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First Reformed Church
Weddings!
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  • Welcome!  We hope all your questions are anwered here.
     
    • · Wedding Readings - A collection of possibilities for readings at your wedding.
      · Wedding Form - Fill this out once you are ready to make a reservation at First
    • Who can get married in the church?

      While members of our congregation have certain privileges when it comes to weddings, non-member ceremonies are gladly welcomed.

       

      What rooms are available?

      The sanctuary and the two chapels are all available for weddings, depending on the number of people expected. Receptions may be held in one of our rooms with kitchen facilities as well.  Arrangements may be made with the ministers for a site away from the church as well.

       

      Do we meet with the minister?

      Yes. An important part of marriage preparation is consultations between the minister and the couple. The minister will use this consultation to assist you in planning for your wedding and marriage. The number of meetings depends on the minister and the situation. If you are interested in a officiant that is not a minister at First, one of our pastoral staff will still need to be on hand at the service. Unless your wedding is under the auspices of the Society of Friends, we require that your officiant be ordained by a church that regularly meets for worship in a physical space.

       

      How is the music handled?

      Organ music for the wedding services is performed by our organist Avery Tunningley. Any particular music or accompaniment for outside vocalists needs to be to the organist at least six weeks before the ceremony. There is a list of songs for you to choose from  here. Once you've selected your choice please notify the organist.

      How do I get a marriage license?

      The required New York State marriage license is obtained at the City Hall in Schenectady at least two weeks before the ceremony. Contact them for the best times to come by and requirements they have. Bring the license to the rehearsal.

       

      What about all the details?

      • Runners – your florist may help you with a runner, but with our long aisle, it may be more trouble than it is worth. They aren’t used as much as they were in muddier times.
      • Photos – Discrete professional photographers will understand that flash photography is intrusive and that taking pictures in front of the first pew is distracting for a worship service. We also discourage relatives from taking snapshots so that they can pay attention to the event itself rather than the camera.
      • Video – If you are having a videographer, have them check in with the minister before the ceremony.
      • Unity Candle – If you wish to use this as a part of your ceremony, bring one in.
      • The Ritual of Throwing – If folks really want to throw things at you when leaving the church, we suggest birdseed and do not like rice or confetti.
      • Alcohol - If you are not having a formal reception here, alcohol is not allowed in the church.  We have too many stories of this causing problems.

       

      How do I make a reservation?

      The best way to get the ball rolling is to fill out a reservation form from the link at the top of this page. If you don’t hear back from us in a week or so, give us a call. The bride or the groom should call directly. After we ensure that your requested date is open on our calendar, we will require a deposit of $200 to confirm your reservation.

       

      Who is involved?

      In addition to the minister conducting the wedding and the organist, you will be dealing with the office administrator, Heather Scribner, who coordinates weddings. 

       

      How much will this cost?

      We’re not in it for the money, but weddings take a great deal of time, and require us to limit the use of the facility for other events. If you are not a church member, the total cost including building use, organist and minister’s honorarium, custodial fees and utility costs is $1,000. If you are a church member, the use of the building and the services of the ministers is a part of being a member here. The total fee for members is $300. Receptions are not included in this price, but people don’t have receptions here much anyway. Fees are fully refundable but are due when you make the final confirmation of the date.

      If this seems like too much money for you and you are willing to have a small ceremony in the wedding chapel after Sunday morning worship, there is no charge.

       

      Valuable Phone Numbers

      • Heather Scribner, Church Office......... 377-2201 ext 301
      • Rev. Bill Levering................................ 723-0004
      • Rev. Daniel Carlson ........................... 346-6416
      • Organist, Avery Tunningley..................357-0718
      • City Hall.............................................. 382-5199 ext. 5303

       

      Suggested Order of Worship (15-20 minutes)

      • Prelude
      • Processional
      • Call to Worship
      • Presentation of the Bride 
      • Reading (if used)
      • Scripture
      • Message
      • Exchange of Vows
      • Exchange of Rings
      • Unity Candle (if used)
      • Solo (if used)
      • Prayer
      • Declaration of Marriage
      • Benediction
      • Recessional

       

      Possible Vows

      1. I ____________ take you ___________ to be my wedded [WIFE - HUSBAND]. And I do promise before God and these witnesses to be your loving and faithful [HUSBAND - WIFE] in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.
      2. ____________, I take you as my wife/husband, I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love; I promise to honor and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfillment as an individual through all the changes of our lives."
      3. I, ______ take you, ______ to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; to be your friend and lover, companion and helper, so help me God.
      4. ______, I take you as my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forth, to love and to cherish so long as we both shall live. To this I pledge you my solemn vow before God.
      5. I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, to love and to cherish, and to be faithful to you alone as long as we both shall live.
      6. ______, in the presence of God, and before our witnesses and friends, I, ______, with joy and in love, take you to be my wife/husband, to be the mother/father of my children, and the companion of my days. I promise to fully share my life with you, through days of happiness or sadness, abundance or want. I pledge to you my unfailing love always.
      7. I take you, ______, to be my wife/husband from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us.