This policy provides basic information about the use of the Mother's Day Shrine, our schedule of wedding times , and important guidelines to assist you in planning your weddings at the Foundation. If you wish to check the availability of a date and time, please call the Foundation office and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members or leave a voice mail and your call will be returned promptly.
Who May Be Married at The International Mother's Day Shrine
Anyone may use the Mother's Day Shrine as your wedding site irrespective of race, creed, or National Origin. See the Authorized Ceremony Section for more details.
Reserving a Date and Time
The Foundation accepts reservations one year in advance, by the month. Reservations are taken on the first business day of each month for all weddings in that month of the following year. Reservations made on this day are by telephone only on a first-call, first-reserved basis.
If you wish to check the availability of a date and time for months that are already open, please contact the Foundation office.
When the Shrine May Be Used
Our wedding schedule has been designed to allow as many couples as possible to hold their ceremonies in this magnificent historic building. Weddings are reserved according to a pre-set schedule on Fridays, Saturday's and (Sunday's on a limited basis) Call the Foundation office for details on Sunday Ceremonies. Couples have access to the Shrine one hour before the scheduled time of the wedding, and one hour is allocated for the ceremony and photographs. Each wedding has a one hour rehearsal time assigned to it on the day prior to the wedding.
The building is opened to the general public during all business hours and will not be limited from entering the building. The auditorium, Jarvis Memorial Room, and the parlor will be off limits to the public during reserved times.
The times available for weddings are as follows:
- 7:30 p.m.
- 6:00 p.m.
- 6:30 p.m.
- 2:00 p.m.
- 1:00 p.m.
- 5:00 p.m.
- 4:30 p.m.
- 2:45 p.m.
- 6:30 p.m.
The fee for the use of the Foundation is $300.00. The fee is due approximately 30 days after the reservation is made. Payments are accepted by check or money order. In addition, a security of $100.00 is due when payment for the building is made. This security deposit will be returned within 30 days of the wedding provided that no damages occur during the time of your wedding.
The reservation fee includes use of the building for your designated wedding time and a one hour rehearsal scheduled on the day prior to your wedding and one hour after the wedding. Please consult the specific wedding times . The services of a Foundation Organist are not included with the cost of the Foundation. The organist MUST be classically trained in the use of a Pipe Organ. We offer a list of Organist who may be used for your wedding.
Cancellations and Rescheduling
Postponement of weddings is not permitted. If the wedding couple wishes to change a confirmed wedding date, they must select a new date from available dates and times for months that are already open. All requests to reschedule weddings must be submitted in writing. Requests for a change of date received less than 180 days prior to the scheduled wedding date will be charged a $100.00 service fee. If no agreeable new date is available, it may be necessary to cancel.
Cancellations must be submitted in writing.
- Cancellations received more than 180 days prior to the wedding date will be refunded $100.00.
- Cancellations received less than 180 days prior to the wedding date will result in a forfeiture of all fees by the wedding couple.
Written wedding cancellations are accepted by fax or mail. Faxed cancellations must be received in the Foundation Office by 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Mailed cancellations must be postmarked by the final date of refund eligibility.
The ceremony must be performed by an authorized religious or civil officer. Since the Foundation has no religious affiliation, no members of the clergy are affiliated with the Foundation. Clergy of all religious denominations recognized by the State of West Virginia or any other State of the United States of America, are welcome, as well as civil officiates.
Foundation Staff and Guidelines
A member of the Foundation staff is present at both the rehearsal and the wedding. The members of our staff are knowledgeable and experienced in wedding procedures and policy. We ask that you understand the constraints that the Foundation's busy schedule entails. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Our goal is to make the Shrine as accessible as possible, and to assure the most positive and pleasantly memorable experience for everyone using the Foundation. Our guidelines are based on past experience and designed to protect the Foundation structure and to assure an equitable situation for all who schedule weddings at the Foundation.
The following floral decoration guidelines are based on past experience and designed to protect the Foundation structure and to assure an equitable situation for all who schedule weddings at the Foundation.
All decorations which are brought in for a wedding must be removed at the end of the ceremony. The limited time for placement and removal of decorations requires that they remain simple. The florist has access to the Foundation one hour prior to the scheduled ceremony time. Please keep in mind that the arrival and seating of guests uses this same time. The florist must provide sufficient staff for the placement and removal of decorations within the allotted access and departure times.
You or your florist may provide the following decorations:
- Altar flowers
- Either one (1) arrangement in the center, or a total of two (2), one on each end of the altar.
- Maximum of four (4) ferns in the chancel area.
- 2 or 4 floor candelabra in the chancel area (a 3x4 foot floor covering must be used under each). Mechanical candles are preferred.
