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5th Avenue Weddings

We at 5th Avenue UMC are happy that you have chosen to have your wedding here. It is evidence that you desire a Christian marriage service. The Church rejoices at your choice, and desires to be as much service to you as possible while maintaining the proper settings in the church. The following procedures have been approved by the Church Council as the policy of our church:

No wedding will be placed on the calendar until the pastor gives his approval. At that time the pastor and couple will discuss any counseling requirements.

The sanctuary can be made as festive and beautiful as possible, but it should keep the atmosphere of a House of Worship. Keep in mind that this is a service of worship and consecration, a religious ceremony, and all plans should be made with this in mind.

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted during any of the activities held in the church, and it is suggested that persons under the influence of alcohol not attend wedding festivities while their faculties are impaired.

As in all church decorations, everything should be arranged to direct attention toward the altar. No decorations are placed on the altar other than the regular altar ornaments (cross, candles, and a center arrangement of flowers if desired). Otherwise, two arrangements in vases and palms can be used on either side. *For church members only: The church has its own candelabra, candle lighters and permanent candles. Wax candles are never used in the candelabra.

When you complete your arrangements for decorations and flowers, please inform the director in complete detail so that no misunderstanding can result. Under no circumstances is the altar brassware to leave the sanctuary or church buildings. No changes to the electrical wiring or structure of the church will be allowed.

In planning music for the wedding, please bear in mind that a church wedding is a religious service and all the music should reflect that. Our church organist, Barbara Gallagher, plays for weddings in the church and should be contacted as soon as the wedding is booked with the church. All music must be approved by her and the pastor. If the bride desires someone other than our organist, she should contact our organist to clear this matter. Two evenings of the musician’s time, plus private practice, is required when there is a rehearsal. A fee will be determined by the organist depending upon the type and amount of music requested.

For safety and convenience, no rice should be thrown inside any building. Please do all you can to make sure such activities take place well outside. It is suggested that bird or grass seed be used rather than rice.

Pictures may be taken before or after the ceremony, but no flash photography should take place during the actual wedding. “Available light” pictures from the balcony are permitted. Please make sure the photographer moves quietly on stairs and balcony. After the service, photos will be staged.

Rehearsals must be scheduled around the regular Church calendar, and will last no longer than one hour. Everyone must be on time! Details will be discussed throughout the counseling sessions, to preclude problems at the rehearsal and wedding.

Our Wedding Director is responsible not only for the direction of the rehearsal and the wedding, but also for securing the building and ensuring that these guidelines are followed. If the bride desires to use a wedding director from outside the church, she may do so, but our director must still be in attendance and must be paid.

Pastors from other United Methodist churches are welcome to preside at weddings here. Pastors from other denominations are also welcome, as long as the following guidelines are observed:
Some kind of confirmation that the couple has completed pre-marital counseling (which we always require) and that the pastor feels they are prepared to enter this covenant.
A commitment on their part (or whoever presides) that what is proclaimed in the marriage service is consistent with our theology and social principles.
A copy of the wedding service, including sermon, music to be used, etc. sent to our pastor at least two weeks before the wedding.

Wedding Fees

No charge is made for the use of the church or services of the pastor when Church members are being married. (Fees for the organist, custodian and director still apply.) For non-members the following fees apply:

Sanctuary $1000.00
Fellowship Hall $300.00
Pastor $300.00 (includes counseling sessions)
Custodian $100.00 wedding & rehearsal $100.00 reception
Director $200.00 Wedding & rehearsal $100.00 Reception
Organist Negotiated with organist

A $250.00 non-refundable deposit will be paid at the time the church is retained. The balance and other fees should be paid separately to the individuals listed, and must be paid at least two weeks prior to the Rehearsal. The mailing address is:

5th Avenue UMC
409 S. 5th Ave.
Wilmington, NC 28401
Church: 910-763-2621

Our desire is to make your wedding Christian, beautiful and memorable. Please allow us this privilege by early consultation and by follow up of all matters as agreed upon in these instructions.