Heritage UMC’s cross-shaped sanctuary, wooden Jerusalem Cross and mighty organ are a beautiful backdrop for a wedding. We believe weddings are a form of worship; what better way to worship than to unite with your beloved in the company of those you love most and in the house of God!
The Pastors of Heritage United Methodist Church shall conduct all wedding services held on the property. Any leadership roles taken by other clergy may take place only at the invitation of the Senior Pastor of Heritage UMC.
Our Pastor(s) require a minimum of three counseling sessions. The wedding service will be discussed during the first session with the couple. Important issues in the marriage relationship will be covered in later sessions.
No wedding date will be confirmed on the church calendar until the couple has met with the pastor.
The Senior Pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church is responsible for all services conducted therein. Should you wish another pastor to participate in the service, you must first consult with the pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church and if approved to take part in the service the pastor may extend the invitation. All clergy must be licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia to conduct weddings and a copy of the pastor’s license must be sent to the pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church prior to the final counseling session.
The rehearsal and service are under the direction of the pastor. A member of the church who serves as a wedding coordinator will assist the pastor. Even if the bride has obtained a professional wedding coordinator, Heritage United Methodist Church still requires that one of our wedding coordinators be present for the rehearsal and wedding.
No wedding can take place in the church without a Marriage License. To obtain a Marriage License both the bride and groom must go to the Clerk of the Court in the state of Virginia. Please note that the license is good for only 60 days, so don’t get the license more than two months prior to the wedding or it will be invalid. Once you obtain the license bring it to the church office. The pastor will need this in hand prior to the rehearsal. It is a good practice to bring the marriage license to the last premarital counseling session.
Music selections for the ceremony must be made in consultation with our music staff, who play for all weddings unless otherwise approved by the music staff and Senior Pastor. They will assist you in choosing wedding music in the spirit of worship.
Musicians and soloists can add to the service and will need to be discussed with the music staff. A Service of Marriage is not simply a wedding, but a worship service and all music and solos must be suitable for worship. Secular music is not allowed during the worship service. The music staff assigned to your wedding and the pastor conducting the wedding will have the final word on whether musical selections are appropriate.
Their fee includes playing the organ or piano at the rehearsal, the prelude, and music for your ceremony. Additional fees may apply for accompanying soloists or extra rehearsals. You should consult with the music staff well in advance prior to the final pastoral meeting and printing of the bulletin to discuss musical selections to be used within the ceremony.
If our music staff is unable to play, a recommendation of individuals who are approved to play our organ will be provided to the bride and groom.
The Pastor will guide the couple in understanding that the service is a time of worship and celebration of God’s love. It may be simple or elaborate but each service is sacred. The Service of Christian marriage is found in the United Methodist Hymnal. It is provided for couples who wish to solemnize their marriage in a service of Christian worship, parallel in its structure to the Sunday service, which includes scripture with prayer and praise. Christian marriage is proclaimed as a sacred covenant reflecting the Baptismal Covenant. Everything about the service is designed to witness that this is a Christian marriage. Both words and actions consistently reflect the belief that husband and wife are equal partners in Christian marriage and that they are entering into the marriage of their own volition.
Those present are understood to be an active congregation rather than simply passive witnesses. They give their blessing to the couple and to the marriage, and they join in prayer and praise. It is highly appropriate that the congregation sing hymns and participate in other acts of worship. Holy Communion may or may not be celebrated. If it is, it is most important that its significance be made clear. Specifically:
- The marriage rite is included in a Service of Word and Table.
- Not only the husband and wife are to receive communion, but the whole congregation is to be invited to receive communion.
- There should be no pressure that would embarrass those who for whatever reason do not choose to receive communion.
Church Wedding Coordinator
Heritage United Methodist Church has two wedding coordinators Cam Gumpman and Donna Brown. The letter of confirmation sent to you by the church secretary will have the name and phone number of your wedding coordinator. They will answer any questions, arrange access to the church, meet with you to show you what is available for you to use, help you coordinate the delivery of flowers, discuss wedding policies and procedures, and note designated areas within the church, etc. that can be used.
Please inform both professional and amateur photographers that flash photography is not allowed during the ceremony. Videotaping of the service is allowed. A stationary camera can be placed on either side of the choir area, at the back of either transept, or in the back of the sanctuary. The camera in the choir loft area will remain unmanned.
