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Frequently Asked Questions about having a wedding at St. John's

Can we bring our own minister?
Yes, as long as they are an ordained Christian Minister.

Do we have to go through the marriage preparation?
Only if you are using one of St. John’s minister.

 How long do we have the church for?
You have the church for 2 ½ hours the day of the wedding and one hour for rehearsal which is usually the night before your Thursday night. Day of the wedding the 2 ½ hours is broken down as follows: 1 hour before ceremony time, 1 ½ hours from ceremony start time until it is time to leave. For example: a ceremony with a 1pm start time would have the use of the church from 12pm to 2:30pm. The first hour is used for decorating the church, getting ready, guest arrival. Ceremony average time is 30 minutes, the time after the ceremony is used for taking pictures.

How many people does the church hold?
The pews hold about 250, the sanctuary can seat 310 with additional chairs set up. St. John’s is happy to set up the chairs for an additional $2 per chair, or the couple can have someone set them up and take them down at no cost.

What does the St. John's coordinator do?
The function of the coordinator is to welcome you as our guests, help you feel comfortable in our church home, answer any questions that you may have regarding your ceremony at St. John's, arrange any reasonable requests and needs, coordinate details of your ceremony (if necessary), and is ultimately responsible for insuring the safety of all guests and the building during the rehearsal and wedding.

Can we have an aisle runner?
Yes, however you need to sign a liability waiver which the church can provide.

Can we have rose pedals?
Only if you have someone to clean them up. If they are not cleaned up, you will be charged $30 (taken out of the security deposit)

Does the church provide a Unity Candle and holder?
No, the couple needs to provide their own.

Can we use our own musician?
If you are planning on using the organ, contact the office for a list of organists. However, if you are planning on using other musical instruments, for example, a trio or a harpist, you are more than welcome to use the musician of your choice.

Can we use St. John’s sound system?
St. John’s has a basic sound system that you are welcome to use. We do not have a sound tech person and it is the responsibility of the couple to provide one. Our sound system can play CDs and can have 2 microphones hooked up to it. We have two clip on mics – one for the minister and an extra one. St. John’s has awesome acoustics and most singers do not require a mic. It is highly recommend that if you would like to use St. John’s system, that the sound tech person come in and check out the equipment.

Does St. John’s have flower stands?
Yes, we have two wrought iron stand you are welcome to use.

Can we use the candelabras, do we need to provide candles?  

The candelabras are included in the cost of the ceremony. The church coordinator will light them about 15 minutes prior to the ceremony. St. John’s provides the candles.

Can we have the white fabric taken down?
Yes, for a fee of $75.

Does the church provide an aisle runner?
No. If you would like an aisle runner, talk to your florist. They usually can provide one. The church requires liability insurance for an aisle runner. You can usually obtain this from your insurance company for a minimal fee.


Frequently Asked Questions about planning a wedding
From Real Simple Weddings magazine, May 2008 Issue . . .

Where does music fit into the ceremony?
At a few key places: the Prelude — Music signals to guests that it’s time to assemble; the Processional — When the bridal party walks down the aisle, play a steady, simple beat, like a march or a canon; the Recessional — You’re married! That jubilant feeling should translate to the music playing as guests leave. Elsewhere: add music as you see fit — during a reading or a ritual.

Do I have to create a wedding program?
No, you may skip this step. If you do decide on one, ask your officiant for an outline of the ceremony.  Include the date, the time, the venue of the wedding, and your full names, as well as those of the attendants and the officiant.

What’s the order for the processional?
It’s up to you.  But traditionally, the order is . . . Grandparents, mother of groom, mother of bride, groomsmen (if not already up front with groom), bridesmaids (solo or with groomsmen), maid of honor,ring bearer, flower girl, you and your escort (your father, both parents, a close relative or friend).

What’s the best way to handle family when it comes to cultural and religious differences?
As soon as you and your fiancé agree on concepts for the ceremony, tell both sets of parents about the plans. Listen to your family members’ concerns, explain your choices, and even compromise. If you’re having an interfaith union, bring in elements from both beliefs.

What are some ways to recognize loved ones in the ceremony?
To honor the deceased: Light a candle; display a photo of the person on a table beside the altar; place a rose on an unoccupied seat in the front row; ask the officiant to request a moment of silence.  To honor the absent living: Acknowledge them in the program or in toasts at the reception.  To honor the people present: Consider handing out token gifts after the nuptials.

How long should the ceremony last?
25 to 35 minutes is feasible ballpark figure.

What should you address at the rehearsal?
Go over these logistics with the wedding party: the order of the processional and the recessional, and who stands   where; cues and triggers from the officiant and who’ll be in charge of the rings; the duties of the flower girl and the ring bearer.  The job of running the rehearsal usually lies with the wedding planner or the officiant, but you can designate a family member or friend.


From Real Simple Weddings magazine, May 2008 Issue . . .Your Words

Who should choose them: Couples who aren’t sure what they want and those who suffer from stage fright, since the officiant does most of the talking at the wedding ceremony.  Couples who wish to keep their intimate feelings private should pick the traditional wedding-vows option as well.

What to know: A requirement of ceremonies in the United States involves a “declaration of consent”, in which the couple must indicate they enter into marriage of their own free will. 

Who should choose them: Brides and grooms who wish to be unique.  Chances are, you’ll have to do research and seek inspiration.  Consider, too, that the more you personalize your pledge, the more you’ll probably talk, which calls for a certain comfort level with public speaking.  Whatever you choose to say, write it down on a piece of paper and have your maid of honor carry it to the altar.

What to know: To get the creative juices flowing: exchange love letters with your fiancé, review old journals, look at souvenirs from your best dates, revisit places that mean a lot to you both, flip through photo albums, and recount anecdotes from your relationship.