Weddings at Barrington United Methodist Church

This is an overview of the Wedding Booklet that is available by contacting the church at 847-836-5540. The booklet will provide you with assistance in your planning. Please read it carefully. If you have questions about any of the manual’s contents, please bring them to the attention of the Officiating Pastor.



One of the great joys that comes to a church and its Pastor is the celebration of a service of marriage, uniting a man and woman in a sacred covenant. The service of marriage at Barrington United Methodist Church is in every way an act of worship in which two persons declare their love for each before God, their families and friends, and express their commitment to live out the vows of the marriage covenant under the grace of God. As an act of worship, the service of marriage is an act of the church in which we celebrate the creative and redemptive love of God in Christ Jesus present with us. The marriage service marks the beginning of your journey together. The pastors and staff of Barrington United Methodist Church will work with you to make your wedding a time of great joy and happiness. We also will work with you to make your marriage a journey of love and faithfulness.

Like all significant events in life, the service of marriage and surrounding events need careful planning. No two weddings are alike. The Pastors and staff of Barrington United Methodist Church will work with you to make your wedding the event you envision. However, it must be kept in mind that the wedding service is an act of worship and all aspects of the service must be in keeping with worship. Likewise, all wedding services held at Barrington United Methodist Church must be in keeping with the beliefs, practices, and policies of the United Methodist Church. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church states:

We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. (Book Of Discipline, par. 161C)

While the Pastors of Barrington United Methodist Church will perform a service of marriage for those who are not members of the United Methodist Church, the planning and marriage services offered are specifically Christian and United Methodist in nature.

We pray God in Christ’s blessing on you as you prepare for this most significant moment in your lives.

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The Church

For all communications, please use the following name and address for the church:

Barrington United Methodist Church
98 Algonquin Road
Barrington, IL 60010-6145

The phone number for the church is 847-836-5540

Weddings may be held in either the Sanctuary or the Chapel. Both provide aesthetically pleasing settings for a wedding service. The choice of setting may be dictated by the anticipated attendance. The Sanctuary will seat approximately 450 persons. The Chapel will seat approximately 100 persons. Both Sanctuary and Chapel have a center aisle. Weddings also may be held in the Memorial Garden. Obviously, it is wise to have a contingency plan in case of uncooperative weather.

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Setting the Date

Those who wish to be married at Barrington United Methodist Church may reserve a date after an initial interview with the Officiating Pastor. Please do not make other arrangements and then expect the church to be available and the Pastor to fit your schedule. We strongly recommend that couples begin the process at least six months prior to their desired wedding date. After an initial interview with the Officiating Pastor, and the payment of $150 deposit, the date will be placed on the church calendar. The deposit also serves as a security deposit and will be returned to the bridal couple within 7 days following the service pending there is no damage to BUMC property. The deposit is refundable up to thirty days before the scheduled service.

Weddings may be held on any day the church and Pastors are available. Weddings will not be scheduled on holidays (New Year’s Eve or Day, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day) Keep in mind that a rehearsal also needs to be scheduled.

Members of Barrington United Methodist Church have preference for reserved wedding dates. Church events may preclude the availability of the facilities for a wedding. Such events have priority. However, once a couple, member or non-member, has met with the Officiating Pastor and paid the deposit, their date is secure.

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Officiating Clergy

It is the prerogative of the Pastors appointed to Barrington United Methodist Church to officiate at all weddings held in the church. Other Pastors may be invited to assist in the service at the invitation of the Officiating Pastor. Please discuss any request for the participation by another Pastor with the Officiating Pastor. Do not extend an invitation. The invitation to participate is the appropriate function of the Officiating Pastor. Barrington United Methodist Church does not rent the church facilities for weddings to be performed by clergy not under appointment to Barrington United Methodist Church.

When you inquire about a wedding at Barrington United Methodist Church, you may request a particular Pastor to conduct the service. We will attempt to honor such requests. If you have no preference, the Senior Pastor will designate the Officiating Pastor. The Officiating Pastor is in charge of the service in all of its aspects. The Pastor will provide you with alternative services from which you may choose one that best fits your plans. Keep in mind the service is an act of worship and must be in keeping with the policies, practices and beliefs of Barrington United Methodist Church.

While it is customary to invite the Pastor and spouse to rehearsal dinners and receptions, please be sensitive to the fact that clergy schedules often limit availability for such events. The Pastors simply may be unable to attend.

