Our Wedding Policy
One of the joys in the life of the church is the privilege of celebrating the rite of Christian marriage. However, weddings are just a part of the responsibility of the church to its congregation and to the community. Therefore some discretion may be exercised in granting requests for weddings from those who are not active in the fuller life of the church.
Couples seeking Christian marriage in our church are expected to abide by the following guidelines. Persons active in the church family, as demonstrated by personal or financial involvement, are entitled to special privileges from the church. The privileges are extended to any active member or friend of the church and to their immediate family. Such persons will be referred to as “affiliates”.
- The couple should demonstrate a willingness to respect the doctrines of our church.
- The couple is expected to meet with our pastor, Diane Bennekamper, prior to the wedding. Marriage preparation will normally involve several sessions.
- A minimum of three months advance notice is required in order to schedule a wedding.
- All weddings require the participation of our Pastor. If the couple wishes, other clergy outside our church may participate at the invitation of our Senior pastor.
- The pastor may, at her discretion, limit the number of weddings for non-affiliates, when it is felt to be necessary. This is done with full support of the Board of Deacons of the church.
- A fee schedule is enclosed on the application.
- Since the wedding ceremony is a worship service, no flash photography is allowed during the ceremony itself. This would distract from the sacredness of the service. Photography IS allowed during the processional and recessional. Video taping is permitted from the balcony in the sanctuary only.
- Music is an important part of most wedding services. Our organist, Jim Nga, will work with the persons getting married to ensure that the chosen music is appropriate. He can recommend instrumental or vocal soloists if desired.
- NO fresh flower petals may be used on the church’s carpet, and NO window or aisle candles are permitted (in accordance with the fire code).
We ask that no alcohol be brought onto the church premises at any time during rehearsal, the ceremony or the reception.
As part of the fee, a coordinator for the church will be present at the rehearsal and the ceremony to see that all goes smoothly.
There will be a three-hour gap between weddings scheduled on the same day, and no wedding shall be scheduled on a Sunday before 1:00 p.m.
What We Believe about Marriage
Marriage is a covenant, a relationship initiated and sustained by promises made unconditionally. A covenant relationship is the riskiest of all relationships because so much is at stake, so much is committed, and there are no guarantees. A covenant relationship is the most rewarding of all relationships because there are no limits to its possibilities and its growth.
We believe that the covenant of marriage is no accident of social history, but a precious gift from God. Through the kindness and thoughtfulness of God, we enjoy in marriage – at its best – a relationship where commitment provides an environment of unthreatened security, and security allows room for uninhibited trust and trust creates opportunity for unparalleled intimacy. In marriage God offers us joy. In marriage God offers us a glimpse, a model, of what God’s own unconditional love for us, the love God demonstrated to us in Jesus, is like.
For all these reasons, we take marriage seriously. As a church, we are not anxious to “do weddings” for the sake of doing weddings. We are delighted, however, to share with a couple the total process of making and keeping this covenant. We offer to each couple our counsel, our support, and our blessing.
We help prepare for the marriage, not just the wedding; we do our best to make the ceremony beautiful and meaningful; and we stand ready, after the wedding, to support, encourage and advise.