Wedding Policy



Rev. Dr. J. Ben Sloan

Rev. Tracie Stewart

Rev. V. Blaine Hill

Wedding Director: Pam D. Hutto (803) 217-9386, (803) 345-3603

Organist: Ken Anderson (803) 348-8180 (803)407-2043

Business Manager:  Mrs. Laura S. Mars (803) 345-5140

Checklist for a wedding at LMPC

1) Pray ~ Ask God to be a part of your wedding.

2) Call or e-mail the church office about the date ~ see if the church and the minister(s) are available. Wedding dates are not reserved more than one year in advance for members and six months in advance for non-members.

3) Schedule counseling time with a minister. Our denomination requires counseling before a wedding.

4) A wedding information form must be completed and submitted to Laura Mars in the church office.

5) Non-members need to make a deposit in order to secure the date.

6) Consult with our wedding director

What the Church believes about weddings

1) It is not just a civil ceremony, but a way to ask God’s help and blessing on your relationship. The Session has said as a policy that “Holy Marriage in the church is reserved for one man and one woman.”  All weddings on LMPC property will respect that policy  (August 3, 2014).  2) A wedding is brief, but a marriage is for a lifetime.  The wedding is not just to celebrate love but to start well. 3) Marriage was begun by God, sustained by the Holy Spirit, regulated by the commandments and blessed by Christ.  It is God’s providential love that brings two human beings together. 4) As it is a church service, the denomination requires at least one person to have faith, and ideally both to have faith. The LMPC minister is in charge of all worship services, including weddings. If another minister is to take part, they are to be invited and approved by the pastor of Lake Murray Presbyterian. As this is a Christian worship service, all ministers taking part are to be Christian ministers. 5) It is important that such an important relationship be entered into carefully, so the Church requires counseling. The minister has the right to not allow the ceremony to be conducted (W-4.9002b) out of concern for the individuals. 6) The Church (and God) wants to be a part of this special day and memory in your life. 7) The policies included in this booklet are to help your ceremony to be worshipful and glorifying to God, and to protect your wedding and the church from irreverent and trivial treatment. While there are some who have abused both marriage, weddings, and the church, we hope to help strengthen, bless, and honor God and your relationship and those who gather to join you in this special celebration of your marriage!

Civil Considerations

You may secure a marriage license from Richland County Courthouse, 1701 Main Street, Room 207 Columbia (576-1963). A blood test is not required by the state, but it is recommended. Those under 18 must have parental consent (minimum age is 16). A social security card is required for each applicant.   24 hour waiting period is required for your license, but there is no expiration date. The wedding service need not be held in the same county in which the marriage license is obtained. Bring your marriage license to the wedding, we will sign it immediately after the service.

The Ceremony

The wedding director will be responsible for conducting the wedding rehearsal and the wedding service.

You may personalize your service in the following ways:

  • By choosing appropriate scripture. A full list is found toward the end of this section, but common passages are: Genesis 1: 26-31; Genesis 2:18-24; Song of Solomon 8:6,7;Psalm 103 1-15 and 15-18;Matthew 19:3-6; Mark 10:6-9;John 2:1-11;1 Corinthians 13.
  • By choosing who will present you (give you away) and how (Usually the father of the bride and her mother, but there may exceptions). The families and congregation may participate (see below) in vowing to support the marriage and the couple.
  • By choosing who participates as groomsmen, bridesmaid, ring bearers, flower girls, ushers, readers, guest register attendants.
  • Use of worshipful music in the service or even hymns or solos, instrumentals, and even appropriate poetry.
  • The use of the unity candle symbolizing the two becoming one.
  • The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper- but such action must be approved by the session, and only those baptized (in any Christian church) are encouraged to take part in the Lord’s Supper.
  • The Lord’s Prayer may be said or sung
  • a kneeling bench is available for those couples who would like to use it.
  • Personal vows and special symbols may be used with the assistance and approval of the minister, normally in addition to the traditional vows.

A basic outline of a typical Wedding Worship Service at Lake Murray Presbyterian:

