fonthill united church, niagara, pelham, ontario
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Fonthill United Church

42 Church Hill, Fonthill, Ontario L0S 1E0  -  905.892.6433  -



wedding at fonthill unitedWelcome
We welcome those who want to celebrate their marriage in the context of Christian worship at Fonthill United Church.  You do not have to be a member of our congregation to be married here.  We welcome those of other religious backgrounds or of none, and those who may have been married before, to celebrate their marriage in our sanctuary.  The purpose of this page is to help you with your planning by providing information about our wedding customs.



When you come into the church sanctuary, you get the feeling that you are in a sacred place.  The church was built in 1937 and was renovated in 1991, so it combines the old and the new.  The sanctuary can seat up to 300 people, mostly in classic wooden pews or padded fabric chairs.  On each side there is a series of stained glass windows. The church features a long centre aisle, but the chancel (front) is bathed in natural light. The church is located on the south side of Highway 20 at the top of Fonthill, at the intersection of Canboro Road.  There is parking in the church parking lot and additional parking is available on adjacent side streets. 


Initial Interview
Once you are ready to set the date of the wedding, the first step is to arrange for an interview with the minister, Garry van Bruchem.  The interview has three parts.  First the minister will ask you about your situation in life, your relationship to each other, your hopes and plans for the future, family support and religious commitment.  In the second part, he interprets the wedding service, and in the third part practical arrangements are made.  This is all part of the preparation and may take more than one appointment.  To arrange for an interview, please contact the church office on a weekday morning at (905) 892-6433.  To avoid disappointment, this should be done early in the planning stage. 


Marriage Preparation
Although we do not require it, we recommend that couples attend a marriage preparation event.


Music is normally provided by the church’s organist on the pipe organ, however a piano is also available. Since the marriage service takes place in the context of Christian Worship, the music selected should be appropriate for the occasion.   Arrangements for music should be made through Bill Outred.  You may contact him through the church office.


new  years weddingRehearsal
In all but very small weddings, a rehearsal is recommended and normally takes place on the evening prior to the wedding.  People in attendance should include the entire wedding party, ushers, parents of the bride and groom (where applicable), flower girl, ring bearer, etc.  Children participating in the service should be at least 8 years old.


Minister conducting the service
Garry van Bruchem is the minister who normally performs marriage services at Fonthill United Church, however if your marriage date occurs when Garry is on vacation, arrangements will be made to have another minister conduct the service.  Requests to have your own minister conduct the service will not normally be granted.


Marriage Licence
A marriage licence is required and is available from most City Halls in the Region.  In St. Catharines, City Hall is located at 50 Church Street and marriage licences are issued from the Clerk’s Department on the Third Floor from 8:30-4:00.  In Welland, City Hall is located at 60 East Main Street.  The Clerk’s Department is on the main floor and marriage licences are issued from 8:30-4:00.  In either place, the cost is $125 and is expected in cash.  Be sure to bring a birth certificate or passport, as well as photo identification.  The marriage licence is valid for three months from the date of purchase.  It should be brought to the church no later than two weeks prior to the wedding.


Flowers may be brought to the church at the rehearsal, or immediately prior to the wedding.


Guests may take pictures before and after the service.  A professional photographer may take some pictures during the ceremony if it is done discreetly, without flash.  A video camera may be set up, but not moved during the service.  Your wedding is a sacred occasion, and we do not want to see the solemnity of the service spoiled by the commotion of taking pictures.  After the service, the wedding party may come back to the sanctuary to pose for additional pictures.


Please - No Confetti
Ask your friends not to throw confetti in or around the church.  This takes a lot of time to clean up, and results in an extra charge.  Birdseed, however, may be used outdoors.


The Government of Ontario Marriage Act requires that no wedding will be performed where alcohol has been consumed or is being served prior to the wedding.


Weddings outside of the church
The minister may be available to conduct marriages outside of the church.  In such cases, couples should make their own arrangements for music and the only fee is for the minister.  When travel distances are significant, the fee should be increased accordingly. 


Only the Beginning
We hope that the experience of being married at Fonthill United Church will be positive, and that it will mark the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the church.  Having a church home can be the source of spiritual strength for married life and we would like to welcome you at Fonthill United Church.  If you are looking for a church home to help unite you in God's love, we invite you to join this congregation.  Our worship services are normally on Sundays at 9:30 am.


The total cost of a wedding at Fonthill United Church is $625 and is broken down as follows:

Church Building: $200    Fonthill United Church (waived for supporting members)
Minister’s honorarium   $200    Garry van Bruchem
Organist   $150    Bill Outred
Custodian $75      Leslie Hoffman

A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required to reserve your wedding date and it should be brought to the initial interview.  The balance of payment is to be made in cash, in separate envelopes for the minister, organist and custodian, and brought to the rehearsal.


Small Wedding Fee:
For a small wedding with fewer than 20 people and no music or rehearsal, the fee is $200.


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Fonthill United Church
PO Box 926,
Fonthill, Ontario L0S 1E0

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