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Weddings

Policies

WEDDING POLICIES

COCHRAN CHAPEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

One of the most sacred and beautiful ceremonies of the church is the marriage service. It is ALWAYS A SERVICE OF WORSHIP in which two persons, in the company of their loved ones and friends, publicly covenant with each other under the blessing of God. A Christian wedding is much more than a social event. Two persons are united by God in holy marriage.

It is the desire of the pastor(s) and staff of Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church to make every wedding a special, sacred, and memorable event. To this end the following policies and procedures have been established. We want to extend to each wedding party every possible consideration, courtesy and benefit.

In order to establish a uniform and regular practice with regard to weddings at Cochran Chapel UMC, and make available to all interested parties, the accepted wedding procedures, we have prepared this material for your information.

I. PASTORAL STAFF

The pastoral staff of Cochran Chapel UMC will be in charge of the wedding ceremony. Appointments for consultation, discussion and counsel with the bride and groom prior to the service are required. Helping the bride and groom prepare themselves, so that the service will truly represent their union, is the purpose of this session. Establishing each new home on a firm foundation of Christian faith and value is also desired.

It is the policy of Cochran Chapel UMC to assign a member of its pastoral staff to conduct each wedding performed in its facilities. The pastoral staff may include both male or female members because the United Methodist Church believes God calls both men and women to the ordained ministry. Wedding assignments will be made on a rotational basis, unless prior arrangements have been established with a particular pastor. In exceptional circumstances a Cochran Chapel pastor may not be available for a wedding. On such an occasion Cochran Chapel’s senior pastor will invite a guest clergy to conduct the ceremony.

The church office will contact you about three months prior to your wedding for consultation appointments.

II. SCHEDULING THE WEDDING

It is important that all arrangements (including date, exact hours, etc.) for wedding services, rehearsals, and receptions be scheduled as far in advance as possible. Church members have priority in scheduling dates should there be a conflict. Once a date is set on the church calendar, whether it be a member or non-member, that date and time is secure. The church may not schedule further than nine months into the future for non-member weddings. All scheduling arrangements must be made only with the church secretary.

NO WEDDINGS MAY BE SCHEDULED ON:

Sundays

Holy Week

Easter Day and Easter Weekend

Memorial Day

July 4th

Labor Day

Thanksgiving Day and Weekend

Christmas Week, Eve, or Day

New Year’s Eve or Day

Any time, day or evening, that would conflict with church events already scheduled in Cox Chapel or in

the Sanctuary Building or in other church facilities.

A reservation is confirmed when a pastor has agreed to officiate at the wedding ceremony, the time for the wedding has been scheduled

and the appropriate fees have been paid at the church office.

Payment of all fees is required to reserve the church facilities for your wedding and to secure a date on the calendar. The reason for this policy is to make sure that dates are reserved with adequate seriousness and intent.

See DEPOSIT/REFUND about cancellations and return of fees.

III. AVAILABLE WEDDING FACILITIES

1.Cox Chapel ..................................seating capacity 90

2.Sanctuary ..................................seating capacity 200

For weddings in Cox Chapel the bride’s room next to the chapel is convenient for the bride and her attendants. Fellowship Hall, below the Sanctuary, is used by the bride and her attendants when a wedding is in the Sanctuary building.

The groom and his attendants dress at home. When the wedding is in Cox Chapel the groom and his attendants gather in the library room. When the wedding is in the Sanctuary the groom and his attendants wait in the Groom’s Room on the second floor of the Education Building.

IV. MUSIC

Since the wedding service is a Christian service of worship, the music selected must be appropriate to Christian worship. Music is to be selected in consultation with the organist of Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church. It is best not to make any hard and fast decisions before you meet with the organist. The organist’s responsibility is to assure that all wedding music is appropriate for worship.

If solos or anthems are sung, the words should focus attention upon the covenant love of God, which is the foundation and example for the love of husband and wife together. Songs normally will express praise, prayer or thanksgiving . Secular love songs are not appropriate for the wedding service, but may be sung at the reception. Many weddings now include congregational singing of hymns, and the United Methodist Hymnal includes a number of new and very singable hymns specifically for marriage services.