- Unity Candle
- You are responsible for providing the unity candle and holder along with the two side candles. The Unity candle should be 2 to 3 inches in diameter. The use of oil-based unity candles is not permitted.
- Bows on pew ends
- Flowers may be incorporated in the bows. The bows must be attached with ribbons, rubber bands or elasticized thread; no wire, tape, tacks, or other adhesives may be used. Arrangements on metal or plastic clips may be used provided the clips are wrapped. There is seating for approximately 350 people.
- Aisle Runner
- Should be at least 50 feet in length. The aisle runner and tape required to attach it to the floor at the base of the chancel steps must be provided by the florist or wedding couple.
- May be distributed from the desk in the entry hall. It is essential that all boutonnieres and corsages are clearly labeled, and that the florist or a family member be present to identify the recipients.
The following photography guidelines are based on past experience and designed to preserve the dignity of the occasion and minimize distractions for the guests.
Before the Ceremony
Flash photos of the groom, groomsmen, and parents may be taken in the Shrine or on the Shrine grounds.
Flash photos of the bride, bridesmaids, and parents may be taken in the bride's dressing room.
During the Ceremony
Flash photos of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding party during the processional may be taken from the midpoint of the center aisle.
Non-flash photos may be taken from the interior of the narthex any time during the ceremony and must be used for the exchange of the vows and rings.
Flash photos may be taken from the base of the alter for any of the following:
- lighting of the unity candle
- sign of peace
- greeting of parents
- tribute to the blessed mother
- breaking of the glass
After the Ceremony
The one hour scheduled for the ceremony should allow time for posed photographs of the bridal party after the ceremony. Please note: A delay in the scheduled start time and/or a particularly lengthy ceremony will reduce the amount of time available for photography. Our goal is to work with the photographer and wedding couple to allow the maximum amount of time available for photos
The scheduled departure time must be adhered to in order to facilitate access and preparation for the next wedding.
The following videography guidelines are based on past experience and designed to preserve the dignity of the occasion and minimize distractions for the guests.
Before the Ceremony
- Videotaping of the groom, groomsmen, and parents may be taken in the Foundation on Foundation grounds.
- Videotaping of the bride, bridesmaids, and parents may be taken in the Bride's dressing room.
- Auxiliary lighting may be used prior to, but not during the ceremony except where noted.
During the Ceremony
- Videotaping of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding party during the processional may be taken from the midpoint of the center aisle
- Videotaping may be done from the interior of the Foundation any time during the ceremony. Auxiliary lighting may not be used from these locations. We also ask that video cameras remain stationary once the ceremony has begun.
After the Ceremony
- The one hour scheduled after the ceremony should allow time for posed photographs of the bridal party after the ceremony. Please note: A delay in the scheduled start time and/or a particularly lengthy ceremony will reduce the amount of time available for Videotaping. You may move around and use auxiliary lighting at this time if you wish.
- The scheduled departure time must be adhered to in order to facilitate access and preparation for the next wedding.
Your wedding music will be performed by the Organist of your choice provided that they are classically trained in the use of a Pipe Organ. Vocalists and instrumentalists are welcome to perform at ceremonies in the building.
The organist will be present at your wedding rehearsal to rehearse with vocal or instrumental soloists, play your chosen processional and recessional marches and finalize placement of all incidental music (organ solos and interludes, vocal and/or instrumental selections) needed during your ceremony.
On the day of the wedding, the organist plays a 15-minute organ prelude prior to the entrance of the wedding party. He or she will play the processional march, as well as any music you have requested during the ceremony itself. At the conclusion of your ceremony, the organist will play your recessional march and a short postlude as your guests begin to leave the building.
The organ is used for all processional and recessional marches. Wedding couples must select their processional of their choice. A trumpet may be used with some, but not all, of the processional and recessional marches. The trumpeter should attend the wedding rehearsal.
Prelude and Postlude Music
The organist will select this music choosing from a wide variety of fine organ music. Wedding couples are permitted to use violin, flute, or other chamber instruments either with or without the organ as part of the prelude music.
Vocal or instrumental soloists are welcome at the Shrine. If a soloist is desired, the wedding couple must make all the arrangements. Due to the time constraints at the wedding and rehearsal, a maximum of three solos is suggested. Soloist requiring organ accompaniment must attend the wedding rehearsal.
It is suggested that the music during wedding ceremony be sacred or liturgical. The soloist should provide sheet music to the organist for all selections that they are requested to play. Upon request, a microphone is available.
Music during Ceremony
The number of musical selections during the mass must be limited for the sake of time. This is especially true if you want photography after the service. Congregational responses are usually spoken rather than sung. As mentioned above, the organ is always used for the processional and recessional marches.
If there is some special musical requirement for a wedding not covered in this document, please contact the Foundation office.