Wedding Guidelines

What is Marriage?

For Christians marriage is one of the greatest blessings God has given to us from the creation of the world. In Adam and Eve (Genesis 2) we see that God intends marriage to be a life-long union (“one flesh”) of a man and woman. Jesus (Matthew 19) and St. Paul (Ephesians 5) both affirm this in the New Testament. Our goal is to help everyone come to the Biblical teaching of marriage and to realize all the blessings that God intends for His people through the institution of marriage.

Should Both Be Christians?

We cannot ask people to make vows with which they may disagree. Therefore to participate in a Christian wedding both persons should be of the Christian faith.

Should Both Be Lutherans?

We are very sincere about our faith as all Christians should be, and we would love to see as many people as possible confess the Christian faith according to the Lutheran Confessions. We highly recommend that both persons considering marriage participate in Adult Catechsim classes, but we do not necessarily require them to have made a public confession of the Lutheran faith before marriage. The pastors may decline wedding requests doctrinal or practical reasons.

Pre-Marital Counseling

The Christian life in general is the best preparation for marriage. But it is also important that marriage vows be entered into with understanding. We require at least three sessions with the pastor to go over the Biblical meaning of marriage, to consider each person’s specific needs, and to prepare for the wedding service. More sessions may be needed in some cases.

What if we are already living together?

The Bible clearly teaches us that sexual relations should be reserved for marrige before and after (Hebrews 13). All Christians should accept that Biblical truth. Couples often think that their private promises of love are enough to make sexual relations acceptable to God. These promises are important, however God does require that these promises be public, and that is essentially what marriage is – a public promise of love and commitment. (If private promises were enough, we would not need to have marriage services.)

 Couples who have begun to have sexual relations before marrrying have a couple of options which will help follow God’s word. These options are very important for the future of the marriage. Many statistics have proven the couples who follow these options will have a stronger and better marriage based on good Christian faith and commitment:

1. They may choose to discontinue having sexual relations until they are married. This shows that they hold marriage to be honorable, and it makes the marriage very special with this sacrifice. This option is only recommended for couples who are planning to be married soon (within a couple of months).

2. If it is impossible to avoid sexual relations, they should be married soon in a private ceremony with the pastor and witnesses or with a public clerk/judge. (We simply want to make the private promises public.) Since marrige is one the most important events in, we also would recommend that they affirm their marriage in another ceremony later with all their relatives and friends.

Fees

Description

Member

Non-Member

Deposit to Hold the Date (Non-Refundable)

NA

$50

Wedding Coordinator Fee

$150

$150

Musican's Fee (Organist/Pianist) 

$150

$150

Building Use Fee

NA

$100

Pastor's Fee (Three 1 hour counseling sessions & wedding)

NA

$300

Totals

$300

$750

Checks should be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

When Can We Reserve A Date?

A wedding date and rehearsal date may be scheduled when a couple agrees to these guidelines and any special considerations discussed with the pastor.

When Can We Be Married?

Church activities will take precedence. Usually most weddings are held Saturday morning or afternoon up to 3:00 p.m. (We have a worship service at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evenings which prevents later wedding times.)

Can We Have A Reception at Good Shepherd?

Due to Bible Class setup each weekend and the 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening service, Good Shepherd cannot accomodate wedding receptions at this time.

Are There Any Particular Restrictions Which Must Be Followed?

1. Music, readings, special rituals, etc. used in the wedding service must be approved by the pastor.

2. Pastors of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod do not participate in worship services with pastors who hold to other confessions of faith since this can cause confusion about what the church teaches. 

3. Flowers and other decorations must be approved by the pastor or wedding coordinator.

4. No rice or birdseed may be thrown after the wedding.

5. No flash pictures are allowed in the wedding service. Video cameras are allowed.

6. Wedding participants and guests are asked to conduct themselves in a godly manner; no smoking in the church building, no alcohol allowed on the premises.

7. Wedding guests who want to leave their cars overnight should park them in the Lower Lot.

8. Wedding photographers should follow the guidelines below in order not to interrupt the focus of the worship service on God's word. 

 

Wedding Photographer's Guidelines