Please read the Wedding Policy in its entirety before proceeding to the Reservation Form
Congratulations! We share in your happiness as you prepare for your wedding and begin the beautiful lifelong adventure of marriage. We are anxious to serve you and to do our best to make your wedding day one that will glorify God and celebrate your commitment to each other.
While a wedding celebration lasts a few hours, marriage lasts for a lifetime. For this reason, we encourage you to make an investment of time, not only preparing for your wedding day, but also for a lifetime of committed marriage. This handbook has been developed through prayer, experience, and careful planning. We sincerely hope that these guidelines and pre-marital steps will help prepare you for your day of celebration and a meaningful lifetime relationship.
This packet contains pertinent information on what we offer and how we desire to help you build a solid foundation for your marriage relationship.
Please read this packet in its entirety and return to us the information required to continue the process.
The Leadership of First Christian Church
Step 1: Marriage - Policy and Practice Recommendations
We celebrate God's design for marriage, reflected in Scripture, to be that of an exclusive and permanent covenant between one man and one woman. Though God's design is good and perfectly suited for our joy and His glory, our sin has fractured the fabric of God's creation, including our relationships with God and one another. For that reason, even the greatest marriages fail to fully reflect God's original plan, oftentimes leaving us frustrated, unfulfilled, and conflicted in what was intended to be a life-giving, joy-inducing, mutually satisfying relationship. (Genesis 2:24, 3:16; Romans 3:9-12, 23; Ephesians 2:1-3)
We humbly acknowledge that our own marriages as well as those men and women seeking marriage within FCC enter into our covenant relationship broken by sin; however, we celebrate the good news that because of Jesus Christ, our relationship with God can be reconciled, our hearts renewed, and our relationships restored. As a result, we fully embrace God's vision for marriage, seeking to glorify him as we devote ourselves to love, serve, and enjoy our spouse no matter what life brings (Romans 3:24-28, 5:6-11; Ephesians 2:4-10).
For this reason, our primary aim is to help all men and women find their way back to God. It's in realizing God's dream for our lives that we can fully experience his dream for our marriages. No matter where you're coming from, we are thankful you've invited us into this area of your life and welcome the pre-marriage and marriage process as an opportunity to encourage you to embrace God's dream for you.
The following reflects our desire to help you embrace God's dream for your marriage by building the foundations for a strong and healthy relationship. We do not desire to simply help you move toward a one-time event, but to partner with you by continuing to offer encouragement and support beyond your wedding day. Please read through the following guidelines and let us know if you would like us to come alongside you in your marriage preparation.
1. We ask that you commit to our marriage preparation program. One of our pastors will guide you through the pre-marital process (5-6 sessions) to help strengthen the foundation of your relationship by providing practical materials and exercises that will help you prepare for marriage.
2. We recommend that you allow at least four months preparation time for your wedding. This will allow the time to go through the pre-marital coaching sessions as well as time to plan your wedding.
3. We ask that you consistently participate in worship gatherings at FCC during the pre-marital program. Our desire is to partner with you; therefore, we not only believe it is important for you to understand our heartbeat as a church community, we believe that a relationship with a local gospel-centered church is an invaluable resource for couples seeking to live out Jesus' dream for their lives. We want you to feel that FCC is a place where you can belong beyond your wedding day.
4. We ask, if you are divorced, that you partner with our pastoral staff in seeking God's direction in this new relationship. We believe a new relationship should be pursued only after sufficient time has been given to:
a) pursue reconciliation with a former spouse, and
b) pursue personal recovery in preparation for a future marriage relationship.
5. We believe that a follower of Jesus should only marry another follower of Jesus. God's Word is clear that those who are living in an authentic relationship with Jesus should also seek to become one in marriage with someone who is also walking in relationship with Jesus. To do otherwise potentially puts ourselves on a different life-course with the very person we are committing to walk hand-in-hand with. For this reason, we are not able to conduct a wedding that joins a Christian and non-Christian.
6. We ask that you embrace God's dream for your marriage by honoring His plan for sexuality within your relationship. Sex is a covenant-binding, joy-inducing, life-producing gift that God provides to a husband and wife and is meant to be shared within the exclusive and permanent marriage relationship. We believe that marriages are healthiest and have the greatest potential for long-term wholeness when sex is viewed and experienced in this way. Therefore, we encourage couples to preserve the gift of sex for their marriage. If couples are living together and sexually active, we encourage them, where possible, to consider optional living arrangements until their wedding day as one simple way to honor each other and God's dream for their sexual relationship.
