Church Wedding Policies

Policies for weddings conducted at

Lutheran Church of the Cross

2015 Church Wedding Policies

Premarital Counseling. There will be schedule of meetings with the pastor to not only talk about your wedding about of equal importance is the discussion of the marriage relationship.  If you live in another part of the country and cannot meet with the pastor, you will meet with a local pastor or social service agency for your premarital counseling.

Music. Weddings are worship services during which a couple exchange their promises of marriage and begin living together in the gift that God has given to them called marriage! We believe couples want their weddings to reflect the timeless beauty of the love they have for each other.  Musical choices for various parts of the worship service are planned with the church organist who has access to a variety of music and the experience to know what works at what place in the service.  If there is any question about the appropriateness of a musical selection please discuss the selection with the pastor.  If secular songs that have meaning for the couple are to be used, we suggest they be sung/played before the processional as people are being seated.

If someone other than the church organist is playing for the wedding, please have that person call the pastor in regards to the selection procedure for music.

Photography. Since weddings are worship services and the intent is to retain the sacred character of the occasion we ask both professional and amateur (e.g. aunts and uncles) to refrain from taking flash pictures once the ceremony has begun.  Please know that after the ceremony the wedding party and the pastor are available for pictures.  Videotaping may be done from an unobtrusive, fixed location.  The pastor will assist photographers by showing them the appropriate locations and where they are allowed to stand in order to take pictures.  The overall philosophy is that the wedding ceremony is a worship service and not to be disrupted by inappropriate positioning of people taking pictures. If there are repeated difficulties with certain photography studios, they will not be allowed to photograph weddings at LCC.

Decorations. Live flowers can be purchased through the church for the vases on the pedestals on either side of the altar for approximately $60.  If your wedding takes place on a Saturday and you would like to leave them for Sunday morning, your names are then listed in the bulletin as the couple who provided the flowers!  Other floral designs and candelabras need to be approved by the pastor.  Fresh flower petals cannot be thrown by a flower girl during the processional and there is no rice or birdseed allowed after the wedding.  Candles should be dripless and adequate protection for furnishings and carpeting must be provided.  Any expenses for damage will need to be covered by the families of the bride and groom.

Alcohol. There is no alcohol besides the communion wine in the sacristy allowed on the premises or on the grounds of the church buildings.   If there are any difficulties in this regard the pastor can postpone the wedding at his discretion.

Smoking. There is no smoking allowed in any of the buildings of the church.  If there are difficulties in this regard the pastor can postpone the wedding at his discretion.

Unity Candles. Often at weddings a unity candle is lit during the worship service to symbolize the couple’s new life together.  There are a number of options in regards to how the unity candle ceremony is performed.  Sometimes mothers light the candles prior to the bridal party entering the worship area while at other times the couples light the tapers from the altar candles before lighting their unity candle.  Please discuss this with the pastor as to how you want to do this aspect of the ceremony.

Unity candles, tapers, and candle stands are provided by the couple getting married.

Wedding Rehearsals. Most weddings require a rehearsal so that all people involved will feel more comfortable on the wedding day.  The time for the rehearsal is usually 5:30 pm on the day prior to the wedding.  At the rehearsal the wedding party walk through the ceremony to get a sense of what to expect at the ceremony.  Musicians do not need to be present and the church organist is not present.  Normally the rehearsal takes about one hour.

Bulletins. A printed order of service will be put together with the pastor.  If you would like to have the church office personnel provide this, we are willing to assist you.  If you would like to create this on your own, pastor has some examples to show you.  If the wedding has fewer than 25 guests then a bulletin may or may not be appropriate.

Dressing Areas. There are two areas that can be used for dressing and preparing for the wedding.  The pastor can show you those areas.

Ushers. Depending on number of guests expected we recommend that you have ushers (trained at the rehearsal) available to assist in conducting the ceremony by seating guests, distributing bulletins, and other possible tasks.  We recommend one usher for every fifty guests (150 expected guests would mean three ushers).

Flower Girls, Ring Bearers, Junior Bridesmaids, etc. Please talk with pastor about age appropriate roles for young children.  Any child under five should be seated during the ceremony and not expected to stand with the wedding party.