Planning Your Wedding Ceremony
We celebrate with you your decision to enter into a marriage covenant with one another, to affirm the vows you have already made in your hearts in the presence of God, your family, friends, and pastor.
We at Seattle First Baptist Church are honored to be part of your ceremony-to assist you in planning and making your ritual unique. Although wedding ceremonies between two adults are ancient, we include contemporary themes as well.
We trust you will honor the worship atmosphere of your wedding our pastors help create. This information will inform you of the practices and policies of Seattle First Baptist Church to ensure that yours will be a memorable worship experience.
We conduct weddings for heterosexual and same-sex couples at Seattle First Baptist Church, treating all couples with the same dignity and respect.
We offer an SFBC Covenant Certificate to all couples.
We enjoy hosting weddings at SFBC! It is an occasion of great joy and honor for us to share your special day!
Marriage License and Certificate of Covenant
Seattle First Baptist Church will provide a Certificate of Covenant for all adults who commit themselves to one another in a ritual here. For those who need to obtain a license, go to King County Administration Building, 500 4th Ave., Room 403. The current fee is $64 (2009) but it increases regularly. Pay the fee and fill out a marriage application located online at: http://www.metrokc.gov/lars/marriage. If you have additional questions, you may contact the main office at 206.296.4021. Appear together; no witness is required. The license is good for sixty days but must be secured three full days before the wedding ceremony here.
Bring all the forms to the church at the rehearsal. The pastor will complete them and have them ready for your signature thirty minutes before the covenant ceremony. The Certificate of Covenant will be signed at the same time.
Neogothic architecture and a 37 rank Aeolian-Skinner organ enhance services held at Seattle First Baptist Church. The main floor and balconies accommodate 800 persons. Dressing and preparation rooms are located off the two foyers at the Harvard and Seneca Streets. There is a ramp adjacent to the parking lot and an elevator is off the Harvard street entrance.
The sanctuary is the center of an active worshipping congregation. It isn't a wedding chapel. Therefore, the balcony banners and other decorations in the sanctuary may not be removed for a wedding. The staff will remove those items that impede a wedding but other worship decorations must remain in place.
The Hintz Chapel, with its original stained glass windows provides accommodation for a more intimate ceremony. It seats 65 persons and has a piano and a small organ available.
One of our church's pastors must officiate at your ceremony. You may select one or one will be selected for you. The date you choose must be confirmed only on agreement with the pastor who will officiate. A family minister or friend may assist the pastor with the ceremony; your guest pastor must be invited by our pastor.
Our pastors ask that you join them for three (3) sessions of preparation including getting acquainted, planning the service, and premarital counseling. This ensures that your ritual is distinctive. For church members there are no fees for pastoral counseling, planning, and officiating. But if you wish to offer an honorarium, you may do so through the Coordinator.
The Wedding Coordinator
You may call SFBC at 206.325.6051 for the Wedding Coordinator phone number. When you meet with the Wedding Coordinator, you may arrange to see the church and discuss things such as the size of your wedding party, use of the sanctuary or chapel, reception hall, and fees.
She/he will help you plan your ceremony and will coordinate your wedding at SFBC.
If you employ a private Coordinator, that person will be responsible for the off-site activities only and not for any activities at SFBC.
What is the Role of the Wedding Coordinator?
The Coordinator reserves the facility on the church calendar and coordinates with appropriate staff.
The Coordinator will collect fees for facility use, payable to Seattle First Baptist Church.
The Coordinator is the main contact for the couple and relays all information to the appropriate staff.
Our Coordinator is your liaison with other church personnel such as musicians and pastors. We highly recommend our professional staff for your special occasion. We offer floral designers and photographers. You may discuss items such as, candles, candelabra, chefs, videotaping guidelines, as well as gift delivery, security, parking, attendants for the reception, and custodial oversight, etc.
Seattle First Baptist Church maintains a traditional style of worship and a high standard of classical musical performance. Upon request, the organist of SFBC will provide music for all weddings held in the church. We also can provide you with a pianist or you may bring a guest pianist. No pre-recorded music is allowed. The Coordinator will help you contact the SFBC organist to discuss the musical details of your ceremony.
A wedding is a sacred service and music must be selected accordingly. When our organist meets with you, s/he will offer appropriate recommendations. Suggestions often included music by composers such as Henry Purcell, G.F. Handel, Jeremiah Clarke, and J.S. Bach.
For an additional fee paid to the wedding Coordinator an SFBC vocal or instrumental soloist can also by employed. A soloist of your choosing may be used if the music has prior approval by the organist, and sheet music is provided with sufficient time for rehearsal.
Services in the sanctuary require at a minimum, a sound engineer. An audio recording of your wedding will be provided to you on a cassette tape. To enhance your ceremony, other services are available for an additional fee. These services could include; audio recording to a CD, a high-resolution video recording using the sanctuary's video camera and sound system, and an audio/video stream of your service via the internet. The wedding Coordinator can provide a fee schedule of additional sound/video engineering services, and provide contact information so you have direct communication to discuss details.
The church custodian will prepare the church prior to the rehearsal and the wedding and will clean it afterward. There will be extra fees for unanticipated and extraordinary work.
The U-Park lot adjacent to the church charges $5 per car for several hours parking in the evenings and on weekends. You may arrange to rent the lot to accommodate your guests for $200-$250, depending on the number of expected guests; the lot accommodates up to 100 vehicles. To reserve the lot, please call Carla Trulin at 206.284.9797. There is also limited metered street parking. For bus transportation, the church is located on Metro Bus line #2.