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Pre-Marital Consultation

The United Methodist BOOK OF DISCIPLINE charges Pastors with the responsibility to consult with couples prior to performing a wedding service. The Pastors of Barrington United Methodist Church honor that charge by abiding by a policy that calls for a series of pre-marital consultations with the couple. These sessions have a double purpose. One purpose is to work out the details of the wedding service. The second is to have conversation about the meaning of marriage from a Christian perspective. While the sessions may include a marriage inventory, these sessions are not intended as therapy. Rather they are an opportunity to explore what it means for a woman and man to live together in the covenant of marriage. An equally beneficial outcome of the sessions is time for Pastor and couple to become acquainted. A wedding is a significant event and should be shared by people who know and care for one another, not by strangers. Usually, there is a minimum of four sessions, including the initial interview. More sessions are scheduled if necessary. It is advantageous to have time between sessions to process information. This is why it is necessary to begin the process at least six months prior to the wedding date.

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The Marriage License

A valid marriage license must be presented to the Officiating Pastor prior to the rehearsal. The church is located in Cook County which means that the license must be obtained at the Cook County Clerk’s Office, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago, or one of its branches. The closest branch is located in Rolling Meadows at 2121 Euclid Avenue (across from Arlington Park). The license costs $30 and payment must be made in cash only. The license is valid one day after it is issued and for sixty days after issuance. You will need to provide two forms of proof of identification when obtaining the license. The marriage license must be presented to the Officiating Pastor no later that the time of the rehearsal. Please be aware that without the license, the Pastor cannot perform the wedding service.

Barrington United Methodist Church will provide you with a ceremonial license. However, you will have to obtain copies of the official license for all legal purposes.

At the present time, there are no requirements for blood or any other medical testing.

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The Service

As has been stated before, the wedding service is an act of worship and that it is, will govern the various aspects of the service. The wedding service has as its focus the creation of a covenant between a man and woman before God. While in the eyes of the State of Illinois, marriage is a legal contract; in the eyes of the church, marriage is a holy covenant. Included in this manual are a series of services that offer different liturgies. You may choose the one which best fits your plans. In addition to the services, there are lists of suggested Scripture Lessons for reading and hymns for singing on page 11 of this manual. These selections are left to you. There is also a list of suggested processionals and recessionals on page 10 from which you may select in consultation with the organist. If you would like to include a vocal or instrumental soloist in your service, please inform the Officiating Pastor as soon as possible and not later than 60 days before the wedding date. The Officiating Pastor will offer a homily (a brief sermon) as a part of the service, if you so desire. While a homily is customary, it is not necessary.

It is expected that both the rehearsal and the wedding service will begin at the scheduled time. Please advise your wedding party and your guests that we expect to begin promptly. The rehearsal takes approximately one hour. Members of the wedding party, parents, and musicians should plan to attend. The rehearsal offers an opportunity for everyone to be informed about the service, the protocols and the timing for the wedding service. It is very important. The wedding service is about thirty-five minutes in length, depending on how much music is included. Few wedding services in the United Methodist tradition last more that forty-five minutes.

A wedding service demands careful planning. The Officiating Pastor and staff of Barrington United Methodist Church will work with you to develop your plans and bring them to fruition. The Officiating Pastor will make all final decisions regarding the service.

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Music plays a significant role in the worship life of the church. Since a wedding service is a service of worship, the music you select must be consistent with Christian worship in the United Methodist tradition. The covenantal nature of the wedding service places the bridal couple, participants, and guests before God in Christ. Thus, the music for the wedding service must compliment the liturgy and promote a sense of being in the presence of God. Choices of music for your wedding service should be made from classical and contemporary Christian music. Popular love songs, movie themes and theatrical music are not permitted for the wedding service.  If you choose to have only organ and/or piano music at your wedding, you should contact the Organist who will work with you about your choices of music. The Organist will help you choose an appropriate processional and recessional, and other organ/piano selections. If you choose to have a soloist or other singers, or instrumentalists beyond the Organist, please contact the Director of Music for consultation about persons and music. We will make every effort to help you select music that enhances the worshipful nature of the wedding service.

In terms of musicians, it is our expectation that the Organist will play at all weddings at Barrington United Methodist Church. The Organist is the church’s keyboardist and can play either the organ or piano. It is our policy that the Organist has the right of first refusal for all weddings. If the Organist is unable to play, he will find a capable substitute beginning with the church’s Assistant Organist. It is the Church’s policy that only the Organist of the Church or an organist of his selection plays the Church’s instruments.

