The Plantsville Congregational Church is delighted to be part of your wedding plans.  It is one of the most significant events in your life.  Therefore, all care and thoughtfulness should be taken to make it special and unique.  The ceremony which you will have an opportunity to help create, should authentically reflect your uniqueness as a couple and new family, as well as affirm the covenant that husband and wife make in the presence of God.  Our minister will assist you in making it so as he works with you in the required pre-marital counseling sessions.  However, ultimately it is up to you to make this your wedding, and not merely a formality.

Our Pastor, Minister of Music, and Deaconate have final authority over the use and order of the sanctuary and the service.  Your initial contact should be with the pastor to clear dates, as well as to arrange for your pre-marital counseling.  If possible, this should be done at least four to six months in advance of your desired wedding date.  Obviously, the earlier you make your arrangements, the more likely you are to get the date and time you prefer.


Pre-Marital Counseling

In preparation for your wedding, you are expected to meet with our pastor for a minimum of three pre-marital counseling sessions. Some couples may be asked to meet more than that.  These sessions usually begin three to four months prior to your wedding date.  It is your responsibility to call the minister to arrange for these sessions.

In your pre-marital counseling sessions, you will discuss some of the basic issues of marriage relationships, such as communication skills, goals, dealing with conflict and anger, relating to your extended families, parenting, and other issues that may arise.  You will also work with the pastor to create your own unique wedding ceremony.


The Marriage License

Your marriage license must be obtained from the Town of Southington.  You may apply for it at the Southington Town Hall, the Office of the Town Clerk.

By phoning or visiting the Town Clerk before you apply, you may inquire about blood tests, time schedules, and other rquirements for the granting of marriage licenses.

Since your minister cannot legally perform your wedding ceremony without the license in hand, you should give the Wedding License to the minister on or before your wedding rehearsal date.


MUSIC

By choosing to be married in this church, you are stating your desire that your wedding be a Service of Christian Worship, blessed and supported by God as God is revealed in and through Jesus Christ.  Accordingly the music for your service, no less than the words and the prayers, should be chosen recognizing your special relationship to God and to each other.

Our Minister of Music would be happy to meet with you to explore the various possibilities that sacred music offers to enhance your wedding ceremony.  This meeting, if held at the church, may also include brief demonstrations of appropriate musical selections for when the guests are being seated in the sanctuary (the Prelude); music for the Processional; brief music during the lighting of the Unity Candle (if any); and for the Recessional of the wedding party.


GUEST MINISTERS, READERS, AND MUSICIANS

Our church follows the policy of most established churches, in that any services held in its facilities shall use the regular staff of the church.  We do, however, welcome guest participants.  If you desire to have another minister or priest participate in your ceremony, please discuss this with our pastor as early in the process as possible.  Opportunities to have friends, family members, or others do readings in the ceremony will be provided when you create your ceremony with the pastor.

With regard to music, other commitments may preclude our Minister of Music from playing at your ceremony.  In such a case, we will make arrangements to have another qualified organist on hand for your ceremony.  We also welcome guest musicians, however, they should have a level of experience necessary to provide music appropriate to the Service of Worship.  If you have a friend or loved one you wish to use as a soloist or instrumentalist, please contact the Minister of Music, so that appropriate rehearsal time may be scheduled.

Our Minister of Music or our Pastor must approve all guest organists.  This policy is well established in most churches in order to protect the church's investment in the organ and to make sure that those leading Christian Worship are qualified.

If you wish to have the church obtain a vocalist or instrumentalist for your wedding, please contact the Minister of Music at least one month in advance.  A separate fee is charged for additional vocalists or instrumentalists based on their individual requirements.

Most weddings require a rehearsal, usual held one or two nights prior to your wedding day.  Everyone participating in the ceremony should attend the rehearsal.  Promptness is requested, and with it, the rehearsal should last approximately one (1) hour.


FLOWERS

Altar and chancel flowers help make a wedding more beautiful and symbolize the newness of life that the ceremony offers.  You may order flowers through the florist of your choice.  Simplicity is urged, however, since over decorating can detract from your wedding rather than enhance it.  Any decoration, floral or otherwise, to be used at the ends of pews to reserve those pews for certain guests, must be tied on with string and ribbon.  Tacks, staples, tape or other materials damage the finish on the furniture.  The use of a white aisle runner is not permitted, due to safety considerations.

The flowers you provide for your service are yours.  Please plan to take them with you when you leave.  You may even wish to use them for your reception.


WEDDING PROGRAMS

Wedding programs add a special touch to your service.  You are free to design and print your own programs.  If you would like any suggestions as to how previous programs have been done, please feel free to speak to our minister.


FEES AND HONORARIA

The fees and honoraria are due in advance, at least two weeks prior to the wedding rehearsal.   

Sometimes the minister is asked if he is available to officiate at a wedding elsewhere than the church.  This may be possible, but should be discussed with the minister as to date, place, and time.  The Honorarium for weddings done at another location is at the minister's discretion and should be given directly to him at the wedding rehearsal.

CHURCH WEDDING FEES AND HONORARIA: Please call the office for details.

PLEASE NOTE ADDITIONAL COSTS/FEES
* An additional fee will be added to any wedding taking place on a holiday or holiday weekend.
* Additional fee for organist participation in the wedding rehearsal or separate rehearsals for soloists or  
   instrumentalists.
* The Honorarium for weddings done at another location is at the minister's discretion. 
* Balance of church expenses is due at the wedding rehearsal.  Final payment must be in cash.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  1. No rice, confetti, or birdseed may be used in the church building or on church grounds. (Bubbles can be a nice alternative).
  2. Your receiving line may be held at the back or outside the church following the service (weather permitting) or at the site of your reception.
  3. The question often arises: "What do we do with the minister?"  He offers the following suggestions:

A. It is not necessary to invite the minister with or without spouse to your reception.  In fact, sometimes
schedule demands preclude his attendance.  If you wish to have the minister attend, with or without spouse, please be sure to send an invitation as you would with any guest. If possible, he will attend your reception, and if desired, provide a blessing for the meal.

B. At the reception, it is not appropriate to introduce the minister with the wedding party, include him in your receiving line, or seat him at your head table.  It is appropriate to call upon him for a blessing following the toast that is normally given by the best man.


PHOTOGRAPHS

Your photographer, as well as your guests, before the service and during the processional and recessional , may take photographs. NO FLASH PICTURES may be taken during the body of the ceremony or in the center aisle.

The service is far too significant to allow the distraction caused by movement and flashbulbs.  Therefore, the ushers should be instructed to inform guests with cameras about this rule.

If there is not adherence to this rule, the minister reserves the right to interrupt your ceremony to speak with your photographer and/or your guests.  Following the service, an opportunity will be provided to pose for whatever pictures your photographer may desire.

Similarly, while the video recording of your ceremony is permitted, it must not detract from your wedding.  Therefore, arrangements must be made with the Wedding Coordinator at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the service for the positioning of the camera.  The camera must remain in one spot throughout the service, and no special lighting is permitted.


FINALLY

Again, we are honored to be part of this new relationship. Please feel free to contact our minister or wedding coordinator regarding any questions or concerns you might have, or assistance you may need.

Because we are part of your new relationship, we feel a sense of responsibility to you and for you.  If you are not already, we extend to you an invitation to become part of our church family, now or in the future. We also encourage you to visit our minister should problems or concerns arise at any time in your marriage.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your union.  May God bless you at this very important moment in your lives, and also in the years to come.  And, may you continue to grow strong each day in faith, hope and love.

Important Numbers
Church Office:  (860) 628-5595
Minister of Music: Chris Muller (860) 990-4272