Your wedding is a sacred celebration. Your plans for the service should reflect that fact and also align with the beliefs and worship practices of Athol Congregational Church (ACC). Careful planning will ensure that your wedding is meaningful to you, your family, and friends.
Our pastor and musicians are available to help lead the service. Rooms are also available for receptions afterward.
When scheduling weddings, ACC gives priority to church members and their children. A “church member,” in this case, is someone who has participated regularly at ACC activities for at least three months prior to the wedding date.
Questions About Weddings?
You can find our wedding service agreement here. If you have more questions about scheduling a wedding at ACC, please contact our church office at 978-249-6202.
|ATHOL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (UCC) WEDDING POLICY|
PLEASE NOTE: It is necessary to have consulted with our pastor before the church can be
reserved for your wedding.
WEDDING FEES (effective February 1, 2017 per Building & Personnel Ministry Team)
Church Active Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No Charge
Non-members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $150.00
Ministerial Honorarium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $250.00
(check made directly to Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor)
Organist (rehearsal and wedding) . . . . . . . . . . . . $350.00
(Check made directly to the organist)
(This is the basic fee for one rehearsal and the wedding – extra time and special music should be discussed with the organist in which extra fees will apply)
Organist: Lais Radici 978-241-0465 or email@example.com
Custodians Fees: (Check made directly to Richard Coleman)
- Wedding with sanctuary use only $ 50.00
- Use of Fellowship Hall for reception $ 50.00 additional
- Use of bird seed or grass seed $ 25.00 additional
Sextons Fee $50.00: Unlock and lock the building, turn on lights, heat, and sound system and operate elevate (check made directly to the sexton covering)
Music for Wedding:
Our church organist will work with you to help select the appropriate instrumental and/or vocal music. If you plan to have organ music, our church policy requires that our organist be asked to play. If the organist is available but does not play, he/she will receive his/her normal fee. If our organist is unavailable, then an organist from the approved substitute list may play. If the organist you want is not on the approved list, the music director must give approval at least one month before the wedding rehearsal.
Adopted 1/1/2005, Revised February 1, 2017
This fee structure is reviewed annually and adopted by the Diaconate in cooperation with the Building & Personnel Ministry Team.
Your Wedding at Our Church
The members of the Athol Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, rejoice with you as you anticipate your wedding day. Members of the church and staff who will be working with you as you plan this important day will help you in all ways possible to make it a beautiful and memorable experience.
These pages have been prepared to assist you in the details of your planning. A wedding is a deeply personal event shared between two people, and it should be planned carefully to reflect your feelings. The policies and guidelines which you will find in these pages are designed to assist you in your preparation.
The Covenant of Marriage
You have chosen to celebrate your wedding in the church of Jesus Christ. You will want your wedding to reflect your love for each other and your love for God. The Body of Christ, the Church, is called to be a witness to the covenant which you establish with each other and with God. The pastor, family, friends, and guests all serve as witnesses to your decision to marry and want to support you in your new life together. The community of faith offers you its love, care, and support. Because your service of marriage is a worship service, it is understood that it will reflect a commitment to Christ and to the Church’s understanding of the nature of Christian marriage.
ATHOL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH WEDDING POLICIES
Clergy from other Churches
It is the policy of our church that the pastor is responsible for all services of worship, including weddings. We are glad to welcome clergy of other churches and other traditions to participate in your wedding service. If you wish to have a minister of another church, a priest or a rabbi, assist our pastor in the service, you should make these plans known at your first meeting with our pastor. Proper etiquette in such a case is for our pastor, as the host clergyperson, to invite the other clergy to assist in the service.
Preparation for the Wedding
It is important that the date of the wedding be scheduled at least several months in advance so that the date can be reserved and the pastor can have the opportunity to meet with the parties involved. Arrangements for weddings are entered on the church calendar on a first come – first serve basis.
The Wedding Rehearsal
Wedding rehearsals are usually held the day before the wedding. The rehearsal will ordinarily last one hour. The wedding license should be given to the pastor no later than the rehearsal. All necessary fees should be paid at or prior to the rehearsal. Rehearsals are always directed by the officiating clergyperson.
If you choose to invite the pastor, soloist, or organist to your rehearsal dinner or wedding reception, please be clear about your desires at an early date. People serving in these capacities will not automatically assume they are invited.
Use of Bird Seed or Grass Seed
Rice or confetti is not to be used in the church building or on church grounds. If bird or grass seed is to be tossed, an additional $25.00 must be given to the custodian for cleanup. Remember, seed does create a safety hazard. There can be other creative ideas, such as bubbles, but we ask you to be sensitive to environmental issues.
Use of Smoking Materials
Smoking materials are not permitted within the church building. Please make sure that the wedding party and guests are aware of these restrictions. Proper disposal of smoking materials in the can near the side entrance is required.
Use of Alcoholic Beverages
No alcoholic beverages are permitted on church property.
Music for the Wedding
Our church organist will work with you to help select the appropriate instrumental and/or vocal music. If you plan to have organ music, our church policy requires that our organist be asked to play. If the organist is available but does not play, he/she will receive the normal fee. If our organist is not available, then an organist from an approved substitute list may play. If the organist you want is not on the approved list, the music director must give approval at least one month before the wedding rehearsal. As soon as the date of your wedding has been reserved, you will need to make arrangements with our organist (name and phone number are on the front page of this booklet).
The fees for the organist include music consultation with the couple, twenty minutes of prelude music before the service, and a postlude until all the guests have left the sanctuary. There is an additional fee to be negotiated with the organist if there is a soloist.
The officiating pastor and the organist have the final decision regarding the appropriateness of music for a wedding.
To maintain the proper atmosphere during a service of worship, please adhere to these guidelines:
- All photographers should remain inconspicuous. Photographers should not
command more attention than the wedding itself.
- Flash pictures may only be taken during the processional and the recessional.
Pictures without a flash may be taken at any time, provided the photographer
remains behind the seated guests. Flash pictures should not be taken during the
- Video taping is welcome but the equipment must remain stationary during the
service and no additional lighting may be used. We will suggest locations that have
proven to be best.
- Additional pictures may be taken before or after the wedding.
Decorations – Flowers, Candles, etc.
Arrangements should be made early for decorating the church.
- Flowers: arrangements should be made for receiving flowers that are to be delivered
to the church and for moving the flowers from the church to the site of the reception.
If you wish to leave your flowers at the church for Sunday service, we would be
delighted to have them. Please contact the church office if you wish to do so.
- Candles: candles on the Altar are available for your use. Many couples like to use
the “unity” or “wedding candle” as part of their service, and you are responsible for
providing them. Any other use of candles must be approved by the pastor.
Obtaining your marriage license in Massachusetts
Couples marrying in Massachusetts have to meet certain legal requirements. These are
subject to change and can vary from community to community. Please call the town or city clerk to make sure you have everything necessary when you apply for your license.