Building a Church Family that Proclaims Christ and Reflects His Love - New Orleans, LA

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Wedding Guidelines

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

We celebrate God’s providence in leading you to enter into Holy Matrimony. The Lord created and ordained marriage for our comfort, companionship and to display his glory to the world. At Woodland we believe that the marriage covenant is between a man and a woman that He leads together by his mercy and grace. If you would like Woodland to minister to you in the process of getting married, the following adopted guidelines will help chart the course.

Woodland Presbyterian Church

Guidelines for Weddings

(Adopted 3/25/11)

“While marriage is not a sacrament of the Church, it is ordained of God and intended to last as long as the couple shall live. God has designed marriage for the mutual help of husband and wife and for the development of their moral and spiritual character, and for the propagation of children who are to be reared in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The EPC Book of Worship §5-1.

Woodland Presbyterian Church ministers to its members and their families by providing wedding services that are distinctly Christian. We count it a privilege and responsibility to share in this covenant act that reflects the mystical relationship between Christ and his church. It is our desire that all weddings honor and glorify God and that each couple experience an enriching, fulfilling, and lasting marriage.

Through these guidelines, we seek to assist you in planning your wedding day so that it will be both memorable and blessed.

The Church’s Role in Marriage

God instituted marriage before the fall of mankind. The state legalizes marriage; the Church blesses it by an act of worship. “Marriage ordinarily should be performed in the place of common worship by an ordained Minister of the Church, and with the family of faith present. In approving the marriage, the Church affirms the divine institution of marriage and invokes God’s blessings upon those who enter the relationship according to God’s Word. As the Church hears the vows a couple make to one another, it should assure the couple of God’s grace within their new relationship.” The EPC Book of Worship§5-3

We believe the institution of marriage to be ordained by God for all mankind, Christian or otherwise. The scripture advises that men and women who enter into this estate be of even spiritual perspective. It is especially clear that Christians are not to marry unbelievers. When Christians marry, they declare their union with one another and with the living God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian wedding service acknowledges God’s rule over and role in marriage. It gives opportunity for praise and thanksgiving. In faith, the man and woman pledge mutual love, concern, support and faithfulness which should last throughout life. All is performed as an act of faithful worship and personal consecration to God.

Planning the Wedding

A date for a wedding may be scheduled only after a consultation with the pastor of Woodland Presbyterian Church and is contingent upon the availability of the church building and facilities.

Members and their immediate relatives will have priority in the use of the facilities of Woodland Presbyterian Church.

Guest ministers may obtain permission to perform a wedding at Woodland only by formal written request and permission granted by the session of the church. It is expected that all wedding services at Woodland be distinctly Christian in nature.

The Minister’s Role in Marriage

“It is the duty of the Minister to consult with the couple contemplating marriage. They should be given godly advice concerning the establishment of a Christian home, as well as instruction in the meaning of marriage in God’s sight, and the biblical teachings of the roles, duties, and relation ships within the home. The Minister should give such other counsel which seems needful, wise and helpful that the couple may be well prepared for their new estate in marriage. Should the Minister be convinced that genuine faith is absent, that full responsibility for one another is missing, and that the blessings of God are not likely to rest upon such a relationship, the marriage ceremony should not be performed. It is the duty of the Minister to meet all civil requirements in performing and properly registering the marriage….” The EPC Book of Worship §5-5

The Remarriage of Divorced Persons

“…The remarriage of divorced persons may be sanctioned by the church, in keeping with the redemptive Gospel of Jesus Christ, when sufficient penitence for sin and failure is evident, and a firm posture of an endeavor after Christian marriage is manifested… If the Minister has any questions about the readiness of divorced persons to remarry according to these principles, the Church Session should be consulted and its concurrence sought.” The EPC Book of Worship §5-4

The Service of Christian Marriage

“The marriage ceremony is an act of worship. For that reason, it is under the direction of the Minister only and shall always be characterized by reverence throughout…. The service itself should be conducted with dignity and reverence, beginning with prayers for the new home being established and for the members of the new family. Vows shall be exchanged, appropriate Scriptures read, and a charge may be given which sets forth both the duties and privileges of marriage. The Minister shall conclude the ceremony by publicly declaring that the couple is now husband and wife and the benediction shall be pronounced.” The EPC Book of Worship §5-6

The Pastor will help you to individualize and personalize your service and vows while maintaining the integrity of Christian worship. The pastor will have final say on all liturgical direction.

Music during the Service of Christian Marriage

“Music should be appropriate to the occasion and the Church Session or the Minister may determine what music is acceptable. Appropriate hymns sung by all are always proper.” The EPC Book of Worship §5-6

It is the responsibility of the couple to contact the Music Director of Woodland Presbyterian Church as soon as the date is set for the wedding to discuss the music. The Music Director will assist the couple in securing musicians and selecting appropriate music for the wedding. All music and musicians must be approved by the Music Director. Payment to musicians who are not affiliated with Woodland Presbyterian Church is the responsibility of the couple and will not be included in the payment to the church.

Decorations for the Service of Christian Marriage

“The decorations and all appointments should not be ostentatious or so call attention to them as to distract the worshipers from their duty to God on such a solemn occasion.” The EPC Book of Worship§5-6

Decorations, including fashion attire, should contribute to the atmosphere of divine worship. Floral arrangements are considered an offering to the glory of God.

Woodland Presbyterian Church has two sets of candelabrum and one set of floral baskets on stands which may be used. When candles are used it is the responsibility of the couple to ensure that they are dripless and that clear plastic is placed under the candelabra to protect the carpet.

All decorations should be placed on the day of the wedding. You should make arrangements with the church office and the florist to ensure that the building will be unlocked for delivery.

Pictures during the Service of Christian Marriage

Pictures enhance our memories, but may also distract the participants and worshipers. Pictures are not permitted during the actual Wedding/Service in the Sanctuary. This includes flash photography from the congregation. Moments for taking pictures should be arranged before or after the service itself.


A rehearsal is generally needed and is under the direction of the officiating pastor. It is at this time that the pastor is given the marriage license.

Fees Associated with the Use of Woodland Presbyterian Church

Fees are calculated for the services rendered in the preparation and leading of the worship service by the individuals involved. Charges for the building use are to offset the costs associated with utilities and maintenance.

Active members are not charged for the use of the facilities. Active members are those who participate in the work and worship of Woodland and support its ministry. Children of active members are considered members of the Congregation.

Fee Schedule:

Basic Building Use for Wedding* $500.00

Basic Building Use for Rehearsal Dinner* $200.00

Fellowship Hall / CAC & Kitchen Use – Wedding* $100.00

Fellowship Hall / CAC & Kitchen Use – Rehearsal Dinner* $100.00

Custodian (Rehearsal) $ 75.00

Custodian (Rehearsal Dinner) $ 75.00

Custodian (Wedding) $ 75.00

Custodian (Reception) $ 75.00

Music Director Varies

Organist / Pianist / Musician $250.00

Vocalist/Additional Instruments Varies

Sound Technician $ 75.00

Video Technician $ 75.00

Table linen rental (per item) $ 10.00

*Indicates that these fees are not applicable to active church members or children of active members.

Please note that all fees are to be paid to the church office at least one week prior to the rehearsal.

**Honorariums may be granted to the officiating pastor but are not required as fees.


Small receptions are allowed at our facility. Alcoholic beverages may not be served on the premises of Woodland Presbyterian Church.

Arrangements for the custodian should be made in advance regarding setting up the room with tables and chairs.

The church kitchen and equipment is available upon request. The kitchen must be cleaned and all items used put away after each use. This is the responsibility of the wedding party, not the custodian.

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