Weddings in the First Parish are offered to all members and active participants in the life of the church, and to their families. Services for others may be accommodated at the discretion of the Ministers and as the schedule of the Ministers and the Church permits.

All requests for calendar dates to reserve the Sanctuary, the Stearns Room, and/or the Parish House Auditorium for the service and/or reception must be made through the Church office at least two months in advance. Once the date is reserved availability of the First Parish minister will be obtained by the parish administrator. If working with the First Parish Minister, the wedding couple will meet with the minister two or three times, as needed to plan the ceremony.

Please note that the legal occupancy of the Sanctuary is 197 people, including all clergy and staff. Additional chairs cannot be set up in aisles or pew boxes. If you feel attendance will exceed 197, you must also reserve the Stearns Room for overflow seating where the service will be broadcast. Comfortable seated occupancy in the Stearns Room is approximately 50. If you anticipate more than a total of 250 attendees, First Parish may not be able to comfortably accommodate your event.

While use of the space for a wedding rehearsal is included, the rehearsal must last no longer than one hour. If time exceeds one hour, as additional fee will be due to any First Parish personnel who are required for the rehearsal (e.g. sexton, organist)

Weddings are conducted by a Minister of the First Parish in Lincoln. If you wish to have a Guest Minister lead the service, please contact the First Parish Minister to discuss the possibility. If approval is given for a guest minister, the order of service must name the minister, list their denomination, and identify them as a guest in the First Parish pulpit.

Music for weddings can be provided by the church’s organist, if they are available, or by a musician of your choice. If you are using the services of another organist, they must have a consultation with the church’s organist otherwise use of the church’s organ will not be permitted. The church’s organist will be paid a bench fee if on-site instruction on the use of the church’s organ is required.

The services of the church sexton are required. The sexton will be responsible for opening the space before the service, monitoring facility related needs during the service, and clean-up following the service. A minimum payment will be required according to the fee schedule and will cover up to four hours for the rehearsal and ceremony. There will be a fee for any additional hours or part of an hour. If a service is held on Sunday or state observed holiday, the sexton fee will be one and one-half times the normal fee.

Per Lincoln Town, if anticipated attendance at an event using any Church facility is expected to exceed fifty (50) people, the Lincoln Police Department must be notified, and a police officer hired for traffic and safety control as deemed necessary. Please have the officer arrive at least one hour before the start of the service.

Photographs during the service are permissible, preferable without the use of a flash. It is important to note that the aisles are narrow and space on the platform below the pulpit, where the wedding party will be, is limited – so the photographer should be asked to be as discreetly “invisible” as possible ad to avoid blocking the aisles and sight during the service. If so desired, the wedding party may make arrangements through the church office to pose for pictures in the church prior or after the service.

Wedding invitations should designate the church as “The First Parish in Lincoln”. As there is no street number assigned to the church, it may be identified as “at the corner of Sandy Pond and Bedford Road” (do not use 14 Bedford Road as that will take the guests to the wrong building)

If you would like to hold a reception at the First Parish, please contact the Parish Administrator to check availability and review the church’s Food and Bartender Policies.


The use of flowers to decorate the sanctuary is permitter, the flat surface next to the pews flanking the pulpit being the usual location for arrangements. Since the communion table is removed for the ceremony, it is not available for any floral display.

If you wish to leave flowers for our use on Sunday, please consult the chair of the flower committee well in advance of the wedding. Please contact the church office to request the chair’s name and number. Since the schedule for Sunday flowers is prepared weeks in advance, it is possible that your offer may have to be declined. However, we are delighted and indeed grateful for your thoughtfulness.

The use of candles is permitted within strict guidelines. Two standing candelabras are available, and their placement must be coordinated with the sexton. The user is responsible for providing the candles, and pf r lighting, extinguishing, and removing them after the service. Only “dripless”, ecclesiastical candles are permitted, and they may be obtained from any church supply retailer. Use #4 candles 13-5/8” long, with self-fitting ends. Twelve candles are required for the candelabra.

