In our  classic, center aisle  Colonial New England Meetinghouse

Dewy Wedding

Your wedding should be as memorable as the reception afterward, so why not celebrate your historic event at an historic site? Why not in a beautiful meetinghouse immortalized in Cape Cod Life’s May 2013 edition (p.50)? CCLIfe

Our New England Meetinghouse, built in 1717, is one of the finest remaining examples of one of the dominant styles of church architecture of the colonial period. With its center aisle (terrific for weddings!), “pumpkin pine” pews, “sheep pens”, high pulpit, and three-sided balcony, together with its elegantly-simple clear windows and soaring wooden roof trusses, the Meetinghouse offers a spectacular and unforgettable setting for your special day. The Meetinghouse is also home to a magnificent pipe organ, manufactured and installed by Mander Organ Ltd. of London,England, in early 2005, which is available for use at your service.

The members of West Parish are delighted that you have decided to have your wedding here. The sanctuary — the 1717 West Parish Meetinghouse — comes with our blessings.

We are an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. In accordance with our Statement of Welcome, our meetinghouse is open for weddings to all persons, regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, or economic circumstance.


            Requests for weddings should reach the Pastor at least 30 days in advance of the proposed wedding date; to ensure couples will obtain the date desired, an advance notice of six months is preferred and recommended. Your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of your deposit (which is non-refundable).


Your wedding is a service of worship rooted in historic and traditional Christian rituals.  The ordained minister who will preside at your wedding will make available to you an outline of the wedding service as usually conducted, but will also encourage you to participate in creating a service that honors the past, is faithful to its Christian traditions, and expresses your own love, lives, and relationship. Other clergy may share in the ceremony, at the request of the couple, by permission of the minister.


The wedding service will be presided over by an ordained minister who may or may not be the pastor of West Parish of Barnstable. Once a date for the wedding is confirmed, you will be put in contact with the minister who will perform the service. You will meet prior to the wedding with the minister, as needed and as mutually agreed, to plan the wedding and to converse about the upcoming marriage.

By special arrangement, permission may be extended to an ordained clergyperson to co-officiate at the service.


Music enriches the wedding ceremony.  It is assumed the church organist/pianist will play at all weddings when organ or piano music is requested, unless other arrangements are approved by the minister and the Organist. Additional musicians may be contracted only with the prior approval of the Organist, who shall in all events have the final responsibility for the music at the wedding.  Music for additional musicians is to be provided by the couple in consultation with the organist and must be received two months prior to the wedding date.  Exception to this would be by agreement with the organist to   procure additional musicians for the wedding, and thereby notifying the wedding couple of the cost involved and to whom they should remit the payment  for such services.   Special requests for organ music must be submitted to the organist at least three months in advance of the wedding date. Otherwise, music  will be provided from the organist’s standard wedding repertoire. Requests  beyond the standard repertoire may result in additional cost.   A request to utilize the services of another organist or other musician for a wedding service in place of the organist of West Parish must be approved by the residing organist.  If approval is given for a substitute organist, the residing church organist will still receive her fee due to contractual arrangements made with the church which state that the organist will receive a salary and fees from weddings and funerals. This fee should be paid once the  arrangements are agreed upon for a substitute organist.     

The West Parish Handbell Choir is, on occasion, available to ring for weddings. Arrangements may be made through the Organist.

Music chosen for the wedding should be appropriate for a worship service — popular secular music should be reserved for the reception.


A wedding coordinator will be appointed by West Parish to answer any logistical questions you might have and to assist you at the wedding rehearsal and at the service itself to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. The cost in included in the fee for the use of the Meetinghouse.


To maintain the integrity of a religious ceremony (which is, after all, why you are getting married in a church), West Parish provides these guidelines for your photographers and videographers:

— During the processional and recessional, flash photographs may be taken from the intersection of the center aisle and cross-aisle;

—  During the ceremony, photographs may be taken only with available light, and from a place chosen by the bridal party and the minister; the photographer/videographer should try to be non-intrusive during the ceremony.

— Additional photographs may be staged after the ceremony.

We recognize that we are in an age where everyone has a cellphone and wants their own shot, but we hope that all will be so entranced by the beauty of the couple and the event that they will just be in the moment with you!


The church office has the name of people who can do professional flower displays, if you cannot find a florist.

If bows or flowers are used to decorate the pews, they must be attached with ribbon or string, or as arranged with the Sexton.  Wire and tape mar the finish.

If a wreath is desired for the door of the Meetinghouse: there is a hook on the outside of the door (where a wreath hung in the winter months will be visible to people entering the Meetinghouse); if a wreath is desired in warmer months, when the door will remain open, the florist will need to provide a hook to loop over the top of the door from which a wreath may be hung on the inside of the door, as there is no nail on the inside of the door.

Some couples incorporate a Unity Candle into their service. It symbolizes the joining of two families.  It should be supplied by the florist or the bride and groom.


The church will typically provide an order of worship (bulletin) for the guests. In the event you would like something different, you can do that.

The church bell may be rung at the conclusion of the wedding service.

Your guest book should be in place 40 minutes before the service so people can sign as they come in.  The desk in the entryway is a good place to put it.

No rice, confetti or birdseed may be used in the Meetinghouse or on the Church grounds. No alcoholic beverages may be served anywhere on the Church property or grounds.


Fees are detailed in the link at the bottom.


We hope to make your entrance into married life together a memorable, joyful, and spiritually significant occasion. This can be a stress-filled time for you — it is our hope to make your wedding something to be enjoyed, rather than simply endured.  We stand ready to listen and respond to your questions and concerns.

           May God bless you as you plan your wedding and life together!


Wedding Fees and Information Sheet


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