Wedding Policy

The Church’s Understanding of Marriage

Marriage is a gift of God, intended for the joy and mutual strength of those who enter it and for the well-being of the whole human family. God created us male and female and blessed humankind with the gifts of companionship, the capacity to love, and the care and nurture of children. Jesus affirmed the covenant of marriage and revealed God’s own self-giving love on the cross. The Holy Spirit helps those who are united in marriage to be living signs of God’s grace, love, and faithfulness.

Marriage is also a human estate, with vows publicly witnessed. The church in worship surrounds these promises with the gathering of God’s people, the witness of the word of God, and prayers of blessing and intercession.


Guidelines for Weddings at the Church

The marriage ceremony is a worship service of the church. Therefore, the called pastor (permanent or interim) of Zion officiates at all weddings which are held at the church. Guest pastors may be invited by Zion’s pastor to participate in part of the service, at the discretion of Zion’s pastor.

Weddings at the church are for members only (where the bride or groom is a member). Nonmembers considering joining, nonmembers who are relatives of members, and other requests may be taken under consideration by the called pastor of Zion.

Nonmember weddings, if permitted in accordance with the previous guideline, are asked to donate $500.00 for the use of the building for the rehearsal and the ceremony. Additionally, there is a fee of $150.00 for a wedding coordinator to help facilitate the multitude of requests/questions that can arise by those not familiar with the church.

Zion’s Minister of Music has the first right of refusal for all weddings. The Minister of Music must approve guest musicians requested by the family. Guest musicians must demonstrate a proficient use/knowledge of the organ before the instrument may be used.

The Marriage Service is a service of worship, and the music therefore must be carefully and discriminatingly chosen. It should embody high standards of quality and the texts should reflect the praise of God, the steadfast love of Christ for his church as the foundation and model for love and fidelity in marriage, the invocation of God’s presence and blessing.


Propers and Hymns

The paraments follow the color of the liturgical season. For example, a wedding during the summer months will use the green paraments for the Pentecost Season.

Scripture readings are an integral part of a worship service. The following readings and psalms are recommended for use.

Old Testament

Genesis 1:26-28Woman and man created in God’s image
Genesis 2:18-24Companionship rather than loneliness
Proverbs 3:3-6Loyalty and faithfulness written on the heart
Song of Solomon 2:10-13The voice of the beloved
Song of Solomon 8:6-7Many waters cannot quench love
Isaiah 63:7-9God’s steadfast love lifts up the people
Jeremiah 31:31-34The new covenant of the people of God

Psalms

Psalm 67May God be merciful to us and bless us
Psalm 100We are God’s people
Psalm 117The steadfast love of the Lord
Psalm 121The Lord keeps watch over you
Psalm 127Unless the Lord builds the house
Psalm 128Happy are they who follow in God’s ways
Psalm 150Let everything that has breath praise the Lord

New Testament

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39If God is for us, who is against us?
Romans 12:1-2, 9-18A living sacrifice and genuine love
1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13The greatest gift is love
Ephesians 3:14-19The greatness of Christ’s love
Ephesians 5:1-2Live in love, as Christ loved us
Philippians 4:4-9Rejoice in the Lord always
Colossians 3:12-17Clothed in gifts of God
1 John 3:18-24Let us love in truth and action
1 John 4:7-16Let us love one another, for love is of God

Gospels

Matthew 5:1-10The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:14-16You are the light, let your light shine
Matthew 7:24-27Build on the rock
Matthew 19:3-6What God has united must not be divided
Matthew 22:35-40Love, the greatest commandment
Mark 10:6-9They are no longer two but one
John 2:1-11The wedding at Cana
John 15:9-17Love one another as I have loved you

Hymns enrich the worship experience and reflect the themes of joy, love and new life through song. The following hymns from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) are recommended.

308O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright!
312Jesus, Come! For We Invite You
436Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying
460Now the Silence
488, 489Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness
585Hear Us Now, Our God and Father
586This Is a Day, Lord, Gladly Awaited
631Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
642Ubi caritas et amor
644Although I Speak with Angel’s Tongue
648Beloved, God’s Chosen
816Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life
836Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
839, 840Now Thank We All Our God
879For the Beauty of the Earth
881Let All Things Now Living

A few things to keep in mind while planning your wedding…

An aisle runner is optional, but Zion does not provide one.

There is to be no pre-recorded music used for the preludes or during the ceremony.

No alcohol or drugs are permitted on the church premises prior to, or during the rehearsal or the ceremony. If alcohol or drugs are present and/or being consumed/used, the wedding will be cancelled.

Any flowers that are to be scattered down the aisle are to be artificial.

Light refreshments such as bottled water, simple snacks, or finger sandwiches may be provided by the wedding party on the day of the wedding for their consumption. Please do not bring anything messy or anything that would stain clothing.


Photography

Please communicate these guidelines to your photographer.

The wedding party may arrive at the church up to two hours prior to the start of the wedding.

Please take as many pictures before the wedding ceremony as possible to help shorten the amount of time needed after the ceremony.

There is to be no flash photography during the wedding ceremony. There is also no stopping of the wedding for picture taking. You may not stop the attendants or bride while walking down the aisle. All photographs that need special lighting or staged type shots must be reenacted after the wedding.

All videotaping must be done from the back or sides of the sanctuary. Nothing can be placed behind or beside the altar.

It is expected that all photography is to be completed within 1 hour after the ceremony has ended.

Following these guidelines will insure a smooth-running ceremony.

We appreciate your cooperation.