Weddings at Hazelwood

It is a joy to be united in marriage through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony at Hazelwood. We believe this is an experience of the greatest importance between you, your heart’s desire, and your loving God. Marriage witnessed before God and in the company of God’s people is an authentic act of Christian Worship. Weddings are a celebration of God’s gracious gift of life, and the special gift of life together as two commit themselves to each other in the presence of God and the company of their family and friends.

To a Christian, marriage is more than a legally binding contract. It is a covenant between two individuals, founded upon vows made before God. Thus understood, marriage becomes a lifelong union.
In body: Physical and organic.
In mind: Sharing ideals, purposes, and aims.
In spirit: Recognition of God’s presence in our lives.

Marriage is one of the major experiences of life, involving a deliberate and faithful decision—the decision to be a partner in establishing a Christian home. A church wedding is more than a social event. If the church wedding is to have integrity, those who participate in it need to have a sincere desire to maintain their marriage on the firm foundation of faith in God. Just as God’s blessing is invoked upon the new relationship, so should divine guidance continue to be sought in private and corporate worship. A marriage that begins in the church should continue in the church.

Something to Remember

There will be many things to consider in planning your wedding. At times, some of the details may seem to take over and cause you to lose sight of the meanings behind your plans. We suggest you make every effort to come to the day of your wedding physically rested, spiritually aware, and genuinely concerned that the event be a beautiful and meaningful occasion—one you will truly wish to remember.

Your wedding day is the creation of a memory. A helpful guideline is this—what is it that you wish to remember about your wedding? Insofar as possible and appropriate, you should plan accordingly.

The Hazelwood Christian Church staff pledges to do its part in assisting you in making your wedding something to remember.

Contact Staff

You can reach the Office Administrator in the church office at (765) 282-5969 or by email to

Scheduling Your Wedding

When you have decided to be married, you should do the following as soon as possible:

  1. Call the church office, (765) 282-5969. As the church calendar is often quite crowded, adjustments may be necessary if conflicts arise.
  2. Inform the receptionist that you are interested in being married at Hazelwood Christian Church. You will be connected to the Office Administrator who handles arrangements for weddings. The Office Administrator will need to know this information: desired date, time, and place of your rehearsal and wedding.

Please Note:

  • Weddings on Sundays, holidays, and on days preceding holidays are at the minister’s discretion. Weddings at Hazelwood need to be arranged no later than four months prior to the wedding date. All couples to be wed must first go through 3-4 sessions of counseling with a minister.
  • A minister from our congregation will officiate. The minister must be consulted when arrangements with other ministers are desired.
  • Under ordinary circumstances, receptions are not held at Hazelwood.
  • The Office Administrator will make arrangements with the minister conducting the service for a mutually agreeable time for a conference with the couple.
  • After meeting with the minister, schedule a meeting with our staff organist to discuss the music to be played. This call should be made at least two months prior to the wedding date.

Guest Ministers

It is Hazelwood’s policy for a minister of this church to preside at all marriage services held at Hazelwood. If there is a desire to have a guest clergy assist in the service, please work with the minister so that an appropriate invitation may be issued. Church policy states a minister from Hazelwood Christian Church always participates in the service and always conducts the rehearsal.

Marriage Conferences

Arrangements are to be made for personal conferences with the minister. These should normally begin at least four months in advance of the wedding date. The number of sessions varies according to personal circumstances. The couple should be prepared for a total of 3 to 4 sessions, at which both bride and groom are present. Time will be set aside to discuss:

  1. The meaning of Christian marriage.
  2. The meaning of the various parts of the marriage service.

Particular attention will be given to the needs of the couple being counseled.

Obtaining a Marriage License

A marriage license is required for all couples wishing to be married in the state of Indiana. Application for a license is made at the County Clerk’s office, 100 W. Main St, (765) 747-7726. Indiana residents must apply in the county in which they live. Out-of-state residents must apply in the county in which they want to be married. Payment may be made with cash or money order.

Note: a marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date it is issued.


The purpose of the music is for a joyous service of praise and thanksgiving. It is to inspire and uplift the sacrament of Christian marriage.

The Hazelwood staff organist is to play for all weddings unless other arrangements are made with the minister and the organist. In the event a guest organist is desired and a consultation with the church organist is necessary, there will be a fee for the church organist.

The organist of the church oversees wedding music. The couple is asked not to make any arrangements for music until they have had a conference with the organist. It is recommended to contact the church organist at least two months prior to the wedding date.

