The Covenant of Marriage
Marriage in the United Church of Christ is a covenant between two equal and independent people that is blessed by God and the church. In the simplest terms, the covenant is an agreement to live in relationship with each other, recognizing that the relationship will grow and change as the people in it walk through life. And, also in the simplest terms, the blessing is that God and the church will be there for the couple in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, and all of the rest of the time, too.
We have two basic expectations for anyone hoping to have their wedding at First Congregational United Church of Christ:
First, we are a Christian church, and that means that wedding ceremonies at this church are Christian religious services. That said, we are very flexible, and our pastor is happy to work with you to create a service that reflects your personalities and relationship.
Second, our pastor recognizes that, once you’re searching for wedding venues, you have probably settled into a good relationship. He would still like to meet with you two or three times before the wedding to get a sense of you and your relationship, and to help you plan the ceremony itself.
First Congregational United Church of Christ occupies a beautiful space on the eastern edge of DeWitt, across from the high school. Our property includes the church building along with several gardens; and the building includes our sanctuary, a large Fellowship Hall, a commercial kitchen, and a variety of smaller rooms.
We’ve highlighted a few pieces of our space below. You can check out the rest of it here.
The Sanctuary is the centerpiece of our church building, located to the south of the Narthex. We hold worship in the Sanctuary every Sunday morning at 9:30am, as well as at various times on holidays and special occasions. The Sanctuary features the Orb, Cross, and Crown, a symbol of the United Church of Christ, in the chancel area alongside the altar, pulpit, and lectern. It also features the Heritage Windows, designed by church member Carol Beck.
The Sanctuary has an excellent sound system, projection system, and video recording capabilities; and can seat about 200 people.
Wedding Party Room One
It’s important for each member of the couple, and their party, to have a space both to prepare and the rest. This space features couches, chairs, and a makeup table. And it has direct access to the women’s restroom!
Our wedding fee is designed to be simple. The fee pays for:
Pastoral services, including pre-marital counseling, help planning the ceremony, coordination during the rehearsal, and officiating the wedding.
Use of our musical instruments and sound system, including our piano and organ.
Use the Sanctuary and Narthex for up to three hours on the day of the rehearsal, including one hour for the rehearsal itself (although the rehearsal usually takes less than an hour).
Use of the Sanctuary, Narthex, Fellowship Hall, Kitchen, and the two wedding party rooms for up to five hours on the day of the wedding, including an hour for the wedding itself (although weddings usually take less than an hour).
Use of storage space for up to three days, including the day of the wedding.
The fee for active members is $600. Additional hours may be purchased for the wedding day, if they are available, at a rate of $100 per hour.
The fee for all others is $1,200. Additional hours may be purchased for the wedding day, if they are available, at a rate of $200 per hour.
A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required to reserve the date and is paid toward the fee. The balance is due at the rehearsal.
Commonly Asked Questions
Questions? You can look through the commonly asked questions below or contact us for answers.
Who Can Officiate Our Wedding?
All weddings at our church are officiated by our pastor. If you have other people who you would like to have involved in your ceremony, he is more than happy to work with you to include them. In extraordinary circumstances, and with the pastor’s consent, another person may be allowed to officiate the wedding, but that is very rare.
What Musicians Can Play at Our Wedding? And What Music?
We ask that you meet with our Director of Music to discuss musical choices. She can offer you a quote to play for your wedding herself, and can also approve other musicians to play if you have suggestions. Her approval is especially important if your musicians will be playing on our piano or organ.
We are fairly open about musical selections and music may be sacred or secular. However, we reserve the right to refuse certain music if we feel that it would be inappropriate for a church setting.
Can we Decorate?
You are free to decorate most of the sanctuary, the narthex, and fellowship hall as you see fit, provided that you take care not to damage anything (no nails, tacks, etc.).
The one area that we ask you not to decorate without the pastor’s approval is the chancel (the raised area in the front of the sanctuary). Traditionally, this area is decorated in white for weddings, but you may consult with the pastor if you have another idea in mind.
Do You Perform Same-Sex Weddings?
Yes we do! We are an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. That means that no matter who you are, and no matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!