for a printable pdf version click here Wedding Policy
Wedding Policy for McClure United Church
Edmonton, Alberta T5C 3R1
Revised February 23, 2009
Minister: Rev. Jim Lochhead
Administrative Secretary: Cathy Stapleton
What is a Christian Marriage?
Marriage is a complex institution and takes many different forms. In Western Society, generally, marriage is the institution in which we recognize the commitment between two people to one another. Even within the church there are differences between denomination in respect to marriage. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, considers marriage between a man and woman to be a sacrament along with Baptism, Communion, and Confession (to name a few). Protestant churches, like the United Church of Canada, understand the sacred nature of a couples vows to one another but do not consider the Rites of Marriage to be, in and of themselves, a sacrament. What is central to marriage, any form of marriage, are the vows of commitment to one another; the intention to be joined together for life. In making your vows to each other you enter into a covenant relationship - a relationship formed by the promises made in those vows. Key to those promises is the intent that your relationship will be for all of your life.
What distinguishes Christian marriage, then, from Civil marriage, is in the authority in front of whom those vows are made. In Christian marriage you make the vows in the presence of God. In a Civil marriage you make the vows in front of a person authorized by the government to hear those vows - a marriage commissioner, a justice of the peace, a judge, a minister of religion. In weddings at a church these are intertwined - you are making vows in the presence of God, thus joining in Christian marriage; and, in signing your marriage license and registering the marriage you are entering into a civil marriage. Ministers of the church are granted the authority to act as agents for the state giving the marriage vows the same legitimacy as those made in front of a justice of the peace.
At McClure our faith is the foundation of our life together as a church and a community. We celebrate your choice to be married in this place; and the connection of your relationship with one another to the community of the church, and the community of family and friends that will be present as you share your vows and your commitment to one another. We believe that in Christian marriage the vows that we make are strengthened by God's grace and presence in your relationship. We believe that Christian marriage offers a foundation into your future that is not offered in civil marriage – the foundation found in the support, the love, the commitment of your family, friends, and church to support you as you begin this new life together.
McClure United Church Wedding Policy
The wedding policy for couples being married in McClure United Church is:
a) Prior to marriage,
i) at least one of the partners must profess to being baptized in a Christian ceremony
ii) the couple will attend a pre-marriage counselling course (see page 2)
iii) a marriage license has been obtained
iv) the couple agrees to the other requirements as set in the McClure’s Wedding Policy
v) the couple should attend four church services in McClure United Church unless their residence does not make this feasible, in which case they would attend a church in their vicinity
i) it is preferred that the Minister(s) of McClure United Church be used, however, other arrangements could be made upon consultation.
ii) it is preferred that church organist be used
c) Fees and Booking
i) as determined by the McClure Church Board (see page 6)
ii) done in advance of the wedding
The bookings for weddings at McClure United Church are handled by the church office. Requests for weddings must be made a minimum of three months in advance of the wedding.
Fill out the “Request for a Wedding” form (on last page) and bring it to the church office along with your non-refundable deposit. At this time, your date and time will be confirmed. Your signature on the “Request for a Wedding” form indicates that you agree with this “Wedding Policy” set out by McClure United Church for all weddings that take place herein or with our Minister. After the form has been processed in the office, you may then book your hall, the photographer, a caterer etc. You will also be asked to attend a Marriage Information Evening usually held in March of any given year. The Minister will also meet with you twice after the Marriage Information Evening. Please contact the church office (780-475-8496) to set up your appointment with the Minister after the Marriage Information Evening. It is likely that you will meet with the Minister during regular office hours since our Minister has evening meetings and other church related evening and weekend responsibilities.
Pre-marriage counselling and/or classes are required. Our minister asks that you take these classes between the time of the Marriage Information Evening and your first meeting alone with him. Several options are available for taking the Pre-marriage counselling. The cost of the marriage preparation course is approximately $200.00. There are several sessions offered throughout the year. The course can be taken at:
Cornerstone Counselling Centre
11111 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5K 0L4
The Family Centre
# 20, 9912-106 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5K 1C5
Community Counselling Centre
#202 10534-124 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5K 0L4
Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D.,
J0Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D.,
& Associates Ltd.
