Wedding Guide

Wedding Guide
North Highland United Methodist Church
620 15th Avenue NE
Aberdeen, SD

Pastor Lou Whitmer
Church Office: 226-1279

We are pleased you are considering North Highland United Methodist Church for your wedding ceremony. This booklet has been created to familiarize you with wedding procedures at North Highland. Before booking a date for your wedding, please read the booklet in its entirety and follow the steps outlined.


Weddings will be considered scheduled when the officiating pastor has approved a Wedding Request Form and when the church has received a deposit.

In consideration of the pastor and the church facilities, weddings are not scheduled on the following dates: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Holy Week, Easter Weekend, Thanksgiving Day Weekend, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Annual Conference Week (check with church office for those dates which are usually in the first part of June).

Members of North Highland UMC will have preference for scheduling wedding dates. A member is defined as:
An official member of North Highland United Methodist Church for at least a year
prior to scheduling the wedding.
The son or daughter of a parent who is an official member of North Highland UMC.
There are occasions in which an active non-member may be considered a member.
That will be a decision of church leadership.

The sanctuary seats 250 maximum.


Step One
Carefully read this Wedding Guide. Note questions you may have.

Step Two
Call the church office at 605 226-1279. Set up a meeting time with the Pastor and receive a Wedding Request Form to be filled out.

Step Three
Complete the Wedding Request Form and return it to the church office.

Step Four
Schedule a meeting with the pastor to discuss the information in the Wedding Request Form. If the pastor decides it is possible to officiate your wedding, a $100 deposit must be made at the meeting. The deposit is to secure the date and to account for any damage that may be done to church property. If payment is made with a check, the check will be cashed and another check will be issued by the church within 30 days following the wedding if no damage was done to church property. After this first meeting the wedding date can officially be placed on the church calendar.


        It is a requirement to meet with the pastor prior to your wedding. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to schedule these meetings and to keep appointments.   These meetings should be scheduled before the two weeks preceding the wedding. Sometime during the premarital meetings, there will likely be some assessment of readiness for marriage questionnaire to help the bride and groom facilitate communication.


        The job of the custodians is to make sure the church is ready for your wedding ceremony. The bride and groom, or persons chosen by them, are responsible for picking up clothes, personal items, food, etc. Clothing and personal items need to be removed before the ceremony begins. Everything else including food items must be picked up immediately following the wedding. 


        Pictures must be taken before the ceremony. Pictures should not, however, take longer than four hours. The photographer must be done with picture taking 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the wedding. Please inform your photographer of that timing during your initial contact. Also, anyone involved in pictures must be informed by the bride and groom as to when pictures will be taken. It is important that people being included in pictures are at the church on time so needless waiting does not occur.

        If there will be a videographer, they must contact the pastor as to where they should stand during the ceremony.


         We encourage you to use our church pianist as your musician. During your meetings with the pastor, he will give you her contact information. She should be contacted two months before the wedding to go over selections for prelude music (about 20 minutes preceding the wedding), processional and recessional music, and music selections by the soloists. If a guest pianist is desired, the bride must consult with the pastor. It is the expectation that all music selected will enhance the sacred nature of the ceremony.

        Any soloist that is selected must be responsible for contacting the church pianist to schedule a practice time.


        Children may enhance the beauty of the ceremony but they can also be a distraction. Care should be taken in choosing participants. Only silk flower petals may be used by the flower girl.


        A general rule to use when choosing ushers is that an usher is needed for every 50 guests. By adhering to that rule, the guests will be seated in a timely manner. Ushers must be present during the rehearsal.


        The church does not do wedding programs. Please review the service content with the Pastor before printing.


        In doing your wedding planning, figure that you will have as many guests as invitations sent. That should give you a rough estimate until RSVP’s are received.

Most people bring gifts to the reception if it is held somewhere other than the church Fellowship Hall. However, if gifts are brought in at the church, please have someone responsible to see that they are taken to the reception.


        Alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco are prohibited on the church property which includes the church and the parking lot. Please make this known to all participants.  


        The rehearsal date and time will be put on the church calendar after the initial steps are followed to secure a date for the wedding.  It is important to begin the rehearsal promptly. The rehearsal will take about one hour. Please inform your wedding party, ushers, soloist, grandparents, and parents of the start time. Please remind members of the wedding party that they will be in a place dedicated to the worship of God. The wedding rehearsal must proceed in a dignified manner. Caps may not be worn in church. Please give your marriage license to the pastor when you arive for the rehearssal.


    The grand piano may not be moved. Flower bouquets may be placed on the flower stands or on the altar depending on the size of the bouquets. Only silk flower petals may be dropped by the flower girl.

        North Highland does not have a candelabra. There are two oil candles on the altar which the ushers will light preceding the ceremony. If candelabra is rented, it may not be used in the foyer.

        Lighted candles may not be used in the foyer.

        There is a table in the foyer which can be used to place the guest book. 

        Because of safety concerns, aisle runners will not be used. 

        Please have someone responsible for making sure that all decorations (flowers, unity and family candles, pew bows, etc.) are promptly removed after the wedding.           

      Rice may not be used to throw. Bird seed or bubbles are both acceptable.


         Simple snacks or sandwiches may be served in the Fellowship Hall during pictre taking. Pop may also be served. The food and drink must stay in the Fellowship Hall. Bottled water only may be taken into the sanctuary.


        There are classrooms available for the bride and her attendants. There is also a bathroom available for them. These facilities are located upstairs in the Sunday School area. The groom and groomsmen usually dress elsewhere before arriving at the church.



Gift from NHUMC
$250 (A separate security deposit of $100 is required upon booking of sanctuary. If you pay with a check, it will be cashed upon receipt and will be returned no later than 30 days following the wedding if no damage was done to the property.)
A two week notice of cancellation is required for return of the deposit.
Sound Technician

$75 ($100 if the reception is at the church)

$150 is suggested minimum gift

$175 is suggested minimum gift


All fees must be received by the church by the week prior to the wedding. Checks may be made out to NHUMC.


        If you choose to have your reception at the church Fellowship Hall, please note that your wedding may not start later    than 4:00 P.M. The Fellowship Hall will seat 150 at the most. Please see the separate Facility Use Guidelines.

        You are responsible for planning the details of the reception with the Pastor. 
        The church does not furnish napkins, nuts, or mints. A representative group of church members will serve the reception.

        No alcoholic beverages may be served at receptions. No smoking is allowed on church property.

        If church linens are to be used, there is a $3.00 fee for each to cover the cost of cleaning.

        The bride and groom must provide the food. The church does not do meal preparation.

        Fees for a wedding reception are as follows:

Meal Type
Members Non-members
No meal or a simple dessert.
Meal with disposable plates, drinking cups, and utensils.
Catered meal using church’s plates, utensils, and glasses with church staff clearing plates.
$150 + $1.00 per plate
$175 + $1.00 per plate

All fees must be received by the church by the week prior to the wedding. Checks may be made out to NHUMC.

Link to Wedding Request Form

Link to Facility Use Guidelines

Link to Church Tour