Weddings @ Bel Air
To be assembled in the presence of God, to join this man and this woman in holy marriage; which is instituted by God, regulated by His commandments, and blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your Wedding Ceremony at Bel Air Church
Your wedding is one of the most joyous occasions of your life and we are delighted to be a part of it! Our desire is to assist you in providing a ceremony which will be meaningful and memorable. Your wedding ceremony should be one of reverence, sacred joy, and beauty.
It is our endeavor to help you approach the ceremony with confidence. Based on our experience, we have put together this informative booklet to help make your wedding as smooth and carefree as possible. In addition to offering many suggestions for planning your wedding ceremony, this booklet contains important guidelines approved by the Session of the Bel Air Church, so please read it carefully before submitting your Wedding Application.
The Sanctity of the Marriage Ceremony
Bel Air Church is a congregation of the Church (U.S.A.). We consider the marriage ceremony to be a service of worship before God. Your wedding should give suitable direct attention to God and exemplify the faith of the church. We carefully follow the guidelines of the Coordinator of Worship which is part of the Constitution of the Church. A copy is available upon request from the church office. The Coordinator of Worship, W-4.9001, states:
"Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage is a civil contract between a woman and a man. For Christians, marriage is a civil covenant through which a man and a woman are called to live out together before God their lives of discipleship. In a service of Christian marriage, a lifelong commitment is made by a woman and a man to each other, publicly witnessed and acknowledged by the community of faith."
Because of demand, we attempt to limit weddings at Bel Air church to members, children of members, and/or active non-members. However, we do serve those outside our congregation as a community outreach endeavor. In this case, the Pastors must ascertain that either the bride or groom is a professing Christian.
The Sanctuary can accommodate 1400 guests on the main floor and 100 guests in the Balcony.
Scheduling Your Wedding
Since church activities generally have priority, weddings may be officially scheduled only 12 months before the desired date. We maintain a wedding calendar up to a year in advance.
Weddings are normally held on Saturdays, exceptions will be considered upon request.
No weddings or rehearsals will be scheduled for the Saturdays preceding Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, or Thanksgiving weekend.
The wedding must be confirmed within 30 days after scheduled. After you have read and accepted the church's wedding policies and wish to reserve a date for your wedding, you may fill out an application form and return it, along with a non-refundable deposit of $500 to:
Weddings at Bel Air Church
Attn: Wedding Coordinator
16221 Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
If the date cannot be confirmed, the deposit of $500 will be refunded. Once the date is confirmed, your deposit is non-refundable. All remaining fees are due on the day of the rehearsal.
Once the date and time are confirmed by the church, no change may be made without approval from the church. There is an additional charge of $200 to change the date and time. Please send notice of change in writing to the Wedding Coordinator for request consideration.
Planning your Ceremony
You will plan for months for this special day! Much of your energy will go into selecting the perfect dress, cake, and beautiful flowers. In the end, it's all about the ceremony. Our goal is to help you plan a beautiful and worshipful ceremony that you will remember year after year!
Because the wedding ceremony is a worshipful event, we ask that you fully understand and communicate all of the guidelines to your florist, photographer, videographer, soloist, and musicians before submitting the Wedding Application. By submitting your wedding application, you are demonstrating your understanding and agreement with Bel Air's Wedding Guidelines.
Our Wedding Staff
Our Wedding Staff consists of the Wedding Coordinator, an assistant, the organist, and a pastor. To arrange a wedding, first call the Wedding Coordinator who can answer questions concerning the availability of dates, ministerial staff, church guidelines and fees. The Wedding Coordinator coordinates all aspects of the wedding on the church campus. If you wish, the Wedding Coordinator can also suggest florists, photographers, and videographers who have been cooperative in observing the guidelines we have adopted for the Sanctuary.
Marriage ceremonies are conducted by our Pastoral Staff. Prior to the wedding you may request, or be assigned, a minister for the ceremony. At that time you will need to contact the pastor's administrative assistant for premarital counseling.
