Dear Bride & Groom,
Congratulations! The decision to marry is one of the most exciting decisions you will ever make. Cocoa is happy to celebrate with you and help you.
A wedding formally initiates a marriage. We encourage you to conduct your wedding in the church facilities and to live your marriage in the church’s ongoing life. God can truly grace a relationship before, during, and after a wedding. This grace flows through regular worship with a congregation, personal Bible reading and prayer, and acts of giving.
We also realize God can work with your relationship through input from others on such things as communication, finances, conflict resolution, and praying together. With that in mind, you will need to visit with our pastoral staff regarding premarital counseling.
As for the wedding ceremony, in the Presbyterian Church it is worship service. For this reason, weddings contain readings of scripture, prayers, music, and vows that bring honor to God. Cocoa is glad to enter into the joy that surrounds a Christian marriage. All members of the wedding party are asked to assist in making your wedding an appropriate worship experience.
These guidelines in this booklet were designed to answer many of the questions you may have about a wedding at Cocoa. If, after reading these guidelines you would like to arrange a wedding at our church, please call our office at 321.631.3956.
We look forward to joining you on this exciting day,
Pastor Lucas Pina
Cocoa Presbyterian Church
WEDDING & RECEPTION FEES
Fees are outlined below. Please do not think in terms of simply hiring personnel or renting space. This has to do with a church helping a couple with their wedding.
Fees: wedding & one rehearsal
$200 (non-member), $150 (member) Minister
$200 (non-member), $150 (member) Organist or Music Director
$200 (non-member), $100 (member) Cocoa Sanctuary
$200 (non-member), $200 (member) Required Marriage Instruction*
$ 75 (non-member), $75 (member) AV Tech if needs beyond sound
$300 (non-member), $200 (member) Fellowship Hall**
*Fee includes registration $178 coupon for Family Life Marriage Conference (Weekend to Remember) valid for eighteen months from wedding. The conference is held in major cities throughout the U.S. **Reception only, four hours. Includes use of space for wedding and rehearsal activities and cleaning fee. If kitchen is used along with the Fellowship Hall, the caterer(s), or users of the kitchen, must meet ahead of time with Cocoa’s Kitchen Coordinator. Additionally, a kitchen security deposit of $100 is required.
A $100 deposit is required to reserve a date and time for a wedding. The total fees, along with a letter stating both the fiancé and fiancée have read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, are due within thirty days of making the reservation. If the fees and letter are not received, the date is released and the $100 is returned.
Mail checks payable to and mail to:
Cocoa Presbyterian Church
1404 Dixon Blvd., Cocoa, FL 32922.
Please put in the memo space of the check, “Wedding Fees.”
The rehearsal should begin promptly at the time scheduled. The rehearsal requires approximately one-half hour. The minister is in charge of the rehearsal. All persons involved in the wedding, including both sets of parents, are encouraged to be present for the rehearsal. The ushers should participate in the rehearsal. When you arrive for the rehearsal, please be prepared to provide information as to: Who will light the candles? Who will seat the mothers? How many family pews shall be reserved?
The marriage license must be delivered to the wedding coordinator at the rehearsal. Licenses are obtained from the Brevard County Courthouse: 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way Viera, Fl. 32940 (321) 633-2058. They are valid only if obtained no more than sixty days in advance of the wedding and not less than 72 hours. When marriage counseling is completed a discount for the license is offered by the county.
DRUGS, ALCOHOL & TOBACCO
No drugs or alcohol are permitted anywhere on the church property. Smoking is permitted outdoors only (and not at the sanctuary front doors).
AVAILABILITY & RESERVATIONS
Cocoa is not available for weddings on Palm Sunday, Easter or Christmas weekends. Weddings scheduled in these seasons must make arrangements so that wedding decorations blend in with and not displace those present in the sanctuary and fellowship hall. With the wedding, the couple has use of the Downunder area for two hours prior to the wedding. Photos may be staged and taken in the Jennie McElveen Library—no dressing, food drinks or preparation in the library.
The sanctuary at Cocoa is simple in style with blue and white decor, and is designed to seat a maximum of 400 persons.
Counseling sessions are a necessary part of being married at Cocoa. A couple desiring to be married here should arrange an initial conference with the minister at Cocoa well in advance of the wedding date. No marriage date is confirmed at Cocoa until this initial conference with the minister is held. The counseling sessions are a time for the bride and groom to talk with the pastor about their wedding and their marriage. If you desire another minister or priest to participate in the ceremony, the minister at Cocoa would be happy to talk with you about this.
We do not provide a wedding coordinator. But you may inquire about a wedding by contacting the church office. If you have your own wedding coordinator, we will gladly work with that person. Please contact the pastor early with this information and remember that in Presbyterian churches a wedding is a worship service that a pastor is in charge of.
For any special audio or visual needs beyond basic amplification, you will need to contact the church office, meet with our sound technician about your plans and whether they are feasible in our facility. Any consultation with the sound technician or agreed to assistance by him or her during the wedding is to be compensated at a rate of $20/hour.
The Fellowship Hall is available for receptions.
Wedding music should be appropriate for worship. Once your wedding is confirmed, please contact our church music director well ahead of the wedding date to arrange for an appointment to select music. The purpose of music in a church wedding is to glorify God. Wedding music need not be solemn – it may be joyful and lively, or soft and meditative. During the appointment to choose music with the bride and/or groom, the music director/organist will also be glad to suggest solo selections and secure soloists, if requested. All music associated with the wedding must be approved by the music director. The church organist will play for all weddings. If our organist is unable to play for the wedding, he/she will obtain a suitable organist and brief him/her on the music for the ceremony.
Flowers and decorations should enhance the wedding ceremony and be appropriate to the worship setting. Flowers and Candelabra may be used in the chancel area or on the pews; however, we ask that they comply with the following guidelines:
1. Candelabra may be used. However, they are to be used in the chancel only and only with drip-less candles. The church can supply these candles for $25.
2. Florist/decorators must not use thumbtacks, pins, nails, scotch tape, glue, etc., on any of the furniture or appointments.
3. Furnishings that are moved shall be replaced after the wedding. Liturgical furnishings may not be removed without the pastor’s permission.
The florist/decorator should call the church office one week in advance of the wedding to set a time for decorating the church, so that arrangements can be made for opening the sanctuary. Decorations should be completed at least one hour before the wedding ceremony.
The florist/decorator must remove all decorations and equipment promptly after the ceremony and replace any furnishings that have been moved.
The florist/decorator will be held responsible for all damage done to the building or furniture and is responsible for cleaning any wax from carpet or furniture that may result from the wedding. The members of the wedding party are responsible for removing all clothing, boxes, etc., after the service. No rice, birdseed, confetti, real or silk flowers, or any other substance may be thrown on Cocoa’ premises.
Pictures may be taken before or after the service in any part of the building. No pictures may be taken in the sanctuary from the bride’s processional to the end of their recessional with a flash. (Pictures may be taken from the balcony or narthex during the ceremony, provided no flash or accessory lighting is used.) The service may be videotaped from the balcony.