7. We value our ongoing partnership with you in marriage. In the same way that the starting line marks the beginning of a race, your wedding day marks what we pray is the beginning of a life-long discovery and participation in God's dream for your marriage. We want to be available in every way possible to help you experience your marriage to the fullest. We are committed to providing small groups, resources, and pastoral encouragement for your benefit. Our heart for you and your spouse is that you will not only begin the journey of marriage on the right foot, but also finish strong for your joy and God's glory.
The choice to agree to these guidelines and be married at FCC is up to you. Regardless of whether you choose to invite us into your wedding day and marriage, we sincerely hope that you will embrace God's dream for your lives and marriage and believe they are for your joy and wholeness. If you have an extenuating circumstance which you believe requires special consideration in regard to the above-mentioned, you are invited to express this to us, and our leadership will determine whether an exception is possible. We pray God's best for you in the days ahead.
Step 2: Review Facilities Information
Our Facilities | Weddings
- FCC Heritage Chapel venue
- Accommodates weddings with up to 275 guests
- Seating will be set up for Sunday services and cannot be altered for the wedding
- FCC Worship Center venue
- Accommodate weddings with up to 600 guests
- Seating will be set up for Sunday services and cannot be altered for the wedding
- Wedding Day Options
- Sundays–no weddings may be scheduled
- Saturdays–weddings must start no later than 4:00 PM and the building must be vacated of all wedding decorations and attendees by 6:00 PM to facilitate cleaning and setup for Sunday programming.
- Weekdays–may be scheduled at times that do not conflict with regular church programming
Our Facilities | Receptions
- FCC Worship Center venue–available for receptions only during weekdays
- FCC Student Center venue–available for receptions Monday-Saturday
- Saturday Reception–venue must be vacated of all wedding decorations and attendees by 6:00 PM to facilitate cleaning and setup for Sunday programming
Our Facilities | Guidelines
- To decorate the venue, please make scheduling arrangements with the office.
- It is the responsibility of the wedding party to make sure dressing rooms are clean following their use.
- It is the responsibility of the wedding party to arrange for and rent additionally needed chairs and tables for receptions.
- Reception set-up, tear-down, and clean-up is the responsibility of the wedding party.
- It is the responsibility of the renter to arrange for pick-up of rented supplies. This must be done during regular operational hours of the building and not conflict with scheduled church events.
- Stage set-ups and backdrops in all venues will not be altered for weddings. Risers with instruments on them will remain “as is” on the stage for the wedding. Auxiliary equipment will be removed at the discretion of the Audio/Visual Technician.
- The use of tobacco or alcoholic beverages is not permitted in the facilities or on the grounds.
- The conduct and behavior by all participants and guests must be appropriate, i.e., Christ-like.
- Due to music’s variety of content, FCC does not allow on-site dances or DJs for receptions. Background music will be allowed for receptions, if its content is appropriate for a church facility.
- No rice, confetti, or bird seed to be thrown on the church property due to the amount of cleanup involved.
- If anything (equipment, furnishings, building, etc.) is broken or damaged in the course of using the facilities, the bride and groom will be responsible for the cost of replacement or repair.
- Only FCC authorized and trained individuals are allowed to manage the use of the kitchens and kitchen equipment. Therefore, if a kitchen is needed, FCC will supply the appropriate individual to manage use of the kitchen and the people to work in the kitchen. Kitchen use also includes ice machine, water, trash receptacles.
- FCC’s Lead Pastor has the final decision regarding the request and on acceptable decorations, moving furniture, use of tape, candles for weddings, etc.
- The individual or group agrees to the “leave it better than you found it” principle, cleaning up after and putting things back where they found them. Fees do not include set-up, tear-down, or other custodial services. Training with the Director of Facilities will be required prior to event.
- A $100 non-refundable deposit is required at the time a request is submitted. The deposit will be returned only if the request is denied. The balance of the total fees (less the deposit) are payable to the FCC office thirty days prior to wedding.
Step 3: Review Fees
We welcome all to begin the marriage preparation process at First Christian Church. Regarding fee structure, you will notice that our wedding fees are divided into two categories.
- Members | For those couples who are members of FCC’s family, we provide lower fees as a service to them. To receive member rates, either the prospective bride or groom must be a member of First Christian Church. We consider members of FCC as those who have formally placed church membership and have been faithfully attending, growing, giving, and serving within our church family.
- Non-Members | To those who are not members we offer fees comparable to other churches within the metro.
Wedding costs are based on the value of time and resources that are required of the facilities and individuals involved.
- Facility Usage | Covers custodial, heating/cooling, electricity, plumbing, equipment/supply use, etc.
- Participating Pastor | Works with couple for pre-marital coaching and planning ceremony. Writes wedding message. Conducts ceremony.
- FCC Staff Liaison Pastor | Contacts and approves visiting Participating Pastor. Works with the visiting Participating Pastor to assure FCC policy is followed.