Photographers are not allowed to move about during the service causing a distraction. They are to be located in the back of the church or at the back of the transepts. The photographer is allowed to stand in the nave only (4 rows in) as the bride proceeds down the aisle and then the photographer must return to the back of the sanctuary or to the back of the transept. It is recommended that the photographer attend the rehearsal so that all parties are aware of the procedures to follow for the wedding service. Any questions the photographer or videographer has needs to be discussed prior to the day of the wedding. We reserve the right to excuse or refuse a photographer or videographer for improper behavior or refusal to follow the church guidelines.
The sound technician will be present for the rehearsal and during the wedding service if needed (musical performers with CD accompaniment, or musical instruments that need additional amplification). The bride and groom will need to consult the technician to discuss needs for the service.
The sanctuary is a place of worship and no attempt should be made to change the worship appointments. The altar, pulpit, and candles shall not be moved, replaced, or obscured as they are the focal point of worship. Only live floral arrangements and greenery may be used in the chancel area. Paraments, which will be white for all weddings, banners and other visual aids symbolize the church’s liturgical year and should not be changed or removed without approval of the pastor. Flowers, candles, or memorabilia are not to be placed on the altar. Greenery or decorations are not to be placed on the Communion Rail. For safety reasons, aisle runners are not allowed. It should be remembered that a church wedding is a worship service and no attempt should be made to change the church scene by adding arches or canopies.
Please notify the wedding director with the name of the florist you have selected. It is very helpful for the wedding coordinator to meet with the bride and the florist to discuss placement of flowers, plans for decorations, arrangements for delivery of flowers, or pick up of materials.
Wedding decorations may not be stored at the church for later pick-up. All accessory items used by the florist, caterers, or family must be removed immediately after the service.
The church has a unity candle, two candles either side of the altar, two plant stands, and glass hurricane globes with holders for window candles that are available upon request. A Unity Candle stand is provided by the church should you include the Lighting of a Unity Candle within the service. Each couple will need to provide the candles for the Unity Candle. Dripless candles should be used. Flower or plant containers must be leak-proof and must be placed on some protective covering to avoid damaging the floor.
Do not use tacks, nails, glue or any other permanently damaging materials. Candleholders that are designed to be attached to the pews are not permitted.
If you wish to leave the flowers from a Saturday wedding for use on Sunday morning, please notify the church secretary as soon as possible. Regularly scheduled flower memorials take precedence. Your flowers may be placed in the narthex or another appropriate location.
Heritage United Methodist Church has active and trained individuals who can serve as acolytes or crucifers for the wedding service. If you would like to have one of the acolytes to assist with the lighting of the candles or the crucifer to bring in the cross, please discuss this with the wedding coordinator.
A draft of the bulletin needs to be submitted to the pastor for approval before being printed. This is to ensure the proper order of the service. Drafts can be delivered in person at the last pre-marital counseling session, or by email.
Most couples have the wedding bulletin prepared by a professional service. However, if you would like the church secretary to type and duplicate the bulletins in our office, there is a fee of $25.00 for non-members. If using the church secretary for printing of the bulletins, please have information prepared two weeks prior to the wedding.
It seems necessary in our day and time to place somewhere in the program a reminder for individuals to turn off cell phones.
The Fellowship Hall or Disciple Center may be used for the reception. The caterer or wedding party must assume all responsibility for cleaning dishes and equipment in the kitchen area. No smoking or alcoholic beverages are allowed. The wedding coordinators are not responsible for conducting the reception unless this has been agreed upon prior to the wedding.
All checks should be received by the church office no later than the week before the wedding and are payable as follows:
Pastor: Rev. Dr. Paul S. Baker
Assistant Pastor: Robert Michalides
Organist: Dr. Sandra Matthes or Dana Ballard
Custodian: Heritage United Methodist Church
Wedding Coordinator: Donna Brown or Cam Gumpman
Bulletins: Heritage United Methodist Church
Sound Technician: Please make check to technician assigned for the wedding.
Sanctuary (Non-member) $500.00
Fellowship Hall (Non-member) $250.00
Disciple Center (Non-member) $500.00
Wedding Coordinator $125.00
Sound System Technician $75.00
Custodian: Sanctuary $75.00
Fellowship Hall $75.00
Disciple Center $75.00
Bulletins (if required) (Non-member) $25.00
Church Facilities Rental Application Form
Please fill out and submit the following form to apply to use any of the facilities at the church. Cost and payment schedule to be agreed upon and paid one week in advance for all events except weddings for which payment is required two weeks in advance. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.