Weddings at ELPC
Weddings are occasions of joy and reverence, reflecting the deep love and covenantal faith present in the couple to be married. The staff of ELPC is eager to help your wedding be a meaningful event. We have prepared these guidelines to assist in planning and coordinating your special day.
Arranging a Wedding
Members who wish to be married at East Liberty Presbyterian Church will make their intention known by first speaking to one of the pastors after Sunday morning worship. An initial conversation will be scheduled to discuss the wedding, and if there is mutual consent, the couple will then speak with the ELPC business administrator and then with our wedding coordinate to finalize details and make calendar reservations for the wedding rehearsal and wedding ceremony dates and times. Non-member weddings are very rarely done, yet would follow a similar procedure.
ELPC provides a wedding coordinator to assist with the arrangements and details of the wedding service, doing so in consultation with the presiding minister. Questions about applications, arrangements, use of the facilities and fees will be handled in a meeting with the coordinator. If an outside wedding coordinator is to be employed, their involvement will be limited to the reception or other non-church activities.
To prepare for marriage, couples will meet several times prior to the wedding with a church minister (typically the presiding pastor). Topics they will discuss include the liturgy of the wedding ceremony as well as broad goals associated with a faithful, mutual married life. After meeting with the wedding coordinator, the couple should contact the church to make these premarital consultation appointments.
The presiding minister from ELPC has primary responsibility for the order and flow of the wedding service. Other clergy may participate at the invitation of, and following consultation with, the presiding minister. A wedding is an act of worship and will be conducted according to the liturgy found in the Presbyterian Church’s Book of Common Worship.
Music for the wedding service is typically provided by musicians of ELPC. A consultation will occur prior to the service with the ELPC music director/organist to assist in the selection of service music and/or to determine if arrangements are needed for additional soloists or instrumentalists.
A bulletin (order of service) will be prepared in consultation between the couple and the presiding minister, typically listing details about the worship service, participants and worship leaders. Church staff will print the number needed and give them to the ELPC wedding coordinator. If you wish to have the bulletin designed and printed by someone else, the presiding minister will need to approve any draft before the bulletin is printed.
Photography, Videotaping, & Decorations
Once the wedding date and time are set, the wedding coordinator will provide a timeline for coordinating photography associated with your wedding, including times and locations available for photo shoots. Photographs during the wedding should be restricted to professional photographers hired for that occasion, and they will be instructed on locations and primarily using natural light (non-flash photography) during the service. (Flash is allowed during the processional and recessional only.) Videographers may tape the service from a side or back balcony using stationery equipment set up for this purpose.
Our ornate worship space does not need excessive decoration. Typically couples provide for flower arrangements for the chancel urns or communion table. A kneeler and candelabras are also available as needed. Florists, in general, will organize their work with the ELPC wedding coordinator, and when delivering flowers to the church, they shall enter by the S. Highland Avenue entrance. Please be sure the florist has any needed personal flowers (e.g., bouquets, boutonnieres) available for pre-service photographs. It is asked that weddings not include the throwing of any items inside or outside the building (e.g., rice, birdseed, confetti, potpourri).
Rehearsals & Licenses
Most weddings are scheduled for Saturdays, which means wedding rehearsals typically occur on Friday afternoons. These rehearsals will be between 45-60 minutes long, so it is critical that any who have a role in the wedding are present and on time.
An Allegheny County marriage license is required for marriage at ELPC. Please bring the license with you at the time of the rehearsal (or earlier as requested by clergy). The church is responsible for returning the signed license to the county Marriage License Bureau.
The wedding coordinator will make arrangements with the couple for any spaces needed by the wedding party for the rehearsal and wedding day. A dressing room is available for members of the wedding party, although it is recommended that couples (especially male wedding party members) arrive at the church basically ready for the service. As the facilities of ELPC are used by a large number of groups on the weekends, it is asked that people be considerate of those who are present at the church for reasons other than the wedding.
Because ELPC is a large building, we are not able to offer a secure package storage area or checkroom during weddings, so guests should be discouraged from bringing gifts to the church. Also, arrangements for childcare and nursery facilities should be made by the family at off-site locations if these services are needed. ELPC is a smoke-free building and no alcoholic beverages are permitted on the church premises.
As ELPC does not have any parking facilities available for use by wedding parties, all guests, photographers and service providers will need to find street or public lot parking for the wedding. Be mindful that usual parking fees apply on the weekends.
If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the wedding coordinator or presiding minister through email or by calling the church at 412.441.3800. We wish you every joy and blessing.
Pamela Kimmel, business administrator
Rev. Dr. Randy Bush, senior pastor
Rev. Heather Schoenewolf, associate pastor
Rev. Patrice Fowler-Searcy, associate pastor
Kay Shissler, wedding coordinator, 412.681.2047
Dr. Edward Alan Moore, organist/music director