- Wedding Coordinator | Serves as contact person for bride and groom. Assists pastor with ceremony needs. Coordinates set-up and tear-down. Leads rehearsal. Answers questions that arise during rehearsal and wedding. Unlocks/locks doors for rehearsal/wedding.
- Audio/Visual Technician | Available for rehearsal (2 hours) and wedding day (3 hours). Responsible for set-up and tear-down of necessary equipment. Runs necessary equipment for microphones, music, and visual aids (slideshows/DVDs/etc.).
Reservations are guaranteed when the church has received the required $100 deposit. The bride and groom assume responsibility for any damage, loss, or breakage to FCC’s buildings and grounds.
- Checks should be made payable to First Christian Church
- It is the responsibility of the wedding party to rent additionally needed chairs and tables for reception use if necessary.
- In the event of a wedding cancellation, your fees will be refunded, minus the $100.00 deposit.
- Extra Time:
- AV Tech: If your wedding requires more than 5 hours (2 hours rehearsal and 3 hours wedding day) of Audio-visual/Tech time, you will be charged an additional $25/hr.
- Wedding Day: The building will be unlocked four hours prior to wedding time for pictures and flower delivery and will be available until three hours after wedding time. If this is not sufficient, there will be a $25 charge/hour (or $50 for non-members) assessed to the total package.
Step 4: Fill Out and Submit Documents
As soon as you know you are interested, return the following forms to the office:
- Wedding Reservation Request (button below)
- Wedding Fees Worksheet (image above)
The Wedding Reservation form gives you the opportunity to request your preferred participating pastor and your preferred wedding date and time. The wedding fees worksheet contains information on your financial responsibility for a wedding at First Christian Church. IMPORTANT: The process for getting married at First Christian begins with the Wedding Reservation and $100 deposit.
Step 5: Schedule and Deposit to Reserve Facilities
Once we receive the “Wedding Fees Worksheet” and the “Wedding Reservation Request”, your information will be reviewed, the date will be considered, and the requested pastor contacted as to his availability. The deposit will be expected before we can reserve your wedding date on our church calendar. The information will then be given to the Participating/FCC Liaison Pastor to contact you and to set up an appointment to begin pre-marital coaching.
Step 6: Begin Pre-Marital Coaching
One of our most important and exciting roles as a partner in your wedding comes in helping you prepare for your lifetime commitment of marriage. That’s why we require all couples to participate in 5-6 sessions of pre-marital coaching. We hope to discuss the key areas of your relationship so that we might affirm your lifelong union with integrity and blessing before God. It is our hope that you will utilize the wisdom, training, and experience in your pre-marital coaching as you begin a marriage that will be God-glorifying, mutually satisfying, and lifelong.
Step 7: Planning your Wedding Ceremony
Once the order of ceremony is finalized, the wedding coordinator will then serve as your point of contact for physical and logistical questions related to the ceremony. Contact information for the Participating/FCC Liaison Pastors, and Wedding Coordinator will be available through the church office at 712-328-2606.
Step 8: Rehearsal and Wedding Day/Ceremony Information
- Rehearsal times will be scheduled when the wedding date is established.
- Rehearsal may be scheduled to start no earlier than 4:30 PM on weekdays.
- Doors will be opened 30 minutes before the wedding rehearsal, unless otherwise adjusted with the wedding coordinator.
- The wedding coordinator will show you the separate dressing rooms that will be available before the wedding. It is the responsibility of the wedding party to clean dressing rooms/restrooms of all personal belongings after their use. FCC cannot be responsible for items left in the rooms prior to, during, or following the wedding.
- Please present the marriage license to the pastor on the day of the rehearsal. Completed marriage license will then be given to office to record and mail.
- All musical/video selections must be brought ready to use by rehearsal time.
- Saturday Weddings | must start no later than 4:00 PM in either venue. The building must be vacated of all wedding decorations and attendees by 6:00 PM to facilitate cleaning and set-up for Sunday services.
- Weekday weddings/receptions | may be scheduled at times that do not conflict with regular church programming.
- Sunday | No weddings may be scheduled
- The building will be unlocked four hours prior to wedding time for pictures and flower delivery and will be available until three hours after wedding time. If this is not sufficient, there will be a $25 charge/hour (or $50 for non-members) assessed to the total package.
- Photographers/videographers should visit with Participating Pastor/FCC Liaison Pastor as to what is/is not allowed during the ceremony.
- It is the responsibility of the wedding party to clean dressing room of all personal belongings after their use. FCC will not be responsible for security or loss of any personal possessions.
We hope this wedding packet/policy is useful to you as you consider your desire to be married and to use our facilities as a location to be married. May God bless your ceremony as you have been faithful to build upon His foundation and design for your marriage. Please call us with any questions you might have at 712-328-2606.