Wedding Information

Steps for Reserving Your Wedding Location

1.) Please read the materials in the following sections to determine if Athens First United Methodist is the desired location for your wedding.

A.) About the Location

B.) Wedding and Reception Guide

2.) If you are interested in having your wedding at the Athens First United Methodist Church, please call the church office to ensure that your desired date and time are available (740) 593-3977.

3.) Fill out and submit the Wedding Reservation form to the church office through:

A.) Personal Delivery (2 S. College St., Athens, OH 45701)

B.) Email (communications@firstumcathens.org)

C.) Physical Mail (2 S. College St., Athens, OH 45701)

4.) The Senior Pastor will review the Wedding Reservation form and will make the decision to host the wedding or not.

(Upon completion of the Wedding Reservation form and the Senior Pastor's Approval to host the Wedding, and submission of the down payment, your event will be officially booked in the church calendar)

About the Location

Athens First United Methodist Church of Athens, Ohio is ready to serve those who want to be united in Christian marriage. Many beautiful weddings, both large and small, have been held in the Sanctuary (seating approximately 350 on the main floor and an additional 200 in the balcony) as well as the lovely Chapel (which seats 125 and is ideal for smaller wedding parties).

Chapel

Sanctuary

In 2017, our church completed several building improvements including an expanded glass entrance, a totally remodeled sanctuary including air conditioning, and the addition of an elevator to all floors of the church. Both Chapel and Sanctuary are air-conditioned.

As a United Methodist Church, First UMC expects that an official ritual of the United Methodist Church be used. Customizations in the ceremony may be made in consultation with the pastor. The officiating pastor is in charge of the rehearsal and the wedding service. For receptions, First UMC has two large rooms available for your use: the First Floor Lounge can accommodate 50-75 guests, while Fellowship Hall is very nice for larger receptions (100-300 guests).

Begin to plan your Wedding at First United Methodist Church by telephone (740) 593-3977 or by emailing our office manager at info@firstumcathens.org. Then, please click here for our Wedding Reservation form. We look forward to hosting your wedding!


Wedding and Reception Guide

Check List for Wedding Items involving Athens First UMC


Reserving the Church

· Contact office manager re: date, music and fees

· Initial consultation with Pastor

· Complete Wedding Reservation Form

· Provide non-refundable deposit

· Wedding Date confirmed on church calendar

Planning Your Wedding

· Schedule counseling/planning with Pastor

· Secure Marriage License

· Meet with Wedding Coordinator (4 weeks prior)

· Complete Wedding Coordinator Check List (4 weeks prior)

· Submit complete payment (2 weeks prior)

Your Wedding Rehearsal

· Bring Marriage License to rehearsal

· Bring and set up Unity Candle/Sand to rehearsal

· Bring and set up Guest Book

Your Wedding Day

· Arrive 2-3 hours before ceremony

· Enjoy the moment!

· Arrange for persons to remove decorations

Weddings & Receptions

Athens First United Methodist Church of Athens Ohio is ready to serve those who want to be united in Christian marriage. The guidelines and information contained on this page are designed to help those who are contemplating or planning this sacred event in their lives. This page will familiarize you with the facilities and services available.

Reserving the Church

Initial Consultation with Pastor The couple should arrange an appointment with the pastor as they choose a wedding date. It is our policy that the pastor of Athens First UMC conduct the wedding ceremony. Other pastors may be invited to assist.

Sanctuary or Chapel? Consideration should be given to the area best suited for your wedding. The Sanctuary seats approximately 350 on the main floor and an additional 200 in the balcony. Many beautiful weddings, both large and small, have been held in the Sanctuary. The Chapel seats 125 and is also lovely for weddings. Both Sanctuary and Chapel are air conditioned.

In 2017, our church completed several building improvements including an expanded glass entrance, a totally remodeled sanctuary with air conditioning, and the addition of an elevator to all floors of the church.

Music The Athens First UMC Sanctuary has available a Schantz pipe organ to provide the musical setting for your wedding. If you desire organ or piano accompaniment, the church office will confirm the availability of our music staff for your wedding day. Vocal and/or instrumental soloists may be chosen by the couple with approval by our music staff. Pre-recorded music may also be arranged with approval by our music staff. Our Sanctuary and Chapel feature modern sound systems.


The Ceremony It is expected that an official ritual of the United Methodist Church be used. Customizations in the ceremony may be made in consultation with pastor. The officiating pastor is in charge of the rehearsal and the wedding service.

Pre-Marital Counseling The pastor requires counseling with couples regarding the journey of marriage. This will include planning the wedding ceremony.

