(effective May 2017)
Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. We at Stouffville United Church want to help you make this a meaningful event, and we are more than willing to work with you to make sure that it is joyful occasion. We recognize that every situation is unique and that in all likelihood you will have your own unique concerns, but here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
1. Who are the people who may be involved with our wedding service and how do I contact them?
Minister: Rev. Elizabeth Cunningham
Music Director: Courtney Britton
Custodians: Theresa and Brian Carr
2. Do you perform same sex marriages?
Yes. We welcome all couples regardless of race or ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation.
3. How much will all this cost us?
A typical wedding held in our sanctuary would include these fees.
The minister’s fee
Payable to Rev. Elizabeth Cunningham
The music director’s fee
Payable to Courtney Britton
The custodian’s fee
Payable to Brian Carr
Sanctuary usage fee
Payable to Stouffville United Church
Additional optional fees may include:
Wedding Program for Sanctuary
(includes prep and copies)
Minister’s fee for ceremonies held in other locations
Please submit a separate cheque for each fee to the Stouffville United Church office. Payments are due one month in advance and are non-refundable. A fee for a wedding is not a donation to a charitable organization and cannot be receipted as such.
4. How often do I have to meet with Rev. Cunningham?
Normally, there will be a minimum of two meetings with the minister:
The first is to get to know each other and to lay out the steps ahead, plan times for the rehearsal, assess special circumstances, and to take a first look at the actual wedding services themselves.
The second will be to finalize details of your service and to have any questions answered that may have arisen in the meantime.
5. Do we have to go through some kind of counseling?
No. You are not required to go through pre-marriage counseling; however Rev. Cunningham is pleased to recommend opportunities for pre-marriage education.
6. Can we do a non-traditional service?
The answer to that is a qualified, “yes, within limits”. There are elements of the service that can be done differently, but note that if we are holding the wedding in the Church Sanctuary the wedding service needs to reflect an understanding of a Christian wedding service and respect the location. Non-traditional music and non-traditional readings may be used if they are first negotiated with the minister.
7. What sort of music can I have during the service?
Music is an important part of the service. Because a wedding is a worship service, the music for the wedding should be appropriate for worship. Various instruments are appropriate but if the organ or piano is to be used our Director of Music, Courtney Britten, or designate, will play for the service. The Director of Music should be contacted early in planning process to discuss the music.
8. What sort of audiovisual equipment does the church have?
Our church is equipped with microphones at the front of the church as well as an overhead projection system. If any of this equipment is needed our AV Operator must be involved. Please discuss this with the Minister early in your planning process.
9. Can we take pictures during the service?
In the Church Sanctuary guests may take pictures during the processional, recessional and during the signing of the Register. We request that they refrain from taking pictures during the actual worship service. Special arrangements can be made for videotaping from a single location. ONE photographer may take pictures from the back of the church without flash in addition to the aforementioned times. This photographer should consult with the minister before the service begins. Ensure that your photographer is aware of this restriction. The point of these restrictions is to keep the focus on you and this special moment in your life while at the same time allowing space for the creation of lasting mementos of this special occasion.
10. What about the license? Who gets that? Where? How much is it? Who fills it out?
Licenses are available from your local town or city hall and according to Ontario Law are valid for 90 days following the date of issue.. Please bring your license to the minister at least one week prior to the wedding so that it is ready and
available for the service. Following the wedding service the minister will mail the license to the appropriate government office.
11. Can I decorate the church with flowers?
Flowers for the decoration of the sanctuary are welcome, but not necessary. We advise that flowers for the wedding be delivered to your home and brought to the Church by an Usher or friend prior to the service. Please check with Brian Carr, our custodian, if you are having flowers delivered directly to the Church and be sure you leave the custodian’s name and telephone number with your florist.
12. Can we light a Unity candle during the service?
Yes, you can. We have candles here but you are free to bring in your own.
13. Is it OK to use confetti, rice or birdseed?
No. Due to the damage these materials can cause to the inside of the church and sometimes wildlife, the use of any of these is strictly prohibited on church property.
14. Is the church wheelchair accessible?
Yes. Our sanctuary is accessible. There is a chairlift that will accommodate a non-motorized wheel chair at the side entrance from the parking lot. There is an accessible washroom on the sanctuary level and there are spaces for wheel chairs among the pews on both sides of the church, near the front. If any of your guests will require use of the chair lift, please inform our custodian who will make the necessary arrangements.
15. How do I get the process going?
Please contact our Office Administrator, Peggy Kugler. She can check the availability of the Church Sanctuary as well as provide you with an application form to complete. You should also contact Rev. Cunningham in regards to your required ceremony date and time to ensure that she is available. Rev. Cunningham will also want to arrange a time to meet to discuss your expectations for your marriage service and to begin the planning process.
We thank you for your attention to the above guidelines.
If you have any questions or concerns we are pleased to discuss them with you.
Stouffville United Church 905-640-1163 (phone) 905-640-3740 (fax)