Planning Your Wedding
The sanctuary seats approximately 400 guests. If you are planning a small, intimate wedding (under 50 guests) then the ceremony can be held entirely in the chancel, with guests sitting in the surrounding pews.
Old Buttonwood Hall is available for reception or rehearsal dinner. Capacity is 125 -150.
Once the date of your wedding has been confirmed, you should schedule a meeting with the minister. At the initial meeting, the minister will review the Wedding Application form with you and gather any other necessary information. Subsequent meetings (to be determined by the minister) will be arranged to discuss the wedding service itself as well as to counsel you on various aspects of married life.
As a service of Christian worship, the marriage service is under the direction of the minister and the supervision of the Session of The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and will be conducted according to the guidelines of the Book of Common Worship of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The final approval of all arrangements for the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony lies with the minister.
The church director of music is in charge of all music used in your wedding service. The director will assist you in the selection of appropriate music for your wedding and, should you so desire, provide soloist or additional instrumentalist, at an additional cost. If the church director of music is not available for the wedding date, he will secure another organist. The couple may retain the services of their own soloist or instrumentalist, but only with the approval of the director of music. The director of music makes all final decisions concerning the appropriateness of musical selections.
At the invitation of the minister, additional clergy are welcome to co-officiate in the celebration of marriage.
A marriage license issued in the State of Pennsylvania must be secured by the contracting parties and given to the officiating minister at the wedding rehearsal. No minister may legally proceed with a ceremony of marriage without a license.
Flowers: The florist must arrange suitable times for access to the building with the church administrator at least one week before ceremony. While every effort will be made to accommodate arrangements, the florist is required to work with the church administrator’s schedule.
Only the official photographer and/or videographer are permitted to take photographs during the wedding ceremony, and must only use existing light. No photographs can be taken during the prayers. The official photographer is expected to be unobtrusive at all times during the ceremony. A video camera may be set up in the rear gallery, using available light. Photographs may be posed in the chancel using flash, but only before or after the ceremony.
Though it is not necessary to have a printed wedding program, the church can provide the programs if you choose to have one. Information such as names of participants, music titles, scripture reading(s), must be submitted to the office administrator no later than two weeks before the wedding.
Rehearsals will start promptly at the time scheduled with the minister. Please see that all participants are prompt. Anyone not present after that time will have to work their way through the proceedings when they arrive. The rehearsal will include music, but soloist and special instrumentalists need not be present.
Life Events Team
The church will provide one or two people to help during the rehearsal and wedding. They will act as the church’s wedding coordinators.