Many couples who are from varying religious backgrounds and many, who have been divorced, are drawn to a Unitarian Universalist church for their weddings.
First Church Unitarian Universalist of Leominster is glad to assist couples who are planning weddings. We hope the information on this page will help answer some of your questions. Please do call the office to talk with us to get more information.
Your first step if you are considering a wedding through First Church is to call the church office at 978-537-0310. The office is staffed Tuesday through Thursday 10am-2pm. You may very well reach someone during regular business hours but please leave a message if there is no answer.
You may arrange to meet with the staff to tour the church and discuss your needs.
Your wedding may take place in the sanctuary and/or if you are seeking the services of the minister at First Church Unitarian Universalist of Leominster, the service may take place somewhere other than in the church. A religious blessing of a civil marriage ceremony may take place anywhere. All components other than legal requirements are flexible and optional.
If you have your own officiant but would like to use the facilities at First Church please call as well. On occasion we have provided the sanctuary for this use. However it will be necessary to have more conversation before this is allowed. The same principal applies to the use of the musical equipment.
Regardless of who performs the ceremony, please inquire for fees, building use policies and availability.
Once a date is determined to be available, the office manager will tentatively reserve the building and will send out a building use agreement which will detail fees and deposits, rules for use of the premises and other information you will need. In order to guarantee the date the completed form must be returned with your deposit.
The church office and the administrator of First Church Unitarian Universalist will work together with you to establish the date and time of your ceremony. After the preliminary details are worked out you will come in and meet with the minister to plan your wedding. (see below)
When talking with the office administrator you will also be asked about the musician you are seeking. First Church can assist you in obtaining a musician. You will be able to work out more details on music at the meetings with the minister.
Your fees include the use of the church for rehearsal and for the wedding.
If you desire to have the reception at the church there is a separate fee for that. (The church has a no alcohol use policy)
Your fees to the minister include planning appointments, rehearsal and the wedding and the minister filing the marriage certificate. These fees are to be discussed with the minister.
Fees for the musician are separate and to be negotiated with them.
Planning your Wedding –
You have come to one of the most important and most personal events in your life. Planning the celebration of your wedding can be a rich experience that you will cherish through the years of your marriage.
In the Unitarian Universalist free church tradition, we give you ownership of your wedding. We invite you to create your own celebration, one that expresses your values and meets your needs. After you been in contact with the church office about the date and building availability and policies and information, the minister will contact you to set up an initial meeting.
At that initial meeting you will be offered a booklet full of material which you may adapt, combine, or rewrite, to craft with the minister your personal wedding service. The readings and words are intended to stimulate your own ideas and can be used to build your ceremony. Couples are encouraged to choose their own readings and select their music and vows for the ceremony, so that the service becomes uniquely theirs.
Unitarian Universalist wedding services may include many of the aspects, vows and symbols, of more traditional religions. If the couple chooses not to “design” their own ceremony, the minister will design the service for you. The elements can then be reviewed by the couple and then they either will give their approval, or make suggestions for revisions.
Usually you will meet with the minister 2 or 3 times. Initially the meeting will be an opportunity to ask questions about the ceremony and to gather basic information and to ask and get answers to general questions about the wedding. And, at that meeting you may be asked questions about your relationship, how you met, why you wish to marry, how you work together as a couple. Sometimes the couple wishes to come back to explore other issues and to deepen the plan for the ceremony. At the next meeting the minister and you will go over your selected materials, discuss other questions, review format and other components of the ceremony that need to be finalized. Occasionally, a third meeting will be held if there is information needed or questions to be asked. Often many issues and questions can be resolved through email or phone contact but there will be a minimum of 2 face to face meetings.
The minister reserves the right to refuse to marry a couple and will discuss why this decision is being made at the very first meeting
In addition the minister is available at any time after the ceremony to meet with the couple to help resolve issues that may have surfaced since the wedding. The issues need not be significant but might include the desire to discuss matters that have come as a surprise after marriage. Marriage does change a relationship and to keep the marriage healthy the minister welcomes follow up visits before things turn for the worse.
Obtaining a marriage license is the responsibility of the wedding couple. You may apply for a license at any Town/City Hall in the state. In Leominster, applications are made at the Town Clerk’s Office in the City Hall. Information is available on the Leominster Town Clerk’s website. There is a 3-day waiting period between making the application and the time you can pick up your license. You must bring your license with you at the time of the wedding rehearsal and hand it to the officiant. The officiant will complete the license and return it to the appropriate officials.
We have a beautiful sanctuary and encourage you to come see it when visiting potential wedding sites. The church building and sanctuary are handicapped-accessible. There is an elevator at the entrance to the church directly from the parking lot. The seating capacity in the sanctuary is about 350-400 people.
The church has space to accommodate your wedding reception. The church has a no alcohol policy for all events. There is a large room with hardwood floors and an adjoining kitchen which may be used by a caterer if desired. We can provide folding chairs and tables which seat 8. It is the responsibility of the wedding party to provide all other items needed. There is a comfortable private room off the main dining room that may be used for the wedding party to change or have a quiet, private moment as necessary or to change clothes. Adjoining the main hall is a kitchen with four ovens, a sink, four burner stove and dishwasher. With prior notice there can be a refrigerator and freezer space made available. The church is in no way responsible for catering arrangements but the church administrator will work on logistics with your chosen caterer.
Schedule of User Fees
Sanctuary (for wedding & 1 hour rehearsal)* $350
Wedding Application form can by found here
Payment should be made prior to the ceremony.
PLEASE NOTE: These prices include one hour for the wedding ceremony and one hour for the rehearsal.
* Make check payable to First Church UU Leominster
** Make check payable to individual as named