10009-85th Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T6E 2J9
You must obtain a Marriage License from the Registrar of Vital Statistics, Alberta Motor Association Licensing Branch or a Licensing Service. You will need identification, such as a birth certificate, passport or driver's license. You must apply as a couple. If you have been married before you must produce documents to prove that you are no longer married, i.e., a divorce or a death certificate. If you are less than 18 years of age, consent to marry must be given by your mother, father or guardian. Please call a Licensing office as listed in the yellow pages or Vital Statistics at 780-427-7013.
Your marriage license is valid for three months and must be given to the church office at least one month before your wedding day.
Planning Your Wedding Ceremony
McClure United Church holds a maximum of 300 people. We do not allow the removal or covering of any part of the sanctuary during the wedding ceremony, (e.g. The Bible, communion table, pulpit, cross etc.). We do not allow any other “sources of flame” (candles, lanterns etc.) in the sanctuary other than those provided, however you may use a Unity Candle.
The service is planned in consultation with the Minister, on the basis of normal United Church liturgical practice, with some optional inclusion of elements of the couple’s personal choice (e.g. special music, readings, prayers).
We have an organ and piano in the sanctuary. The services of an organist are provided. Should you wish to invite someone else to play for you, you would need to arrange that with our organist. Music for the service is chosen in consultation with the organist and subject to approval by the Minister. Upon request, a soloist maybe provided from the congregation but we require plenty of notice before hand.
Flowers can enhance your ceremony if they are tastefully used. Flowers should be in place in the sanctuary one half hour before the ceremony begins. You are welcome to leave flowers in the sanctuary following your marriage which would be appreciated in our Sunday Service. Pew markers may be used and must be attached by ties or elastics (no tape please).
If you wish to have a bulletin for your wedding day you may do so, however the church does not type or photocopy these. You may buy the bulletin covers from the Universal Church Supplies 11105-102 Ave. (Ph. 780-429-3153).
McClure has a wide chancel area and can accommodate an intimate wedding party of five (including bride, groom and minister), or a larger wedding party of 10 or so. Ushers are very helpful and add a touch of order and decorum to the ceremony. Two ushers are usually sufficient.
To avoid unnecessary disruption of your service we suggest that a ringbearer or flowergirl be at least five to six years old. If they are younger than this, we request that they sit with a parent/grandparent during the actual ceremony.
For formal weddings of twenty guests or more, a rehearsal is usually necessary. All members of the wedding party are asked to attend as well as others who may be taking part ie: readers, candle lighters etc. The rehearsal will be no more than an hour in length and will be held on Thursday as a rule (usually 7 pm). Rehearsals may be changed, if the need arises, at the discretion of the Minister.
Please be ON TIME as the Minister sometimes has two rehearsals in a row or another meeting to attend.
Your Wedding Day
It is illegal for a Minister to marry anyone who he or she has reason to believe is under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances.
In consideration of our janitorial staff and our church grounds, we ask that you not use confetti, rice, bird seed etc.
Please note: this is a nonsmoking and non alcohol building. An ashtray is provided outside the building.
During the wedding service a professional photographer may take pictures provided they do not disturb the ceremony. Individuals may take photos during these parts of the service:
the processional, the signing of the register, and the recessional.
It is possible to “repose” for the photographer immediately following the service for any other pictures (not included above) that you may wish.
If you have a designated photographer, he or she must speak with the Minister at least one half hour prior to the service. If you are asking a friend to take your pictures, it is a good idea to invite this person to the rehearsal. A video camera may be used, but the video camera must be on a fixed tripod and the camera be placed unobtrusively, so as not to detract from the ceremony (check with the minister for correct location).
McClure United Church Wedding Fee Schedule
$50.00 non-refundable deposit,
payable at the time the wedding is booked.
Your wedding will not be considered confirmed until the deposit has been made.
In addition to the deposit:
This fee includes the full service the church can provide:
◆ the Ministers’ time in preparing and participating in your wedding ceremony,
◆ the provision of an organist/pianist,
◆ administrative duties
* To avoid any confusion at your rehearsal or on your wedding day all wedding fees are due one month prior to the wedding. Please submit payment to the church office.
Total Cost $ 600**
** Please Note: You may wish to use your own Minister (United Church only) or your own musician(s), however this fee remains the same at $ 600 – it is non-negotiable.