  1. Statement on the Gift of Marriage
  2. Prayer
  3. Declarations of Intent-Understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant (I Do.)
  4. Presentation of the Bride – Who presents this woman to be married to this man??
  5. Affirmations of the Families – Do you give your blessing to Name and Name, and promise to do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage? (We do)
  6. Affirmations of the Congregation- Will all of you witnessing these vows do everything in your power to uphold Name and Name in their marriage?
  7. [Psalm, Hymn, or Spiritual Song]
  8. Readings from Scripture Homily 
  9. [Psalm, Hymn, or Spiritual Song]
  10. Vows I, Name, take you, Name, to be my [wife/husband]; and I promise, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband; in plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health; as long as we both shall live.
  11. Exchange of Rings- What do you bring as a sign of your promise? [These rings]
  12. Prayer: May these rings be reminders and signs to Name and Name or their promises made this day, and of their unending love and faithfulness for each other-through Jesus Christ our Lord. This ring I give you, as a sign, of our constant faith and abiding love; in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
  13. [Unity Candle] Our Lord Jesus said that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and? the two will become one flesh. Today we are celebrating two people becoming one family. What God has joined together, let no one separate.
  14. Prayer with the  Lord’s Prayer [Read or Sung]- [Note in the Presbyterian Church we say debts and debtors.]
  15. Announcement of Marriage-Before God and in the presence of this congregation, Name and Name have made their solemn vows to each other. They have confirmed their promises by the joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of rings. Therefore, I proclaim that they are now husband and wife.
  16. Charge and Blessing As God’s own, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, and patience, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, and crown all these things with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Col. 3:12-14)
  17. Presentation and dismissal.  You may kiss the bride.  I present to you Mr. and Mrs Name.

RECESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS: Flash pictures may be taken from the center aisle only during the Processional and Recessional. Only non-flash photographs and video-recording may be made during the ceremony, and that from the back of the church- or hidden from view. No flash pictures or artificial lighting will be allowed during the service, and the photographer should not be in view during the service. The recording of the service is not as important as the service itself. A wedding is a worship service and attention is directed not toward the photographer but to the Bride and Groom and ultimately to God. The Bride shall bear the responsibility of making sure the photographer and videographer are aware of these policies. Guests too should be notified in the program that they are not to take pictures during the ceremony.

DECORATIONS:Decorations are important to any celebration. The sanctuary, by design, is a place of beauty. It is the desire of the Session that simple decorations be used for weddings. Below are some basic guidelines:

All decorations, candles, and additional ceremonial appointments must be approved in advance by the Wedding Director. Decorations must comply with fire ordinances. Neither the pulpit, baptismal font, choir chairs or railings, nor the communion table may be moved. Decorations should not mar or deface any church appointments. No nails, screws, glue or tape may be used either in the building or on the pews or furnishings. Tube candles must be used both on our church candelabra as well as on any rented or borrowed candle holders. All floral decorations must be placed in waterproof containers. No decorations may be hung or suspended from the lighting fixtures. No decorations or arrangements may cover the cross. It customary to leave two floral decorations for worship services if the wedding is on Saturday. If you would like to do so, please inform the wedding director and church secretary. All floral arrangements other than the two noted above must be cleared from the church within two hours. If the fellowship hall is used for the reception, all decorations must be cleared away and all dishes cleaned and returned to their appropriate places at the end of the reception. Caterers must clean the kitchen and restore it to the condition in which it is found. The custodian will not clean the kitchen area.

DRESSING AREAS:The wedding director will designate which rooms will be at your disposal to use as dressing areas. While we try to protect possessions, we cannot be responsible for personal items belonging to your wedding party. Please have your wedding party remove all their personal items immediately after the ceremony so the facility may be cleaned.

CHILDCARE: Childcare for weddings, rehearsals, or receptions will not be provided by the church. Our Church Nursery staff may be contacted. The payment for the nursery worker is the responsibility of the wedding party.

RECEPTIONS: Church facilities may be used for wedding receptions with Session approval. Requests for such space should be made as early as possible (see costs below for non-members and clean up costs for all). Catering is not provided by the church, and any caterer is expected to set up and clean up. No alcoholic beverages will be served in or around church facilities. No smoking is allowed in church buildings. The throwing of rice, confetti or bird seed is not allowed in the church buildings.  However, bird seed and flower petals are allowed in the church parking areas. Please be advised that the minister may or may not attend the rehearsal dinner or reception depending on their schedule.

MUSIC:It is expected that the organist at Lake Murray Presbyterian will be given the opportunity to play if the organ or piano are involved. Wedding music should be appropriate to a Christian worship service. For suggestions you may consult with the organist or wedding director. FEES AND SUGGESTED HONORARIUMS: There is a difference between those who are church members and those who are not. Church members give of their offerings to establish and maintain the facilities that you will use for the wedding. For those who are not members, it is especially requested that care is given to be respectful of those who have given so much to build and maintain the buildings that we believe are gifts from God.


Use of Sanctuary ~ Members: No charge ~ Non-members:$800

Minister ~ Members:No charge (An honorarium may be given) ~Non Members:? $300.00

Wedding Director ~ $250.00

Organist ~$250.00 and an additional?$25.00 per vocal or special selection

Sound system coordinator~$50

Custodian Services ~Sanctuary:$150 ~Fellowship Hall:$100

Non members are required to give half of all fees due when the reservations are made. The remainder is due one month prior to the wedding, or the reservation is not considered made and the use of the facilities may be cancelled.


Genesis 2:18-24 The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.

Proverbs 3:3-6 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Mark 10:6-9 From the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.