Your Wedding at . . .

Second Baptist Church

Wedding Policy

Congratulations and best wishes for your wedding. Now that you are considering Second Baptist Church as the site for your special day, the information in this brochure will be of help to you as you make this decision. 

The wedding ceremony is sacred. It is a rite in which two people pledge themselves to each other with the blessing of God. Second Baptist’s Sanctuary and Chapel are places of Christian worship. These guidelines are intended to assist you in planning your wedding so that it is a service of worship, meaningful to you and honoring and appropriate to the worship centers of our church.

Second Baptist Church is over 160 years old, and many weddings have been celebrated within its walls. It is our desire to continue this tradition of service to our congregation and to others who desire that their wedding ceremony is conducted in a Christian setting.

Who May be Married at Second Baptist Church?

Second Baptist Church welcomes both members and non-members to be married in our facilities. For purposes of the wedding policy, a church member shall be defined as a person who is an active participant in and/or financially supports the ministry of Second Baptist Church for a minimum period of one year prior to finalizing the wedding reservation. Non-members whose parents and/or grandparents are active members of Second Baptist Church will be considered members with respect to the wedding policy. Non-member weddings may not be scheduled more than one year in advance of the desired wedding date.

Selecting the Minister to Perform Your Wedding

The congregation of Second Baptist Church is a diverse group of people united in Christ. It is not required that you have a member of our ministerial staff officiate at your wedding. However, they are available and ready to conduct premarital counseling and to perform your ceremony should that be your desire. You are welcome to have a guest Christian minister conduct the ceremony. We do ask that a guest minister contact the Wedding Coordinator in writing stating his or her intention to officiate at both your rehearsal and your wedding.

Selecting the Worship Center for Your Wedding

Weddings at Second Baptist Church may be scheduled for either Tutt Chapel or the Sanctuary. Tutt Chapel offers a small intimate setting accommodating approximately 75 guests, while the Sanctuary will seat 500 comfortably, on the main floor. The balcony is not open for seating. Both worship centers have a piano and organ and a sound system.

Selecting the Music for Your Wedding

Music is an integral part of a Christian wedding. All music selected for weddings celebrated at Second Baptist Church should be in keeping with the sacred nature and dignity of the occasion and the worship setting. Classical and/or sacred music is appropriate for weddings at Second Baptist Church. Some contemporary selections may also be appropriate. Our Minister of Music or our Organist should approve your musical selections at least six weeks in advance of your wedding rehearsal. Both are available to assist you in making appropriate musical selections. It is recommended that you set up a consultation with one of these musicians regarding musical selections at least three months prior to your wedding. The Wedding Coordinator will provide you with contact information.

Using Our Organ for Your Wedding

If you choose to use the organ for the music portion of your ceremony, our church organist, or one from an approved list of organists for our church, must accompany your ceremony. 

Setting the Time for your Rehearsal and Wedding

The wedding party may have use of Second Baptist Church for the wedding rehearsal for one and one-half hours on the day prior to the wedding. Rehearsals may be scheduled to begin between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Any rehearsal extending over one and one-half hours will result in an additional $50.00 fee per half hour. The rehearsal time may not be used for decorating.

The wedding party may have use of Second Baptist Church on the day of the wedding for three hours for decorating of the worship center, photography sessions, clearing of the dressing rooms, and clearing of the worship center of all decorations. It is recommended that wedding parties set aside two hours prior to the ceremony and one hour following the ceremony.  It is not possible to extend the use of the building past 7:30 p.m.

Making Your Wedding Reservation

Wedding reservations are made through the church Wedding Coordinator. After your initial inquiry as to the availability of Second Baptist Church, the Coordinator will verify the availability of your requested dates and times on the church master calendar with the Church Administrator. The Coordinator will then notify you of the availability. Rehearsals and weddings at Second Baptist Church may be scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Second Baptist Church does not schedule weddings from the weekend before Palm Sunday and through Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter), on Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends, on Fourth of July when the holiday falls on a weekend, or from Thanksgiving through New Years.

