Wedding Information Handbook
The Christian Wedding Service
Weddings are occasions of both joy and reverence—joy because of the gifts of love and happiness that the bride and groom have found in each other, and reverence because of the deep commitment they have made to live out their vows under the grace of God. The staff of Ladue Chapel is eager to help make your wedding a lovely and meaningful event and asks your careful attention to the following guidelines to facilitate planning and provide clarity both for you and for the church.
The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) says the following about marriage and weddings in the church:
Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community. In the Reformed tradition, marriage is a covenant in which God has an active part, and which the community of faith publically witnesses and acknowledges.
The Christian marriage ceremony is a service of worship before God, normally conducted within the church. Dignity will be expected on the part of all present, and the service shall be under the sole direction of the presiding minister.
Planning Your Wedding
The first step in arranging for your wedding to be conducted at Ladue Chapel is to read this booklet and then to complete and return the Wedding Information Sheets and to read and sign the Facilities Use Agreement, keeping one copy for your file and returning the other to the Administrative Assistant.
Any wedding service conducted at Ladue Chapel is under the sole direction of the presiding minister. If a pastor other than a member of the Ladue Chapel Pastoral Staff is to participate in the wedding service, arrangements need to be made with the presiding minister, who will extend an official invitation to the guest minister.
Ladue Chapel wedding hostesses assist the clergy in directing the service and are particularly knowledgeable in wedding etiquette, as well as in the special regulations governing the use of Ladue Chapel. Once the wedding is officially scheduled, the wedding hostess will contact the bride to arrange a planning meeting.
The wishes of the bride and groom are paramount in all decisions regarding their wedding service,
providing those wishes are considered appropriate for Ladue Chapel by the presiding minister and the wedding hostesses, who have final authority in all matters related to the use of the church for a wedding.
The assistance of a wedding consultant of the bride’s choosing is welcome; however, it is requested that his or her involvement be limited to the reception and other non-church activities. The rehearsal and wedding service are the responsibility of the staff of Ladue Chapel. The official photographer, video operator, and florist are also under the direction of the presiding minister and wedding hostesses.
A non-member wedding must be approved by the presiding minister before it can be scheduled. Weddings normally are held on Saturday, with rehearsal on Thursday or Friday preceding. The time frame allowed for a wedding is two hours before the service begins and one hour following the conclusion of the worship service.
To select the date and time for the wedding, contact the Administrative Assistant, who serves as wedding coordinator.
The bride should arrange for a conference with the Director of Music Ministries/Organist, who must approve all music for the service. If he is unavailable to play for the wedding, he will suggest an alternate organist or accompanist. Arrangements for vocalists or instrumentalists must be made through and/or approved by him, also. A CD and list of suggested music are available for review.
Rehearsal for a wedding service in the Sanctuary is usually scheduled about 5:00 p.m. the day before the service; rehearsal for a wedding in Woods Chapel is optional. A rehearsal usually lasts about an hour and should be attended by all members of the wedding party, including ushers and parents of both bride and groom.
The wedding hostess and the presiding minister will discuss the procedures of the service with the bride and groom prior to the rehearsal. This enables the rehearsal to run smoothly. It is essential that the rehearsal begin on time. It is the obligation of the bride and groom to have the wedding participants ready to begin the rehearsal as scheduled. Arrival at the church fifteen minutes before the scheduled rehearsal time is advised.
If you would like to leave your flowers in the church to be used at the Sunday morning worship services, notify the administrative assistant in the Church Office well in advance of the wedding date. Many couples do this, placing in the bulletin the following: “The flowers in the Sanctuary this morning are in celebration of the wedding of (bride and groom) on (date).”
If you choose to have programs, these are created, designed, and printed by the bride. The complete order of service should be confirmed with the presiding minister. A draft of the program must be submitted to the church office for review at least two weeks before the service, prior to printing.
Both the bride and groom must be at least 18 years of age and both must appear to apply for the Marriage License; however, only one party need be present to pick up the license. Each applicant must provide valid government picture ID (driver’s license, state ID card, or passport) and proof of Social Security card. Blood tests are not required.
