Weddings

We want to thank you for considering Walker Chapel UMC as the location for your wedding.  We believe this to be a threshold moment in life, and we want to share in your joy on this day, and to become a part of your extended family in the future.
 
Persons from many faith traditions have begun a new life together in our sanctuary, and we want to invite you to discuss your unique story with our pastor as a part of your preparation for your wedding day and marriage.
 
We believe in God whose character is to be loving, gracious, and full of hope for us, as we make life-long covenants with each other.  We want to extend the hospitality of our God’s household to you, and to all those whom you love and invite to share in your wedding day

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do we start?

We hope that your wedding will be one of the most moving and memorable events of your lives. As you enter into holy matrimony, you also will be participating in a profound worship service, one filled with joy and a festive air. Therefore the Walker Chapel congregation, pastor, and staff wish to join with you in making this special day fulfill your highest expectations.

Please discuss with the church’s administrative assistant or the pastor any questions or special requests you may have pertaining to your wedding. Any change in your plans after arrangements have been made should be reported as soon as possible to the church office (703) 538-5200. Our wedding hostess coordinator can also be reached by calling the church office.

Who participates?

The pastor requires that the prospective bride and groom meet with him for at least two counseling sessions before the wedding.  This provides an opportunity for them to begin to develop a relationship that may extend beyond the wedding day, as well as to understand thoroughly the meaning of the worship / wedding service.
 
It is expected that the Walker Chapel pastor will conduct any wedding ceremony held at Walker Chapel.  Outside guest pastors may assist with a wedding service at the Chapel after receiving an invitation from Walker Chapel’s pastor.
 
The Chapel also provides the services of a volunteer wedding hostess to assist with all weddings held at the Chapel. 

What facilities are available?

Reservations for the Chapel and/or the reception area may be made through the church office. Dates of availability will depend upon the church calendar and our pastor’s schedule. Weddings are scheduled on a “first-come, first-served” basis up to a year in advance. Weddings are not scheduled on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or any time during Holy Week.

The Chapel comfortably seats a total of 254 people – 168 in the center area, 51 in the transepts, and 36 in the balcony. The length from the narthex to the first step to the altar is 49 feet. There are 41 pews (24 in the center area, 8 in the transept areas and 9 in the balcony.) Most of the pews hold seven people comfortably.

What about a rehearsal?

Any wedding with a standing party composed of more than a bride, groom, maid of honor and best man requires a rehearsal. The rehearsal usually is scheduled to take place the day before the wedding. The pastor will set the time for the rehearsal in consultation with the bride and groom. Please be on time for the rehearsal. Allow a reasonable amount of time (generally about one hour) for the rehearsal and let all those involved know well in advance when and where to meet. It is best for all members of the wedding party to be present for the rehearsal.

The Service?

The liturgical form of wedding service normally used by the pastor can be found in the United Methodist Hymnal on  page 864.  Special arrangements may be made for the lighting of a unity candle, the celebration of the Eucharist, and other personal aspects of the service.
 
The wedding party contributes to the significance of the occasion by participating in the rehearsal and in the service with the dignity befitting a time of worship.  The pastor will preface the rehearsal with introductory comments on the history and meaning of the wedding service, after which the Pastor will conduct the rehearsal.

How may we decorate?

Because Walker Chapel’s sanctuary is itself so beautiful, a single specially designed floral arrangement (30″ high and 36″ wide) placed on the altar can be quite sufficient decoration.  Two single candles with stands are provided on the altar for the wedding service.  Some couples prefer to substitute the church-provided candelabra with seven candles per stand.  If you wish to use additional decorations, please view the complete instructions found below.
 

What about photography?

“Most couples choose to have a photographer present to take pictures of the wedding service and the participants.  To keep the picture-taking from interfering with the wedding service, photographers are to follow the instructions found below which has guidance such as “No pictures are to be taken after the bride has reached the chancel area of the sanctuary” and “No pictures may be taken during the service, until the wedding kiss.

The Music?

Wedding music is an integral part of the religious ceremony of marriage and should be chosen with Christian worship in mind.  The Chapel organist shall be consulted in making choices of all appropriate music, including instrumental selections, pre-recorded music and soloist musical pieces.
 
We expect that the Walker Chapel organist will be employed for any wedding service conducted at the Chapel.

May we have a reception?

The Chapel’s fellowship hall may be engaged for use as a reception area if the wedding party desires.  Reservations and arrangements should be made at the time the sanctuary is reserved. The capacity for seating with tables in the hall is 124 people. 
 
The wedding couple or family will be responsible for all food and other reception arrangements, including cleaning the fellowship hall thoroughly after the reception.  Please see the complete instruction for restrictions such as no alcoholic berverages.