30 minutes early, in order that the rehearsal may begin on time. All fees and honoraria must be submitted by the rehearsal, prior to the date of the ceremony. The rehearsal will take about one hour, and will provide a valuable time for going through the service, as well as helping to relax and prepare for the wedding day.

Other Helpful Guidelines:

The throwing of rice or confetti, or the releasing of helium balloons, is no longer permitted by churches due to environmental concerns or harm to wildlife. Please consider bird seed, bubbles, or flower petals.

Our church is a smoke free facility. Please refrain from eating or drinking in our sanctuary, and dispose of litter or cigarette butts carefully. There is to be no possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on our church property, or by any participant or guest prior to arriving at the church. Failure to abide by this important standard will result in removal of guests and/or wedding party members, or the postponement of the ceremony.

The display of floral arrangements should be discussed with the pastor during the first meetings. Reasonable amounts of decorations and pew bows are always welcome. Care must be taken to ensure that floral arrangements are in proper containers that prevent water damage to the sanctuary, and of course, nothing may be taped or tacked to our sanctuary walls or furniture. Florists are advised to make arrangements in advance of the wedding day for access into the sanctuary. Because of the last-minute havoc that often results from trying to match flowers to separately arriving guests, we request that the florist does not deliver any flowers that are worn or carried by participants in the service to the church. Please have them sent to an appropriate place where they can be matched with those who will wear them, a small detail that may add much peace of mind on your special day.

Fees:

A list of fees and honoraria are included in this website. All fees should be delivered to the church office at least three days prior to the ceremony, along with the couple's marriage license. The deadline for all fees is the rehearsal date.

WEDDING HONORARIA AND FEES

HONORARIUM
MINISTER...................................................$250
(Payable to Rev. Dale Ashby)

REQUIRED FEES
USE OF SANCTUARY......................................$250
(Payable to Asbury United Methodist Church)
(Note: The initial $100 deposit to reserve the wedding date is applied to this amount, and only the remaining balance is due.)

SEXTON FEE................................................$50

ORGANIST....................................................$100
If required to be present for rehearsal, additional.....$50
(If church organist is used, payable to Julie Carney )

Soloists can be retained based upon the couple's preferences. Honoraria for soloists are negotiated individually, but typically are between $75 and $175.


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