XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below are the Wedding Policies and Procedures for Northwest Bible Church of Dallas, Texas.
Scheduling Your Wedding
To begin the process of scheduling your wedding, please schedule a meeting with our Director of Pastoral Care. At the meeting, available dates and times of service are discussed. Members of Northwest Bible Church are given priority in scheduling a wedding. A member is one who has gone through a membership class, agrees with the NBC Doctrinal Statement and has been interviewed by an elder. Upon availability, non-members may schedule their wedding three months prior to the requested date.
Reservations for weddings, rehearsals, rehearsal dinners and receptions are not entered permanently onto the church calendar until the bride has met with the Director of Pastoral Care and given a non-refundable deposit.
No wedding may be scheduled during Easter Week (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday) or during the church’s Missions Conference (February). The period from Thanksgiving through New Year holidays will be reviewed for members only on a case-to-case basis and will depend on availability of staff and facilities. During this holiday period, the fee will double. Church decorations as set for Sunday services may not be removed. Banners, wreaths and swags are not permitted.
Weddings can only be scheduled up to 1:00 pm start time on Saturday afternoon.
Any changes of dates and hours of rehearsals and weddings must be coordinated with the Director of Pastoral Care.
Choosing a Minister/Premarital Counseling
It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to secure a minister to perform premarital counseling and the wedding ceremony. Premarital counseling is a requirement for marriage at NBC and documentation of counseling is required. Any minister outside Northwest Bible Church must be approved.
It is customary to give the minister an honorarium.
Couples living together (both member and non-member) must submit to the following policy in order to use our facilities: separate residences until the wedding date. They must also meet with one of our NBC ministers and attend our Marriage Equipping Class or other similar premarital class before the wedding.
Wedding Hostess Responsibilities
A Wedding Hostess is assigned to the bride in a timely manner. However, you may still wish to engage the services of a professional wedding consultant. An outside consultant must confer with the assigned Wedding Hostess regarding church policies, logistics and times of arrival and departure of bridal parties and suppliers.
The Wedding Hostess and/or Reception Hostess prepare a detailed facility request giving the requirements for the event. These forms must be returned to NBC three weeks prior to the wedding. Therefore, you must get the details of your event to your hostess in time for her to prepare and submit the facility request. If this form is not submitted three weeks prior to your event, though scheduled, your set up may not occur.
The Wedding Hostess assists in preparing the order of the wedding service. She is available at the rehearsal and is on site two hours prior to the wedding service and remains on duty until the bride leaves the campus. She is responsible for coordinating the arrival of suppliers with the Director of Pastoral Care or Facilities Coordinator.
The Wedding Hostess, in consultation with the Director of Pastoral Care, has the final authority in matters regarding to the wedding at the church.
Rehearsal Dinner/Reception Hostesses
A Hostess is assigned to the bride and her family for either a rehearsal dinner and/or reception in the Christian Life Center. She supervises the use of our facilities and is available to consult with set-up information and decor for these events. She supplies the bride with information regarding tablecloths, dishes and services such as dishwashing.
Outside caterers may be used for these events. A deposit of $100 and a signed agreement from the caterer are required by the church three weeks prior to the event. If the kitchen and facilities are left clean and in good condition, the $100 deposit will be returned. Caterers are responsible for set-up of the tables with linens, dishes and silverware. Caterers are responsible for rented linens. Should refrigeration or other storage be necessary prior to the event, permission from the Facility Department must be obtained.
The caterer must clean any equipment used in preparation of the event. The caterer must dispose of food left from the event. No alcoholic beverages may be served on campus and smoking is not permitted in any building.
Northwest Bible Church Fees
The Director of Pastoral Care provides a current list of fees for weddings. Upon registration for a wedding, a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due to hold your date and a $250 facility deposit is due at least one month prior to the wedding. The bride will be invoiced two weeks prior to the wedding for the balance of the church fees. All fees must be paid one week prior to the wedding, including a separate payment for nursery services, if requested. Payment can also be paid out in installments, if desired.
Your designated NBC Wedding Hostess will begin the rehearsal promptly at the designated time and proceed in an orderly manner. Rehearsals will begin on time, even if all members of the wedding party are not present. You may have either your Minister or Wedding Hostess conduct the actual rehearsal.
Rehearsals are to be completed within one hour and are scheduled for 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm. Musicians and vocalists should meet for practice either prior to the rehearsal or at another time than the rehearsal. It is the responsibility of the bride or groom to contact the Sound Tech should an additional rehearsal with the musicians or vocalists be needed. This will need to be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the wedding.
Northwest Bible Church has very fine musicians on staff that may be consulted for wedding ceremonies. Music suitable for the marriage ceremony directs attention to God. All music from the beginning of the prelude to the end of the recessional should be appropriate for a worship service. The Minister of Worship must approve questionable selections, including secular music.
Because your wedding ceremony is a worship service and celebration before the Lord, your music selections should be appropriate, dignified and worshipful. Your special love songs may be played at the rehearsal dinner or reception.
Pre-recorded music is not considered appropriate and is only allowed if the soloist requires it for accompaniment.
Organist and Pianist
Northwest has many fine musicians. Should you need a pianist or other musician, please contact the Music Department.
Any organist other than the one that has been approved by NBC will need pre-approval before playing for a wedding. Fees are paid directly to the musicians prior to the wedding rehearsal.
