Weddings at PCOC
Our Guidelines & Process
Please obtain a copy of the current booklet in the church office.
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Wedding Reservation form
Planning a Wedding
From the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (USA) we read:
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. (W-4.0601)
We celebrate this joyous occasion with you and hope that we can be of service as you plan your marriage ceremony.
THE WEDDING AS WORSHiP
The pastors observe the recommendations of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) that:
- All couples to be married enter into a time of counsel and consultation prior to the wedding,
- The wedding ceremony is a service of Christian worship and shall be conducted as such, and
- The pastor may decline to marry any couple for reason of his/her conscience, of for the sake of maintaining the standards of the Church found in the Book of Order.
It is the policy of Church of the Cross (the “Church) to marry only those couples who have or had an association with the Church that meets the following criteria:
- At least one party of the Wedding Couple is on the date of the marriage a member of the Church and has been a member for the previous six months; or
At least one party of the Wedding Couple was a member of the Church in the past and that party is not currently a member of any other church in the Omaha area.
- The Wedding Couple has satisfactorily completed pre-marriage counseling with a Church Pastor.
- A Church Pastor shall be an officiant at all weddings in the Church.
Any Church Pastor may make the determination as to whether a Wedding Couple meets the above criteria in order to be eligible to be married in the Church. The Session of the Church upon the recommendation of a Church Pastor may grant exceptions to this policy for a specific Wedding Couple.
DATE AND TIME
All couples who are requesting marriage at Presbyterian Church of the Cross must contact the church office, 402-333-7466, to begin the process of securing a date and time for their wedding. Please do not order your invitations before all steps have been taken.
The Wedding Reservation Form needs to be completed and returned to the church office. The church staff will review the request to approve your eligibility, the date and the time. Once the reservation is approved, the wedding couple needs to meet with our Wedding Liaison and make an initial deposit of $150.00 to the church. These steps need to be completed to place your wedding date officially on our church calendar.
The Wedding Reservation Form may be downloaded from here or picked up in the church office.
It is also the wedding couple’s responsibility to contact the Officiating Pastor to make arrangements for pre-marital counseling.
Any changes in your wedding/rehearsal/decorating schedule must be cleared through the church office and Wedding Liaison.
No weddings will be held during Holy Week. This includes Palm Sunday and Easter weekends. December weddings will need to be approved by the Officiating Pastor and Wedding Liaison.
The church participates in a Time-of-Use metering for energy conservation with OPPD. Therefore during the summer (June 1 thru September 15), we cannot accommodate a week day (Monday-Friday) wedding. There is no power or AC until after 7:15 p.m. in the evening.
This includes any rehearsal before 7:00 p.m.
One of the pastors of Presbyterian Church of the Cross will serve as the Officiating Pastor of the wedding.
Couples may choose which pastor they would like to perform their ceremony. Due to vacation schedules or continuing education events, one of the pastors may be unavailable and one of the other pastors would serve.
Often wedding schedules are made so far in advance that summer vacations are not yet established. In such situations, assignment of the Officiating Clergy will be made as soon as vacation plans are made.
Sometimes it is the desire of the couple to have another pastor share in the service with this church’s pastor. Generally, the pastors of Church of the Cross will do their best to accommodate this request. It must be understood, however, that the pastor of the church where the wedding is performed is in charge of the service.
Outside Wedding Coordinators shall not interfere with the rehearsal or service.
ORGANIST AND MUSIC
The Director of Music and Officiating Pastor will approve all music and musician choices for the ceremony. The Church Organist will serve as the organist for all weddings. To select music for your processional and recessional go to www.churchofthecrossomaha.org and navigate to the Planning Your Wedding tab. On this tab you will find YouTube videos of selections for processional and recessional music that are favorites of many wedding couples. You may communicate with the organist by emailing questions and selections to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the event that the Church Organist is unavailable or another organist is desired, the decision as to the suitability of a substitute organist will be made by the Church Organist, just as a substitute organist would be chosen for a regular service of worship.
The music selected for the wedding should reflect the beauty and meaning of a sacred wedding ceremony. The use of popular love ballads and Broadway show tunes is in most cases unacceptable. Prerecorded music (background or accompaniment) is not available.
