The Christian wedding is a celebration of a couple’s love and commitment to each other and God.
This sacred ceremony, in which you enter into a covenant with God and one another, creates the foundation for your marriage. By choosing to be married by a representative of God’s Church, you are inviting God’s presence into your wedding and purposely asking for God’s blessing upon the marriage.
New Hope, A United Methodist Church, is honored to offer the Wedding Ministry for the very special occasion of holy marriage. Weddings are available for both our members and non-members of the congregation. The wedding ceremony is a worship service where the couple pledges themselves to one another in the presence of God and begins their marriage with Christ as the foundation. The following policies and procedures have been established to help your wedding go as smoothly as possible.
A Marriage at New Hope
Your wedding will bring family and friends together to celebrate your marriage through worship. We encourage you to include responsive readings, prayers, and congregational singing in your ceremony. In order to prepare for this special occasion, please note the requirements for marriage at New Hope.
- Presentation of a properly executed marriage license at the rehearsal is required as the wedding cannot take place without the marriage license. The pastor can only perform weddings in full accordance with the law. Please pay attention to the necessity for careful compliance.
- The couple must meet for premarital sessions with the assigned pastor before the ceremony.
- A waiting period of at least six months following a divorce or death of a spouse shall be observed to allow for healing following the end of a previous marriage.
- Weddings are performed on Fridays or Saturdays based on the location, availability, and holiday calendar.
- Weddings will not be held on Sunday mornings, holidays, or holiday weekends.
- For full details, please see the New Hope Wedding Policy
Follow these steps to start the planning process.
- Contact the office or the pastor to set a date.
- We will tentatively confirm your date is available when you contact us. The date is not considered held until the final email confirmation has been sent reflecting the reservation.
- New Hope requires premarital meetings before being married.
- The wedding planning form will help guide the pastor with the final details for the wedding ceremony. This will need to be filled out 3 months prior to the wedding.
- We recommend downloading the form to fill it out. The online Adobe editor doesn’t work properly with the fillable form.
There are two options for organizing your wedding through New Hope. You may have an on-site wedding in our sanctuary. Or, you may have an off-site wedding utilizing a New Hope Pastor. All final fees are due the Friday before the wedding day. The on-site wedding venue or date and time or off-site New Hope Pastor date and time are not confirmed until you receive the confirmation email.
Off-Site Wedding Locations with a New Hope Pastor
New Hope Pastors are available to officiate off-site weddings within 30 minutes of the city. A request may be made if the venue is further than 30 minutes but this will be dependent on the Pastors’ approval and availability. Please follow steps 1-4 under the Wedding Planning section to reserve a Pastor to officiate your wedding. Premarital meetings are still required as part of the planning leading up to the off-site wedding. These fees cover the cost of the rehearsal and wedding day off-site ceremony time, including the premarital meetings, and the service of the Pastor. The pastor will determine how the rehearsal will be handled in the event your rehearsal is at a different location than the ceremony.
- Pastor Honorarium: $250.00
- All other venue fees as set by the off-site venue
New Hope On-Site Weddings
The New Hope On-Site Fees cover the cost of the rehearsal and wedding day events, including the premarital meeting, the service of the Pastor, facilities usage & cleaning, technology, and a New Hope musician playing a single instrument. Musical details beyond this will be discussed and managed through the musician directly and priced accordingly. Any additional items are not the responsibility of the church.
- Facility Usage Donation: $200
- Cleaning Fee: $75
- Pastor Honorarium: $200
- Musician Honorarium: $150
- If you make different arrangements for music, this fee will not apply
- Audio/Visual Tech: $50
- Recording of the Ceremony: $25
- This is only applicable if you want us to make a recording of the ceremony
Ministry and the Pastor
The pastor at New Hope officiates at weddings held in our sanctuary. Guest clergy may assist with the approval of the Officiating Pastor.
The pastor will spend one or more sessions in conference with a couple planning to be married. It is their responsibility as a pastor to function in this capacity as a counselor. This will include discussions of both the service and the marriage itself. After the pastor is scheduled for the wedding, the couple is responsible for contacting the pastor. At the discretion of the pastor, additional outside counseling may be required.
The Walk Down the Aisle
Your big day is almost here, and all your details and planning are coming together. To be sure you have everything exactly how you want it and follow along with the church requirements, please read our wedding policy for details.