Marriage in the Christian tradition is a life-long covenant made in the presence of God and into which God is invited. Though we trust that God is present everywhere, a religious wedding is one at which the Divine Presence is recognized and turned to for guidance and strength.
A wedding is a service of worship in the context of which two persons enter into the covenant of marriage. Praise is offered to God for the gifts of life and love, and God is asked to strengthen and bless the marriage being celebrated. The teachings of Jesus about marriage are recalled as part of the service. One or more passages of Holy Scripture are read. Prayer is always offered. At The Brick Presbyterian Church, all weddings are Christian in their theological orientation, implying that at least one member of the couple be a confessing Christian. The basic format of the wedding service is drawn from one of the several liturgical resources of the Presbyterian Church (USA), usually the Book of Common Worship.
A minister of The Brick Presbyterian Church normally presides at all weddings held at The Brick Church. In consultation with the senior minister, non-Brick Church ministers from the Presbyterian or other Christian traditions may be invited to preside. Assuming that the wedding will include organ music, The Brick Church organist or his designee will normally play for the service.
For a list of suggested music selections for weddings at The Brick Church, please click here
Member and Non-Member Weddings AS A GENERAL RULE, WE ONLY CONDUCT MEMBER WEDDINGS.
A member wedding is defined as one in which at least one member of the couple is a member of The Brick Presbyterian Church or an immediate family member (child or parent) of a church member. Couples are normally married in the home church of either the member of the couple. Though this is usually the appropriate choice, we understand that sometimes circumstances make it difficult.
Christians who are not members here may request to be married under the following circumstances:
- One or both members of the couple have been regularly involved at The Brick Presbyterian Church for six months or more.
- If they plan to make their home in New York, one or both members of the couple must commit themselves to unite with The Brick Presbyterian Church as active members.
Non-Presbyterian Christian Partner/Fiancé
If either member of the couple is a member of a different Christian denomination, appropriate elements drawn from that tradition may be introduced into the service. Ministers or priests from the denomination of the non-Presbyterian partner may also be invited to participate in the leadership of the service.
If either member of the couple is a member of another, non-Christian religious tradition, appropriate elements from that tradition may be introduced into the Christian wedding service. Clergy from the tradition of the non-Christian partner may also be invited to participate in the leadership of the service.
Time and Place of Weddings
Weddings are normally held in either the sanctuary or the chapel. The former seats approximately 700 persons, the latter approximately 90 with additional chairs. Weddings, though usually scheduled for Fridays or Saturdays, may be held on any day except Sunday and major Christian or civil holidays. It is recommended that weddings be scheduled well in advance of the date of the service.
Wedding Planning and Counseling
Couples interested in having their wedding at The Brick Presbyterian Church should complete the Wedding Interest Form at the bottom of this page. All couples are required to meet with the minister who will officiate at their wedding several times in preparation for the wedding. These meetings will include making specific plans for the wedding ceremony and conversation about marriage. In addition, couples should schedule a meeting with The Brick Church Minister of Music to plan the music for the service. In addition to an organist, Brick Church has a fine team of professional vocalists and instrumentalists that can be engaged to enhance the music for your service. Couples should obtain a New York City Marriage License from the Marriage Bureau and bring it with them to the rehearsal. That license can be found at the New York City Clerk’s website here.
A wedding rehearsal is normally scheduled for the afternoon or evening prior to the wedding. All members of the wedding party, plus readers or other special participants, if any, should attend. All must arrive promptly, as it is difficult to conduct the rehearsal if all are not present. The parents of the couple should attend if it is convenient.
Floral decorations, if any, should be arranged after carefully noting the shape and size of the front of the sanctuary or chapel to ensure that such arrangements are appropriate and will not block the view of wedding guests. Both the Sanctuary and Chapel are beautiful and need little decoration. Indeed, excessive floral decorations are discouraged. If an aisle runner is to be used, it should be ordered by the person planning the wedding. (Note that the aisle is approximately 135 feet long.) Under no circumstances may tacks or nails be used to fasten any decorations in place. Petals, rice, birdseed, and confetti are not permitted to be thrown in the building or on the church steps.
Photography and Videography
Because a wedding is a service of worship, it is inappropriate for photos to be taken, either by guests or professional photographers or videographers, during the wedding ceremony, with the exception of non-flash photography or videography from the narthex (rear entryway) or balcony. Photos may be taken in the narthex at any time and in all locations following or prior to the wedding ceremony. Photographers and videographers are not permitted to come down the aisle during the wedding processional or wedding ceremony.
The 2019-2020 Brick Church Wedding Form
Renèe D. Alston, Coordinator for Church Ministries and Mission will be getting in touch with you shortly.