Music for Your Wedding
The following links will lead you to the most popular music for wedding processionals (music to walk into the church) and wedding recessionals (music to walk out of the church). In several cases (marked by the *) a piece can be used for either. Take a moment to take a look and listen to these pieces and see what you think will best work for your wedding.
If you would like to use singers or instrumentalists in addition to the organ, Dana is happy to help you find highly qualified professionals. If you have questions, you can email Dana Sloan, email@example.com.
- Wagner-Here Comes the Bride
- Purcell (Clarke)-Trumpet Voluntary*
- Purcell (Clarke)-Trumpet Tune*
- Pachelbel-Canon in D
DECORATIONS AND FLOWERS
The architecture and appointments of the sanctuary require no elaborate floral arrangements. The following suggestions have been deemed appropriate:
- Two arrangements on the sides of the chancel,
- Two arrangements fastened on candelabra
The florist may need to bring a stand for the flower arrangements, depending on height and size.
The Wedding Couple needs to contact the Wedding Liaison to make arrangements for building needs, access to the building, setup, etc., at least one week prior to the wedding day. Since the church building is not open on Saturdays, the florist will need to make arrangements with the Wedding Liaison to gain access to the building to decorate the sanctuary.
The church has four candelabras, which may be used at no charge. Each holds seven oil-filled candles. Pew Torches (10) for the center aisle are also available at no charge.
There is a Unity Candle holder that may be used by the bridal couple. It has a place for the Unity Candle and a wax candle on each side. (All three candles need to be provided by the couple.)
A white aisle runner is sometimes desired, though not necessary on the carpeted center aisle. A florist will rent one upon request. The length of the aisle is 22 yards from the bottom of the chancel steps. There are 20 pews on each side.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS
Photographers shall confer with the Officiating Pastor concerning picture taking.
The photographer should be organized and on time. We expect the photographer to be done a minimum of 1 hour before the service begins. The service will not wait for the photographer.
NO FLASH PHOTOS OR MOVEMENT IN THE AISLES OF THE SANCTUARY SHALL BE ALLOWED DURING THE CEREMONY. The bridesmaids and bride may be photographed entering the sanctuary from about one-third of the way down the aisle. The wedding party may be photographed recessing after the service.
During the service the photographer may quietly use the balcony or Narthex to take pictures using available light.
The photographer should have previously worked out the shots desired following the service, and should work efficiently to free the couple to enjoy the reception.
The use of video cameras may be worked out with the Wedding Liaison. There are two potential places for the camera, and it is to be used without lights and without movement from the operator.
IF THE PHOTOGRAPHER OR VIDEO OPERATOR HOPE TO BE IN THE SANCTUARY FROM THE OPENING MUSIC TO THE CLOSE OF THE SERVICE THEY NEED TO DRESS APPROPRIATELY (a suit or sport coat for the gentlemen). Professionals who ignore the guidelines of the church shall not work here again.
Without a marriage license, weddings cannot happen. There is no exception. Couples are responsible for securing a marriage license before the wedding.
A nursery is available, but you must make arrangements ahead of time with the wedding liaison.
The church does not provide bulletins.
NO ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IS ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING OR IN THE PARKING LOTS.
Reservation Deposit $150.00
Payable with approved Wedding Reservation Form
Additional checks need to be delivered to the Wedding Liaison one week prior to the wedding
Checks for church personnel fees (Officiating Pastor, Organist, Church Soloist(s) and Wedding Liaison) should be placed in separate envelopes with recipient’s name on the outside. The Wedding Liaison will distribute these envelopes to the individuals on your wedding day.
|Officiating Pastor Wedding Honorarium
|Miscellaneous Fees: (one check made payable to: PCOC)
|PCOC’s Videographer (optional)
|– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
|FOR RECEPTIONS ON CHURCH PROPERTY:
|Fellowship Hall, Rental
|Additional Custodial Fee
The paid deposit of $150.00 will be deducted from the Miscellaneous Fees
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR THE WEDDING COUPLE
|Wedding Liaison/Business Administrator
|Church Minister of Music
Photographer Choice if Known:
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU PROVIDE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WITH THE INFORMATION IN THE WEDDING BOOKLET REGARDING THE GUIDELINES FOR PHOTOGRAPHY BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE WEDDING.
This is a sacred religious ceremony and must be treated with respect.
