The Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton

Rev. Brandon Thomas Crowley, MDiv, STM | Senior Pastor
Rev. Howard Haywood | Pastor Emeritus

21 Curve Street West Newton, MA 02465 | 617.332.5870


Marriage & Wedding Guidelines

So, we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16-17)

As you consider the possibility of celebrating your marriage at Myrtle Baptist Church, these guidelines will provide some detail regarding weddings in the Church. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 617.332.5870.

PART I:  Confirming the Church for your wedding

Before any other arrangements can be made, please call the Administrative Office at 617.332.5870 to re-serve a tentative date for your wedding. You may schedule your wedding for a Friday evening, a Saturday morning, or a Saturday afternoon until 3:00 pm, or a Sunday afternoon after 4pm until 7pm.  If you wish a weekday wedding, you may arrange for this with the Church Administrator, pending availability of the Church as well as the Pastor. On days multiple weddings are scheduled, there will be an interval of one and one half hours between them. Once a tentative date has been reserved, you will need to do the following:

  1. IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED, ACTIVE MEMBER OF MYRTLE, you should contact the Administrative Office prior to arranging any of the other details of your wedding. The initial meeting will enable the Administrator to outline the requirements of marriage preparation, as well as specific details for weddings at Myrtle Baptist Church. This meeting will also allow you to clarify any questions you may have regarding the requirements.
    1. The date will be held once the Pastor has confirmed.  The couple will need to attend 2 logistical meetings in addition to their marriage preparation sessions:  one for the planning of music and service order, and the other to review general protocol, including the method and order of the entrance procession, the liturgy, the unity candle, the sharing of communion, and any other protocol items with the Church Administrator, Minister of Spiritual Formation, and Pastor.
    2. Persons who wish to have their wedding ceremony at Myrtle Baptist who are not members of the church are required to give a $750.00 donation along with a $250.00 refund-able deposit to the church. Prior to receiving the donation, no dates will be confirmed. This is suggested as the minimum offering for use of the Church, and is not intended to limit your generosity.  Please complete and return the contract and all required forms with your check to Myrtle Baptist Church, 21 Curve Street, West Newton, Massachusetts, 02465 by the due date provided on the contract.  No date is considered final until all of the above is received by the Administrative Office. If the officiate of the ceremony is not a member of the Myrtle Ministerial team, He or She must contact the Senior Pastor before the date(s) are confirmed.  Note well: The event hosts will be held liable for any damages of the church property.

PART II:  Preparing for your marriage

In accordance with the marriage preparation tradition established and practiced by the Baptist tradition, you will need to complete the following:

  1. Preliminary assessment of readiness for marriage with the Pastor;
  2. Participation in at least one professional marriage preparation program;
  3. Completion of the necessary forms for our Church records, including copies of baptismal certificates;
  4. Planning the ceremony with the assistance of the “Minister of…”, Minister of Music, and the Church Administrator; and Pastor
  5. Notification of the Administrative Office as soon as possible if the clergy who is to perform your marriage serves outside of the Christian tradition.

PART III:  Planning your Ceremony

Your wedding celebration must follow the directives of the Church; however, you will have options with-in those directives from which you can personalize your wedding. In approaching the planning sessions, be mindful of the following:

  1. If both bride and groom are practicing Christians, you are encouraged to celebrate your wedding within a Christian framework.  If one of you is not Christian, it may be more appropriate to celebrate the wedding ceremony within a service of interfaith Scripture readings and prayers which would enable all of your guests to fully participate.
  2. The church sanctuary can accommodate wedding parties, including the bride, groom, and attendants, of up to 250 people.  Additional attendants may be invited; however, they will be required to sit in the Agape Room.
  3. The Pastor will only be present for 30 minutes during the rehearsal. The Pastor will only review the details of the wedding liturgy with the wedding coordinator and the couple on the day of the rehearsal. All processional, recessional, and ceremonial positioning rehearsals will take place in the absence of the pastor.


  1. All music for your wedding (as necessary) will be arranged at a meeting with the Director of Mu-sic. You may contact the Administrative Office to set up a meeting in order to discuss musical selections for your wedding along with the compensation for the Director of Music. This should be done five to six months prior to the date of your wedding.
  2. Only music integral to the wedding liturgy and appropriate to the sacredness of the celebration is permitted.
  3. You may enlist the services of a musician outside the church.  However, you must review all music selections with the Church Administrator.
  4. Arrangements for visiting vocalists and instrumentalists should be discussed with the Church Administrator during one of the planning meetings, mentioned above.
  5. All fees and stipends relating to music provided by the Myrtle Music ministry will be arranged through the Church Administrator. All outside musicians are to be paid by the host.


  1. Photographers are allowed to enter and photograph the sanctuary.
  2. Flashes and camera lights are allowed to be used during the ceremony; however flashes and camera lights should not interfere with the ministrations of the Pastor and/or visiting clergy.
  3. Videographers are requested to remain stationary during the ceremony, unless previously approved with the Pastor.
  4. With permission, posed photographs may be taken for up to forty-five minutes following the ceremony.  Weather permitting, posed pictures may be taken outside on the grounds of the church.


  1. A candelabra in the sanctuary or candles down the aisle are permitted, provided there is previous approval and necessary precautions to prevent an emergency.
  2. ONLY fresh cut flowers and live plants are permitted in the sanctuary. Flowers used to decorate the sanctuary and altar should remain in the church following the ceremony.  Ribbons or tulle may be used to decorate/mark pews.
  3. The length of the main aisle is _X_ feet.  If you wish to use an aisle runner, it must be of a noble material and the florist or a person designated by you is responsible for removing it immediately after the ceremony.
  4. All decorations should be removed from the premises within two hours of the conclusion of the ceremony.
  5. The moving of the pulpit furniture and communion table is prohibited unless otherwise authorized by the pastor.


  1. No gum, food, or drink of any type is allowed in the church or on its grounds.
  2. Bottled water is allowed in the bride’s room, groom’s room, and other changing rooms, as well as in the Agape Room, but not in the body of the sanctuary.
  3. Appropriate dress for rehearsal and wedding is required. This will be reviewed by the “Minister of…” preparing your wedding and the Church Administrator.
  4. The Church Administrator, on behalf of the Myrtle Baptist Church, and the officiating clergy, assume the responsibility for maintaining the sacred nature of the church, directing the entrance procession, and ensuring that the ceremony begins and ends on time.
  5. For insurance reasons, we do not allow rice, birdseed, flower petals, or any other item to be thrown in the church or on the grounds of the church.


All other matters concerning the rental and usage of the building for reception etc, will be negotiated by the trustees by way of the Administrator.

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