The Wedding Ministry
Sanibel Community Church
1740 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL 33957
Contact Pastor Shelton Gwaltney for more information.
In our country a wedding is a social contract. When a man and woman express their desire for their marriage to be solemnized by a church wedding in an act of worship, the wedding becomes so much more.
The wedding ceremony usually begins, “We are assembled here in the presence of God.” The creation of a marriage is not simply an act of the state, or the state and the church together; it is at its best, an act of God. The vows which are made, though to each other, are also made to God.
Make wedding arrangements as far in advance as possible. When you determine the date on which you wish to have your wedding and are in agreement with the Contract Requirements for Marriage, contact the church office to speak with the Church Administrator. The Church Administrator will schedule an appointment for you to meet upon confirmation of the Contract Requirements and date of availability, and also make arrangements with the Pastor to discuss your wedding plans and pre-marital counseling.
Pre-marital counseling sessions are required. The sessions are to be conducted by a pastor or an experienced counselor. If you are a member of another church, but are being married at Sanibel Community Church, you may arrange to have the counseling with your pastor.
The Pastors of Sanibel Community Church are here to serve, assisting you in your wedding plans and ceremony. If it is your wish to have other clergy conduct your wedding or participate, please complete the Guest Pastor Information Form as a Marriage Requirement Addendum. All clergy participation and ceremonies held on church property will be consistent with Sanibel Community Church’s beliefs, distinctives and practices.
After many years of wedding service to our community, Sanibel Community Church has chosen to provide a Wedding Coordinator. This individual will have a ministry to couples and their families during the planning process through the actual day’s events as they pertain to the church campus use and wedding ceremony. Our Wedding Coordinator has been trained by our Pastors. The Coordinator is familiar with area vendors that provide wedding services and will direct you upon request. Sanibel Community Church and its staff are in no way responsible for these merchants or the product you receive, but it is our intent to offer suggested vendors who have professional integrity.
It is the responsibility of our Wedding Coordinator to know the details of your service and coordinate the professional services you have chosen. The Coordinator will communicate with the Pastor officiating at your service. Sanibel Community Church desires that communications be directed to your Wedding Coordinator unless you are advised otherwise.
The Church Administrator will arrange SCC Pastoral services, organist, Wedding Coordinator, sound technician, and custodial services. The Coordinator will cooperatively work with the Church Administrator for calendaring wedding events on both the church calendar and the Pastor’s personal calendar.
The Wedding Coordinator will be in attendance at your rehearsal and through the day of your wedding until the Bridal Couple departs from the church. This person will be responsible for the directing of the families and wedding party participants.
A rehearsal is necessary for all wedding parties consisting of more than the Bridal Couple, Best Man and Maid of Honor; most rehearsals are scheduled for one hour. All members of the Wedding Party, including parents, ushers, organist, other musicians, and anyone taking a special part in the service should be present and on time. Rehearsals are important for a stress-free Wedding Day for everyone involved!
The music should be in keeping with the dignity and appropriateness of a Christian Worship Service. All music selected for performance will be reviewed by the Wedding Coordinator.
If you choose to use organ music, the church organist is to be considered first to play for your service. The organist will contact you to set an appointment with you to go over music selection. If another organist is desired, arrangements and approval comes through SCC’s organist. Other instruments or musical choices may be used, but must be approved with the Wedding Coordinator.
Soloist or additional music is welcomed. The church has gifted soloists which may be contacted if you desire their services to enhance your ceremony.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS
Because the marriage ceremony is a Worship Service which should have no intrusions such as those that occur during the taking of pictures, photography during the ceremony is to be refrained.
We request that no flash pictures be taken after members of the wedding party are at the front of the sanctuary and the service has begun. Professional photographers, as well as guests are asked to honor this request.
Time spent prior to the wedding coordinating with your photographer or videographer, permits you to plan the events and people you would like to remember in photos and leaves less surprises for the day of your wedding. Please see that your photographer and videographer receives a copy of the “Information for the Photographer and Videographer” and returns signed copy of policy to the Church Administrator.
The Fellowship Hall and Courtyard are available for very limited time periods. Additional Wedding Coordinator and Custodial fees are required. There will be no exception to these fees. Consult with the Church Administrator for availability and fees.
DECORATIONS, BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT
1. DECORATIONS: Please refrain from using tacks, nails, tape or other material that may deface church property. Be sure flowers, candles, etc. have bases or stands to support them. All candles should be dripless. Decorations such as streamers and balloons should not be attached to walls, pews or ceilings in a manner that will leave permanent marks. Please consult your florist regarding the methods of decoration. The wedding party is responsible for immediate removal of all decorations following the conclusion of the wedding service and photo session.
2. FLOWERS: When a florist has been selected, please notify the Wedding Coordinator. Your florist must contact the Wedding Coordinator to discuss decoration policy and delivery time. If there is no florist involved, those responsible for flowers and decorations should notify the Wedding Coordinator for the same purpose.