Barrington United Methodist Church is blessed with a number of excellent musicians. If you desire instruments in addition to the organ for your wedding, we can help you find these musicians. We have access to string groups, brass ensembles, and vocal soloists. Please discuss your interest with the Officiating Pastor. The Officiating Pastor will put you in contact with the Director of Music who will help you schedule the musician(s). In most cases you will enter into a contract with the instrumental musicians for their services. The Church is not involved in this transaction. When the Church assists in the scheduling of a vocal soloist, the fee is included in the schedule of fees printed in this booklet. If you choose to use an instrumentalist or vocalist of your own choosing, the Officiating Pastor will direct you to contact the Organist in order to plan for the service. If you choose not to have additional musicians or a vocalist, the Officiating Pastor will ask you to contact the Organist directly. Please keep in mind that the Organist will decide on the appropriateness of the music for the service. On the day of the service, the Organist will coordinate the music aspects of the service in consultation with the Officiating Pastor.

In order for the musicians to have sufficient time to rehearse the music, it is expected that all musical selections be made and approved at least 60 days before the service. If changes are made after 30 days prior to the service in which a previously scheduled musician is no longer used, the bridal couple is expected to pay the musician’s fee.

Let us reaffirm that music will play a significant role in your wedding service. All of us at Barrington United Methodist Church will work with you to ensure the music for your service celebrates God’s love as it affirms the love you bring for each other in this special moment.

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The Wedding Hostess

Barrington United Methodist Church provides a Wedding Hostess to assist the Officiating Pastor in conducting the rehearsal and the wedding service. The Wedding Hostess is mandatory for each wedding. The Wedding Hostess coordinates the rehearsal and activities prior to and immediately following the service. She oversees the flower placement and distribution, the dressing of the bridal party, the work of the ushers, the seating of guests, the processional, and the receiving line. She also is responsible for any emergencies that might occur during the wedding service. The Wedding Hostess is a member of Barrington United Methodist Church.

If an outside wedding consultant is employed, it is the policy of the Barrington United Methodist Church that this person’s involvement be limited to those activities beyond the church. Outside wedding consultants are not permitted to direct any of the wedding activities at Barrington United Methodist Church. The staff of the Barrington United Methodist Church is responsible for the rehearsal and wedding service.

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Photography and Videotaping

Wedding photographs may be taken before and after the service in the Sanctuary, the Chapel or the Memorial Garden. We encourage the bride and groom to make arrangements with their photographer to do as many pictures prior to the service as possible. The church will be open two hours before the time of the service. Depending on the church schedule and staff availability, additional time, up to two hours, at the cost of $100.00 per hour may be scheduled. The photographer must cease taking pictures involving the bridal party thirty minutes prior to the time of the service. Following the service, photographers will have one hour to complete their work. There will be no extensions of time.

In keeping with the atmosphere of a service of worship, no flash photography is permitted during the service. The professional photographer may take flash pictures of the processional and recessional at a place determined by the officiating pastor. The professional photographer may take available light pictures during the service from behind the body of the congregation. The photographer must remain behind the body of the congregation at all times during the service. The Officiating Pastor is willing to remain after the service for photos.

Ushers are asked to inform guests that photographs and videos are not permitted once they have entered the sanctuary. The Officiating Pastor will provide the ushers with cards to be handed to guests that request that neither photos or videos be taken during the service.

The wedding service may be videotaped. The videotaping must be done from one position decided by the Officiating Pastor. We recommend that the camera be set on a tripod. No additional lighting equipment may be used; nor may the equipment be moved during the service. See Page 9 for a detailed photography/videography policy. Please share this policy with your photographer/videographer during your initial planning meetings.

You are expected to provide the Officiating Pastor with the name, address, phone number, and email address of the wedding photographer and videographer at least thirty days prior to the wedding service.

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Flowers, Candles and Decorations

Both the Sanctuary and the Chapel at Barrington United Methodist Church are places of great beauty and do not need excessive decorations. Flowers may be placed in the chancel area and on the altar table at the direction of the Wedding Hostess. Nothing is to be removed from the altar table. Florists will have access to the Sanctuary or Chapel 90 minutes before the time of the service. They must be finished placing arrangements 30 minutes prior to the time of service. Please be sure that the florist is aware of the need to have personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnières, corsages, etc.) available for pre-service pictures. Please advise the florist that aisle runners are not permitted and that only a small number of light-colored silk flower petals may be distributed by the flower girl. The church only provides candles for the altar table, and for the candelabra, which is available for use upon request. A unity candleholder is available for use by the bridal party. The base of the holder for the unity candle will accommodate a candle 2 3/4″ in diameter and two tapers 3/8′ in diameter. Candles would be the responsibility of the bridal party.

Please provide the Officiating Pastor with your florist’s name, address, phone number, and email address at least thirty days before the wedding service.

