“Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4–6)



The Royster Presbyterian Church shares in your excitement and happiness as you prepare for marriage. We join with you in hoping that your wedding service will be an inspiring opportunity to honor God and to celebrate the love you have for each other. We also join with you in your hope for a married life together that is harmonious, fulfilling, and joyful.

As a couple, you are beginning one of the most exciting adventures in your life. We at Royster Presbyterian Church want to help make this a memorable occasion for you, your families and your guests. The suggestions in this manual, and those you receive in conference with the minister and organist, will help your special day run smoothly.

The order of service we use stresses the Christian meaning of marriage as well as the beauty and dignity of this act of worship. Therefore, you will want to have a clear understanding of the customs and courtesies which should be observed to maintain a spiritual atmosphere. These include the ceremony, the music and the decorations.


It is important to clear the date and time of your wedding on the church calendar as soon as possible. (Note: Because a date appears clear on the calendar, does not mean that the date is available. Not all church activities appear on the public calendar). Please do this by contacting the minister and/or church office and completing a marriage request application. Weddings scheduled for the same day will not be scheduled closer than four hours apart. All weddings require advance scheduling preferably 3 months in advance, although requests for shorter notice will be considered.

who officiates?

The minister of Royster Presbyterian Church will warmly welcome a pastor of your choosing to officiate at the wedding service.

what’s the policy on a wedding license?

A wedding license must be brought to the wedding rehearsal. You can apply for your license at the Circuit Court, Norfolk, VA. There is no waiting period required and the license expires 60 days later.

when can rehearsal be held?

The rehearsal for the wedding service is ordinarily held on the evening before the wedding day at the location where the wedding will be held. The purpose of the rehearsal is to assure that the wedding will be dignified and meaningful, and that all participants will be fully acquainted with their duties. The time of the rehearsal should be set so that all participants can be present.

are there dressing facilities on site?

Dressing Rooms are available for the wedding party. It is expected that all personal items will be removed after the ceremony. The sexton is not responsible for personal items left by the bridal party.

how many people can the sanctuary hold?

The sanctuary has a seating capacity of 600. There is a center aisle with two side aisles. There are 48 pews on the ground floor and 10 in the balcony.

what are the limits on decorations?

A single arrangement of flowers in the rear of the chancel is preferred. Candelabra may be used on either side of the flowers on the table or extra (footed) candelabra may be used in front of the Chancel if desired. It is required that the florist use only high quality, drip-less candles. Flowers in the front entrance are acceptable. Because of previous adverse experiences, the scattering of fresh flower or artificial petals down the center aisle is not permitted. A silk flower arrangement owned by the Church is available for use, free of charge.

1. No furniture may be moved in the chancel area. This is due to the fact that a wedding is a worship service and the pulpit, communion table and baptismal font are the three main symbols of Presbyterian worship.

2. Nothing may be fastened to the walls, woodwork, or furnishings in the sanctuary or the fellowship hall.

3. Royster does not permit aisle tracking. A kneeling bench or candelabras are available for those who choose to use them.

4. If candles are used, drip-less candles or candles with inserts are required, and protective material will be placed under the candelabra to protect the carpet.

5. Rose pedals, rice, confetti, birdseed and other materials are not allowed inside the church building. Birdseed may be distributed outside the building.

6. Arrangements for the florist to decorate the sanctuary must be made in advance. The building will be opened two hours prior to the hour of the wedding unless special arrangements have been made.All decorations must be removed as soon as the wedding party and guests have left the church building.

how about music?

In the Christian church, marriage and the wedding service should be to the glory of God who sanctifies marriage. In this experience of worship and witness, care should be given to the selection of all instrumental and vocal music so that it be in keeping with the above. Our Book of Order says: “Such music as accompanies the ceremony should direct attention to God…and special care should be taken to assure that it is suitable and reverent”. Royster has professional vocalists available for your wedding or the Royster Director of Music or Organist can provide a list of musicians who provide music for weddings.

Music Selection – The Royster Pastor, Director of Music, or Organist must approve in advance all music selections to be used during the wedding service. One of the above will be available (at a mutually agreeable time) for consultation in selecting appropriate music for the service.

Organist – The Royster Organist/Pianist is available to provide music for your wedding. You should contact the organist to arrange a time to discuss music for the ceremony. The organist is available to rehearse with soloists at a mutually convenient time. A qualified guest organist may be invited to play, however the Royster Organist must approve the alternate (the guest organist must have experience on a pipe organ).

Who does the bulletin?

The Wedding Bulletin is the responsibility of the couple.

Who represents royster?

Royster’s Wedding Church Representative is the initial point of contact. The Royster’s Wedding Church Representative must be present at the rehearsal and the wedding. Rehearsal is under the supervision of the officiating Pastor.

what about the coordinator?

Each wedding needs a Wedding Coordinator to help with the organization of the rehearsal and wedding to ensure that the wedding proceeds smoothly and with elegance. It is essential that the wedding party have an advisor in the Narthex to direct the wedding party down the aisle in an orderly fashion. The party may choose a family member, friend or outside Wedding Coordinator. The Wedding Church Representative must also meet with the Wedding Coordinator.

What’s the word on photography?

The wedding ceremony is a service of worship. NO FLASH PICTURES ARE ALLOWED DURING THE WEDDING SERVICE. The photographer is required to remain inconspicuous until the end of the service. Videotaping will be permitted from the Narthex, the side of the Chancel, or from the balcony without the use of flash or external lighting. The Pastor should be informed in advance of the desire to videotape the ceremony, so that proper arrangements can be made. There are no restrictions on photography preceding or following the ceremony, or in the Fellowship Hall.

how about a rehearsal dinner or reception?

If the wedding party wishes to have their rehearsal dinner and/or the reception at Royster, the request needs to be indicated on the marriage request application. It is advised that they confer with the minister and/or church office to help make arrangements. Dinner and receptions may be held in the fellowship hall. Catering and clean-up of all food and beverages will be the responsibility of the wedding party. All food and beverages are to be restricted to the kitchen and fellowship hall. Beer and wine may be served at rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions, however no smoking in the building.

What are the fees?

Please call the church office, (757) 423-8536, for fee rates and to obtain an application. A $100 deposit is required when submit your application. The deposit fee will be applied toward future fees. The remainder of all fees are due three weeks prior to the wedding. Separate payment of fees to the Minister, Organist, Sexton and Wedding Church Representative are due at that time also.

Where’s the parking?

The church parking lot is located at the corner of Brackenridge and Newport Avenue. Royster Church is located in a residential area, therefore, we share the side streets (Sinclair and Brackenridge) with local residents. In the past, visitors have parked in locations such that they blocked the access of local neighbors. Therefore, it is requested that wedding parties and their guests use the available space along Newport Avenue or park in the large grassy lot north of the church.