A Guide to Planning Your Wedding

Suttons Bay Congregational Church facilities are available exlusively
for weddings officiated by our minister, The Rev. Dr. Robin L. Carden.

Please contact the church office at (231) 271-6036 to determine the availability of the minister and church facilities for your proposed rehearsal and wedding dates.
Wedding Coordinator
A wedding coordinator may be a helpful resource for you. The coordinator can be present during the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony to make sure all runs smoothly.  The church will provide a liaison to assist with facility access and logistics.
Marriage License
Marriage licenses take at least three working days to issue.  The marriage license must be given to the minister at the wedding rehearsal. 
Whether you are using one of the church’s organists or guest musicians, you are responsible for contacting them, setting up meetings and paying their fees directly to them.  The musicians you select must make arrangements through the church office (231) 271-6036 to set up practice times. Any guest musicians must be approved by our minister. 
The Gathering Place (church’s lower level)
The Gathering Place may be used by the wedding party for preparation.  The Gathering Place and kitchen may also be used for small catered receptions.  Some restrictions apply.
Church Policies
  • Bird seed, rice, confetti, rose petals, etc. may not be thrown inside or outside the building. 

  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted on church property.

  • Food and beverages are permitted only in the Gathering Place.

  • Sanctuary and Narthex furniture, banners, and artwork may be moved only with the consent of the minister and church liaison.  All must be restored to their original positions immediately after the service.

  • When decorating the sanctuary or the Gathering Place, please do not use anything which will mar the finish of the furniture or the walls.

  • A damage deposit is not required, but you will be liable for any damages to church property that may occur during your use of our facilities.
Preparation for Marriage
A church wedding emphasizes and lifts up the spiritual covenant that is the heart of every marriage.  It reminds us all that behind our own love is the love of God. Regardless of  individual circumstances, marriage marks a significant turning point in a couple’s relationship.  For this reason, it is helpful to take some time to talk about your expectations, fears, hopes and needs as you approach marriage. 
Couples who will be married here participate in premarital discussions with our minister. Usually about three meetings are scheduled: one for an initial interview and preliminary wedding planning, one to discuss strengths and growth areas as a couple, and a final meeting to discuss details of the wedding ceremony.
Your Wedding Day
  • The wedding coordinator should arrange with the church liaison a time to unlock the church before your wedding.  The wedding party should be present about one hour before the service.

  • Since a wedding is a sacred occasion, we ask that flash pictures not be taken during the wedding service itself.  Photographers must stay behind the first row of pews and should not be moving around or distracting others during the service.

  • Arrangements should be made with the florist for the delivery of flowers to the church.  The florist may contact the church liaison to arrange a time.
         Building Use*   (payable to Suttons Bay Congregational Church on or before the day of the rehearsal)
            Church Liaison and Custodial Fee       

         Minister (payable to Robin L. Carden)                $500
         Musicians (payable directly to them)                 (as pre-arranged)

        * For active members and families of Suttons Bay Congregational Church,                         there are no building use fees.