Weddings at First Church
Non-member weddings are permitted at First Church, but the calendar is reserved for members until one year out from the date. Non-member couples are encouraged to attend worship prior to the wedding so they are familiar with the sanctuary and clergy.
Guest ministers may participate in weddings at FUMC at the invitation of our clergy. Our clergy participate in all weddings at First Church.
Multiple weddings may be scheduled on a given day. We require that there be at least three hours between start times.
Feel free to check our Calendar if you have a particular date in mind. (Please note that some internal events are not seen on this calendar. Various church celebrations on or around a given date may prevent us from making our spaces available for weddings.)
- After an initial request and response from the church staff, the Bride and Groom will need to meet with the pastor before a wedding date can be absolutely confirmed on our calendar. Once your request has been approved, call the pastor at the church to set up your appointment.
- A guest minister may co-officiate the ceremony but must be invited to do so by our pastor. You can discuss this further during your counseling session.
- A wedding coordinator from FUMC will help you with the numerous decisions that need to be made during the planning stages of your ceremony. She will be present at your rehearsal and your wedding to assist you and your wedding party.
- She will contact you 3-4 months prior to the ceremony to start working on the details of the event. If you would like to speak to her before that time, contact the Administrative Assistant.
- If you hire an outside wedding planner, that person must work under the direction of and may assist our wedding coordinator.
Notes about our Sanctuaries
- Our downtown and Green Wood sanctuaries are not air conditioned.
- Our downtown location is in the heart of Ann Arbor, right across Huron Street from Campus Inn. Our large sanctuary can seat 650 guests. The much smaller downtown chapel can seat no more than 40 guests
- Our Green Wood location is on the east side of town. It is a contemporary space situated in a residential neighborhood. This sanctuary can seat 100 guests.
- Contact the Church Organist, Naki Kripfgans, once your wedding is confirmed to book her for your ceremony. (Church confirmation does not guarantee organist confirmation.)
- Contact the Church Organist at least six weeks prior to your wedding to discuss all aspects of your wedding music.
- No photocopies of copyrighted music may be used, as it is illegal to reproduce it.
- Necessary organist rehearsals with soloists are billed separately on an hourly basis. Soloists’ music must be presented in the correct key.
- Your wedding at First UMC is a sacred event and the music should reflect this. The organist will help you with your selections if you would like. Visit the organist’s Wedding Music Website to review and consider selections. If there is a question regarding a specific musical selection, the officiating pastor will determine whether it is appropriate.
Flowers & Decorations
- At all of our locations:
- Seasonal decorations in and around the church buildings will not be removed or adjusted by church staff or the wedding party.
- Flowers may be placed on the altar.
- At our Downtown location:
- Pew candles and a candelabra are available for an extra fee. There are 10 pew candle sconces that line both sides of the center aisle, with candles and hurricane glasses.
- Bows may be fastened to pews using elastic or ribbon. Bows and floral arrangements may be attached to candelabra and pew candle holders with soft wire tape or ribbon. (Do not use tape).
- There are 19 rows of pews in our downtown sanctuary
- The church has no aisle cloth. An aisle cloth can be rented through your florist — it should be 100 feet long.
- At Green Wood:
- The music stands and microphone stands can be moved. The keyboard, drum set, and sound equipment cannot be moved.
- Candles and altar cloth must be provided by the couple.
- Vases and other decorative items must also be provided.
- Nothing should be taped or tacked to the walls or furnishings.
Pictures & Videos
- For pictures taken prior to the wedding, the photographer should not be at the church more than 2 hours before the wedding time.
- Pre-ceremony pictures must be finished ½ hour before the wedding.
- No flash pictures during the ceremony. The photographer must remain behind the guests at all times.
- If you want the pastor included in post-ceremony photographs, please arrange this with him/her well ahead of time.
- Use of video equipment must be discussed with and approved by your wedding coordinator. If a sound/video technician is required, extra fees will be incurred. Guidelines will be discussed at that time.
- A fee schedule will be sent to the couple with wedding confirmation.
- Approximate cost for a downtown sanctuary wedding is $1225, which includes building use and staff fees.
- Premarital counseling ($100) is billed separately from the wedding.
- A $250 deposit is due upon booking the wedding, which confirms your date.
- The balance is due in full ten business days before your wedding.
- Beginning 9/1/2015: Wedding fees paid via credit card will be charged an additional 3%.
- Cancellation information: If the wedding is cancelled by the couple more than four months out from the wedding date, $200 of the deposit is refunded to the couple, otherwise no refund is issued. If the wedding is cancelled after the balance is received, no refund will be made.
- Please bring your marriage licenses (in person) to the FUMC Administrative Assistant five business days before the wedding. Do not send your licenses through the mail.
- If clergy from another church are officiating the ceremony, the couple is responsible for getting the licenses to that clergy person properly filled out, and getting them filed with the clerk’s office.
- Your rehearsal must begin on time. We allow only one hour for the rehearsal.
- Please schedule your dinner to follow the rehearsal.
On Your Wedding Day
- Plan to be at the church approximately two hours before the wedding. Please confirm your arrival time with the wedding coordinator.
- Rooms will be set aside for preparation of the bride and groom. Other rooms cannot be opened for the wedding party unless pre-arranged with the church staff — additional charges might be necessary.
- If you plan a receiving line at the church, please note that with 75 or more guests, the average greeting time is thirty minutes to an hour. That time, plus final pictures at the altar, should be figured in to your departure time.
- Please designate someone to be responsible for all of the wedding party’s personal belongings. The church is not responsible for items left unattended before, during, or after the rehearsal or the wedding.
Notes on Parking downtown
- Promenade parking spaces are available for bridal party departure vehicles ONLY.
- The parking lot at the back of the church has limited capacity. It should be used for the wedding party, immediate family, and guests with mobility needs only. (Elevator access is provided off this parking lot, at the west entrance to the building.)
- The closest parking structure is Liberty Square, just across Washington Street from the church lot. To find additional information on parking in Ann Arbor, please consult the following website: http://www.a2dda.org/transportation/
Additional Important Notes
- The church maintains the right to schedule other activities in the church facilities before, during, or after the rehearsal or wedding.
- No hand-held candles.
- No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs are ever allowed on church property.
- No smoking is allowed anywhere in the building.
Names and Numbers
First United Methodist Church — To reach your pastor:
120 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Office Phone: 734-662-4536
Administrative Assistant — To discuss fees and scheduling:
Adele Roy: 734-662-4536 ext. 11
Wedding Ministry Team — For ceremony preparations through a Wedding Coordinator:
Gwynn Sterken: 734-316-2701
Church Organist — To discuss music for the ceremony:
Dr. Naki Sung Kripfgans: 734-662-4536 ext. 32
Ann Arbor Area information
The Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau can provide you with information on spaces that are available to host rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions, and other event-planning resources and attractions.