3. AISLE RUNNER: Aisle cloth is 75 feet. Typically runners are purchased and installed by your florist. If self-purchased, the runner must be delivered to Wedding Coordinator at rehearsal with 30 large pearled stick pins for wedding day installation. The Wedding Coordinator will provide instruction to groomsmen during the rehearsal.
4. SANCTUARY: The church encourages few changes involving the arrangement of the sanctuary. The lectern may be removed. The communion table may be taken up a level or two. The front two pews may be removed. You are encouraged to use palms to hide choir pews/chairs and “dress up” the chancel area. Any other special arrangements will require additional custodial fees.
5. DRESSING AREA: The bride and her attendants are encouraged to arrive mostly ready. Final dressing and finishing touches may be done by the bride in the music center. The groom and his attendants may gather in Fellowship Hall for finishing touches. The use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Smoking is only permitted in the open Courtyard area. All members of the wedding party are responsible for prompt removal of personal items and cleanliness of dressing areas.
6. REMOVAL: The wedding party is responsible for the removal of all flowers, plants, decorations and wedding equipment immediately after the wedding so the facilities are ready for the next scheduled activities. If you wish to donate the flowers for Sunday services or delivery to a shut-in, please let our Wedding Coordinator know.
It is not the policy of the church to look upon weddings as a source of revenue; however, there are expenses connected with the staffing of the various services used for weddings and receptions. Charges for the use of wedding services are outlined for you. Be sure to take time to look at all the charges and fees involved.
The $200 deposit is non-refundable if the wedding is canceled following confirmation of the Contract. Final fee payment is due to Sanibel Community Church thirty (30) days prior to the wedding.
The marriage license is to be delivered at the time of the wedding rehearsal to the Wedding Coordinator.
Wedding programs are the responsibility of the Bridal Couple.
The use of alcohol or drugs is not allowed on church premises.
Smoking is limited to the Courtyard.
Rice and confetti are not allowed on the premises.
Arrangements for opening and closing of the buildings are to be made with the Wedding Coordinator.
1. Wedding with rehearsal. Includes Coordinator, custodian, sound technician and organist.
Non-Member – $1,200
Member – $650
Extra Holiday Fee – $400
2. Wedding with no rehearsal. Includes Coordinator, custodian, sound technician and organist.
Non-Member Member Extra Holiday Fee
Total $775 $525 $200
3. Stand Up wedding with Bride, Groom and Witnesses.
Off-Site Fees for Coordinator in the event that coordinator is needed are as follows:
1. $250 Wedding with rehearsal.
2. $175 Wedding with no rehearsal.
Coordinator is available, but not required for “off-site” weddings.
If bride, groom or their parents have been members of Sanibel Community Church for at least one year, fees will be based on Member charges.
There is no Pre-Marital Counseling or Clergy Fees for weddings performed by a pastor of Sanibel Community Church. The couple may want to give a gift “honorarium” to express their appreciation to the marrying pastor.
Contract Requirements for Marriage
Here at Sanibel Community Church we are not interested in merely having weddings performed. We are here to encourage strong, vibrant marriages that are founded upon Biblical principles. Because of this priority, the following requirements are in force for all those who desire to be married at Sanibel Community Church or by one of our Pastors:
1. A minimum of ninety (90) days notice must be given to the Pastor prior to the wedding date.
2. Attendance of both the bride and groom at pre-marital counseling sessions is required. We recommend the course, Mentoring for Marriage, conducted by one of our pastors, or by a mature couple of the church. In the event that the pre-marital counseling is conducted by someone other than personnel of Sanibel Community Church or if another resource is used, a letter stating preparedness for marriage must be presented to the pastor performing the service thirty (30) days prior to the marriage ceremony.
3. In the case that either the bride or groom is divorced, additional pre-marital counseling will be required (approximately 30 minutes added to the session).
4. Both the bride and groom must have a personal commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Active church involvement is expected.
5. The bride and groom must commit to walk in a relationship of sexual purity in accordance to God’s Word.
6. The couple must complete all forms and documents and submit a non-refundable $200 deposit ninety (90) days prior to the wedding service. Confirmation of contract will be given within ten (10) days and deposit returned if not able to accommodate request. Final wedding fees must be received thirty (30) days prior to the wedding.
7. If someone other than a pastor of SCC is preferred to perform the wedding ceremony, the following requirements apply:
a. Prior approval of the preferred pastor must be given by the Senior Pastor of S.C.C.
b. All marriage requirements of SCC must be met, with written confirmation of such.
c. Consultation between Pastor performing ceremony and the Senior Pastor of SCC is required no less than 30 days prior to the ceremony.
d. Consultation between Pastor performing ceremony and the Wedding Coordinator of SCC is required no less than 10 days prior to the ceremony.
8. The Senior Pastor in consultation with the Executive Committee, reserves the right to waive any of the above requirements under extraordinary circumstances.
Click here for a printable copy of Wedding Fees 9-16-08.pdf