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Wedding Policy




                  First Presbyterian Church of Alton                               

                                                                                                                      Alton, Illinois

                                                                                                WEDDING POLICIES


Set by joint issue of the Property and Worship Committees

           * Approved by Session - 2019 

Weddings at First Presbyterian Church are first, approved by the Session of this church, and are conducted only by the First Church Pastor using the Order of Worship for Marriages as described by the Book of Common Worship of the Presbyterian Church (USA) directed by the official Directory for Worship of this denomination.

The use of the Sanctuary for such a service is granted to members of First Presbyterian Church and/or family members of the church members. Charges for this use cover the opening and closing of the building, regulation of temperatures in the areas being used, cleaning of carpets and rest rooms following rehearsals and ceremonies.

Floral deliveries must be made during the time preceding the ceremony as arranged by the pastor. Charges for the custodial services are paid directly to the individual ($125.00) as are fees to the clergy* and organist ($1 50,00 base minimum - additional determined if there is a soloist, rehearsals with soloist and/or instrumentalists). [ *pastors fees are determined by the pastor] Fees for building use ($1 25.00) cover expenses of maintenance and utilities for heating and cooling areas of usage. To be clear: building fee $125, custodial fee $125, organist fee (minimum of $1 50 additional to be determined), pastors fee - set by pastor.

Weddings of non-member parties can (in some cases) be granted for services planned for Burroughs Chapel as was a part of the original purpose of this worship space. Guest pastors are also to be considered as deemed appropriate by the acting pastor of First Presbyterian Church. It is recommended that an offering of $75 for Chapel usage be given to the church to defray building expenses in the case of a non-member wedding service. This fee includes the custodial clean up, but not the organist or pastor.

It should not be assumed that the Director of music of First presbyterian Church will be available for such services which are not a part of the regular duties of the church staff. Inquiry as to availability first must precede when setting a date on which you are requesting the Music Director's assistance. If the Director of music is unavailable, assistance will be given to locate someone with appropriate skills to handle the complicated Sanctuary organ. No one who has not been approved by the Director of Music will be granted permission.

Under normal circumstance the church building will be open 15 minutes prior to any scheduled wedding rehearsal and will be opened prior to any wedding ceremony 90 minutes before the scheduled hour of the service. In this way adequate time can be allotted for dressing and photography before the service.

The church pastor or presiding pastor is given the right to refuse to conduct the marriage service should members of the wedding party arrive inebriated or in any way intoxicated.

Under NO circumstances shall alcoholic beverages be allowed to be consumed in the building prior to the service by any member of the wedding party. This is an insurance issue with NO tolerance for lack of judgement on any persons part.


Marriage is an important and sacred commitment (institution) between two individuals and God. Many couples make the mistake of assuming that the focus is upon them at "their" wedding service. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all cases God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as One are the referent and the center of our worship in which the marriage is being recognized and blessed by the church, Christ's body. Poetry and literature other than scripture as well as music must be chosen to reflect this principal. Sentimental as well as popular cultural thoughts and music are very appropriate in the wedding celebration, but not during worship. These inclusions are best experienced in the course of the reception when they express the thoughts and emotions of the couple.

Additionally, the decorating of the Worship space is not a necessary thing. Both the Chapel and the Sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church are festooned with appropriate religious symbology

for all sacred services of worship. A single or possibly two (2) modest floral pieces are quite adequate in the small Chancel of Burroughs Chapel. Like-wise a large single floral piece or as many as five (5) arrangements are appropriate for the large scale of the main Sanctuary. For evening weddings, the church has pew torches for the Sanctuary which may be requested for candlelight ceremonies. In all cases the church will supply bees wax candles for use in the seven-branch candelabra, Chancel candle holders, oil candles for the Pew Torches. No other candles may be brought in or used unless a unity candle ceremony is planned— in which case you may purchase and bring your own supplies to be placed on a side table in the Chancel. This church does not allow the use of a "sand-mixing" ceremony during wedding services. Florists are requested to use the church's own Chancel furniture rather than bringing in wire/metal stands which scratch the marble floors.

In both the Chapel and in the main Sanctuary, the Property Committee has requested that NOTHING be attached to the wood doors, casings, pillars, posts, or pews either by tape (which leaves a sticky residue), wire(which scratches the surface finishes), staple or fastener. We also request that nothing be tied or wrapped around pew torches.

Lastly, the use of white aisle runners are forbidden. What began as a request of the church's insurance carrier for safety is made a moot point by carpet in the aisle ways. In today's world we have vacuum cleaners to remove the dust and dirt from the floor before the Bridal dress train. Most any minister can tell you of the many horror stories involving runners at weddings.

We hope that these directions and requests of the Property and Worship Committees and Session of the First Presbyterian Church can be followed and provide you with a beautiful and meaningful environment for worship on your wedding day. Please look over these guidelines carefully so that no unpleasant, last-minute changes need take place.

Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage and for asking the church to provide your worship service for you on this very special day! We are happy to be involved and to provide our years of experience and expertise.




Use of the Sanctuary:

            Available for members and constituents of the congregation with First Presbyterian Church Pastor officiating the service.

Use of Burroughs Chapel:

            Available to members and non-members upon approval of the Pastor and Session $75.00.


            Base fee is $150.00 additional fees if there is a vocal or instrumental soloist, and further fees if a musician's rehearsal is deemed necessary. This fee includes                  the organist in attendance for the rehearsal.


            Fee for site preparation and clean up and rest room from rehearsal and from wedding  $125.00 should a reception occur at the church the custodian must be                  engaged. $40.00/hour with a minimum of $100.00 in all cases to cover kitchen and Fellowship Hall set-up and floor care, rest rooms and entry ways.

Honorarium for Pastor:

            Basic fee of $150.00 is suggested for the presiding clergy, however, the pastor retains the right to set their own fees

Use of the Fellowship Hall

            $150.00 (this does not include the custodial fees)

Use of the Fireside Room for Reception line only (no food): $75.00

ALL FEES should be given to the church office by NOON, the Tuesday before the wedding or event.

Church fee paid to:  First Presbyterian Church, Alton

Custodial Fees paid directly to the custodian.

Organist's fees paid directly to the Director of Music Ministry

Pastors fee paid to pastor.