A visiting pastor may share in the ceremony upon agreement with our Pastoral Staff. Upon written request, an outside Christian pastor may officiate. Please contact the Wedding Coordinator with questions or for clarification.
The Organist and the Music
"Music suitable for the marriage service directs attention to God and expresses the faith of the church (W-2.1004).
The congregation may join in hymn and other musical forms of praise and prayer."
The services of our church organist, or approved substitutes, should be used at all weddings held at Bel Air Church. Rehearsals between the organist and other musicians are usually held up to two hours before the wedding. The organist does not attend the wedding rehearsal. Our desire is that the wedding music will be in keeping with the spirit of worship of the marriage ceremony. Our organist will be pleased to help you with selections, soloist and other musicians. All solos must be approved by the organist and/or wedding staff one month before the wedding.
Microphones and/or additional technical equipment will be determined under the direction of our Technical staff.
Photography is one of the most important details of your wedding day. The images captured on this special day will be held near and dear to your hearts for years to come.
Our desire is that your photographer will capture the essence and emotion of your wedding ceremony while still maintaining the integrity of the worship environment. The full listing of Photographer Guidelines is included in this booklet. Please discuss these guidelines with the photographer before finalizing your booking.
Other tips for your wedding photography:
- It would be wise to review all of the groups of pictures with both sides of the family and the photographer to ensure sensitivity and input by all.
- Be sure to arrange a time for photography with the Wedding Coordinator prior to the wedding day. Some couples may choose to have all of their portraits taken before the wedding. If this is the case, be sure to allow an appropriate amount of time.
- The bride and groom should plan to arrive at the church one hour prior to the photography session. We have excellent facilities for the wedding party to use.
Video Operators should introduce themselves to the Wedding Coordinator and accept the limitations on lighting and the placing of equipment. Video camera equipment or operator is not allowed in sight of the guests prior to or during the ceremony. No artificial lighting may be used during the service. Placement and location of video equipment must be arranged prior to the ceremony with the Wedding Coordinator.
Our full Wedding Photographer and Videographer Guidelines are included at the end of this planning booklet. These guidelines must be signed by your videographer and submitted to the Wedding Coordinator prior to the wedding.
Audio and Visual
For most weddings it is necessary to utilize the sound system in the sanctuary which requires an audio technician. If you plan to include any video elements (DVD, PowerPoint, slide show) in your ceremony, it will be necessary for the church to provide a video technician at an additional charge. See the Wedding Fees chart for fee information. Any video or audio requests should be made through the Wedding Coordinator prior to the ceremony.
Flowers and Decorations
"Flowers, decorations and other appointments would be appropriate to the place of worship, enhance the worshipers' consciousness of the reality of God, and reflect the integrity and simplicity of Christian life."
(W-1.3034, W-1.4004-4005; W-5.5006)
Please select a florist who will abide by the following guidelines:
1. Please have the arrival time of the florist arranged with the Wedding Coordinator.
2. Choir chairs are to remain on the chancel unless prior approval is given.
3. No damage may be done to the front greenery or pews. Plants must remain in the location arranged by the church only.
4. No nails, screws, tape or wire in decorating (candelabras included) may be used. We recommend pipe cleaners for decoration of the candelabras. Also, plastic must be placed under flower arrangements on all tables in the Sanctuary. Pew clips may be used to secure bows on the pews only.
5. No decorations may be placed on the pulpit, organ console, piano or choir chairs.
6. Please have the wedding party flowers left outside the bride's room, with names indicated on all corsages and boutonnieres.
7. No runners are permitted in the Sanctuary.
8. No heavy duty tape on pews or chancel floor.
9. Decorating and cleanup must be completed prior to the wedding to enable the Sanctuary to be used for pre-wedding photography. Please see the Wedding Coordinator to schedule a time for the photographs.
