At Hamline Church United Methodist weddings are occasions of both joy and reverence—joy because of the gifts of love and happiness that the bride and groom have found in each other, and reverence because of the deep commitment they have made to live out their vows under the grace of God. The staff is eager to help make your wedding a lovely and meaningful event and asks your careful attention to the following guidelines. Because the church receives many wedding requests, these guidelines are necessary to facilitate planning and to provide clarity both for you and for the church.

Weddings are scheduled for both members and non-members. Reservations are made on a first come first served basis. They are normally held on Friday nights and Saturdays, there are some exceptions to these times. To select the time and date for the wedding, please contact the wedding coordinator, Aileene Vanderbilt.

Hamline United Methodist Church provides a wedding coordinator to oversee the arrangements and details of the wedding service. Once the wedding date is confirmed, an appointment with the coordinator is required to discuss Hamline Church’s wedding guidelines. Questions about arrangements, minister, music, fees, and use of the facilities will be discussed at this conference. The wedding coordinator is a member of the church staff. If an outside wedding consultant has been employed, we request that his or her involvement be limited to the reception and other non-church activities. The rehearsal and wedding service are the responsibility of the wedding coordinator of Hamline United Methodist Church.

The wedding coordinator will discuss current fees with the bride and groom. A nonrefundable deposit is required at the time a wedding date is reserved. Final payment and all additional fees—for such things as; the minister, soloist(s) and organist—must be paid two weeks prior to the wedding day.

The Senior minister at Hamline United Methodist Church is available to perform the wedding service. He or she may also be available to attend the reception. He or she will meet with the couple and assist in planning the wedding service. Guest Clergy are also invited to perform weddings at Hamline. Credentials must be filed in a county in Minnesota.

A wedding at Hamline Church is an act of worship. It is appropriate for the service to include special music, hymns, Scripture readings and other sacred readings, and a brief message by the minister. The officiating clergy will review the order of service and appropriate options with the couple.
Clergy, other than from Hamline United Methodist Church, may participate in or preside over the marriage service. This must be cleared with the wedding coordinator. If the clergy is from out of state, that clergy must register in Minnesota with one of the counties.

Your wedding at Hamline Church is a worship experience as well as a celebration of your love and vows. The Music Director will coordinate organists and other musicians for all weddings. All decisions regarding music are to be approved by the Music Director.

Wedding photographs may be taken in the Church Sanctuary and on the church grounds, before and/or after the wedding service. Once the wedding date and time is set, the wedding coordinator will provide a timeline for the period of time you will be at the church on your wedding day. Remember the time allotted for your wedding is four hours. The photographer must be done with pre-wedding pictures, one hour before the start of the wedding. The Sanctuary aisles must be clear of all equipment at that time. In keeping with the atmosphere of worship, only the professional photographer hired for the wedding may take photographs during the service. During the service, the professional photographer may only photograph from the rear of the Sanctuary with existing light. No photographs can be taken during the prayers. Only the professional photographer may take flash photographs, and these are limited to the escorting of the grandmothers and mothers, the procession of the bridesmaids, the bridal procession, and the time after the benediction at the end of the service. The photographer must remain behind the body of the congregation at all times.

The ushers are to inform the guests that photographs and videos may not be taken once the guests have entered the church. The service may be videotaped with the following restrictions: the taping must be done from the north side or back balcony; no auxiliary lighting equipment may be used; and the equipment may not be moved during the service.

The Sanctuary is a place of great beauty and does not need excessive decoration for wedding ceremonies. At certain times of the year the sanctuary may be adorned with temporary art (usually banners or hangings) which complement the architecture. These remain in place during weddings. Paraments (an ecclesiastical hanging) are represented according to the church season. The church will provide a kneeler, 2 candelabras, 2 altar candles and votive candles for each of the ten pillars. Because of fire hazards, hurricane lamps with candles or other candle decorations along the aisle are not permitted.

Unity candles are the responsibility of the bridal couple. Aisle runners can be obtained from florists.  Sanctuary: The center aisle is 85 feet long.  Florists delivering flowers to the church must enter the church through the South Entrance doors, at a prearranged time. They may be delivered to the Commons Area outside the sanctuary.  Please be sure that the florist is aware of the need to have personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, etc.) available for pre-service photographs. If the flowers in the church are to be used at the reception, they may be removed after all of the guests have departed and pictures have been taken.

It is not necessary to have a program (an order of service) for your wedding. If you wish to have a one, you may arrange to have it designed and printed by an outside firm.

Rehearsals are generally scheduled for Friday afternoons, unless there is a Friday night wedding. Your rehearsal time will be scheduled, when your wedding is scheduled. Rehearsals start promptly and last for one hour. They are intended to ensure a smooth ceremony, so all who have a role in the wedding, including ushers, are expected to be present.

Up to four hours is allotted for each wedding. In order to accommodate the demand for wedding time and space, please use your allotted time wisely. Please be prompt, if the rehearsal or the wedding runs past the allotted time, there will be an additional charge of $50 per hour charge.

There are 25 rows of pews and the main sanctuary seats about 450 people, not including the balconies.

A dressing room is available for the bride and her bridesmaid’s use on the day of the wedding. The groom and all other members of the wedding party are encouraged to arrive dressed. Facilities are provided for final grooming.

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding plans. A wedding at Hamline United Methodist Church cannot take place without a valid marriage license. Please bring the license with you at the time of the rehearsal.

Hamline United Methodist Church is handicap accessible. There is a parking lot adjacent to the church with approximately 80 spots. On street parking is also available. Hamline Church is NOT air conditioned. We ask your courtesy in helping to keep the church complex clean and litter-free. Please refrain from throwing rice, birdseed, confetti, flower petals, potpourri, or any other substance either inside or outside the buildings. The release of balloons and live animals is prohibited. Bubbles (provided by the wedding party) are acceptable. Sometimes the bride and groom choose to greet people at the church after the service. The narthex (entry space between the front door and the sanctuary), the Commons area and outside the front doors are appropriate places for greeting. There are no checkrooms or secure package storage areas in the sanctuary. Please discourage guests from bringing gift packages to the church. No child care services or nursery facilities are available during weddings. Parents should make private, offsite babysitting arrangements for children whom they feel are too young to attend the wedding service. Hamline United Methodist Church is a smoke-free environment, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the church or on the church grounds at any time.

If you already know the date of your wedding, please request that date here.