Yes ___ No___ Videographer Choice if Known:
All arrangement for floral delivery must be discussed with the Wedding Liaison and coordinated for access to the church building. If possible, it is helpful to have someone from your wedding party who knows what should be delivered, here to accept the flower order, and instruct in the placement of floral arrangements.
Please make sure your entire wedding party is on time for the wedding rehearsal. We want to be efficient but thorough to make sure your wedding goes smoothly. Music will be rehearsed but if additional rehearsal time is needed, please make arrangements for that. The Pastor will lead the rehearsal and provide direction for how the wedding will be managed. The Wedding Liaison will work with the ushers and go over other details that need to be worked out.
Plan on the rehearsal lasting about one hour.
The Wedding Liaison will review where all the dressing rooms are located and any other details about what can or cannot be used within the church.
GUEST BOOK TABLE
The Church has a small round table that could be used or some longer rectangular tables. It is usually placed towards the middle of the Narthex behind the Sanctuary. Please provide your own table covers for both the guest book table and for a gift table if you desire.
As listed in the Wedding Booklet, the Church has the following candles available for use with no charge.
Four Candelabras – Each holds seven oil-filled candles.
Pew Torches – 10 for the center aisle. They have oil-filled candles.
Unity Candle holder – it has a place for the Unity Candle and a wax candle on each side. All three candles need to be provided by the bridal couple.
The Wedding Liaison can show the couple the various candles if desired.
Sanctuary, including the balcony seats 550
Number of pews on each side: 20
Pew Bows – No Tape or Wire may be used on the pews!
See information in the Wedding Booklet regarding use of an aisle runner.
Use of real flower petals is not encouraged. You will be responsible for cleanup and any potential additional expenses for carpet cleaning. Silk petals are encouraged instead.
If you need a kneeler, one is available.
** IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
Closest phone to sanctuary is in the Usher’s closet – to the right rear of the sanctuary.
AED is in the main concourse by the family bathroom. There is also one downstairs by the ramp walkway.
First-aid kit is in the childcare area. There is another one in the kitchen.
Is the reception to be held here?
Will there be flowers delivered?
- What florist?
- What is the delivery time?
- What door are they to be delivered?
- Have someone assigned to distribute and help pin on corsages/boutonnieres?
- Any other floral displays?
- Flowers for the guest book table?
- What time does he/she want to start taking pictures?
- Are pictures before, after or both?
- Pictures/video may be taken from the balcony.
- Please tell your photographer: during the ceremony no flash photography is allowed and no photographers are allowed in the front half of the sanctuary.
What time are you planning to be at the church?
- Are you dressing at the church? (we do not have a steamer)
- Are attendants dressing at the church?
- Are you using our aisle candle holders? Our candelabras?
- Unity candle stand? Bridal couple supplies unity candle with tapers.
Are you using an aisle runner?
- Paper or linen?
- In place before ceremony – seat from side aisles?
- Or have ushers unroll just before presentation?
Guest Book table?
- Will someone be attending the table?
- Will there be flowers or pictures on the tables?
- Will someone be collecting gifts/cards to take to reception?
Personal attendant for the bride?
- How many wedding party attendants?
- Any children in the wedding?
- How many ushers? Recommend 4 (2 per every 50 guests)
How many grandparents?
- Special ushering for grandparents?
How many parents?
- Special ushering for parents?
Any special seating needed for divorced parents/grandparents?
- Programs – You are responsible for your own programs. Pastor will give you the order of service at one of your later counseling sessions.
- Are ushers distributing programs or will they be on the guest table?
AFTER THE CEREMONY
Receiving line in narthex or are the Wedding Couple releasing by rows?
Leaving after receiving line or after pictures?
Bubbles or bells? NO RICE, CONFETTI, BIRDSEED, OR ROSE PETALS allowed. The families of the bride and groom are responsible to inform guests of this policy.
Will dress need to be bustled? Have an attendant prepared to do that!
Assign someone NOT IN THE BRIDAL PARTY be responsible to check dressing rooms for clean up.
Gifts? You may want to assign someone to take care of this.
Host couple? You may want to assign someone who can leave right after the wedding and take the Guest Book and gifts to the reception hall.
Be sure to get marriage license and bring to rehearsal!