Wedding Rental Policies
All of our Rental Policies apply to weddings and wedding receptions, along with these additional policies. To request more information about renting our sanctuary or parish hall for your wedding or wedding reception, complete our Wedding Request Form.
For rental fees, see our Rental Policies.
The church’s minister, Reverend David Carl Olson, is responsible for performing all religious services at our church, including Weddings. Rev. Olson is happy to invite additional clergy to co-officiate as requested by the wedding couple. Couples will participate in at least one session of pre-marital counseling with the Minister. No wedding may be scheduled until contact is made with the Minister. Please contact Rev. Olson at 410-685-2330 or email@example.com for more information.
Our Music Director, Mr. Houston, assists couples in choosing appropriate musical selections and selecting musicians. Any outside musicians who wish to use the church’s organ, piano or harpsichord must receive prior approval from Mr. Houston to ensure that proper care is taken of the church’s historic instruments. Please keep in mind that for several reasons, including the requirements of copyright law, recorded music is generally not appropriate for a church wedding. Couples wishing to include recorded music should speak to Mr. Houston. Please contact him at 410-685-2330 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make all music arrangements.
The church Facilities Consultant is responsible for showing the facilities, scheduling wedding ceremonies and assisting the couple with their ceremony at our church. They will be present at all rehearsals and weddings to provide security and access to our facilities. On the day of the ceremony, the Facilities Consultant is present to assist with last-minute details and any problems that may arise. All business and scheduling arrangements, as well as any special requests, should be made through the Facilities Consultant.
Some couples hire a private Wedding Coordinator or Planner to provide general assistance with ceremony planning. Because these private coordinators are not able to negotiate on behalf of the church, they do not replace the required role of the church’s Facilities Consultant.
Contract and Payment
The facilities are not reserved until the contract is signed by all parties and 50% of the deposit is received by the Office Administrator. A refundable security deposit of 25% of the total rental fee should be included in the calculation of fees. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the ceremony, unless other arrangements have been made.
In case of cancellation with 90 days or more (with written notice), First Unitarian Church will refund all payments except a $100 processing fee. With less than 90 days notice, refunds will not be made.
Candles and Incense
The church does not supply candles (such as unity candles) or candle holders. All candles must have holders to catch drips. Please do not use incense or scented candles, out of consideration for people with allergies. Candles are prohibited on pew ends.
Decorations and Flowers
Decorations and flower deliveries should be arranged with the Facilities Consultant for the day of the ceremony. Typically, a 30 minute window of time is available at the beginning of the rental period for decorating the Sanctuary before the doors are opened to admit guests. Flowers or greens may be used to decorate the altar and the chancel area. Flowers or ribbons may also be used on pew ends. No tacks, staples, tape, or glue may be used. Fresh flower petals are hard to clean up and may be used only with an aisle runner. There will be an additional cleaning charge assessed for the use of fresh flower petals. (See schedule of fees.) Aisle runners should be at least 70 feet long and are usually obtainable from florists or craft stores. Please see that all decorations are removed promptly after the ceremony.
If you wish, you may leave your altar flowers for the church service on Sunday. If we know in advance that you intend to do so, we will gladly acknowledge your gift in our order of worship.
The Sanctuary has a maximum seating capacity of 350. It has 18 pews with a center aisle and two side aisles. The aisle length is 70 feet. The sanctuary is not air conditioned. No food, drink or smoking is allowed in the Sanctuary. The lectern is the only piece of furniture that may be moved on the chancel area and then only by the sexton. The furniture, pulpit, altar and chalice are valuable antiques and must not be moved. The cost of repairing or replacing any damaged or lost property will be billed to the renter.
Timing of Arrivals
Weddings are expected to begin within 10 minutes of the appointed hour. Doors will be opened for guests approximately 30 minutes beforehand. Ushers should be at the church 45 minutes before the ceremony is to begin. Bride(s), Groom(s) and attendants should schedule their arrival at the church at least 15 minutes before the ceremony. Please allow additional time if you will be dressing at the church. Dressing rooms are available.
An elevator is available from the street level to the Sanctuary floor level. An accessible bathroom is also available. We regret that at the present time there is no wheelchair access to the chancel area. Assistive devices for the hard of hearing are available as part of the public address system. The Facilities Consultant can also recommend an American Sign Language interpreter if desired.
Photography and videography should be unobtrusive and should not interfere with the functioning of the clergy, musicians or ceremony participants. Please discuss guidelines for photography and videography with the Facilities Consultant and Clergy.
Couples seeking a legal marriage must obtain a Baltimore City license. A license may be obtained from the Mitchell Court House, Room 201 Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. except on holidays. A fee of $85 in cash is required and you must have valid ID. There is a 48 hour waiting period before the license is considered valid. No blood test is required. Please call the Marriage License Department at 410-333-3780 for more information.
Confetti, Rice, Bubbles, and Bird Seed
Use of confetti (including “eco-confetti”), rice, bubbles or bird seed is prohibited both inside and outside the church. They create safety and maintenance problems.
No smoking is allowed at any time in any part of the church premises, including the front steps and inside the fences.
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the Sanctuary or the dressing areas at any time. Beer or wine may be served at receptions in the Enoch Pratt Parish Hall with advance permission and the appropriate license from the Baltimore City Liquor Board. If alcoholic beverages are going to be served and guests either pay for a ticket or a cash bar is set up, the lessee must obtain a one day permit from the Baltimore City Liquor Board at 10 South Street (410-396-4377). This permit must be displayed in accordance with the law. By law, permits must be obtained ten days in advance of the scheduled event.
If more than one ceremony is scheduled on a given day, there must be at least 4 hours between the ceremonies starting times to allow adequate time for cleaning and set-up.
Our sanctuary and parish hall are available for weddings, and our parish hall is available for wedding receptions. See our facilities rental page for information about these spaces.