Working with couples and families to celebrate marriage is one of the great joys of a Christian community. Marriage is, for many people, the most significant relationship of human life, and when we celebrate marriage we express some of life's deepest and most powerful meanings.
A marriage service uses words and symbols to represent those powerful meanings. It seeks to express the love, trust and hope of a man and a woman as they make a commitment to a shared future. It is also a legal commitment, a formal announcement of marriage to family and community, and, when a minister of the Church is involved, a service of worship.
With all those things happening, it's no surprise that preparing for a wedding can also be just a little stressful! With so many expectations and hopes to express, with different “family cultures” and personalities involved, and with significant costs to cover, weddings need careful planning, and we can't let the point of the wedding – the celebration of a loving, trusting and hopeful relationship – be lost in all the confusion.
Thank you for considering Five Dock-Drummoyne Uniting Church as a place to be married. We would like to work with you to make your wedding a true expression of your love, and share in the joy of your family and community. We hope the notes on the following pages are helpful.
◾ The Church requires that every Minister ensure that couples adequately understand the nature and responsibilities of a Christian Marriage.
◾ It is also important that the Minister and the couple become acquainted before the Marriage Ceremony. This may require several meetings and will cover such matters as completing necessary formalities, a discussion of the meaning of marriage, planning the service and a rehearsal.
Order of Service
◾ The Minister will discuss the order of service with you. The service has some elements that are legally required, and with those elements included, we hope to make the service unique and personal.
◾ Couples may wish to invite a friend or relative to read from the Bible in the service. This is welcomed as long as the reader is able to speak and read clearly.
◾ Marriage ceremonies do not have to include hymns. Hymns are best included when most guests will know them and will sing along.
◾ You will need to discuss any special requests for music during the processions and the signing of the register, with our organist – Mr Phillip Cant (02 9683 4784).
◾ A ‘Notice of Intended Marriage' must be completed at least one month and one day (and not more than 18 months) before the wedding date.
◾ Birth certificates of the bride and groom will be needed when completing documentation (Australian passports for overseas and Australian born citizens are not acceptable) , and, where relevant, death or divorce certificates also. If a person is born overseas, an overseas birth certificate or an overseas passport is acceptable.
◾ The bride and groom will also be asked to sign a Statutory Declaration before the marriage service, to say that there is no legal reason for them not to marry if required.
◾ Two persons over the age of 18 will be required to sign the marriage certificate as witnesses of the Marriage Ceremony.
◾ If there are any other requirements under the Commonwealth Marriage Act your Minister will explain them to you.
Practical Arrangements in the Church
◾ Flowers will be responsibility of the Bridal party.
◾ Decorations may be attached to the pews with ribbon or elastic but please - no sticky tape or pins!
◾ Photography is permitted in the Church under certain, clearly understood conditions and with prior arrangement with the Minister.
◾ Flower girls and page boys should be chosen carefully. Ideally they will be of school age and able to stand for the duration of the service (usually half an hour).
◾ Confetti and rice may NOT be used as they are impossible to completely clean up.
◾ The Church appointed organist is expected to play for all ceremonies unless prior arrangements have been made with a qualified organist.
◾ The Groom and his attendants should meet with the minister in the vestry at least 10 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. They will remain in the vestry until the Bridal party is ready to enter the Church.
◾ The Bridal Party should make every effort to arrive at the Church at the advertised time. Do not allow photographers to delay proceedings. It normally takes approximately 10 minutes from the arrival of the Bride to the beginning of the ceremony.
Costs and Fees
◾ A non-refundable deposit of $150 is required when completing the Notification of Marriage papers. Until this time the booking is only provisional.
◾ The full fee for the wedding ceremony is $450 (including the non-refundable deposit) and the balance should be paid at the Minister's office or the Church office before the rehearsal. This inclusive fee covers the use of the Church, Minister, and Organist.
◾ The fees for the marriage service are not applied for active members of the congregations.
Minister: Rev Don Everhart 9181 2047