Decorations of any kind are not permitted on the raised platform in front of the pulpit so that the wedding party may be safely accommodated in the space available.

Thumb tacks, nails, or adhesives of any kind may not be used on decorating the space, either inside or out.

Please designate a family member or friend to handle the removal of all decorations immediately after the ceremony. If decorations remain, there may be an additional fee for their removal and disposal. First Parish is not responsible for any decorations left at the church following the service.


All events of 25 people or more and all events involving the service of food require the services of the church’s Sexton, and a minimum fee will be charged according to the fee schedule. The number of people will include the entire wedding party and all guests. The sexton fees for receptions is in addition to the minimum fee for the wedding rehearsal and ceremony. On observed staff holidays and Sundays, the Sexton will receive one and one-half times the normal fee. The Sexton’s duties will include pre-event furniture set-up, monitoring during the event, and break down and clean up following the event. For billing, their time will start when the first person connected to your event arrives on site, and end when all the cleaning is completed, and the building(s) secured.

The individuals securing the facilities for any event, are responsible for the behavior of all attendees, and for ensuring that only the room(s) reserved are used during the event.

If anticipated attendance at an event at any facility is expected to exceed fifty (50) people, or if permission has been granted to serve alcoholic beverages, the user must contact the Lincoln Police Department (781-259-8113) and request a detail officer be assigned to the event. There will be a minimum charge of four hours for the detail at a rate determined by the Police Department and you will be invoiced directly by the town for this service. Once you have arranged for a police detail, please notify the Parish Administrator.

Repair of any damage to property as determined by The First Parish shall be charged to the individual or organization named on the rental application. This will include damage to walls sustained by the use of thumbtacks, nails, and tape for attaching decoration.

Prior approval of the Parish Committee must be requested, in writing, for the service of wine, sherry, champagne and/or beer in conjunction with any event, and all must be served by licensed and insured personnel. No other alcoholic beverages are permitted. If you would like to request permission to serve wine, sherry, champagne and/or beer, please carefully review the enclosed First Parish Bartending Policies, and send a letter requesting approval to the Executive Committee, First Parish in Lincoln, P.O. Box 6218, Lincoln, MA 01773-6218, or via e-mail to Allow three weeks for the committee to review your request.

If you plan to serve food or beverages at your event, please carefully review the enclosed Catering and Food Service Policies, which include the Board of Health requirements for caterers. All requirements outlined in the policies must be met before the service of food at your event will be considered for approval by either The First Parish or the Board of Health.

Smoking is absolutely prohibited within any building. Anyone smoking outside the building is responsible for appropriate disposal of all smoking material.

All evening events must end by 11 p.m. and the building must be cleared of all attendees as soon as possible.

All trash generated must be taken away by the user immediately following the event. Please designate a person who will be responsible for removing all rubbish and ensure that they check out with the sexton prior to departure.

Unless additional hours (in blocks of four) are reserved and paid for, set-up and decorating may begin no more than two hours prior to the start of the event. All equipment and decorations must be removed from the premises no later than one hour after the event ends. Please remember that the Sexton will be paid beginning from the time he/she is required to open up the building(s) so that decorating and set-up can begin, and ending with the time that the building has been cleared, cleaned and secured.

Use of the church’s dishwashers is prohibited.

Use of the fireplace in the Stearns Room is prohibited unless arrangements are made in advance through the Parish Administrator, and the Sexton will handle preparing, lighting and feeding the fire.

Use of the Church’s telephones, copying equipment and stationary supplies is prohibited. The phone may be used only in an emergency.

Reservations for all facilities must be made in advance by written application (see page 5 of this packet). Applications must be returned to the Church Office for coordination with regularly scheduled church activities.

All fees shall be paid at time of application.

  • For use of the facilities and the sexton fees, checks should be made payable to The First Parish In Lincoln
  • For the Sexton’s fee, please pay the minimum rate plus an estimate for the number of hours needed for the reception and pay according to the fee schedule. If actual hours needed exceed the estimated amount, the church office will notify the user of additional fees which shall be paid within one week following the event.