Over the past few decades, fewer and fewer people in the US have been marrying in churches. The religious ceremony is increasingly being substituted for weddings in hotels, banquet halls, and wineries. But unlike these other locations, churches do more for a wedding ceremony than simply being a venue.
When you have a wedding in a church, you add a spiritual layer to your marriage that makes the vows and promises more special and meaningful. On top of providing this unique dimension to your wedding, churches also feature incomparable beauty in their architecture and design by way of elements like the steeple, apses, and stained glass windows.
When people plan weddings in a church, it becomes as much the church staff’s responsibility to make sure everything is right as it is the actual family’s. As the church staff, hosting a wedding at your church is a wonderful experience but one that requires hard work and planning. Here are some precautions to take for a safer, happier church wedding ceremony.
Appoint a Church Representative
It’s always a good idea to have a church representative present at the wedding, to make sure the building is being used appropriately by the guests. The representative can also oversee aspects like opening the building and locking it up after the ceremony, tending to the wedding reception, extinguishing all candles, and taking more safety-related steps.
Your church representative, can also ensure proper staffing is in place to manage the influx of people. This can include having parking attendants to keep the flow of vehicles moving, and needed security to protect people and property.
Create a Contract
If you have certain restrictions, you’d like to keep in place at the sanctuary during the wedding, like mandating masks or keeping liquor out, drafting a contract that outlines all terms and conditions is a great idea. Setting boundaries is not only necessary for the safety of the guests, but it also helps protect your church against liability claims. Every day, at least 28 people in the US die in drunk-driving-related car crashes. If such an incident occurs as a result of your church serving liquor at the venue, your organization could be held responsible.
We recommend requiring the bride and groom to provide you with an event insurance coverage, that names your church as an additional insured. In addition, any outside vendors who will be working on the church grounds, needs to also be required to have the required insurance in place. It is vital these policies name your church as an additional insurance, and ensure their workers’ compensation insurance company waivers their rights to subrogation. Typical insurance limits are $1,000,000 each occurance and $2,000,000 aggregate limit.
Remove Trip Hazards
When people are too engrossed in the wedding ceremony itself, they might not pay attention to things that can make them trip or slip. Especially because your guests aren’t the ones who are familiar with the building’s layout, it’s your duty to make the space free of elements that might cause someone to fall and injure themselves. Some safety measures you can take are: removing extension cords from walkways, marking all elevations, steps, and ramps, repairing broken steps, and applying non-slip treatments to the flooring.
Planning a safe religious wedding ceremony, will help the newlyweds and other guests have a safe and memorable celebration. It’ll also protect your church building from needing expensive repairs afterward or your organization from having to deal with a lawsuit.
Just the candles alone pose a great fire safety risk to your church property. Entire churches have burned down, as a result of lit candles not being extinguished in a timely manner. Since there’s a possibility that your church building will become damaged after a wedding or a guest may get hurt due to negligence on your part, it’s best to have church property insurance and liability coverage beforehand. Talk with one of our church insurance specialist and see how we can protect your organization. Contact us at Integrity Now Insurance to be connected to a church insurance company now.