Marriage is a service of Christian worship in which a couple publicly declares their intent to marry, exchange vows, and ask for the blessing and support of God, family, friends, and members of the community of faith. Because we believe the support of God, family, friends, and church members is vital to a marriage, the bride or groom must be a member of First Church for at least six months to schedule a wedding at the church.
Everyone is welcome to attend worship or any ministry of the church without becoming a member. If you are interested in pursuing membership, however, we ask that you live out the membership vows for six to nine months so that you will come to belong to First Church, to be connected relationally before actually becoming a member. This belonging before becoming happens when you are relationally connected to a spiritually formative group (for growth, care, Bible study, prayer, etc.) and a service or ministry (in which to use your gifts and talents). We want to help you find your place in the body of Christ. Our purpose is to make disciples of Jesus Christ not just to have members.
The pastors and music director of this congregation have considerable experience that is available to you in planning for your wedding. We want to work with you. Please consult with us before making any major decisions about the service.
The first step is to reserve your wedding date on the church calendar. We do have many requests for wedding dates and sometimes weddings are scheduled more than a year in advance. You can telephone the church office (244-6209) or stop in and request a wedding application. After you have completed the application, the administrative assistant will notify you if it is approved.
On Saturdays, weddings will not be scheduled later than 5:00 p.m. except by special arrangement. All receptions at the church must be concluded before 7:00 p.m. Exceptions to the 5:00 rule are possible if the wedding is simple and/or a fee of $100 is paid for additional custodial help. No weddings will be scheduled on a holiday weekend, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A significant phase in preparation for the wedding is a conference between the pastor and the prospective bride and groom. Three preparation sessions are required. It is your responsibility to contact the pastor at least six months before the wedding date to make an appointment for premarital conference and preparation meetings. One of the pastors of First United Methodist Church must officiate at all weddings. If you desire another pastor to participate, please consult with our pastor first. The invitation to participate in the service must come from our pastor.
A wedding license can be secured from the Clerk of Court in the court house of any county in Iowa. A phone call to the court house is advisable to confirm wedding license procedure and court house hours.