Weddings and Commitment Ceremonies
As you plan your wedding day please consider First Parish in Waltham’s beautiful sanctuary for your ceremony.
If you’re dreaming of a “church wedding” but do not currently belong to a church, please talk to us. You do not need to embrace any specific faith – or any at all. We welcome all people regardless of belief or creed, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Whether you’re considering a traditional ceremony or have planned a unique celebration of your very own, we can help make your wishes a reality.
Visit our Wedding Wire page to see photo albums and reviews.
We offer our Sanctuary, Chapel, Parish Hall, and meeting spaces for rental.
Access for decorating must be included within the allotted time. If additional time for substantial decorating is required, advance arrangements with the Office Manager will need to be negotiated regarding scheduling and fees.
Time for a rehearsal is included in the rental fee – please arrange for the rehearsal to occur within a week of the ceremony.
Only the spaces agreed to in the contract may be used by the wedding party. Wedding fees do not cover the rental of the entire church building. Other activities may be taking place concurrently.
Finding a Celebrant
Our minister is available for officiating at weddings as her schedule permits, for both members and non-members. If she is not available, she can suggest names of other officiants who have previously performed weddings at First Parish in Waltham. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee an available officiant – although we will make every effort to assist you. If you are using our church, but have an officiant other than one of our ministers, that officiant must receive permission from our minister to perform the ceremony.
Please note that if the officiant is an out-of-state member of the clergy, s/he must obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Public Records Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony. It is recommended that such an application be made well in advance of the wedding date.
It is possible for a non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a relative or family friend) to obtain special one-time permission to perform a marriage. See the Governor’s Appointment Office for details.
The celebrant’s fee is determined by the officiating minister and paid directly to her/him at the time of the rehearsal.
Music For Your Ceremony
Our Music Director, Emma Campbell, is able to make arrangements to provide you with music, or you are welcome to hire your own musicians. Please contact Emma directly to make arrangements prior to completing the wedding application. First Parish has a beautiful Hook & Hastings pipe organ and a grand piano. The fee ($200) includes a music consultation and playing at the ceremony. If the organist is required at a rehearsal for the ceremony, there is an additional fee. When a soloist is involved, rehearsal arrangements and fees are negotiated with the accompanist. Payment for these services should be made directly to the musicians at the time of the rehearsal.
Obtaining a marriage license is the responsibility of the wedding couple. You may apply for a license at any Town/City Hall in the state. In Waltham, applications are made at the City Clerk’s Office in the City Hall. There is a 3-day waiting period between making the application and the time you can pick up your license. You must bring your license with you at the time of the wedding rehearsal or make other acceptable arrangements with the officiant. The officiant will complete the license and return it to the appropriate officials.
To begin the process, please contact us to check available dates or arrange a visit to see the space. All requests to reserve dates and space for the wedding, rehearsal, and reception must be made through the Office Manager. Once you have provisionally reserved a date, you have two weeks to complete and return the rental application to First Parish in Waltham before your chosen date can be offered to another renter.