Newly renovated and freshly painted, our cheerful childcare play center is available for rent during your ceremony, it's located adjacent to Fellowship Hall. Our center is a convenient and safe play area for children during your ceremony and/or reception. We offer an excellent professional childcare staff for an extra fee that you may arrange with the Wedding Coordinator.
Flowers, Chefs, Photography and Musicians
We have a list of professional floral designers, chefs and digital photographers that we have used and highly recommend for your special occasion! The Wedding Coordinator will provide additional information regarding hotels, lodging, busing, etc.
Decorations, Candles & Flowers
The Chapel & Sanctuary both provide a setting for a beautiful, dignified, and sacred service. It is the responsibility of the couple to arrange with a florist for decorations following these guidelines to preserve the beauty of these rooms.
Decorating Plans: Your decorating plans (along with samples) need to be submitted to the Wedding Coordinator for approval at least 30 days in advance of the wedding. Any changes after that time are at the discretion of the Wedding Coordinator.
Candles: A protective covering must be placed on the floor, carpet, furniture and furnishings beneath and around all candles. When the heating or air conditioning turns on, it easily blows melted wax a good distance away from the candles. Please note that plates do not provide adequate protection.
- Candles in glass containers are at risk for "exploding", especially when they have been burning too long. Please consider this in the timing of lighting candles such as votives.
- Candles must be snuffed out rather than blown out.
- The florist or the couple's family will be held directly responsible for the cost of cleaning wax from all flooring and furniture.
Decorations: Under no conditions shall decorations leave any permanent marks or damage to the furniture or building when removed, i.e., tape, glue or penetrating objects may not be used on furniture, walls or woodwork (such as nails, staples, tacks). The couple assumes responsibility for any damage.
Only approved carpet tape may be used on the floors. NO Duct Tape. The couple assumes responsibility for any damage to the carpet.
Damages: It is understood that the couple take responsibility for church property, agreeing to pay for any damages.
Fellowship Hall and Parlor
If you choose to host a reception at the church, the Coordinator will arrange for a Reception Coordinator and helpers. The hall accommodates 400 persons for a traditional cake and coffee reception and 150 for a sit-down dinner.
Dinners that extend into Saturday evening are discouraged due to setting back up for the Sunday morning service.
A dinner must be catered and the kitchen may be used only for warming food. One of our kitchen staff must be present.
The serving of alcohol is not allowed at SFBC.
For a Reception the church provides:
- Round tables, chairs
- Silverware, chinaware (plates, cup saucers and glasses)
- Lace tablecloths, cake cutter and server
- Silver service and glass punch bowl
- Guest book stand
- Gift table
- All food and beverages - (coffee, tea, cream and sugar, mints, nuts, etc.)
- Recipe for the punch, ingredients and ice
- Flowers and containers, decorations
- Candles and napkins
- Guest book and pen
- Persons to cut cake, serve and pour beverages
- All decorations
Dressing Rooms Policy
Dressing rooms are provided at no extra charge. You may have food and water in these rooms but not in the sanctuary. These rooms are to be cleaned from your personal items 30 minutes prior to the start time. We provide a rolling coat rack for hanging of garments.
It is the responsibility of the couple to appoint someone to watch the gift table, and to take gifts to appropriate places. SFBC is not responsible for any missing items.
The church facility is a sacred space and therefore it is expected that members of the wedding party and their guests will honor this fact and will conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting the atmosphere of a place of worship.
In compliance with this, immediately prior to both the rehearsal and wedding, it is expected that the members of the wedding party and their guests will refrain from using alcoholic beverages. No wedding rehearsal or wedding ceremony will be performed if any member of the wedding party is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs.
No alcoholic beverages may be served on the church premises at any time. Smoking is not permitted. No food or drinks are allowed in the Sanctuary.
Florists, caterers, photographers and their employees are also required to comply.
Dancing is not permitted.
Food and Beverages
Food and beverages are allowed anywhere in the building except the Sanctuary. However, please refrain from serving food or "red" beverages that stain badly, such as berries, red fruit punch, grape juice, etc. Plan to use lids with coffee cups.
Bubbles, Rice, Birdseed, etc.
Absolutely no birdseed, rice, confetti or sparklers may be used.
Bells and bubbles may be used outside of the building. Plan to distribute these items to your guests as they are exiting the building.
Please discuss your plans with the Coordinator so appropriate plans can be made.
Expectations for Clean-Up
Plan ahead so you can recruit friends or family for the task of leaving the facility "broom" clean after removal of flowers, candles, decorations, etc.
Remove all flowers, candles, and decorations from the Sanctuary immediately following the ceremony. If you would like to use your decorations for the reception, make sure to appoint someone to move them to the appropriate place.
Floral arrangements may be left for church services if desired and are greatly appreciated, just make sure to give the Wedding Coordinator at least 2 weeks notice. All candles, aisle decorations, and other decorations must be removed.
Immediately following the reception, remove all personal items from the facility. The exception would be small items that you have pre-arranged to store in the storage closet. Please notify the Wedding Coordinator if this will be necessary.
It is understood that the couple take responsibility for church property, agreeing to pay for any damages and custodial hours when cleaning expectations are not met.
It is the obligation of the couple to make certain that these rules are adhered to.
Thank you for helping us to be good stewards of our facilities!
Fee Schedule for Weddings Ceremonies and Church Policies
The coordinator will provide you with a fee schedule and a copy of the church's policies during your first visit meeting.