You or your vocalist(s) are expected to provide the necessary sheet music. For legal and moral reasons, photo-copied music may NOT be used by the organist or singer (s). Singers will need to make a rehearsal appointment with the organist, and should know the music well before rehearsing with the organist.

If you wish, the church organist can hire vocalists and instrumentalists for you. Fees for musicians secured by the organist are payable in advance before the wedding. For invoicing purposes the organist will inform the church office of the proper amount to be billed for the “extra” musicians.

The organist of Cochran Chapel plays for all weddings held in the Sanctuary or Chapel of the church. It is the policy of Cochran Chapel UMC not to invite outside organists to play for weddings. Fees received for playing weddings are part of the organist’s compensation arrangement with the church. The organist shall receive the organist’s fee even if the bulk of the music is played by other instrumentalists. The organist has the final word on the appropriateness of music played by other musicians at the wedding.

Should the organist have a schedule conflict he/she, in consultation with the senior pastor, will secure an organist to play for the wedding.

While there is considerable latitude in the style of music appropriate to the wedding service, we believe that the association of “pop” and “rock” bands or combos with other settings make them inappropriate for church weddings.

Because worship is a live, creative offering to God, we do not permit taped accompaniments or taped background music.

V. REHEARSALS

The purpose of the wedding rehearsal is to familiarize the wedding party with the wedding procedure, so that everyone will be as comfortable as possible and know what their responsibilities are. The pastor is in charge of the rehearsal. All rehearsals must begin promptly at the scheduled time and are limited to one hour. It is the bride and groom’s responsibility to have people present on time at their rehearsal. Another rehearsal may be scheduled to follow an hour later. Starting a rehearsal late will mean that your rehearsal may not be finished.

All members of your wedding party should attend your rehearsal. This includes mothers and fathers too.

Wedding rehearsals are scheduled at set times. They are:

6:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m.

Most rehearsals take place on the day before the wedding. Should conflicts arise, other times during the week of the wedding may be arranged by visiting with the church office.

No one under the influence of alcohol will be permitted to participate in the rehearsal or the wedding. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the premises. Smoking is strictly prohibited in all buildings. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to inform all members of the wedding party of these alcohol and smoking policies.

The wedding license must be given to the pastor at the rehearsal. A wedding license must be obtained from a Texas county. The license cannot be older than 30 days prior to the wedding, or younger than 72 yours before the wedding ceremony.

VI. DECORATIONS

Weddings are special! Be assured, however, that it is not necessary to spend a fortune in order to have a beautiful wedding. Neither flowers nor decorations are essential to the beauty of your wedding or the success of your marriage. Remember that in both the Sanctuary and Chapel “less may be more”. It is God and the people involved who make weddings truly beautiful.

The altar furnishings in the Sanctuary and Cox Chapel are not moved. No banners, Pulpit or Table hangings are removed. Floral archways and other decorations, which obscure the Lord’s Table, the Pulpit, or Baptismal Font and transform worship spaces into gardens, are not acceptable. Participants are to remember that the Sanctuary and Cox Chapel are houses of worship. In themselves they are appropriately decorated for various celebrative seasons of the church year.

No tape or tacks may be placed on furniture or pews. Florist clay may be used to attach bows to pews. No decorative items may be placed on the organ console in Cox Chapel.

For safety reasons, candles are not permitted outside the chancel area in either the Sanctuary or Cox Chapel. All candles, dripless included, must be used with a protective covering on the floor/carpet. We do not provide candelabras.

Access to the Sanctuary and Cox Chapel for decorating purposes is limited to no more than three hours before the wedding time. Your florists will need to contact the church office and request a specific access time. It is the bride and groom’s responsibility to see to it that their florist makes this arrangement. The church will not call to schedule a decoration time.

All decorations, equipment, and personal belongings must be removed from Cox Chapel and the Sanctuary immediately following the Wedding Service. Wedding flowers, if you so choose, may be left for worship services of the day following your wedding. The church office should be notified, if flowers are to remain for the Sunday service.

Florist will be held responsible for cleaning wax drippings from floors, carpet and furniture. They also will be held responsible for other damage, which can occur, from their work.

