Scheduling Your Event at the Church
Part of our mission at First Congregational United Church of Christ, is to offer the use of the lovely spaces within our historical building to a larger community at a reasonable price. Centrally located in Downtown Portland's Cultural District, our church has, for many years, been an ideal location for events, including lectures, concerts, seminars, fund-raisers, luncheons, workshops, meetings, and forums. Rooms may be rented for one night, a series of nights, daytime gatherings, weekends, or regular weekly meetings.
We offer both profit and non-profit rates.
Weddings at First Congregational
First Congregational United Church of Christ, located in downtown Portland's romantic Park Blocks, is a lovely place for a wedding or commitment ceremony. The church, completed in 1891, was designed by Swiss architect Henry J. Hefty in the Venetian Gothic Style to resemble Boston's Old South Church. We are pleased that you are considering First Congregational UCC as a possible wedding site and hope this page will prove helpful in answering some questions you may have.
We welcome both members and non-members of the church to exchange vows of commitment at our church. If you are not a member of the church but are interested in becoming one, or would like more information about the church, please contact the church office at 503.228.7219 or by email at email@example.com.
Special requests from both partners are encouraged to personalize your ceremony. However, because First Congregational United Church of Christ looks upon the occasion of marriage as a service of worship, we require that one of our ministers officiate at all weddings to ensure their sacramental nature. A meeting to discuss your ceremony will be scheduled with our minister a month prior to your wedding.
Facilities, Costs, and Services
The cost for a wedding in the Sanctuary is $1,600. This fee includes the use of the building; the minister who will help you plan your ceremony and officiate at your wedding; the organist who will discuss musical selections with you prior to your wedding date and perform at your ceremony; the wedding coordinator who will assist you at both your rehearsal and on the day of your wedding to ensure that this special occasion runs smoothly; a professional soloist to lend a special quality to your ceremony; and a custodian to help with set up, clean up, and security. In addition, a one-hour rehearsal the night before your wedding will be scheduled for you. The cost also includes dressing rooms for both bride and groom, and two pewter candelabras are available, if desired.
The Chapel is used for smaller ceremonies (40 people or fewer). It has two rows of pews with a center aisle leading to a small chancel. Lovely rose-colored windows with Gothic arches adorn one wall. There is a small organ in the back of the room. It is charming in its modesty and ideal for those couples who desire a simple, intimate wedding.
The cost for a wedding in the Chapel is $800. This fee includes the use of the room; the minister who will help you plan your ceremony and officiate at your wedding; the organist who will play the Wedding March as the bride enters; the wedding coordinator who will assist you on the day of your wedding to ensure all runs smoothly; and a custodian to help with set up and clean up. A dressing room with make-up mirror is available to the bride prior to the ceremony.
Your Wedding Day
For those wishing to use the Sanctuary for their ceremony, the church will be available to you 2½ hours prior to your wedding for the arrival of the wedding party, photographs and decorating. The dressing rooms are available to the bride and her bridesmaids and to the groom and his groomsmen at this time, although as much preparation as possible is encouraged. Photographs are completed 30 minutes prior to your ceremony time. Flowers should be arranged off-site and brought to the church as early as possible during this time frame. Pew clips are required to secure arrangements of both bows and flowers to the pews. You will have another hour for your ceremony, signing of the marriage license/certificate, and clean up. All wedding decorations must be removed by a person appointed by the bridal couple.
The Chapel is available to the wedding party 1 hour prior to the ceremony to have flowers delivered, a few photographs taken, and for the arrival of the couple's guests. The wedding couple should plan on having only a simple floral arrangement for the altar delivered during this time. The bride will have access to a dressing room prior to the ceremony for minor "touch-ups," but both the bride and groom should be dressed and ready before they arrive at the church. You will have another hour for your ceremony, signing of the marriage license/certificate, and clean up.
Scheduling Your Wedding
To check on the availability of a desired date and time for your wedding, call our events coordinator, Jonathan Dyer at 503.228.7219, ext. 23. If you are unfamiliar with the church, you may make an appointment to view the Sanctuary or the Chapel and pre-ceremony accommodations during the week. If you are unavailable during the week, you may view the Sanctuary by joining us in Worship on Sunday morning; the service begins at 10:25 a.m.
Deposits and Payment
Once a date and time have been selected, you need to sign an agreement and pay a non-refundable deposit in order to reserve the date for your wedding.
The deposit required to hold a date in the Sanctuary is $450. Your wedding rehearsal will be scheduled at this time for the night prior to your ceremony. All members of the wedding party should participate. The deposit required to reserve the Chapel is $300. The balance for your wedding is due 2 full weeks prior to the date you have selected. The church does not take credit cards. Payments may be made in cash or by check.
Congratulations to you on this happy event. If you have any further questions, please contact our events coordinator, Jonathan Dyer at 503.228.7219, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.