Congratulations on your engagement.! This is an exciting time of anticipation and planning for you!
We are pleased that you are considering First Baptist Church for your wedding ceremony. A wedding service is actually a worship service – a couple’s declaration before God and the community of faith that they are committed to each other and seeking God’s blessing of their union. The ceremony is comprised of prayers, Scripture, and music.
Begin early Your ceremony is important to us and deserves careful planning and preparation. Your first step is to contact the Wedding Coordinator to select the date, secured with an initial deposit of $500. Weddings must be booked at least three months in advance to allow time for premarital counseling with one of our ministers.
Your first point of contact is the Wedding Coordinator, who will assist you through the entire planning process. Contact Laura Preston at (216) 408-3502 or use the form below.
Do I need to be a member of your church to get married?
No. We do weddings for both members and non-members. All policies and requirements are the same for everyone.
Are fees different for members and non-members?
Yes. Charges for the use of the facilities are waived for members and their immediate family, and active church participants. “Member” refers to persons who are on the current membership roll at FBC and are active in the life of the church. “Immediate family” includes children, grandchildren, siblings, and parents of members. “Active church participants” refers to persons who have a history of regular worship attendance or financial support. The facility use fee is also waived for all staff members of FBC and The Children’s Center.
Do we have to use one of FBC’s ministers?
Yes. FBC is very proud of the relationships built between our wedding team and each couple. To help make your wedding unique and personal, a minister will be chosen for your wedding according to their availability. Guest ministers are welcome to participate in the ceremony, but please review our guest minister policy on page two of the wedding contract.
Do we have to do premarital counseling?
Yes. We are here to prepare couples for marriage, not simply to perform weddings. Couples can expect to spend 4-6 hours meeting with the minister. This is an important time for the minister to get to know you as a couple, to help prepare you for marriage, and to plan your ceremony.
Who is part of the wedding team?
FBC has an amazing wedding team to ensure your wedding day is perfect! The required team for all weddings consists of the minister, wedding coordinator, sound system technician and custodian. Talented FBC musicians, including our organist, are available, but optional.
Do I have to use FBC’s wedding coordinator?
Yes. Laura Preston has over ten years of experience coordinating weddings at FBC and is your point of contact for all planning. She is available to you from your initial contact to the moment you leave the church on your wedding day. Outside coordinators are welcome to assist if you wish, but FBC’s coordinator will be the primary planner assisting you.
What is the timeline for planning a wedding?
Most couples prepare for their big day a year in advance. In order to allow time for planning and premarital counseling, you must book your wedding at least three months prior to the date.
Our wedding will be very small. Do we need to follow the same policies?
Yes. We have learned that every wedding deserves the same level of attention and care. All weddings at FBC must follow the same policies regardless of the size of the wedding.
When are fees due?
Your deposit will reserve your wedding date. The charge for the use of the facilities is due 30 days before the wedding. Payments for the wedding team are due at the wedding rehearsal. The deposit will be returned within 30 days after the ceremony, less any charges due.
What happens if I cancel my wedding?
Your initial meeting with the wedding coordinator is complimentary. Your deposit will be completely refunded if you cancel your wedding date prior to meeting with the wedding team. If you cancel after meeting with the wedding team, your deposit will be refunded, less a charge of $25 per hour met with the wedding coordinator and/or minister.
Do I need a marriage license?
Yes, you do. No blood test or waiting period is necessary to obtain a marriage license in Ohio. The current fee is $47.00 witnesses are not required in Ohio. If you are a resident of Ohio you must apply for a marriage license in the county you are a resident – if you are from two different counties either one will do. Out of state newlyweds must apply in the county in which they are going to be married.
Both parties are required to be present at the time of making the application for the marriage license. If either, or both applicants are physically incapacitated, their physician must complete an affidavit as to the physical disability, and this affidavit shall be filed with the application for the marriage license. Each applicant must provide a social security number.
First Baptist Church is located in Cuyahoga County. The Cuyahoga County Probate Court
Marriage License Department is located at:
1 Lakeside Avenue
Room 129 (1st Floor)
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Phone number: (216) 443-8920
Hours are – Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pursuant to Local Rule 53.1 All pleadings requiring a new case number or the payment of court costs shall be filed by 4:15 p.m.
Can I have my Rehearsal Dinner or Reception at FBC?
You may want to consider using FBC as the location for your rehearsal dinner or reception. There are several rooms to choose from that are available to you at an additional cost. In order to use our large kitchen, the church cook must be present. She would be happy to meet with you and discuss planning a delicious meal for your guests. A per plate price can be decided on once you have made your selections.