Securing Your Wedding Reservation – Initial Payment and Acknowledgment Form

To secure your wedding date and time, payment of ½ of the Building Usage Fee is necessary. Until such payment is received, the date will remain open on the church calendar, and other events may be scheduled. This portion of your payment is non-refundable in the event of a cancellation. Please see the Cancellation Section.

Checks should be made payable to Second Baptist Church and may be given to the Wedding Coordinator. A Building Damage Deposit and the remainder of the Building Usage Fee are due in full no later than four months prior to the wedding. If the payment is not made by the date specified, a late payment charge of 5% (five percent) per day on the unpaid balance will be assessed. An explanation of all damage deposits and fees is included elsewhere in this policy.

The Wedding Reservation Acknowledgment Form should be completed and given to the Coordinator as a part of the reservation process. This form indicates that you have received, read, and agree fully with the wedding policies of Second Baptist Church.

When the initial payment has been made, and the reservation form has been signed and received by the Coordinator, the Church Administrator will be notified to reserve the requested dates and times on the church calendar for your rehearsal and wedding.

Fee Schedules

Non-Member Fee Schedule

Member Fee Schedule

Canceling Your Wedding Reservation

Should it become necessary to cancel your wedding reservation with Second Baptist Church, please immediately notify the Wedding Coordinator.  If the cancellation occurs less than four months prior to the wedding, NO REFUNDS of any deposits or fees will be given.

Cancellation of a Wedding Reservation by Second Baptist Church

In the unlikely event that Second Baptist Church should have to cancel a wedding reservation, all deposits and fees will be refunded unless the wedding party chooses to reschedule with Second Baptist Church for another date and time. Cancellation would be necessary in any situation rendering our facility unsafe for occupancy or unusable due to physical or systems damage not repairable in time for the scheduled wedding to take place.

Chapel and Sanctuary Considerations

Sound System:  Second Baptist Church will provide a wireless microphone for the minister, microphones for soloist(s) and reader(s), and will provide a sound technician. Only Second Baptist Church authorized personnel may operate the sound system.

Lighting:  Only Second Baptist Church authorized personnel may operate the light board in the Sanctuary.

Decorations:  Decorations should not do any damage to the building or furnishings. Tacks, pins, tape, staples, plasti-tack or adhesives of any kind may not be used to secure decorations to walls, window sills, pews, or furnishings. No decorations may be placed on the piano or the organ. Any decorations left at Second Baptist Church will be discarded by the custodial staff during cleaning and resetting of the worship center following the ceremony. There is no storage space available for these items.

Window Decorations:  The window sills may be decorated, but no candles may be used unless they are enclosed in glass or metal.

Seasonal Decorations:  Second Baptist seasonal banners and/or decorations may not be removed from the Chapel or the Sanctuary for a wedding.

Furnishings:  It will be important to secure the approval of the Wedding Coordinator before moving or removing furnishings within or from the Chapel, the Sanctuary, or either of the dressing rooms. Choir chairs and risers may not be removed from the choir loft in the Sanctuary. Pews may not be removed from the Sanctuary or Chapel. The pulpit and platform pews may be removed from the Chapel and the Sanctuary. The Communion Table may be removed from the Sanctuary. 

Candles:  Only tube candles may be used. Second Baptist has these candles, lighters, and candelabra available for rent if not provided by your florist.  No candles of any kind may be attached to the pews or be placed in the aisles. Tabletop candles, such as those used in a Unity Candle ceremony, must be dripless and must be placed on a clear plastic sheet so that there is no damage from melting wax to table or furnishings. Candles may not be placed on the modesty rail.

Flowers:  Real or silk flower arrangements may be used. However, only silk petals may be thrown by flower bearers. Flowers and/or greenery may be attached to the ends of the pews using ribbon.