Reception There are two rooms available for your use for receptions. The First Floor Lounge can accommodate 50-75 guests. The Fellowship Hall is very nice for larger receptions (100-300 guests).

Costs All wedding parties will have fees for services rendered, e.g. wedding coordinator, custodian, pastor, musicians. The fee schedule is included in the back of this guide and will be discussed with you by the office manager.

Reservation Form To complete the reservation, a Wedding Reservation Form needs to be completed and submitted along with a non-refundable deposit of $50, which is later applied toward your wedding fees. Once the date has been reserved with the Athens First UMC pastor, then paperwork and non-refundable $50 deposit submitted to the church office, the church facilities will be reserved.

Planning Your Wedding


Flowers It is suggested that at least one floral arrangement be placed on the altar. If the couple desires to leave the altar flowers for use in the following Sunday morning worship service, they should inform the church office.

Candles Two candles are on the altar and lit for all ceremonies. Four candelabra (seven candles each) are available if desired. The church provides the candles for these. (Center aisle candles and holders may be obtained through florists.)


Aisle Cloth Couples desiring a white aisle cloth to cover the center church aisle should make arrangements through their florist. The aisle in the Sanctuary is approximately 75 feet long. Also, two ushers or groomsmen are needed to place the aisle cloth as the ceremony begins.

Ring Bearer Pillow Do not tie the rings to the pillow! Tie symbolic rings to the pillow and give the actual rings to your maid/matron of honor and your best man.

Unity Candle or Sand If a Unity Candle or Unity Sand ceremony is planned as part of the wedding service, the couple provides the candles or sand and appropriate holders. These must be brought to the rehearsal.

Altar Cloth Colors The silk cloths that cover the altar, the pulpit, and the lectern will be white for weddings.

Banners The Athens First UMC Liturgical Arts Guild has 28 balcony banner hangings available for Sanctuary enhancement. An album

of banner photographs is available for viewing in the church office. Arrangement for use of specific banners may be made with the Wedding Coordinator, no later than two weeks prior to your rehearsal.

Marriage License Application for marriage license must be made at the Probate Court. Contact the Court House to obtain legal information and requirements. The marriage license should be brought to the last counseling/planning session or to the rehearsal.

Consultation with Wedding Coordinator The Athens First UMC Wedding Coordinator hosts your wedding party and family at the rehearsal and on your wedding day.

A meeting (by phone or in person) to complete and discuss the Wedding Coordinator’s Check List must be made no later than four weeks prior to your rehearsal.

Your Wedding Day


Bride’s Dressing Room The First Floor Lounge is available and provides a comfortable and private place for the bride and her attendants to dress. The room contains needed items such as mirrors, ironing board, and iron. There is also space to hang gowns if you want to bring them ahead of time. This room is available beginning 3 hours prior to the ceremony; additional availability can be negotiated with the Wedding Coordinator. Please do not leave valuables unattended in the room at any time.

Groom’s Dressing Room The Second Floor Lounge is available and provides a comfortable and private space for the groom and his attendants to dress and prepare for the ceremony. This room is available beginning 3 hours prior to the ceremony; additional availability can be negotiated with the Wedding Coordinator. Please do not leave valuables unattended in the room at any time.

Photographs and Video Recording It is the policy of the church that:

No flash photographs can be taken during the ceremony;

No movement to the front of the worship space may occur

during the wedding.

Pictures taken during the processional and recessional are permitted. Posed picture of the wedding party may be taken in the Sanctuary and Chapel 45-90 minutes before or immediately after the ceremony. Plan to be finished with these no less than 30 minutes before the wedding begins. Photographers should consult with the pastor.


Guest Book A guest book may be provided by the couple, as well as accompanied by an attendant to encourage all guests to sign.

Rice or Bird Seed Rice or bird seed are not to be thrown inside the church building and are extremely hazardous when thrown on the front marble steps. Non-biodegradable materials, such as confetti, are not permitted.

Parking The city parking garage is immediately across the street from the church on College Street and provides ample parking spaces (each metered, 24/7) for the wedding party and guests. The church parking lot, in the rear of the building, is extremely limited and may be used for the bride and groom’s car only.

Alcoholic Beverages and Illegal Drugs The drinking of alcoholic beverages and the use of illegal drugs are not permitted on church property, inside or outside, at any time, for any reason.

Smoking / Vaping City fire ordinance and state law prohibit any smoking or vaping on church premises.

After the Ceremony The wedding party is responsible for picking up and removing any decorations supplied for the wedding.

Itemized Fees – Weddings & Receptions

Fee Schedule – Weddings & Receptions

Room Details

If you would like to review the details of each room, CLICK HERE.