The marriage license (and Certificate of Holy Matrimony) should be given to the wedding hostess at the time of the rehearsal or to the presiding minister at least one day prior to the wedding. Two witnesses should be designated to sign the license and certificate immediately following the wedding service.
The Church Office will process the license to the Recorder of Deeds. The Certificate of Holy Matrimony will be filled out and mailed to you at the address provided.
The St. Louis County Marriage License Department is located on the 4 th floor of the Lawrence K. Roos County Government Building, 41 South Central Avenue in Clayton. Phone recording: 314-615-7180. See http://revenue.stlouisco.com/RecorderOfDeeds/ for additional information.
The St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds’ Marriage License Office is located at 1200 Market St., Room 127 (Tucker and Market). Phone: 314-622-3257. Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. See http://stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/recorder/ for additional information.
Ladue Chapel Guidelines
- No alcoholic beverages or smoking on the premises.
- In consideration of the bride and groom’s safety, church policy does not permit the releasing of balloons or the throwing of rice, birdseed, live or artificial flower petals, or confetti.
- The church and wedding hostess should be given the name, address and phone number of the bride’s florist, photographer, video operator and bridal consultant.
- The videographer and official photographer will be directed by the wedding hostesses. Guests are requested to refrain from taking pictures during the wedding service.
- Cell phones and cameras are to be silenced and turned off during the service.
- A minimum of one usher should be provided for every anticipated 50 guests. A groomsman may double as an usher.
- Arrangements are to be made by the bride to assure that any area used for dressing is cleaned up and all belongings removed immediately after the service.
- All decorations should be removed immediately after the wedding. No tacks, nails, scotch tape, or other injurious materials are to be used by the florist.
- Although we normally encourage the receiving line at the reception, one might be accommodated at the church, depending on the number of guests. Consult with your hostess.
Resources Available on Request
- Seating for 400-450 guests in the Sanctuary of Ladue Chapel. (Smaller weddings may be held in Woods Chapel, which will accommodate 40-45 people.)
- Eighteen candleholders with glass chimneys and white candles for center aisle.
- Window candles, with hurricane globes.
- Two silver candlesticks with white, oil candles on the Communion Table.
- Holder for Unity Candles. Candles are provided by the bride.
- Reserved signs for family pews.
- Lectern for bride’s registry book. Registry book and pens are the responsibility of the bride, as it is to assign a person to attend the lectern and book.
- Two white, wooden flower stands, one on each side of the entrance to Chancel, are available for appropriate floral arrangements for a wedding in the Sanctuary.
- Bride’s Room (off the Narthex) for dressing.
- A designated room for the groom and groomsmen to gather and to meet the presiding minister.
The Administrative Assistant/wedding coordinator will discuss current fees with the bride and groom.
A nonrefundable deposit, payable to Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, is required at the time a
wedding date is reserved, with the additional payment to the church and honoraria or fees for individuals due in the church office one month prior to the wedding.
Ladue Chapel Pastoral Staff
The Rev. Dr. Mark P. Thomas – Pastor
[email protected] x3107
The Rev. Dr. Dieter U. Heinzl – Associate Pastor
[email protected] x3106
The Rev. Melanie A. Smith – Associate Pastor
[email protected] x3105
Wedding Hostess Committee
One or more hostesses will be assigned to assist with every Sanctuary
wedding and by request at Chapel weddings:
Kathy Ahrens 314-609-7047 [email protected]
Shelly Baizer 314-971-4958 [email protected]
Debbie Barnes 314-452-3375 [email protected]
Patty Boehm 314-330-4696 [email protected]
Vicki Haupt 410-530-8726 [email protected]
Leslie Kotiza 314-518-6210 [email protected]
Alice Muckerman 314-409-7691 [email protected]
Beth Nichols 314-518-7259 [email protected]
Suzanne Wagstaff* 314-503-8589 [email protected]