CONGRATULATIONS! The staff and members of First Presbyterian Church congratulate you on your plans to be married. It is our hope that your wedding will provide a worshipful and joyful beginning for a life of committed marriage.
All arrangements for weddings are made by first contacting the Office Manager of the Church (716-433-5905) to request a wedding ceremony and date. She will gather basic information for our records and answer any other questions you may have. All church fees are to be paid to First Presbyterian Church at the time the wedding date is placed on the church calendar. If the church is notified at least two weeks prior to the wedding date, of a change or cancellation, a full refund will be issued.
PLANNING THE WORSHIP SERVICE
Order of Worship
The pastor will meet with you to design a service that will include prayers, scripture reading, the exchange of vows and the other traditional elements of a marriage ceremony. Music, readings and all other elements of the worship are determined within the consultation of the pastor and the couple.
FACILITIES AT FIRST CHURCH
The Sanctuary is a beautiful, elegant area which will seat up to 800 persons. Its ambience makes it suitable for small as well as large weddings.
The Courtyard is available for intimate outdoor services.
The Chapel is an intimate room where 10-12 persons can be accommodated comfortably. (no organ or piano)
Arnold Hall, situated behind the sanctuary, has space to serve up to 120 persons at a sit-down meal.
The Grigg Parlor (1st floor) is especially pleasant for a stand-up punch and dessert reception. It may also be used for small weddings (piano available).
A large, well equipped Kitchen is available for food preparation. Reservations may be made through the church secretary. It is expected that users will leave the kitchen and all food service areas in a good condition.
There is a Bride’s Room in the northern section of the Narthex with a lavatory adjacent to it.
Parking is available in the church lot off Ontario Street and, when there is space, in the city lot on Church and Niagara Streets.
Handicapped Access is at the west entrance of the church from the church’s parking lot. (Note: the Ontario Street ramp is not used for weddings since that entrance cuts through the Bride’s Room.)
Confetti or rice may not be used inside the church building. Bird seed or bubbles is suggested for outside areas.
Smoking and use of alcohol in any form is not permitted in any part of the church complex.
THE REHEARSAL AND WEDDING
The rehearsal…who should come? Everyone in the wedding party, including the ushers and parents, should attend. Others are welcome.
The rehearsal…what happens? Through a practice of the entrance and exit, positions in the worship and the spoken lines, you will become familiar with the service and be in a better position to relax and appreciate the worship. The rehearsal is usually 45 minutes in duration and is held on Thursday or Friday before the wedding.
Ushers The ushers should be at the church no less than 30 minutes prior to the wedding. The wedding caretaker will provide specific instructions.
Groom and Best Man For weddings in the sanctuary, the groom and best man should meet the minister in the Chapel prior to the service.
Bride and Attendants For weddings in the sanctuary, the bride, her attendants and the bride’s escort should meet in the Narthex prior to the worship. A partition provides a private area with access to a restroom.
It is expected that a pastor of First Church will officiate at the ceremony. If it is your intent to invite other clergy or worship leaders, then please notify the Pastor when you first are making arrangements for the ceremony.
It is understood that the church organist is to play for all weddings held in our church. If the church organist is not available to play for your wedding, he will secure a qualified substitute.
The church can provide a printed order of worship for the wedding or you may have such a bulletin printed at a local print shop. Please make these arrangements with the church secretary. (Note: pre-printed bulletin covers may be purchased at area religious book stores).
Contact the church organist through the church office one month in advance of the wedding date to discuss selection of music. Vocal or instrumental soloists may be secured through the Director of Music.
Concerning selection of music, the Book of Order states that music for the wedding service “should direct attention to God, who sanctifies marriage, and special care should be taken to assure that it is suitable and reverent.”
Wedding rehearsals are usually scheduled on the Thursday or Friday prior to the wedding.
Chancel Decorations: Flowers and Candles
The two candles on the communion table and two seven-branch floor candelabra are available at the church. (Only white candles may be used in the sanctuary.)
The couple may provide a set of three candles for the communion table, representing the bride, the groom, and their marriage union.
Flowers and florist instructions
No decorations of any kind (candles, flowers, ribbons) may be fastened to permanent furniture by means of nails, staples, screws, gummed tape or clamps.
The florist shall make arrangements with the church secretary, reserving adequate time for decorating the chancel in advance of the ceremony, and arranging for disposal of the flowers after the ceremony.
Anyone wishing to leave flowers at the church for Sunday worship may do so by making arrangements with the secretary in advance.
Office & Building Hours
The church office is open Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 3 pm (summer hours may be different). The sexton re-opens the building one hour prior to the wedding ceremony.
Recording the Ceremony: (Still Photos and Video)
BEFORE AND DURING the ceremony, either still photos or video recordings, using available light, may be made discretely throughout the sanctuary. In order not to disrupt worship, and to allow the gathered congregation to give their full attention to the service:
NO flash pictures are to be taken during the vows and or exchanging the rings.
The ushers shall inform guests who are carrying cameras of this policy.
A wedding license may be secured at any City or Town Clerk’s Office in New York State. It is good for sixty days and must be obtained at least 24 hours prior to the rehearsal. The license should be given to the pastor at the rehearsal.
BY THE WAY… It may be important for the bride and groom to remind the wedding party to be on time for both the rehearsal and wedding and to refrain from the use of alcohol prior to the reception. If you would like the pastors and/or the musicians to attend your rehearsal dinner or reception, please send an invitation, to which you will receive a response.
HERE IS THE Wedding Form TO FILL OUT AND RETURN TO THE CHURCH OFFICE AT 21 CHURCH STREET, LOCKPORT, NY 14094. THIS FORM RESERVES YOUR SPACE.