Often, the bride and groom find they were fairly unaware of much of the music during their ceremony. It is suggested that songs which have a special significance be used at the reception. The reception is also a more suitable place for popular/contemporary music. Sanctuary weddings at Hazelwood will have the music selections drawn from either sacred or classical.

The prelude music is selected by the organist from the classical literature for the organ. There is a listing of suggested selections.

If you desire a soloist, please discuss this with the organist before making final plans. It is suggested that the vocal solo(s) be a part of the prelude music, or at designated places determined by the minister and the organist.

The organist and the couple together plan the music for the processional and recessional. The organist will be pleased to help you select music that is festive, stately, and appropriate to the joyous occasion.


The wedding rehearsal is directed by the Hazelwood minister in consultation with the bride and groom. All members of the wedding party (bride, groom, attendants, parents, ushers, acolytes, ring bearers, flower girls, etc.) are requested to be available promptly at the appointed time, ready for the rehearsal. Rehearsals usually require an hour.

The rehearsal is usually scheduled for the evening preceding the day of the wedding. This quick run-through will ensure all parties involved will know what to expect during the wedding itself.

Please remember to bring your marriage license to the rehearsal. If you desire the minister, the organist, or others to attend the rehearsal dinner or reception, it is appropriate to send them an invitation.

Note: It is recommended that in the processional, the participants walk in a comfortable, dignified manner.

Use of Facilities and Grounds

Sanctuary Weddings
The church Sanctuary currently seats 140, though seating for an additional 60 can be arranged. If desired, two candelabras and a kneeling bench are available for use.

Lawn Weddings
It is understandable why there are requests for lawn weddings on the grounds of Hazelwood. The beauty makes for a memorable setting.

However, there are greater changes for unfortunate experiences with lawn weddings. For instance, Indiana weather is unpredictable much of the year, making for a last-minute change of plans. This usually calls for the need of two rehearsals—one inside and the other outside.

A musical instrument is not readily available for a lawn wedding. Strings or a harp could be used.

A larger deposit for outdoor weddings is required.

The wedding party assumes responsibility for renting, setting up, and dismantling all tents, chairs, etc., used in an outdoor wedding. This involves work beyond that usually required of the Caretaker for inside weddings and is thus not included in the normal fee.

No receptions are to be held on the grounds.


Security Deposit
Sanctuary: $100, Lawn: $150

Payment of this fee will hold your date on the church calendar, and as such should be paid right away. The fee is fully refundable, after the event, assuming there are no damages.

Use Fees   
Members: $600, Non-Members: $1,600

  1. This is payable to Hazelwood Christian Church and is due no later than 10 days prior to the wedding date. The package is all-inclusive and includes:
  2. Minister– counseling, rehearsal, wedding
  3. Organist– consultation, rehearsal, wedding
  4. Coordinator– present for rehearsal and wedding and manages: ushers; lining up/escorting of family; placement of bridal party; communication with organist; placement of bride and her escort
  5. Sound Engineer– room sound volumes, manages all microphones, participates in rehearsal and wedding
  6. Housekeeping– unlock; place wedding set-up including kneeling bench, candelabras; parament changes to white for the wedding, and back to liturgical color for Sunday worship; clean all restrooms; vacuum all carpets; adjust thermostats; lockup
  7. Building use for rehearsal and wedding
  8. Candles with liquid fuel, two candelabras, kneeling bench (if desired)


Simplicity is always in good taste, and especially in keeping with the architecture of the church building. Extravagant and wasteful arrangements of flowers are discouraged.

Candles are symbolic of the light of the world and enhance any worship setting. Due to the air currents in the Sanctuary, we recommend renting the church’s oil candles and candelabra. Regular candles, even drip-less, often burn down too quickly. If candles are desired at the ends of the pews in the Sanctuary, they can be secured from your florist.

Unity candles are frequently part of the marriage ceremony. If such a candle is desired, it is to be provided by the couple. The communion candles may serve as heritage candles to be lit by mothers or parents.

Decorating the Sanctuary seating is discouraged because care must be taken to avoid any damage to the furnishings by the use of nails, tacks, and tape. Bows may be attached with appropriate fasteners from florists.

Arrangements should be made with the florist for the removal of the decorations immediately after the ceremony. Any candle wax on the carpet resulting from candles placed by the florist is to be removed by the florist.

An aisle runner can be secured from your florist, and one is required if fresh flower petals are used. It is 64 feet from the chancel steps to the glass doors. The minister and organist should know you are using a runner, as it affects the music of the service.