Vocal Soloists and Instrumentalists
The Minister of Worship or staff musician will assist you in selecting a soloist suitable for the selections made. Our staff welcomes the opportunity to accompany vocalists. Fees for vocalists are paid directly to the individual prior to the service.
Soloists must contact the music staff to arrange rehearsal times. If a sound tech needs to be present for a rehearsal, they will need to be contacted two weeks prior to the rehearsal. Soloists should provide copies of music for accompaniment. Transpositions or arrangements of music are not the normal responsibility of the organist or pianist.
Sound Tech Functions
Our church-trained Sound Tech is assigned to your rehearsal and wedding. Only staff technicians are approved to operate the A/V equipment. The Sound Tech is on site one hour for the rehearsal and three hours for the wedding. A charge of $25 per hour will be charged for any other time at which a sound tech is needed.
The Sound Tech is available for consultation with brides, vocalists and musicians. Arrangements for the use of our sound system for rehearsal dinners and/or receptions must be made with the NBC Media Manager well in advance of your event. Additional fees will be added in the case of short notice or additional work. In the case of short notice, a Sound Tech may not be available.
Videotaping of Your Wedding
Videotaping of your wedding ceremony may be done with existing lighting in the Worship Center. The videographer must have approval of the location of the camera and may not record from the choir loft unless remote control equipment is used. If the videographer wishes to utilize the sound system, arrangements must be made with our Sound Tech at the rehearsal.
Flash photography may be done in the Worship Center until thirty minutes prior to the wedding service, after the ceremony and only during the processional and recessional. As weddings are worship services, no flash photographs are permitted during the actual ceremony. Under no circumstances may the photographer move about the altar area or around the Worship Center during the actual ceremony. The photographer may take photos from the balcony, without a flash and as quietly as possible.
Floral arrangements, decor for candelabrum and other decorations may be placed on the altar area with approval of the Wedding Hostess. Florists must arrange to have their decor in place two hours prior to the service. Decor items must be removed immediately after the ceremony and photographs have been taken.
Candelabrum is permitted using paradise candles only. Northwest has many styles of candelabrum and a prayer bench available for your wedding. Aisle markers and bows are permitted without the use of tape, tacks or nails. Care must be taken to avoid wax on the wooden floor of the stage because a fee will be charged for spilled wax. Therefore, we ask that the floor beneath candelabrum be covered. (No floral arrangements or candles are allowed on the piano.)
No aisle candles are permitted. Only silk floral petals may be thrown inside Worship Center.
Northwest Bible Church Nursery
Nursery facilities are available when approved by the Nursery Coordinator. Reservations for the number of children anticipated must be made one month in advance of the wedding. The fee for use of the nursery is a minimum of $100 for ten children and will be paid directly to Northwest one week prior to the wedding.
- Smoking is not permitted in any part of the church facility, in compliance with Dallas Fire Department codes.
- Alcoholic beverages, including champagne toasts, are not permitted.
- Dancing is not allowed.
- For safety reasons, throwing rice is not allowed. Only bubbles, birdseed or rose petals are permitted outside.
- Northwest Bible Church assumes no responsibility for lost or misplaced items left unattended in our facilities.
- Please make sure all personal items are removed from the dressing rooms prior to the wedding.
- The wedding party assumes total obligation for damages to the buildings and/or property.
- The campus closes at 10:00 pm and the premises must be vacated by that time.
Wedding Procedure Agreement
Please sign that you understand and agree with the procedures set forth in this wedding book. Please tear out and return to Northwest Bible Church.
Bride’s Signature:_____________________________________ Date:______________________________________________
Groom’s Signature:___________________________________ Date:______________________________________________
Wedding Reservation Form
(see PDF below article for copy of form)
State of Texas Requirements and Procedures for Obtaining Marriage License
(as of February 2002)
The fee for the license is $36. You must have a valid ID such as a Driver’s License, ID card issued by DPS, valid passport, or resident alien card. You do not need to bring witnesses to obtain the Marriage License.
The license must be purchased at least 72 hours prior to but no more than one month before the date of the ceremony (the 72 hour waiting period is automatically waived for military personnel. However, you will need to show your Military ID.) The Marriage License is good in every county in the State of Texas.
The license expires at the end of the 30-day period immediately following the date that the license was issued if the marriage ceremony has not been conducted within that period.
No blood test is required in the State of Texas.
The following people are authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies:
- Licensed or ordained Christian ministers, and priests.
- Jewish rabbis.
- Persons who are officers of religious organizations and who are duly authorized by the organization to conduct marriage ceremonies.
- Justices of the Supreme Court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the court of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county court at law, courts of domestic relations and juvenile courts, retired justices and judges of such courts, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, and judges and magistrates of the federal courts of this state.
You must be age 18 without parental consent or age 14 with parental consent. Same sex marriages are not legal in the State of Texas.
If one of the parties cannot attend, you need to obtain an Absent Application Form from one of the County Clerk locations, take it to that person, have them fill it out and have it notarized. The instructions for this form are listed on the back of it. The form and the instructions can also be printed from the downloadable forms page of the County Clerk website (www.cclerk.hctx.net).
NBC Wedding Request Form
(see PDF below article for copy of form)
View forms in original PDF: Wedding Procedures