1212 Bedford Drive Nichols Hills, Ok 73116-6307 405-842-1486 www.nicholshillsumc.org
Nichols Hills United Methodist Church
Friday, April 18, 2014
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Wedding Ceremony Planning Guide

Nichols Hills United Methodist Church
Wedding Ceremony Planning Guide
It is the desire of the church and its ministers that every wedding ceremony shall be profoundly spiritual in its atmosphere and that the occasion shall be made memorable and truly beautiful.
Following the steps listed here will enable the church to serve you during this time of preparation.
1) Read “Wedding Policies and Guidelines.” Retain these policies for later reference, and share them with your photographer, ushers, florist, consultant and any others who help with the wedding.
2) Complete, sign and return to church office the “WEDDING CEREMONY APPLICATION.” Your wedding date cannot be placed on the church calendar until the application is received and accepted, you have made an appointment to discuss the ceremony with the presiding minister, and paid the deposit fee (for non-members of NHUMC). Four to six weeks prior to your wedding you will meet with the minister to discuss plans for counseling, rehearsal and ceremony. You are personally responsible in contacting: the senior pastor, the organist, and wedding coordinator (Natalie Gies Powers), and making the appointments to speak with each one separately.
3) Meet with the church organist at least SIX weeks prior to the ceremony to arrange for music. Return “WEDDING MUSIC ARRANGEMENTS” form to the church office. The organist must sign this form. Our church organist is Dr. Antone Godding and can be reached by leaving your phone number with the church office or emailing him at agodding@okcu.edu. This meeting IS necessary, even if you plan to use instrumental accompaniment other than the pipe organ for your wedding.
4) Pay all fees in one check payable to Nichols Hills United Methodist Church at the latest THREE WEEKS prior to the ceremony. Return the “Summary of Fees” form with your check to the church office.
Nichols Hills United Methodist Church Clergy provide services to persons who have church membership (either bride or groom) within The United Methodist Church only. United Methodist membership can be outside of Oklahoma, but must be WITHIN the global connection of The United Methodist Church, in order to have a wedding ceremony at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church. Once again, pastors may make exceptions for active constituents.
If neither the bride or the groom, or parents or guardian, are members of Nichols Hills United Methodist Church at the time of the FIRST INQUIRY about the wedding, it is regarded as a “Non-member” wedding. Joining the church after the first inquiry does not make it a member wedding. Pastors may make exceptions for active constituents. The fees for “Member” weddings apply if your membership is held at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church.
Available wedding dates may be checked with the Administrative Assistant, though it is NECESSARY to submit your Application Form BEFORE we can place ceremony date on the calendar.
A Saturday wedding with reception at the church shall be scheduled no later than 4:00 p.m. A wedding without reception can be scheduled no later than 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. Weddings held in the Parlor are not to exceed 75 persons total. Standard furnishings are not to be removed.
Wedding ceremonies may not be scheduled on Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, during Holy Week, New Year’s Eve, or on national holidays.
The church cannot confirm the ceremony date of a non-member wedding at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church earlier than six months to the date requested.
The ceremony ritual shall be one of the official services approved for use in The United Methodist Church. Slight modifications are permitted in consultation with the officiating minister. The ritual order must be approved by the officiating pastor.
One of the pastors of Nichols Hills United Methodist Church shall be IN CHARGE of the ceremony assuring compliance of guidelines. A church member’s family may request either the Sr. Pastor or the Associate Pastor to officiate. The pastors in consultation with each other will decide officiating for a non-member.
You may contact our church organist to discuss arrangements for both vocal and organ music. The “Music Arrangements” form is provided for you to complete and return to the church office. This must be done at least four weeks prior to the ceremony.
Music is to be sacred in style and Christian in theology and must reflect the behavior and holiness of the occasion. It is to be appropriate for worship setting. This means that the focus of church wedding music is God and God’s love, not “romance.” A great variety of choices from sacred classical, modern, and Christian folk music are available. Do not ask us to compromise this policy.
If there is any question about the appropriateness of music you have selected for the sanctuary, the church organist will consult with the Music Committee. The decision of this Committee is final.
Our church organist will play for all weddings in our sanctuary. If our church organist is not available, he will secure a substitute.
Instruments used in addition to the pipe organ and piano may not be electronically amplified if used; instrumentalists will be on floor level to one side of the nave.
The bride may select a soloist. The church organist will offer to invite a soloist, if the bride desires. Any fee for the soloist is to be decided between bride and soloist and paid directly to the soloist.
All those participating in the wedding are to be appropriately dressed or wear a vestment provided by the church.
The use of audio recordings on tape or disc is not permitted.
Please share this information with your Photographer/Video person.
