Updated on: Feb 16, 2024
Are you trying to follow a traditional Methodist wedding ceremony but are unsure how to plan the order of service or follow the requirements? Methodist weddings are traditionally very alike to other Protestant weddings. They accompany a traditional service with music, prayer, vows, and last but not least, the ring exchange. The very well-known organization, The United Methodist Church, one out of the 40 groups that descended from John Wesley’s Methodist movement, is of the most widely known organizations.
You must plan out your Methodist wedding concisely. It might be helpful to use a wedding budget worksheet to make sure you aren't overspending. In this blog, we will go over aspects of traditional Methodist wedding ceremonies and will include a typical order of service, conditions, and questions to ask while planning. Keep in mind that each officiant and church have their own takes, but we will provide some basics for you so you are aware of what may take place in a Methodist Wedding Ceremony. In order to keep track of everything, it is important to use a wedding ceremony checklist so nothing gets overlooked.
Methodist Wedding Ceremony Order of Service
1. The Opening Statement
Often in this welcoming moment of a Methodist (or another form of a Protestant) wedding ceremony, the wedding kicks off with a minister's opening mentions, followed by his introduction to the couple’s marriage. An introduction could look like, “We come today to bless the joining of _____ and _____ in marriage”, and so on. After a bible verse may be read, or a hymn may be sung.
2. "Giving Away"
Often in Protestant weddings, (this can depend on whether you are getting married in a Methodist Church because if you are then you will follow the guidelines of their order of service book), there is a moment when the officiant of the marriage asks who will give the bride away. The response of “I do” subsequently comes from the bride’s father. In some cases, the officiant or minister might ask the family to respond. If you would like this in your ceremony, depending on what traditions you are holding, be sure to ask the officiant/minister more about it.
3. The Vows
Next in place, usually within a Methodist Ceremony, is the official commitment of the couple to one another with responses of, “I do” or “I will.” The bride is handed over to the groom and the wedding vows are initiated. The minister may ask for God’s blessing on your rings. Rings are then exchanged when the vows are completed and a scripture selection may be read (a common one is 1 Corinthians 13), or the minister/officiant may have thoughts to add to the ceremony (such as seeking God for a blessing, etc.).
4. Unity Candle
Lit directly following the vows, the unity candle serves as a statement to represent the love shared between the two individuals. It is illuminated by both partners and through joining the flames is a portrayal of the couples’ forever commitment to one another. This is a wonderful element in the ceremony and can be made even more beautiful with wedding ceremony flowers on display.
5. Conclusion to the Ceremony
A Methodist ceremony is concluded with a wedding prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, a blessing for the new couple, the first kiss, and the introduction of the new husband and wife. Other elements may be added to your wedding such as a music selection or taking communion as a newly wedded couple. Afterward, you may want to have a reception or party with all your guests to celebrate the fantastic day even further. Check out our wedding ceremony ideas for more inspiration.
Methodist Wedding Ceremony Conditions
Selecting a location is one of the first steps of wedding planning after your engagement. It is possible you and your partner wish to get married in a church you grew up in, or in a Methodist church, you both attend now. Whatever you decide, marriage in a church is not like marrying your significant other in an open-air venue or a hotel. There are requirements, so it is very critical that you arrange a wedding at a Methodist church before you decide on a location.
To make sure that the wedding follows proper Methodist teachings, most Methodist churches depend upon a minister to officiate the wedding. Some churches can waive this requirement if an officiant of your choice is also a Methodist minister (if from another church). If you choose to choose a different officiant other than the church’s minister, you may have to meet once before the wedding day to be sure you, your future spouse, and the minister are all on the same page with planning and any other details. Making sure the wedding will run smoothly is key and is important to be sure of for any type of event.
Generally, Methodist churches desire one of the couples to be a member of their congregation to qualify for marriage in the church; however, this is not the case for all Methodist churches. Some may not require membership at all. It really depends on how many weddings are held at the church and the number of members in the church as well. Fees will be different for members vs non-members, and it is a possibility that if you aren’t a member you will be charged higher so that is something to keep in mind.
8. Premarital Counseling
If you are arranging a Methodist wedding, you and your partner may obtain a requirement to connect with the minister of the church, for counseling. The counseling session (or sessions) are set up before the wedding date. Often the counseling session is only required to be a one-time counseling session, but it depends on the church sometimes as far as the number of sessions go. This process allows the minister to really get to know a couple and make sure their wedding is precisely lined with Methodist teachings. Many other couples do this even if it is not required, to receive guidance from a wise individual before marriage.
Questions to Ask While Planning a Methodist Wedding Ceremony
With any service and significant event come fees. To have a Methodist Ceremony, the fees include paying the minister, the building fee, and other possible aspects the church predetermines (or that you will determine with the church). If you are a member of the Methodist Church you wish to get married in, the fee may be waived, so that definitely is something to ask about. Other costs may include paying for decorations (if allowed), a wedding planner, a piano player, a singer, or any other supplies needed for the wedding.
10. Building Use
Make sure before planning out any decorations that you are following guidelines set by the church you are using for your ceremony. Definitely be sure to ask the church of your choosing about their decorating policies. Churches reasonably want to make sure none of their property is abused or trashed during your ceremony. You must keep the church’s guidelines in mind when planning your wedding. Another thing to remember is that the church has a schedule, like church events or services, so be sure to plan your wedding according to their time availability.
11. Photography and Videography
Be sure to ask if photography and video are covered in some of the fees and if not, you may want to consider hiring a photographer to capture the lovely moments of your ceremony. Before the ceremony, the minister may be willing to take time for pictures. Video and photo equipment are most likely allowed at any Methodist ceremony only if they do not draw attention or get in the way of the ceremony.
Several Methodist churches may allow secular music, but be sure to always ask permission. For Methodist weddings, it is general for an organ to be used for much of the music, even the procession. If you would like a soloist or a small group of singers for your wedding, ask for the accommodation. Hymns are usually hummed in the beginning too. Music is often applied before the Lord’s prayer or lighting the unity candle.
Couples often decide they would like to do communion on their wedding day. If this is something you are considering, be sure to mention it and ask if this is something you could do at your ceremony.
Methodist Wedding Ceremony: Conclusion
In this blog, we went over the traditional order of service for a Methodist Wedding, conditions to think about, and also provided some questions you may want to ask your minister/officiant if you are interested in adding additional things to your service. Remember to be sure to talk to your minister or officiant to discuss any aspects of your wedding, whether you have ideas or questions. We want to make wedding planning easy for all our readers and hope that you found some of our wedding ideas useful in planning your big day. For more useful blogs from us, be sure to explore our site, easyeventplanning.com.
Written by Avery Patterson