The bride and groom will give to their florist the Florist Instruction Sheet that accompanies this brochure. The florist is responsible for abiding by the policies spelled out on that sheet. Any florist disregarding the policies of Cochran Chapel UMC will not be recommended to future wedding parties and they may be forbidden from working in Cochran Chapel again.

Should your wedding take place during the seasons of Advent or Christmas (Thanksgiving Sunday to the Sunday after January 6th), the seasonal decorations in Cox Chapel and the Sanctuary must remain as they are. If you choose, you may add decorations, but those already in place must not be removed or altered in any way.

VII. DEPOSITS AND REFUNDS

A damage deposit ($100) is included with the wedding fees for Cochran Chapel UMC.

If there is any damage to church property,

If any unusual custodial services are required,

If the wedding policies of Cochran Chapel UMC are not followed,

the Damage Deposit will be retained.

If the above stipulations are not violated, the Damage Deposit is returned to you by mail within two weeks after the wedding date.

If for any reason your wedding is canceled or postponed, please notify the Church Secretary promptly. Total fees are returned to you if notification occurs 60 DAYS PRIOR to your wedding date, and one half of your fees are returned to you if notification occurs 30 DAYS PRIOR to your wedding date.

The bride and groom will be held responsible for any damages which exceeds the damage deposit amount.

VIII. RECEPTIONS

Meaders Hall, the building behind Cox Chapel, is available for receptions. This facility is not automatically available due to the church’s busy program calendar, but if you desire to have your reception on the premises, you will need to schedule it through the Church Office. There are additional fees for Meaders Hall use.

If your reception is to be in Meaders Hall, the bride and groom are responsible for informing the caterer of the policies for its use. There is a scheduled access and vacating time for Meaders Hall and adhering to that time is very important. A total of six hours (six at the most) is adequate to cover setting up, holding the reception, and vacating the space. Receptions cannot be set up until the day of the wedding.

Meaders Hall can accommodate comfortably 250 people. The chairs and tables are available for use. The kitchen space, stove and the ice maker can be used. If there is room, the refrigerator or freezer can be used. Cochran Chapel cannot assume responsibility for anything left in the cold storage boxes. Kitchen utensils, coffee makers, dishwasher, dishes, silverware, cups and glasses are not available. Caterers are to bring their own dishes, cups, tableware and cloths, etc.

Custodial services to clean and mop floors are charged for with the use of Meaders Hall. The custodian is not responsible for dishwashing, cleaning kitchen cabinets, service areas, chairs, or table tops.

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the church premises. This includes the grounds. Smoking is strictly prohibited in all buildings. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to inform all members of the wedding party of these policies.

IX. PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO TAPING

All photography and video-taping must be done in such a way as to not distract from the spirit of worship. No flash photos or additional video lights may be used during the wedding after the mother of the bride has been seated. During the wedding video tape equipment is confined to the rear of Cox Chapel or the balcony of the Sanctuary where space for video recording is provided.

Photographers may NOT take flash pictures in the processional aisle after the mother of the bride is seated. Flash pictures however MAY be taken during the recessional. Flash pictures may be taken in the entrance foyer prior to the service in both Cox Chapel or the Sanctuary. Pictures without flash may be taken during the ceremony from the rear door of Cox Chapel and from the balcony of the Sanctuary.

Photographs of any kind may be taken at the reception.

The bride and groom are responsible for getting the Photographer’s Instruction Sheet to their photographer.

X. RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFEKEEPING

Cochran Chapel UMC cannot accept delivery of dresses for the bride or any other members of the wedding party. Nor can the delivery of equipment, food, or flowers be accepted ahead of the scheduled access time. We cannot be responsible for valuables and personal effects which are brought to the church and left unattended. We will not be liable for any wedding items mentioned above if lost, stolen or damaged.

XI. MISCELLANEOUS

NO RICE OR CONFETTI is to be thrown on church property.

BIRD SEED OR BUBBLES, if used only outside, is acceptable.

SMOKING IS PROHIBITED within all church buildings.

NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES may be consumed anywhere on church property.

ANY PERSON UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL will not participate in the wedding.

Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church

9027 Midway Road

Dallas, Texas 75209

214-352-4889

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