Weddings

Our picturesque waterfront view of Bayshore Boulevard will set the tone for your day to remember.

BAYSHORE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
2515 Bayshore Blvd
Tampa, FL 33611
(813) 253-3771

WEDDING POLICY
Revised February 2007

THE WEDDING HANDBOOK

It is a privilege for the minister and congregation of this church to celebrate with couples of the church or the local community as they enter into marriage. This handbook is intended to acquaint you with the policies and procedures of this church as you plan your wedding. If you have questions that are not answered here, please feel free to call the church office at 813-253-3771.

Before the church will schedule your wedding, you must fill out our application and meet with the Pastor to submit your date, which will be submitted for approval to our governing body, the Session.

WEDDINGS AND MARRIAGE IN THE PRESBYTERIAN (USA) CHURCH

Many couples begin their married life with the formal ceremony of a wedding. It is important for the bride and groom to remember that a wedding is not the same thing as marriage. As you plan the details of your wedding, you will want to consider the ways you are also preparing the details of your marriage. Marriage is full of joys and challenges as two individuals learn to live and grow tog- ether. The following is a statement of what we believe marriage to be in the Presbyterian Church (USA):

We believe that marriage is a good gift of God.

The covenant of spouses to love and serve one another faithfully is intended to reflect the faithfulness of God.

God gives us the gift of sexual union to be a sign of mutual and lasting covenant and a means of co-creating with God.

If married partners become parents, their care for their children is intended to reflect God’s love and discipline.

When we fail each other as parents or partners, we are called to forgive each other as God forgives us and to accept the possibilities for renewal that God offers us in grace.

From “A Declaration of Faith”

SCHEDULING A WEDDING

Our pastor will consult with each couple before scheduling a wedding date. This first meeting will allow the pastor and the couple to determine whether Bayshore Presbyterian Church is an appropriate venue for the wedding. Only after this initial meeting will the wedding date be brought to the church’s governing body, “the Session,” for approval. The Session meets once each month. After the Session’s approval, the wedding date will be placed on the church calendar.

A non-refundable deposit is payable when the wedding is scheduled. This amount will be applied toward the total fees due (see the fees chart on the next page).

SCHEDULING THE ORGANIST

Our pastor will check your date with the Organist before the date is approved. However, you will need to contact the Organist to schedule and plan the music. You may contact our Organist, Carolyn Heagey, at 813-258-1071.

FEES

The following fees have been approved by the church’s Session. The non-refundable deposit is due when the wedding is scheduled. Total fees are due at the rehearsal. The amount of the deposit already paid is deducted from the total due to the church.

Facilities
Members Non-members
Formal wedding and rehearsal $100.00/$500.00
*Informal wedding $0/$100.00
Reception at the church $0/$300.00

Organist
Wedding and rehearsal $150.00/$250.00

Soloist
Wedding and rehearsal $75.00/$100.00

Minister
Counseling, rehearsal, and wedding  $0/$350.00

Wedding Coordinator (required for formal weddings) $50/$100
Deposit $100.00/ $200.00 (Full payment is due at last pre-marital counseling session. All money will be refunded if wedding is canceled by any party).

* A wedding is considered to be “informal” if there are no more than 15 persons in attendance (including bride and groom), and there is no rehearsal.

Important note: If you wish to have a pastor from another church or denomination lead your wedding ceremony, please contact our pastor as soon as possible. Pastors of other churches and denominations are allowed to lead wedding ceremonies with the approval of our pastor and the Session.

PLANNING YOUR WEDDING

We believe that a wedding is, first of all, a service of worship to God. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is governed by The Book of Order, which states:

Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the wellbeing of the entire human family. Marriage is a civil contract between a woman and a man. For Christians, marriage is a covenant through which a man and a woman are called to live out together before God their lives of discipleship. In a service of Christian marriage, a lifelong commitment is made by a woman and a man to each other,publicly witnessed, and acknowledged by the community of faith.

Christian marriage should be celebrated in the place where the community gathers for worship. As a service of Christian worship, the marriage service is under the direction of the minister and the supervision of the Session. The marriage ordinarily takes place in a special service which focuses upon marriage as a gift of God and as an expression of the Christian life. Others may be invited to participate as leaders in the service at the discretion of the pastor.

Music suitable for the marriage service directs attention to God and expresses the faith of the church. The congregation may join in hymns and other musical forms of praise and prayer. Flowers, decorations, and other appointments should be appropriate to the place of worship, enhance the worshipers’ consciousness of the reality of God, and reflect the integrity and simplicity of Christian life.

(Book of Order, The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., W-4.9000)

The couple and the minister will meet together to plan out the service.

Important information for your planning:

Counseling. Bayshore Presbyterian requires a minimum of two sessions of one hour each with the pastor and each couple. These must be scheduled at least three months prior to your wedding date. One meeting is for counseling, and the other is for planning the wedding service.

Sanctuary size and capacity. The sanctuary seats 150-180 people.

Evening weddings.Please be aware that the church hosts many different groups in the evenings. Please check with the pastor to make sure your wedding time does not conflict with other groups who will be using the church as well as the parking lot. Saturday evening weddings are scheduled no later than 5:00 p.m. so that the church may be made ready for worship on Sunday morning.

Flowers. Please contact the church to schedule a time for your florist to deliver and set up the flowers. Flowers may not be placed on the communion table. There are two pedestals for flowers, or you may place flowers on the floor in front of the communion table. If you would like to leave your flowers for the Sunday morning worship service, please notify the church secretary or pastor.

Photography. Photographs may not be taken during the service. However, you may have your photographer stand in the foyer and take a picture of the bride and her escort prior to entering the sanctuary. Photographs of the bride and groom leaving the sanctuary are also acceptable. If you would like to videotape the service, you may set up the camera in the balcony or in the corners of the side sections of the sanctuary. Please explain this policy to your photographer as well as to family and friends.

Candles. The bride and groom must provide any desired candles and candlestands. These should include dropcloths for wax drippings.

Music. You must contract with the church organist if you wish to have organ or piano music during your service. No other musicians will be allowed except those approved by the church organist.

The rehearsal. All weddings need to be rehearsed, and all participants in the wedding, including ushers, should plan to attend the rehearsal. A rehearsal should begin promptly and will usually last one hour.

Children. If there are children in the service, be sure to let the minister know. Children participating in the wedding should usually be at least six years old.

Alcoholic beverages. The presence and/or use of alcoholic beverages on church property is not permitted.

Rice. For the sake of safety and wildlife, rice is not permitted to be thrown on church property. Flower petals or bubbles are suggested as alternatives.

Dressing at the church. If your party chooses to dress at the church, you will want to be at the church at least 1½ hours prior to the service. The minister will show you the rooms you may use for dressing.

Access to the church. As with many small churches, our church administrator keeps limited hours, and the pastor is often away from the church. Please call to make arrangements whenever you need access to the church. This will include access for florists and caterers as well as for the wedding party.

Program. Any program or bulletin desired must be created and printed by the couple. The church does not offer any copying services. The program must reflect the service which the pastor and couple have agreed upon.

The policies contained in this handbook are subject to change and may be altered by the pastor or church representatives at any time.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Church office phone: 813-253-3771
Church office fax: 813-254-3683

Church office email: admin@bayshorepc.org
Pastor email: pastor@bayshorepc.org

Revised 05/09