Bethel Murdoch Wedding Policies

Congratulations on your engagement!  What an exciting time for you and your family.  Your big day will be here before you know it and we’re happy you are considering Bethel Murdoch Presbyterian Church for such a wonderful occasion.

The following will hopefully help you in the decision making process by giving you a list of guidelines ahead of time and steps to follow in order for your big day to go the way you want it, while being respectful and in keeping with the Christian tradition.

STEP ONE:  Call the Wedding Coordinator

Using our Wedding Coordinator (NOT a Wedding Planner) is a requirement here at this church.  She will ensure everything runs smoothly during the Rehearsal and Wedding.  She will also answer any and all questions you may have as well as take care of your paperwork.  First, though, you need to make an appointment to see the church.  If it’s all that you had hoped it would be, then you save the date with a down payment.  Please note that reservations should not be made less than 60 days prior to the Wedding and any wedding less than one week away will not be considered.

Please contact the church to talk to a wedding coordinator (513) 583-9676.

STEP TWO:  Call the Minister

The Wedding Coordinator will be able to help you with a great deal of things, but the actual ceremony itself, along with counseling beforehand is left up to the Pastor.  Please call to schedule an appointment as she is ultimately responsible for everything.  You and your fiancé will also meet with the Pastor a minimum of three times prior to the Wedding for pre-marriage counseling as well as planning of the actual service.  Please plan accordingly as each session will last approximately 1-2 hours.

Please contact the church to talk to our Minister (513) 583-9676.

STEP THREE:  Send out save the date cards and start planning
Make sure you let family members know when your big day is going to be, especially the ones who will be traveling from out of town.  Now is also the time to start planning everything else if you haven’t already done so.  Start asking yourself these questions:

Who do you want in the Wedding?

What music do you want?

If you want an Organist, then call now.  Our Organist is Jim Bronstrup (513) 899-3208

Do you want traditional vows or will you write our own?

What kind of reception do you want?

Where are you going to on your honeymoon?

DJ?  Photographer? Invitations?  Cake?  Flowers?  Dress?  Tux?

STEP FOUR:  Finalize Planning and Meet with Minister

Steps three and four are huge, but they also cover a great deal of time.  You’ll have a lot less stress as the time gets closer if these things are taken care of ahead of time.  If you want anything added, taken away, or changed, now is the time to do it.  Now is also the time to make sure you have the Marriage License.  Contact the county in which you live for details.

STEP FIVE:  Rehearsal/Finalize Payments

Tomorrow, you are going to pledge your love and devotion to another person.  While you may want to spend your last night of “freedom” celebrating, please do so with responsibility and respect.  Getting married is a serious commitment and not one to be taken lightly.  Enjoy this time with your friends and family and cherish it.

STEP SIX:  The Big Day!

It all comes down to this.  Today you are going to be changed forever.  This is the day that you have dreamed about.  Don’t worry about things you can’t control (i.e. weather).  Let your family and our Wedding Coordinator worry about that.  Just bask in the glory of your big day and enjoy it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do we have to be members of the church to get married there?

No, our church is welcome to all couples, but priority will be given to our members.  Costs also vary based on membership.

I’m not a member, but I have a relative that goes there, can I get the member rate?

In order to get the member rates, you, your fiancé, or your parents must be active members at the church.  Distant relatives and friends do not count.

When can we get married?

Weddings are normally conducted on Saturdays, but have also occurred on other days as well.  The only restriction is based on the availability of the minister and the church.  Our church services are held on Sunday mornings at 10:45, with special services occurring at various times.  Please check with the Wedding Coordinator for date and time to be sure.

We have a minister in our family, can he marry us instead?

We do allow other ministers to either perform the ceremony or assist our pastor in some way.  This is done on a case by case basis, so please contact our pastor if you wish to do this.  Note that no matter who performs the ceremony, all of the church rules still apply.

Can we decorate the sanctuary?

Being a historic church, we do have regulations on decorating, but here is a list of what you may add:

Acceptable

  • Aisle runner
  • Floral arrangements
  • Candle stands
  • Bows (may only be attached to pews with pipe cleaners)

Unacceptable

  • Tacks, nails, and tape
  • Colored items that will stain or discolor the sanctuary
  • Paint, markers

We generally remove the pulpit and chairs, change the sanctuary colors to white, and place the Lord’s Table underneath the Cross.  If you prefer another arrangement or if you wish to add anything other than the above listed acceptable items, please contact our Wedding Coordinator for permission beforehand.

Are there any requirements/restrictions on the Wedding Ceremony itself?

First and foremost, a Wedding Ceremony gives thanks to God, so to that effect, it is a worship service as well as a civil ceremony.  In everything that you do, from the vows to the music, you need to take that into account and be respectful to God.

Guidance on the ceremony will be given by the officiating Minister. Scripture readings, use of poems, vows, and choice of music are all ways a couple can express their individuality within the ceremony providing they fit the solemnity of the service.

How large is your Sanctuary?  Will it be able to hold all of our guests?

Our Sanctuary can hold approximately 120-140 people.  It is best suited for a smaller to medium sized Wedding.

Is there enough parking?

Our church has a paved front lot with handicapped accessibility, as well as an overflow back lot with gravel.  It should be sufficient for your Wedding, but please ask those physically able to park in the back lot.

What is your policy on photography?

Flash photography is not permitted during the ceremony.

Can we get dressed at the church?

There are two private Sunday school rooms which may be used for this purpose.  We also have bathroom facilities and a full kitchen.

Can we have our reception in your Fellowship Hall?

Like our Sanctuary, our Fellowship Hall is on the smaller side, but couples have used it for their Reception.  We have round tables and long tables which may be used along with folding chairs.  Our kitchen is available, but you will be responsible for any and all music and food.  If you decide to use the Fellowship Hall for your reception, you are required to pay the janitorial service fee of $50.00.  Note that being a part of the church, the same rules of respect to God still apply.

What is your policy on alcohol and tobacco?

Alcohol and tobacco are not permitted.   Additionally, anyone showing up intoxicated at the Wedding will be turned away, including the Bride and Groom as it is against the law to enter into a contract in an altered state of mind.

How much does everything cost?

Please refer to Bethel Murdoch Usage Fees page for costs.