The church provides a kneeling bench for couples who wish to kneel for prayer during the ceremony.

Photography, Video, and Sound System

As many pictures as possible that can be taken before the wedding is helpful to everyone involved, especially your wedding guests. They may also be taken after the guests have left the site of the wedding ceremony.

If you wish for photographs may be taken during the service, you must discuss this with the minister before the wedding day. Timed exposures from the balcony of the Sanctuary, and flash pictures prior to the processional and/or following the recessional are welcome.

All photographs should be taken by a designated photographer. Photographers other than the designated photographer may take pictures before or after the service, as previously agreed upon with the designated photographer.

Video equipment may be used, if by an experienced operator. The camera should be stationed in the left chancel area of the Sanctuary or in the balcony. Moving around the Sanctuary during the wedding is discouraged and not in keeping with the atmosphere of worship.

Dressing Facilities

Separate dressing facilities for the bride and her attendants and the groom and his attendants are located on the lower level of the building. Adequate space, full-length mirrors, dress racks, and restroom facilities are included.

The Sacristy is reserved for the minister.

Conduct of Wedding Guests

For the benefit of all concerned, smoking and the use of alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all areas of the church buildings and grounds.

It is customary to use birdseed instead of rice. Please do not throw the seed inside the buildings. Wedding bubbles may be used instead. If helium balloons are desired, they must be biodegradable.

Receiving Line

Receiving lines may be organized in several ways.  The following allows for the warm greeting of guests and convenience of introduction:

  1. Mother of the Groom
  2. Father of the Groom
  3. Mother of the Bride
  4. Father of the Bride
  5. Bride
  6. Groom

Suggested areas for the receiving line:

  • Narthex or Sulanke Commons
  • North outside landing beyond the steps, beginning at the sidewalk

Couples may, instead, choose to dismiss their guests and greet them, by pews. If you are planning to dismiss by rows, please discuss with the organist so that postlude music may be planned for an appropriate length of time.


Ushers are in charge of the guests who attend the wedding. They should acquaint themselves with the church grounds, facilities, and policies of the congregation. The following instructions will ensure the wedding service proceeds smoothly:

  1. Arrive one hour before the wedding is to begin. More time may be needed if pictures are to be taken before the ceremony.
  2. Ushers are responsible for lighting and extinguishing the candles used in the ceremony unless an acolyte is used. These include candelabra, in addition to the two candles on the communion table. If the two candles on the communion table are to be used as heritage candles, the ushers would not light these candles. If a unity candle is provided, do NOT light this candle, as the couple will light it during the service.
  3. Tapers are available for your use. The wick may need to be exposed by pushing it up through the handle. Be careful not to expose too much, as the flame becomes larger.
  4. Candles may be lit approximately 30 minutes before the beginning of the wedding, and extinguished after the last guests have left. If pictures are to be taken immediately following the service, the candles may be extinguished following the taking of the pictures. USHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE TO SEE THAT THIS IS DONE.
  5. The ushering, itself, may be directed as the couple and the minister see fit. It is customary to seat the bride’s family on the left side (facing the front), and the groom’s family on the right. An usher needs to be designated for each side of the aisle.
  6. The front rows on either side are left vacant unless they are expected to be needed.
  7. The second row from the font is reserved for the parents of the bride (left side) and groom (right side).
  8. The next remaining rows are reserved for grandparents and immediate family members.
  9. Guests are ushered in this order: those arriving early, friends, immediate family, grandparents, groom’s parents, and mother of the bride.
  10. The groom’s parents should be escorted to their seats after all other guests are seated, except the bride’s mother, who is escorted in just before the start of the processional, which is usually the hour of the wedding. DO NOT seat the mother of the bride if there is an emergency that justifies a delay.
  11. Check with the minister and the organist at the rehearsal for the exact time and coordination of seating and music.
  12. Offer right arm to the lady if ushering to the right side of the aisle; the left, if ushering to the left. The husband or escort walks behind you and your guest. Wait until both guests are seated before returning to the narthex to seat other guests. Male guests unaccompanied by a lady walk beside you.
  13. No one should be ushered down the center aisle after the bride’s mother is seated. Seat latecomers from the side, and toward the back, unless they are immediate family.
  14. No one is to be seated during the processional.
  15. Ushers who are also to serve as groomsmen should go to the groom’s quarters immediately after ushering the mother of the bride, or after unrolling the aisle runner if one is being used.  In fact, it is better if there are separate ushers and groomsmen, to facilitate the processional.