Whether your planning a large wedding or small, East Congregational United Church of Christ (“East Church”) is the perfect place to celebrate your marriage with family and friends.

Whether your planning a large wedding or small, East Congregational United Church of Christ (“East Church”) is the perfect place to celebrate your marriage with family and friends.

Your wedding day is a significant and special day and a part of the sacred ministry of God’s church. The marriage ceremony is a celebration of covenant between two people and God. All weddings at East Church are performed within a service of worship and convey a sense of joy and love held in God’s care.

East Church offers a deep history in the Ottawa Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids and the look and feel of a lovely place of worship. You will find yourselves welcomed to our historical building by our warm and friendly staff. Your wedding at East Church will be held either in Klise Memorial Chapel or our traditional sanctuary.

One wedding will be scheduled on any given day. You will have the use of our bridal suites and a smaller space, if desired. A small kitchen is located nearby for light refreshments (no alcoholic beverages, please), should you choose to bring them. Season permitting, you may also use our courtyard for photographs. This space is lovingly maintained by church volunteers and offers a beautiful space for outdoor photographs.

The wedding spaces at East Church are accessible and the building includes an elevator. The courtyard is not wheelchair accessible.

East Church Sanctuary

Our sanctuary is the perfect site for your wedding, big or small. Its design is elegant, traditional, and inviting. You will find natural wood carvings, a rising arched ceiling, and beautiful stained glass windows designed in Chartres, France.

The sanctuary seats 400 guests on the main floor and can accommodate up to 120 more in the balcony. Processing down the center aisle toward the beautiful altar is an emotional experience for many couples.

Klise Chapel

Step into this beautiful space and feel yourself transported to Europe. And then, remember that you are still in West Michigan. People comment again and again: “I didn’t know a small wedding venue this beautiful existed in Grand Rapids.”

Gothic architecture, lovely stained glass, and an intimate setting make this chapel perfect for weddings of 70 guests or fewer. A small balcony houses a pipe organ and an upright piano is also available.

This space is scheduled early, so come for a tour and ask to see Klise Chapel—it really is a must-see!

Booking Your Date

When you are ready to reserve your date at East Church, contact the church office. Our office staff will provide you with a registration form and confirm availability.

A non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your date, along with the completed reservation form. A payment schedule will be set and detailed on your registration form, with your final payment due 30 days prior to your wedding. Early reservations are encouraged to assure availability of the church and grounds for the date and time desired.

Your reservation includes the facility for the day of your wedding and also for a rehearsal, usually scheduled the evening before the wedding.

Church Staff

If available, ministers affiliated with East Church may officiate at your wedding. Our ministers will meet with you a few times in advance of your wedding and direct the rehearsal. If you choose to bring an outside minister, they must contact our pastor 90 days prior to the wedding for approval.

The East Church organist/pianist is available to play for your wedding and must approve all music selections as well as any outside musicians participating in the service. Wonder what organ music sounds like at East Church? Click Here.

Once your wedding is scheduled, a wedding hostess will be assigned. She will assist you in arranging the details of your wedding. She will be present at the rehearsal and the wedding

2019 Wedding Fees

Sanctuary

$1,950

(Includes a $200 non-refundable deposit made at the time of reservation)

Chapel

$1,550

(Includes a $200 non-refundable deposit made at the time of reservation)

Candlelight Options

Aisle Candles

$35

(14 holders, holding 28 candles)

Chancel Candelabra

$25

(2 holding 7 candles each)

Fees include 1 hour for a rehearsal and up to 4 consecutive hours in advance of the ceremony on the day of the wedding. Additional time may be arranged at the rate of $50 per hour, if available. If additional time is not arranged and paid for in advance, East Church reserves the right to bill for any portion of 1 hour at the above rate.

Fees include an East Church minister to officiate, pre-wedding counseling and consultation, the services of an East Church musician, wedding hostess, and custodial services. If you choose, you may have an outside minister and/or musician, but the fees remain the same and all outside clergy and musicians must be approved at the discretion of the East Church pastor 90 days prior to your wedding date.

Your Wedding Hostess

East Church reserves the right to decline any wedding reservation requested within 30 days of the wedding date.

Once your wedding is confirmed on the church calendar and your deposit is received, you will be assigned an East Church wedding hostess. Your hostess will meet with you once prior to your wedding and be available to answer questions along the way. Please plan to contact her 90 days before your date.

Music Policies

  • All weddings held at East Church are performed within the order of a worship service and the music should be appropriate for such a service. The East Church musician will meet with you to aid in designing a service that will reflect your personal individuality and preserve the tradition of the church.
  • No pre-recorded music is allowed.
  • The organist/pianist is available to play for weddings, must consult in the selection of all music to be performed in the service, and must approve any additional musicians. Consider these questions when thinking about the music for your wedding service: Is the music consistent with what the Christian church teaches about marriage? Is the music appropriate for a worship service?

East Church Policies General

  • All wedding dates must coordinate with the church calendar and weddings are not conducted on Sundays or during Holy Week. Weddings over holiday weekends will be considered in relation to the church calendar. Only one wedding is scheduled on any given day.
  • Banners and other markings of the church year will remain in place. Couples may choose the current seasonal altar cloths, or white cloths specifically for weddings. Wedding rehearsals are scheduled for approximately one hour. The minister, musician(s), and wedding hostess will be present for the rehearsal.
  • No flash photography and no aisle photography is allowed after the processional. Personal cameras of any kind are not allowed during the worship service—which begins with the processional and ends with the benediction.
  • No exterior decorations are allowed.
  • Standard pew clips work well for attaching bows or flowers to the pews. No tape or other adhesives are allowed.
  • Arrangements must be made for the removal of all flowers and decorations immediately following the wedding service. The church cannot be responsible for items left after a wedding service.
  • The throwing of rice or birdseed inside or outside the church is not permitted. Dropping fresh flower petals during the processional is allowed.
  • The marriage license must be brought to the rehearsal, along with the printed names of those who will be signing the license as witnesses.
  • East Church is a smoke-free and drug-free environment, both in the building and on the grounds. The use of alcohol or non-prescription drugs is prohibited.
  • East Church will not accept responsibility for wedding gifts brought to the church.
  • It is expected that the building and its furnishings will be treated with respect and care. No furnishings may be moved without the permission of the wedding hostess. You will be held responsible for any damage to the church property or equipment caused by your wedding party or guests.

Upcoming Events

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News / Sermons

Check out the latest goings on at East Church!

Rev. Dr. David Wheeler

Take a seat every Sunday to hear grace and truth!