A wedding is one of the most joyous and holy moments in life. The covenant of marriage between two people and God is rightfully marked by a meaningful service of worship. As two Christian people join their lives together to establish a Christian home, the Church rejoices with them and is eager to help make the occasion of the wedding sacred, beautiful, and memorable. It is not necessary for a wedding to be elaborate to be beautiful. The true beauty of the service is found in the couple’s commitment to one another and to God.

The basis for Christian marriage is community and love of Christ. We invite active participation in the worship and ministry of the church. We encourage couples married at Shady Grove UMC to attend worship services on a regular basis and become involved in the life and ministry of the Church. If you are not currently a member of Shady Grove UMC we invite you to explore the possibilities of making Shady Grove UMC your church home.

In the happy excitement of planning a wedding, many questions as to details arise. The following procedures are given to help assist in the planning. Please contact the church office at 804-360-2600 if you have any additional questions.

Wedding Guidelines

Reservations and Officiating Information

The Sanctuary or Chapel should be reserved prior to the date and time the wedding is announced. This may be done by contacting Frank Basil at EMAIL or 804-360-2600 to check available dates.  It is desired that no weddings be scheduled during Holy Week or on Sundays. Because of the difficulties securing adequate help we discourage scheduling weddings or wedding rehearsals on the following days: New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. 

It is understood that church members will have priority in setting their dates and times. We encourage church members to contact us as soon as they know their date. You must pay a nonrefundable deposit of $100 made payable to Shady Grove UMC to reserve the church. Once the deposit is made the date is reserved.

After the wedding has been placed on the church calendar, the wedding coordinator will arrange a meeting with the couples in order to help them plan the details of the rehearsal and wedding. The wedding coordinator is required acting as a representative of the church and overseeing the use of the buildings. The Coordinator’s fee is listed on the fee schedule.

In addition to our wedding coordinator, the couple may use a mistress of ceremonies. The wedding coordinator and the mistress of ceremonies go over the details together and the mistress of ceremonies may direct the rehearsal and the wedding.

Our minister officiates weddings held at the church, and shall approve in advance other ministers who may assist in the wedding ceremony. Couples should meet with the minister at least once prior to the wedding.

The order of the service shall generally follow the approved ritual of the United Methodist Church. If a bulletin is to be used it should be approved by the minister.

The Minister of Music and Arts of Shady Grove UMC will provide appropriate music for all weddings in consultation with the wedding couple and will work with other musicians who may assist with the ceremony. A soloist can be recommended should the need arise. Please call to reserve the date with the Minister of Music and Arts once you have reserved your date with the church.


Our Sanctuary is a place of beauty and overly elaborate decorations are unnecessary. The following guidelines are given to preserve a worshipful atmosphere and to safeguard the furnishings:
  • All decorations shall be removed immediately following the service, unless alternative arrangements have been made with the wedding coordinator.
  • Decorations should not interfere with participants in the wedding or the clear view of the wedding guests. Flowers, palms, candelabra, etc. should be placed carefully as not to hide the altar. As in all church decorating, everything should be arranged so as to direct attention to the altar. Artificial arrangements should not be placed on the altar.
  • The furniture and floor must be fully protected at all times from moisture and candle wax. Potted palms or plants must be placed in containers to prevent damage.
  • No tacks, nails, tape or glue may be used to fasten any decorations to the furniture or buildings. Pew markers must be attached with ribbons only.
  • An aisle runner is not allowed. Our Sanctuary is carpeted and additional tracking may cause tripping Nothing can be placed at the edges of the aisle.
  • Petals for the aisle must be artificial.
The sanctuary custodians are required for clean up after the wedding. Custodial fees are listed on the fee schedule.

Other information you should know

  • The bride, groom and their attendants are welcome to use the Education Building for dressing before the ceremony. Please make arrangements with the wedding coordinator for this.
  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted on church property.
  • Throwing bird seed is allowed outside of the buildings. Rice may not be used.
  • Photographs and videos may be taken prior to and following the wedding ceremony. No flash photography by professionals or guests is allowed after the mothers are seated. Any photography and videography during the ceremony itself should be done as not to disrupt the service.
  • All fees and licenses are due in the church office two weeks prior to the wedding date. Please make checks payable to the individuals providing the services for your wedding.
  • The wedding party assumes all responsibility for the use and/or replacement of church property.
  • Shady Grove cannot be held liable for items lost, stolen, or damaged.

Our Wedding Staff

Rev. Chris McLain
Rev. Beanie Kelly

Minister of Music and Arts 
Rev. Sylvia N. Cooper

Wedding Coordinator
Laura Nuckols

Church Administrator
Frank Basil
EMAIL or call 804-360-2600
     to reserve a date