Nothing may be attached to the pews with anything other than a rubber band. Because of the fire code, hurricane lamps with candles and other candle decorations along the aisle are not permitted. The Wedding Hostess and the Officiating Pastor will make the final decision regarding the appropriateness of all decorations. All decorations must be removed from the church within one hour after the service. Any items left will be discarded by the custodial staff.

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Dressing at the Church

Arrangements can be made for the bridal party to dress at the church. We have excellent facilities for this purpose. Dressing at the church can ease the concerns for time and possible damage to dresses in travel. The church will be open two hours before the service. If you desire additional time beyond the two hours those arrangements can be made at an additional cost, depending on the church schedule and availability of staff. The additional fee is $100.00 per hour. Please speak with the Officiating Pastor to make arrangements.

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Use of the Facilities

We expect the bridal party and all guests to conduct themselves in an appropriate fashion while using the facilities of the Barrington United Methodist Church. NO ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED ON THE PROPERTY OF THE BARRINGTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. THIS INCLUDES THE PARKING LOT. If this policy is violated the wedding service will be immediately cancelled. Please advise limo drivers and guests that alcohol is not permitted anywhere on the church property. Likewise, use of tobacco is not permitted anywhere in the facilities of the church. State Law prohibits no smoking within 15 feet of our entrance. Our facilities are dedicated to the worship and honoring of God in Christ. All members and guests, using these facilities, are expected to do so in accordance with this purpose.

Rice, birdseed, and balloons are not permitted for use in greeting the bridal party. These items are a safety or an environmental issue. We suggest that other means, such as bubbles, bell, or butterflies, be used in welcoming the bride and groom outside the facility.

Should any damage be done to the facilities of the church or its contents, the bride and groom will be held responsible.

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Memo of Understanding

The bridal couple will be asked to sign a Memo of Understanding that will outline the conditions and requirements for themselves and the staff of Barrington United Methodist Church for the wedding service. The Memo will include a listing of the fees. The Memo will be signed at least thirty days prior to the date of the wedding. A copy will be provided to the bridal couple.

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Reception at the Church

The Fellowship Hall is available for wedding receptions. It will seat 200 guests comfortably for a dinner and more for a simple reception. There is a rental fee for the Fellowship Hall and another fee if the Kitchen is needed. There is also a fee for custodial services. Please keep in mind that no alcoholic beverages may be served.

Arrangements can be made with the United Methodist Women for a simple reception, i.e. cake and punch. There is a fee for this service. If you wish to have a dinner, you will need to engage a caterer. When an outside group uses the Kitchen, a member of the church will need to oversee the use.

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Contact the church for a schedule of wedding fees. We do our best to keep the fees reasonable and affordable.

All fees must be paid at least two weeks prior to the service. A summary of fees will be provided. Checks should be made separately for the various items. The proper designation and amount will be listed on the summary. The $150 deposit will be returned to you within 7 days of your wedding service providing there has been no damage to BUMC property. If you choose to pay by cash, please place the appropriate amounts in clearly marked envelopes.

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Wedding Photography/Videography Policy

Welcome to Barrington United Methodist Church. The following policy is designed to be clear about the Church’s expectations of those who photograph or video a wedding in our facility. Please keep in mind that a wedding service is a worship service celebrating a sacred covenant and conduct yourselves accordingly. We do not expect any disruption to the service as you carry out your work. We expect full compliance with the following statements. Failure to do so will result in your being excluded from the Sanctuary or Chapel. These statements are not negotiable. If you cooperate with us, we will work with you to ensure that all parties are able to accomplish their tasks. If you have questions, please address them to the Officiating Pastor.

Photography may be done at the church prior to the service. The church will be open two hours before the time of the service. All photography must be concluded thirty minutes prior to the scheduled time of the wedding.

There is no flash photography permitted once the service starts. The service starts when the Pastor greets the congregation or a soloist begins a musical selection.

Flash photography is permitted during the processional. The photographer may position him or herself in the center aisle in line with the first pillar from the back. Flash photography is also permitted during the recessional.

During the service, available-light photography is permitted from the rear of the Sanctuary. At no time is the photographer to either take a position in front of any guests or in any way disrupt the service.

Videography may be done during the service. A stationary camera may be placed in the chancel area at the discretion of the Pastor. Videographers carrying a camera must stay in the rear of the Sanctuary. During the processional and recessional, the videographer may stand in line with the first pillar from the rear, providing he or she does not interfere with the line of sight of any guest.

All photography must be completed one hour after the conclusion of the service, unless the schedule dictates a lesser amount of time.

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This page last updated on June 13, 2011