Planning a Wedding?
A church wedding is different from a marriage solemnized in a secular setting. A church wedding is, first and foremost, a service of worship. Friends and family are invited to gather together in the presence of God to celebrate with the bride and groom their love for one another and to support the couple as they make the most important promises that two people can make to one another, before God. As a result, weddings at PCUMC are joyous and festive events, but they always seek to honor the sacred dimensions of the couples’ wedding vows.
At Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, we want your wedding to be a joyous and memorable service. To assist you in planning, we provide a a committed church member to serve as your wedding coordinator. The Church Wedding Coordinator will work with you to plan a wedding that both reflects your dreams and honors the sacredness of a Service of Christian Marriage. She will assist in making arrangements with the church and also directs all the activities at the church on the day of the wedding. The Church Wedding Coordinator and the Pastor will coordinate the wedding rehearsal and oversee all of the details of the wedding itself. Because her responsibilities encompass all the details of the wedding proceedings, no additional coordinator will be needed. In the event that you already have a wedding coordinator, please know that he or she will be asked to honor the wedding policies of the church and be available to provide assistance to the Church Wedding Coordinator as she directs. If you would like to make Port Charlotte United Methodist Church the setting for your wedding, please contact Ellen Even (941) 625-4356 to set up a time to visit the church, take a tour, and confirm arrangements for your PCUMC wedding.
Setting the Wedding Date
To set your wedding date, contact Ellen Even. She will check the church calendar to see if the date is available. If the date is clear, you will need to fill out a Wedding Information Form. This form may be obtained through the Church Office or on the church website. The form should be completed and returned to the Church Administrator with your deposit. Only after the form and the deposit are received will your wedding be placed on the church calendar.
Dates Excluded for Scheduling of Weddings
Weddings may not be scheduled at the church for the following days:
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Eve
Saturday before Palm Sunday
Saturday before Easter
Deposit and Fees
A deposit of 50% of the total fee must be paid to place the wedding on the Church calendar; of this amount, $50 is non-refundable. The balance us due prior to the wedding rehearsal.
For members, the cost of using the Church is $485, which includes fees for the Organist ($125), Coordinator ($75), Custodian ($75), Pastor ($200), and a pre-marital counseling book “Before You Say I Do” ($10).
For Non-Members, the cost is an additional $200, for a total of $685.
If a Sound and Video Technician is needed for soloists or video playback, an additional $75 will be added to the total for both members and non-members.
Pre-Marital Counseling with the Pastor
When your wedding date is placed on the church calendar, you will receive a copy of the book, “Before You Say I Do”. The couple should complete Chapters 1-4 together. Upon completion of the assigned chapters, contact the church pastor to schedule your first pre-marital counseling session. The pastor usually meets with the couple five times before the wedding — once to meet the couple and look over the first four chapters of material, three sessions of completing the workbook materials, and a final session to plan the wedding ceremony. The general expectation is that one of the pastors of PCUMC will officiate at all weddings at the church. The church welcomes ministers from outside PCUMC to share in the ceremony, but the invitation to the guest minister should come from the church’s appointed pastor.
Our church has a beautiful organ and grand piano. Because of the complexity and nuances of these instruments, PCUMC’s Director of Music (David deSilva) serves as the organist/pianist/accompanist for all weddings at the church. If he is unavailable, he will make alternate arrangements for your service. The use of singers and instrumental ensembles is permitted, but only with the approval of our Director. All musical pieces to be used in the service must be discussed and approved by the Director.
Floral Arrangements and Decorations
The traditional design of the sanctuary and chapel is beautiful. The following items should be considered when you are thinking about flowers and decorations:
For unity candles, if you choose to use one, a freestanding candle holder
is available through the church.
The church has a set of tiered candelabras.
A kneeling bench is available.
The permanent chancel appointments should not be removed or rearranged
without discussion with the Wedding Coordinator.
Aisle runners are acceptable, but the length of PCUMC’s aisle can make them challenging to use.
Floral arrangements and bows can be attached to the ends of the pews with clips or tape but not thumb tacks, nails, or screws.
We permit the scattering of flower petals on the aisle carpet.
Because of chemical sensitivities, we ask that you use only unscented candles.
We request that you do not throw rice due to the effect it has on birds’ health. Bird seed or bubbles are acceptable outside of the Sanctuary.
Marriage License and Certificates
A Florida marriage license should be brought to the rehearsal and given to the pastor. After the wedding, the bride and groom will be given copies of the signed marriage certificate. The license will be mailed to the Charlotte County Clerk of Courts the first business day following the wedding. The formal certificate will be received in five to six weeks.
A rehearsal is necessary for all but the smallest weddings. The rehearsal lasts about one hour and is usually held on the night before the wedding. It is recommended that as many of the wedding party as possible participate fully in the rehearsal. The church will be opened thirty minutes prior to the scheduled time of rehearsal. Promptness on the part of the wedding party is appreciated.
Safekeeping of Personal Items
Care should be taken in protecting personal items brought to the church. The church makes every effort to protect all items brought in, but cannot be liable for things lost, stolen, and damaged. A room will be provided for both the bridal party and the groomsmen, for changing and personal items.
Photography and Videography
Because every wedding service is a service of worship, photographers are to refrain from taking flash pictures during the ceremony. This means the time following the processional and just prior to the recessional. Time exposures may be taken from the balcony. In addition, photographers should be careful that their movements during the ceremony do not disrupt the service nor draw the attention of the guests. A stationary video camera may be used during the ceremony without auxiliary lighting. Group and family pictures may be taken in the sanctuary and outside the church before or after the ceremony. We request, however, that you limit the photo session to 45 minutes.
The Day of the Wedding
The church will be opened two (2) hours prior to the scheduled time of the wedding. Special arrangements need to be granted through the Church Administrator if more time is needed.
PCUMC does not provide child care for weddings unless specific requests are made in advance. If you desire Child Care, please speak with the Wedding Coordinator and we will try to schedule a licensed worker. The fees paid to the Child Care person/s is to be arranged with the worker, not through the church.
Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverages
Tobacco and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any form inside the church building or grounds at either the rehearsal or wedding.
A Final Note
Our Church Administrator will be glad to set up a time for you to tour the church and ask questions. She can also provide you with the necessary paperwork and fee sheet so you can begin the preparations for your wedding here at Port Charlotte United Methodist Church.