Wedding Guidelines

CONGRATULATIONS! Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Our Church and Pastor are pleased to share this happy occasion with you. This wedding guide has been put together because we want to do everything possible to make your wedding day a pleasing and memorable experience. Our purpose is not to impose unnecessary limits or obstacles, but offer a guide which we hope will help your wedding focus on the things that are most important and spiritually meaningful.

PREMARITAL COUNSELLING

Our congregation requires a series of premarital counselling sessions with the Pastor prior to the wedding. The couple should make an appointment to meet with the Pastor as soon as possible after their engagement; preferably at least six months before the wedding date. Before doing this no definite date or plans should be announced since such plans may not fit in with the Pastor's schedule or the Church calendar. The Pastor will want to meet with you and your finance(e) a minimum of four times. The length of these sessions may vary. Usually it takes an hour and a half, with two weeks between each session. Our goal is to help you prepare for both the marriage and the wedding. They will include discussion about relationship, roles, communication, family, in-laws, management of time and finances, conflict resolution, and the many adjustments necessary in a marriage. Although they are not intended to determine whether your marriage is appropriate or not, the Pastor must reserve the right to decline any wedding until he’s met with you. If you have to cancel an appointment, please call the Pastor ahead of time to reschedule it.

LEGAL MATTERS

A marriage license must be obtained at least 1 week prior to the wedding. The Pastor cannot legally perform the wedding without a valid license. The license is only valid for three months from the date of issue.

COSTS

Certain costs do arise at a wedding, apart from the large costs of photography, receptions, dances and the like. Therefore the Church feels an obligation to inform you of these, especially since in the past, the Church has often been used as a marrying agency only. For that reason, the costs vary between Church members and non-members. These costs are:

NON-MEMBERS: A $200 deposit is required when booking the Church. This is non refundable and covers the cost of the marriage counselling classes. An additional $200 is required to cover the cost of the janitor and Church rental. There are additional fees for an organist and hall rentals other than the Church if needed. Total cost = $400.

MEMBERS: When one or both are members of Peace, the following applies: There is no fee for the Church usage. There are additional costs if using the organist. There is no charge by the Pastor, janitor, or organist however consideration for their time is to be taken into account. It is expected however, that the Church be left in the same condition as before the wedding. Thank you for abiding by the policy of our Church as set forth by our Church council and Pastor. We bid you a truly blessed wedding and a truly happy married life in the Lord’s grace and favour, living in Christ's love.

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THE WEDDING REHEARSAL

The rehearsal is held so that those who are taking part in the ceremony have opportunity to practice their roles. As such it is important for all the participants in the wedding to be present for the rehearsal. If someone is unable to attend. It is the responsibility of the couple to inform those absent of their duties. The rehearsal usually lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. We ask that participants be on time. Only those involved in the service itself are asked to come to the rehearsal. Please remember to bring marriage documents to this rehearsal so they can be completed in advance of the wedding itself (less signatures). If there is a dinner before or after, it should be set after the time for the rehearsal has been approved with the Pastor. Also, it is helpful to inform the Pastor and/or musicians whether they are invited. The invitation should clearly state whether or not their spouse and/or children are included in the invitation.

WEDDING BULLETIN

The use of a printed wedding folder is helpful for involving the congregation in the service as well as in identifying the participants and the music, and serving as a keepsake. The Church will be happy to duplicate the inside of the folder for you without charge. unless you choose to have it professionally printed. You will need to supply the blank bulletin covers and the necessary information to the Pastor at least two weeks in advance.

GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCT OF A WEDDING

GLORIFY GOD First of all, it is important to note that the Church wedding is a worship service. In it we honour the Triune God, support the couple with the power of God's Word, and ask God's blessings through prayer. An overemphasis on the bride, the processional, the external trappings, or the music at the expense of the worship of God is not in keeping with what Jesus meant when he said, "My house shall be called a house of prayer" (Matthew 21:13). Because the wedding is a worship service, the arrangement and conduct of the wedding ought to glorify God as well as edify the Church. The responsibility for determining belongs to the Pastor. The guidelines will be used, if there is a question about propriety, needs to be: "Does it bring glory to God?  If we cannot answer this affirmatively, it probably should be omitted.

OFFICIANTS

The normal practice is, the Pastor of this congregation officiates at the weddings in this

Church. As members of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (or Lutheran Church—Canada), we subscribe to the principle: “Lutheran pulpits are or Lutheran Pastors." For this reason, please do not ask that a non-Lutheran clergyman participate in your wedding service. This is not passing judgment on the clergy of other denominations, but stands on the Scriptural principal, which bases fellowship on unity in confession and practice.

ORGANISTS & SOLOISTS

The Pastor will be glad to assist you in arranging for an organist and/or soloist. If a soloist is used, the necessary rehearsing is best done at a time other than the wedding rehearsal, preferably some weeks ahead. Practice time for the organ can be arranged with the Pastor.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

In order not to be disruptive to the worship service, photographers may take flash pictures before or after the service, aisle shots during the processional and recessional and during the signing of the register. Any part of the service may be re-enacted before or after for the photographer. If the Pastor is to be involved in any of these pictures, please let him know in advance.

 

VIDEOTAPING

Many couples wish to preserve their wedding in this way, as well. As with photographers we do not wish to be disruptive to the worship service. The camera may be set up in the sanctuary but not behind the altar. Once the service starts the camera must remain stationary and out of the way throughout the service.

FLOWERS, PARAMENTS & CANDLES

Although not required, you may wish to supply flowers for the Church for your wedding. You can discuss appropriate placement with the Pastor. If you wish to have the flowers remain for the Sunday service, please feel free to do so. The altar paraments are cared for the Church. The colour is determined by the season of the Church year. You will need to provide a unity candle and two small taper candles that will be used during the service. They are available at any religious supply store or can be self made. This will be discussed further with the Pastor during the counselling secessions.

THE LORD’S SUPPER

Since the Holy Communion is a Sacrament of the Church, it is not appropriate for the bride and groom to receive it alone. Therefore, it is not recommended that the Lord’s Supper be celebrated during your wedding service.

RICE OR CONFETTI

Because of the mess involved, neither are to be used inside the Church or on the Church grounds.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Alcoholic beverages (such as table wine) may be used in the Church hall with prior approval by the Church Council. Those using the facilities are required to obtain the necessary legal requirements.

** Approved by Peace Lutheran Church Council, 27 April 2009. The above guidelines can be amended or waived at any time with the approval of the Board of Elders and /or Pastor **