wedding imagesWEDDING GUIDELINES ELKHORN HILLS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

It is our pleasure to host your wedding at Elkhorn Hills. We know that this is a most special day in the lives of the bride and groom and their families and we want to do all we can to help in making this day one you will treasure in memories for years to come.  In our church we consider a wedding ceremony to be a worship service and as such it needs to be a service of dignity and respect. Our pastor will help you to bring this about.

We have put into place some general guidelines (Revised August 2015) to follow as you plan your wedding. If you have any questions about any of these please speak with the pastor or the wedding facilitator about them.

MEMBERS AND NONMEMBERS

There are some differences in policy between those who are members of Elkhorn Hills and those who are not. A member is someone who has been on our membership roll for at least a year and has participated in the ministry of the church, including attending worship regularly. There will be times when either the bride or groom has parents or grandparents who are church members that this could be relaxed at the discretion of the pastor.

SCHEDULING

You need to schedule your wedding and rehearsal dates and times with the church office as soon as possible to ensure that the date you want is available. We will schedule this for you when you have made a deposit of $200 and completed our application sheet. All of this can be done in our church office during regular business hours (8:30-4:30) during the week. When your date is placed on the calendar, the pastor and wedding facilitator will receive your information and will make arrangements to meet with you to discuss your wedding.

PASTORS

It is understood that the pastor of Elkhorn Hills will officiate all nonmember weddings.  Pastors of denominations other than United Methodist are not allowed to officiate at weddings here.  Persons who receive “ordination” online are not allowed to officiate weddings here. Members may have a relative or friend who is a pastor may be able to take part in the service.  This will need to be discussed with the pastor.

The ceremony will be the traditional United Methodist service which the pastor will go over with the couple.  Any changes made to the service need to be approved by the pastor.  The use of any secular music will need to be discussed with the pastor. It is assumed that all music used in the ceremony will be respectful and appropriate for the setting.

The pastor will discuss with each couple a schedule for pre-marital counseling.

OTHER STAFF

Elkhorn Hills provides for every wedding a wedding facilitator. This person will meet with the couple and discuss the wedding plans and also will be present at rehearsal to assist in walking through the wedding ceremony and also on the wedding day to assist in any way needed. The fee for this person is included in the overall fee, discussed below.

We have some talented and experienced keyboard musicians at the church who could possibly serve as your music providers.  You may ask an outside person to provide your music after discussing this with the pastor.  Fees for any of these persons will need to be arranged by the couple and the musician.

You may use a CD of music that is approved by the pastor.  A member of Elkhorn Hills will be present to play any CD’s you want to use.  A fee is suggested for this person as well.

DECORATIONS

If at all possible we will have the sanctuary available for decoration the entire day of the wedding and possibly after rehearsal as well. We ask that you keep any decorations tasteful and minimal. Flower arrangements and candles, as long as they are the dripless kind, are appropriate. If your wedding is in December the church will be decorated for the Christmas season and those decorations will provide a lovely back drop for your wedding. If you want a candelabra you will need to get that from a florist. If you wish to use the Unity Candle ceremony in the wedding you will need to provide all materials for that. You may attach flowers to the end of the middle row pews. All decorations need to be removed after the service. If you leave flower arrangements we will assume you want those to stay at the church.

REHEARSAL

We suggest that the rehearsal be scheduled as early as possible the evening before the wedding. This will give you more time for the dinner which usually occurs afterward. The rehearsal will begin on time and should last no more than an hour. Please bring your marriage license with you to the rehearsal and give it to the pastor. The pastor will then be responsible for the license, getting signatures from the Maid/Matron of Honor and the Best Man after the ceremony. The pastor will return to you the documents that you will need and the pastor will file the completed license with the state.

FEES

The nonmember fee for weddings at Elkhorn Hills is $600 (includes the $200 deposit). Fees for members are at their discretion. The usual fee for the pastor for nonmembers is $200 and $150 for members. All fees are due on or before rehearsal night.

OTHER

  • Rice and bird seed are not allowed in greeting the bride and groom as they exit the church. Other celebratory ideas for this time need to be discussed with the wedding facilitator.
  • Please do not ask the facilitator or the pastor if an animal can be a participant in your wedding.  The answer will always be “no” unless the animal is a service animal for a member of the wedding party or a guest.
  • None of the furniture or fixtures in the sanctuary will be moved without the permission of the pastor.
  • Dressing areas will be provided for the wedding party. Elkhorn Hills UMC is not responsible for any of your possessions and if you request it, we will lock the dressing room when the ceremony is ready to begin.
  • A printed wedding bulletin/program may be used. The pastor will help with this.
  • No alcohol is allowed on the church property, including the parking lot. The building and grounds are all smoke-free areas. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in an increase in fees.
  • You may use our Family Life Center for your reception if the date is available. There is no fee for members to use the FLC. Nonmembers fees will be discussed when the scheduling is done.