Weddings at Cloverdale United Church

Congratulations on your engagement!  You are at the beginning of an important journey, and we are honoured that you want Cloverdale United Church to share in your joy on the day of your wedding.

We are open to assisting couples (of all gender identities) who wish to ask God's blessing upon their exchange of vows and their marriage.  We invite you to read the following information regarding how weddings are conducted within our tradition and congregation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our church office.

An Introduction

We offer a Christian marriage ceremony and understand marriage to be a covenant between two people who come together ready to commit to a covenant partnership that is faithful, loving, and life-giving, with the intention of lifelong permanence. In the marriage service, they express this desire and hope with vows of love and commitment that are offered in the presence of God, family and friends. At the heart of marriage is the commitment made between two people. It is the commitment of fidelity that empowers the marriage, more so than the changeable emotion of love. We invite you to approach your wedding in this spirit. If there are reasons for your coming to the Church to be married that are different from those discussed above, we would appreciate your frankness and openness about them. The Church is pleased to support you at this momentous time in the spiritual matters of your commitment.

Christian Marriage: The Basics

We believe that Jesus Christ calls us, within services of marriage, to honour the equality and mutuality of the marriage partners. The common items required for a Christian marriage service are the worship of God, the reading of passages from the Hebrew and/or Christian scriptures (a.k.a "the Bible"), the exchanging of vows, prayer, and the blessing of the marriage. Other appropriate actions may also take place among these central elements.

Sacred Music

Music (vocal, instrumental, congregational), because of its capacity to heighten the sense of celebration, is an important part of the marriage service. The music used for a wedding service should be appropriate in a worship service of the Church. This does not mean that you are limited to particular styles or genres of music, as the worship music of the Church has been expressed in many ways; this does mean, though, that purely secular selections should be saved for the reception or other festivities. 

We provide the services of our director of music ministries for your ceremony.  Our musician is happy to help incorporate additional musicians into the service and provide music selections appropriate to the ceremony.

We strongly discourage the use of pre-recorded music for the service, and our minister will only approve its use under specific extenuating circumstances, as the use of pre-recorded music does not foster or embody the understanding of the wedding service as a heartfelt expression of worship from the assembly that is gathered.

Seating Accommodation

Cloverdale United Church’s worship space can comfortably seat 150 people (inclusive of the wedding party) in the main seating area.

Minister and Wedding Leaders

We feel that our United Church minister is the appropriate person to preside over your marriage service. If the minister of our congregation is not available, another United Church minister will be arranged for. If there is a desire to include another pastor or wedding leader, an invitation to participate together with our minister can be discussed; otherwise, outside officiants are not permitted.

The conduct of the wedding, as a service of worship of the church, is under the sole direction of the minister.

Wedding Host

To ensure that your wedding service goes smoothly, we provide a wedding host to assist with the rehearsal and wedding day. The host will ensure that the worship space is open and closed, as well as provide guidance and other assistance.

Photos and Video

Many couples wish to record their wedding service. Non-distracting methods of recording during the service are permitted. To ensure against distraction, please note that flash photos are not permitted during the service, photographers must remain out of the central aisle and front area of the sanctuary except during the processional, and video shall be shot from a fixed place or tripod.

Cloverdale United Church is now equipped with installed video cameras and other equipment that enable livestreaming and recording.  Use of this equipment is subject to a supplemental $100 fee and the availability of one of our tech operators; if this is of interest, please discuss with the minister.

Decorating the Worship Space

You may decorate the worship space, as long as you do not cause damage. Out of respect for our religious traditions and community, we request that you not remove banners, hymn books, candles, or other items of significance from our worship space, and that decorations that may be in place for seasons of the church year not be unnecessarily disturbed. Also we request that no confetti, rice or rose petals be used inside or outside of the church. If you require clarification, please talk with the wedding host.

Marriage Preparation

Our communities have found that when couples intentionally prepare for marriage, they are better able to grow in their love and care for each other, therefore couples are required to complete premarital sessions with the minister (a minimum of 3 sessions) or take a marriage preparation course with an approved outside provider. In the case of an outside marriage preparation course, confirmation of course completion is required one month prior to your wedding day. Please contact our office for additional information.

Government Issues

Before you can be legally married in British Columbia, you must obtain a Marriage Licence from the Provincial Department of Vital Statistics.  The marriage license should be brought to the church no later than the day before the wedding (bringing it to the wedding rehearsal, if one is taking place, is acceptable).

Fees and Deposits

Our fee for all weddings is $1,200 and includes all required items related to wedding services at our church (i.e. sanctuary fee, administrative costs, and honoraria for the minister, the organist/pianist, and the host).

If you would like us to arrange for a soloist, instrumentalist, or other special musical elements, there is an additional fee of $75 per element; please note that the organist/pianist does not normally attend the wedding rehearsal, and thus if their presence is required at the rehearsal, an additional fee of $25 applies.  As noted above, if you would like to make use of our sanctuary's systems for either livestreaming or recording the service, an additional fee of $100 applies.

To ensure that the date of your wedding is secured, we require a $100 deposit. The remainder of the fees shall be paid no later than 30 days prior to the date of your wedding.

Wedding Appointment

A wedding appointment should be arranged with the minister a number of months prior to your wedding date. At your wedding appointment, we will talk about what makes a good wedding service, as well as get to know you before your wedding day. It is also a great opportunity to answer questions not covered in this information. If you are completing all marriage preparation / premarital sessions with our minister, this appointment will serve as the first of the required three sessions.

Attendance at Worship Services

In order for our community to get to know you so that we can support your marriage commitment, we invite all couples to attend Sunday worship for 3 to 4 Sundays. Many couples find that they enjoy worshipping God and become regular attendees. We worship every Sunday at 10:30 am. We look forward to meeting you and sharing in the joy of your wedding day.

May God bless you both!

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