WEDDING POLICIES & PROCEDURES

Center Church has a very open and liberal policy toward weddings in the church.  We invite couples that are not part of our church or our denomination to celebrate their marriage in the church with the pastor, The Rev. Dr. Sandra Olsen, officiating.  Since we recognize that divorce sometimes happens and that life moves on, we do celebrate the weddings of persons who are divorced.  We are also an “Open and Affirming” congregation, which means that we support the full rights and dignity of gay and lesbian persons to marry.

All wedding requests are initially handled by our minister, so you must contact her to discuss your plans.  You may reach her at the church, 203 787 0121, ext. 204, or by email, sandraleeolsen@gmail.com.  The church’s policy is that wedding ceremonies are performed by our minister, but in certain cases, exceptions can be made.  However, the decision is the minister’s and must be discussed with her. 

Once you have spoken with the minister and the date has been set, the church sexton will forward a contract to you to fill out and return.  This is most easily handled by email, but hard copies can also be mailed. We ask for a $250 deposit, which will be fully returned should you cancel, unless the cancellation is less than a month before the wedding date.

We have a beautiful Fisk organ, and if you would like organ music, you must use the services of our organist.  However, you are free to make other music arrangements.  Some people hire string trios or other musical groups.  Sometimes a friend or family member provides piano music.  We do have a Steinway Grand Piano, which a competent pianist can use without charge.  What we do NOT have is a sound system through which music can be played.

A few months before the wedding, the minister will ask the couple to come in for a discussion about marriage.  This is not marriage counseling, as much as it is a way for the minister to become acquainted with the couple so she can write a service to reflect the couple’s identity.  She will also ask questions to encourage the couple to think deeply about the meaning of the commitment they are making.  Questions also include: how the couple met; religious affiliation and background, if any; what the family of origin is like---siblings, parents, childhood; strengths and weaknesses of the relationship; hopes and dreams; how anger and finances are handled.  She will also go over the order of service, and decisions about readings, vows, etc. are made.  Usually this takes at least a few hours, and sometimes a couple will come in more than once to finalize plans.

As anyone can see from the pictures, Center Church is a beautiful space for a wedding.  But it is more than a beautiful space; it is a house of worship, where, since 1638, people have been gathering to hear and ponder God’s Word and to celebrate and mark the joys and sorrows of life.  A wedding is certainly a great joy, and those who marry at Center Church become part of a long history.

 

For further information please contact the Pastor or the Church Office directly: Click Here