The photographer may take pictures before or after the service, but MUST not delay the wedding. Photographs taken in the Sanctuary must be concluded 30 minutes before the service.
During the processional, one picture may be taken of the bride and father entering the sanctuary. Only one video camera, stationary, behind the back pew of the sanctuary is permitted. A telephoto lens is necessary. No cameras in the Chancel area.
Professional photographers are permitted to take no more than two non-flash pictures from a position behind the worshippers during the ceremony. Floodlights are not permitted.
Pictures taken by guests are not permitted during the ceremony. (Please inform your guests of this.) Ushers are to request any wedding guests entering the sanctuary with a camera to wait until the ceremony is concluded to take pictures. Pictures may be taken during the recessional.
A beautiful sanctuary requires very simple decorations, and does not lend itself to elaborate decoration. In keeping with this conviction, the church has carefully developed this policy to guide the family and the florist in making plans for the wedding.
Caution is to be taken to avoid damage to sanctuary woodwork and/or furnishings. Tacks, nails, pins, glue or tape shall not be used to fasten any decorations to the furnishings or building. No furnishings or altarware may be removed or hidden by any decorations. The church’s brass altar flower vases may be used. Do not arrange flowers in brass vases without using liners, for the vases are not watertight.
Flowers and candles should enhance the beauty of our Sanctuary rather than hide it. The symbols of the Christian Faith are not to be moved or hidden by any decorations. Decorations are not to obstruct worshippers’ view of pulpit, lectern or altar.
Decorating with candles and flowers may be in moderation and appropriate style. Florist or decorator prior to setting up should consult the officiating minister. The minister shall have final say if floral decorations are too ostentatious or large and may request removal or reduction of any portion thereof.
Glitter, in any form, (i.e. powder, gel, bottled, etc.) IS NOT to be used for purposes of decoration in or of hair, flowers, make-up, etc.
Additional electrical lighting may not be used, nor may windows be backlighted for an evening wedding. Lighted candles are not to be carried by participants.
For a Saturday evening wedding, the Sanctuary will be available for decorating three hours before the wedding. The church wedding coordinator will be present to answer questions at that time. For weddings at other times of the week, the sanctuary will be available for decoration two hours before the wedding.
The church is decorated with poinsettias during the Advent and Christmas Season. All decorating items brought to the sanctuary will be removed from the building immediately following the ceremony and final photographs.
Any damage to sanctuary paraments, furniture, or woodwork will be brought to the attention of both the family scheduling the wedding and the florist. Fair restitution will be expected. Failure to do so will make it difficult to approve the florist for future weddings.
The fee to the minister expresses appreciation for time spent in counseling, planning, rehearsing, and officiating at the ceremony. A guest minister may ASSIST one of our ministers if approved by the Nichols Hills United Methodist Church Minister.
The rehearsal will take about 45 minutes to one hour. The Officiating Minister is in charge of the rehearsal and will:
1) Welcome the wedding party and offer prayer.
2) Instruct participants when to stand for ceremony, after bride and groom have placed bridesmaids and groomsmen in the order that they desire.
3) Direct ceremony from opening words to ritual through benediction.
The services of a consultant are optional, for the pastor and Nichols Hills wedding coordinator are able to do all the coordinating of the rehearsal and ceremony. However, for an unusually large number of participants or if a friend is to be honored with a special responsibility, a wedding consultant (professional or friend) may be invited to assist in the following ways.
1) Instruct ushers on seating the people.
2) Train candle lighters, if included.
3) Arrange for which usher is to escort each mother.
4) Monitor the entry sequence and pace of bridesmaids during processional.
5) Train flower girl and ring bearer, if included.
6) Instruct the wedding book attendants.
7) Other responsibilities requested by the pastor or bride.
No rice, confetti, birdseed or similar material may be thrown in or around the church, driveways or under the portico. Damage to furniture, equipment or building is the responsibility of person(s) scheduling wedding.
No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the premises.
Neither nurseries nor childcare can be provided for rehearsals or ceremonies.
Weddings are not intended as revenue producing events for the church. The fees listed here are to cover the church’s actual expense in hosting the event. Payment of these fees is required three weeks before the wedding. One check for all fees, payable to Nichols Hills United Methodist Church is preferred.
  • Non-member
  • Sanctuary $750.00
  • Chapel $ 50.00
  • Parlor $100.00
  • Memorial Garden $ 50.00
All non-members are required to make an additional deposit to insure that building is left in good condition $100.00
  • Fellowship Hall $250.00
  • Parlor $ 100.00
  • Memorial Garden $ 50.00
If you have any questions, please call the church office, 842-1486. Thank you.
Revised & approved by the Board of Trustees February 22, 2005