Aisle Runners: Aisle runners may not be used.

Building and Property Considerations

Handicap Accessibility:  Please notify the Wedding Coordinator if you are expecting guests who will need handicap access to the building. The coordinator will inform you of the best access for those guests.

Building Security:  All entry doors on the south, east, and west of the building are secured 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the wedding ceremony.  This practice eliminates the possibility of any unauthorized entry which may be disruptive to the ceremony. Be assured that Second Baptist Church entry doors are equipped with fire safety crash bars that make exiting the building possible even when doors have been secured to prevent entry.

Outside Decorations: No decorations may be attached to the outside structures of the church.

Celebratory Items:  No rice, confetti, or birdseed may be thrown or used in any way by the wedding party or their guests. All types of sparklers or firecrackers are prohibited.

Food and Beverages:  No food or beverages, including bottled water, are permitted in the Chapel or the Sanctuary, or in the hallways and foyers. This policy applies during the rehearsal as well as on the day of the wedding. Any evidence of beer or any other alcoholic beverage use found during or after the rehearsal or wedding will result in forfeiture of the damage deposit. 

Alcohol and Drugs: No alcoholic beverages and/or illegal drugs are permitted in the buildings or on any properties of Second Baptist Church.  Any person arriving at the church for either the rehearsal or the wedding while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will be asked to leave the premises immediately. Should any difficulty arise related to this request, the proper law enforcement authority will be called.

Tobacco:  Second Baptist Church is a smoke-free property. No smoking or use of any tobacco product is permitted inside the buildings or on any properties of Second Baptist Church. There are no outside containers on church property for the disposal of these items.

Rehearsal Considerations

The rehearsal is a very important time in preparation for the wedding ceremony. Many times, persons other than those involved in the ceremony are also in attendance during the rehearsal. In consideration of those rehearsing and in the best interest of the safety and welfare of any children in attendance, it is required that those children be in the company of a parent or other responsible adult at all times during the rehearsal.  Neither the Wedding Coordinator nor the maintenance staff on duty will be expected to be responsible for the activity, safety, and whereabouts of children. 

Before the Ceremony

Decorations:  Decorating may begin no more than two hours prior to the ceremony. Second Baptist is unable to make any exceptions to this policy.

Clothing and Personal Items:  Clothing to be worn by the wedding party may be brought to the church at the time scheduled for the rehearsal. The wedding party is responsible for the security of all personal items and clothing.

Photography Session:   Photos of the wedding party may be taken prior to the ceremony inside the worship center or at other locations in or around the church building.  Photography sessions in the worship center should end 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. No furnishings may be moved during the session. Photographers are not to stand on pews or other furniture unless shoes are removed. 

During the Ceremony:  No flash photography is permitted during the wedding ceremony. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to inform the photographer when his/her services are engaged. It is the responsibility of the ushers to remind wedding guests with cameras that flash photography during the ceremony is not permitted. 

Following the Ceremony

Decorations:  Please be aware that there are no storage areas available for decorations, candelabra, or floral arrangements. All of these items should be removed completely from the worship center no later than thirty minutes after the conclusion of the ceremony. Items not removed by the florist or family may be discarded by church maintenance staff to allow preparation of the facility for Sunday services.

Clothing and Personal Items:  All clothing and personal items should be removed from the worship center and dressing rooms no later than thirty minutes after the conclusion of the ceremony. 

Photography Session: Photos of the wedding party may be taken following the ceremony inside the worship center or at other locations in or around the church building. Photography sessions in the worship center should end 30 minutes after the conclusion of the ceremony. Keep in mind that the buildings should be completely vacated one hour following the conclusion of the ceremony.

Downloadable Wedding Documents

Reservation Acknowledgement Form

Information for Photographers or Videographers

Information for Florists, Designers or Decorators

Non-Member Fee Schedule

Member Fee Schedule