Marriage is among life’s deepest and most rewarding commitments: a sacred covenant made with one another in the presence of God. We offer this brochure to assist and support you in planning a wedding that reflects both your unique relationship and desires. As a member of the First Congregational Church of Cheshire, it is our privilege to share in this joyous occasion.
Reserving the Date
Once a wedding date is selected that works for the couple, the minister, and the church, a nonrefundable reservation fee of $200 is required to save the date. This reservation fee is applied to the final wedding costs. (Please see back page for full fee schedule.)
When considering a wedding at First Congregational Church, a meeting with a minister should be arranged. It is recommended that this take place at least four months prior to the wedding. This first meeting allows the couple and the minister to become acquainted, discuss plans, and schedule future meetings.
Couples will attend three premarital sessions with the minister prior to the wedding ceremony. The minister and couple collaborate to create a ceremony that celebrates both the bride and groom individually and collectively seeking God’s blessing. Couples are free to work with a wedding planner, but the minister will need to approve all final arrangements.
In the spirit of God’s extravagant love, First Congregational Church celebrates both opposite and same-sex marriages.
Music will be an integral part of the ceremony and it advisable to meet with organist 2-3 months in advance of the wedding, our organist and director of music will help the couple with their musical selections and, if desired, arranges for soloists or instrumentalists.
It is vital that all parents and the full wedding party attend the rehearsal. The rehearsal is essential to the smooth flow of the ceremony, and usually takes less than an hour. The rehearsal is generally held the night before the wedding, and is conducted by the minister. The organist does not attend the rehearsal typically, unless special arrangements require it. The balance of payment and the marriage certificate should be in the church office one week prior to the wedding which allows everyone to then focus solely on enjoying the rehearsal and wedding ceremony.
The bride and groom are responsible for choosing a florist and deciding on flowers. Typically, two floral arrangements are used on either side of the Communion table. The florist will need to contact the church office to arrange delivery. If you wish to leave the flowers after the wedding, the church will deliver them to the hospitalized or shut-ins. If flowers or ribbons are placed on the ends of the pews, they must be attached by rubber bands, ribbons, or string to protect our historic sanctuary from the damage that tacks, tape, glue, or pins cause. Runners for the aisles may be used but no pins/tacks/ tape or glue may be used.
The church has two floor candelabras available for a nominal fee of $30 which pays for the candles.
To preserve the sacred spirit of the wedding ceremony, flash photography is not permitted during the service. Flash photography is, however, allowed during the recessional. During the service, still-photos may be taken from the rear of the sanctuary or from the rear portion of the balcony (the choir loft). During the service, videotaping is allowed from these same places or from a fixed position within the sanctuary that is closer to the Communion table. Before the service, the photographer must meet briefly with the minister to confirm these rules and to help ensure the best possible photographs of the service.
Church Buildings and Grounds
The church appreciates the couple, wedding party, and all guests treating the church buildings and campus with respect. No smoking or alcohol is permitted anywhere on the premises. The throwing of rice, confetti or birdseed is not permitted. However, couples often choose to provide bubbles for their guests to blow outdoors as the couple exits the sanctuary. As the church custodian, the sexton ensures the building is open at the agreed-upon times, and that it is both ready for the ceremony and cleaned up afterwards. Facilities Use Application must be submitted and approved by Trustees and the use of Sanctuary and/or Chapel by the Deacons.
Connecticut State Law requires that the marriage license is secured in the town in which your wedding will take place. Without the marriage license, the minister cannot perform the wedding. The couple must give the marriage license to the church one week prior to the wedding. After the ceremony, the minister signs, then returns the marriage license to the town hall in the town/city in which the wedding occurred. If the couple requests, the minister will be happy to provide a unofficial photocopy of the completed marriage license. However, only the town hall can provide an official, raised-seal copy of the completed marriage license. A blood test is no longer required. Check with the Town of Cheshire for all applicable marriage fees and requirements.
Wedding Fee Schedule
A $200 non-refundable deposit is required to hold the date which will be applied towards the total costs of the wedding.
All fees less the deductible must be received one week prior to the wedding. If you are a member of the church, please call
the office at 203-272-5323 for the fees.
Minister $500 for weddings at the First Congregational Church
or within 10 miles. A $50 fee will be added for travel over 10 miles
Organist (wedding) $300
Rehearsal with instrumentalists
or soloists (one hour) $50
Additional rehearsals/arranging soloists $20/half hour
Instrumentalist/Soloist fee to be determined
Use of Sanctuary $200 (satisfied by the deposit)
Use of Chapel (capacity 80) $200 (satisfied by the deposit)
Sexton (rehearsal/service) $100
Floor Candelabra $30
Worship Bulletins (100 B/W copies) $30 (additional copies 10 cents each)
Parish Hall Reception
Parish Hall $250
Kitchen $75 (desserts), $150 (dinner - catered only)
Sexton (cleanup done by renter) $100