10. Food and beverages are not allowed in the Sanctuary. However, food and beverages for the wedding party may be served in the bride's room and vestry (used for changing). Please no red drinks.
11. The florist should pick up stands, baskets, etc the day of the wedding since our storage space is limited.
12. As Sunday services are usually the following day, we ask that the Sanctuary be left in order for Sunday worship service.
13. All rental items are to be taken by wedding party the same day.
Our full Florist Guidelines are included at the end of this planning booklet. These guidelines must be signed by your florist and submitted to the Wedding Coordinator prior to the wedding.
Candles, Kneeling Bench and Lectern
Two candle stands, one unity candelabra, a kneeling bench, and a lectern are available for your ceremony. The church provides the candles, which are handsome tapers filled with liquid oil, eliminating melting and dripping.
The invitation date and time must coincide with the date and time on the wedding application. There will be no changes without written confirmation from the church. It is important to encourage guests to allow approximately 15 minutes for parking as this will enable the guests to arrive on time.
Shuttles, Traffic Guards, and Security
Upon your request, shuttle buses and traffic guards may be arranged to accommodate your wedding guests for an additional charge. Unarmed or armed security may also be arranged. The charge for shuttles, traffic guards and security is outlined in the schedule of fees.
Wedding Reception Services
With its pristine setting and 180 degree view of the San Fernando Valley, the Discipleship Center is uniquely situated to offer a spectacular setting for your special day. Just across the patio from the Sanctuary, with almost 6,700 square feet of divisible space, the Discipleship Center can accommodate receptions of many sizes. To celebrate your wedding in our charming venue, contact the Reception Hostess.
The Wedding Coordinator will be available to help direct the wedding rehearsal. We encourage you to schedule the rehearsal no later than 4 p.m. on the Friday before the wedding. Exceptions may be made as long as other church activities do not conflict.
Most rehearsals last about one hour. It is not unusual for the church to schedule more than one rehearsal in one evening, so it is important for everyone in the wedding party to arrive on time. Please take into consideration the heavy traffic hours and plan accordingly. All of the wedding party is to attend, including parents and relatives to be escorted as a part of the ceremony, candle lighters, ushers, scripture readers and family who are included in the ceremony. This will enable each one to practice their part and allow all to be more confident on the wedding day.
The Wedding Day
The bride and bridesmaids arrive approximately one hour prior to the photography session. We have an excellent bride's room available for the wedding party to use, as well as a dressing room for the groom and groomsmen. Food and beverages are not allowed in the Sanctuary. However, food and beverages for the wedding party may be served in the bride's room and vestry. Please no red drinks.
On the wedding day, ushers will begin seating guests approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony. Please have all ushers at the rehearsal.
After the wedding, time allowed for photography should be arranged with the Wedding Coordinator prior to the wedding day. On some occasions the wedding party may choose to have all of their pictures taken before the ceremony. If this is your choice, please consult with the Wedding Coordinator regarding the scheduling.
Smoking or alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all church property. No person under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be present at a rehearsal, wedding, or reception held at the church. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to communicate these policies to the members of the wedding party.
Please: no rice, birdseed, confetti, or the like may be thrown on the church grounds.
Preparation for Marriage Classes
Considering Marriage? Newly Married? Take advantage of our "Preparation for Christian Marriage" course! All engaged couples and those married within the last year are invited to attend this 5-week course. Topics will include spiritual foundations, communication, and romance..
This course is open to both members and non-members. It is highly recommended by the Pastors and Session of Bel Air Presbyterian Church for those who have married within the past year as well as those contemplating marriage in the near future. There is no fee for the course. Contact Caring Ministries with questions.
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If you have any questions, please contact the Wedding Coordinator, who will be happy to help you. We are all dedicated to creating a joyous occasion with God's guidance and direction. He is in charge and we have the privilege of assisting with your planning.
Thank you and God bless!