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Published by office, 2019-09-24 13:10:43

The Wedding Handbook

Wedding booklet for website pub

The Wedding Handbook

511 S Fifth Street
Saint Peter, MN 56082

507-934-4786
www.trinitystpeter.org

1

Planning Your Wedding

A Christian wedding is a worship service for you and your guests. Those who come to
share your joy have their important part to play as witnesses of the marriage service.
Since a Christian wedding is a public act of the Church, the Church expects this service
to proclaim the faith through liturgy, prayer, music, scripture and sermon.

RESERVING A DATE
To reserve a wedding date on the church calendar, you must:

 clear the date with one of Trinity’s pastors; in addition to the possibility that
another wedding or event may already be scheduled, we generally do not allow
weddings to take place on “Holy day” weekends such as Easter, Christmas,
Confirmation Sunday, etc.

 sign and return a Wedding Request and Information Form; and
 pay the required wedding fees. (See Page 6)

PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING
Participation in a pre-marital counseling program is required by this congregation.
Please contact one of the pastors for more information. Plan to complete an on-line
assessment and meet with the pastor to discuss your wedding service and the things
that are essential to a good marriage. Appointments should be made directly with the
pastor.

MUSIC FOR THE CHRISTIAN WEDDING
The music should be Christian in nature. Before you set your heart on any selections,
please be sure to have them approved by the pastor. You are encouraged to contact
Trinity’s church organist/pianist to play for the wedding service. If, however, you have
a special reason for inviting another musician to play at your wedding, please clear this
with the pastor prior to making the invitation. You are also responsible for making
arrangements with the individuals providing special music.

MARRIAGE LICENSE
The marriage service cannot begin until the marriage license is in the hands of the
officiating pastor. Plan to get your license well in advance of your wedding day from
the county recorder’s office.

2

Outline of the Wedding Service

The liturgy for a marriage service is found on page 286 in the Evangelical Lutheran Book
of Worship. You may wish to customize your service in consultation with the pastor.

The asterisk * denotes parts of the service that are optional.

Prelude: Musical selection to play while guests are being seated.

Processional: Either a musical selection or a congregational hymn to accompany the
bridal party into the sanctuary.

Greeting: The opening call to worship, it begins all services of the church and any spe-
cial liturgies.

Declaration of Intention: A statement affirming why you are here this day.

Prayer of the Day: Prayed by either the pastor or another person selected by the bride
and groom.

Readings: Two or three scripture readings, normally chosen by the couple, are read by
the pastor or someone chosen by the couple. If desired, the pastor will assist the cou-
ple in finding appropriate scripture texts to use for the service. Some suggestions are
printed at the back of this booklet.

Sermon: A brief meditation by the pastor follows the readings.

*Hymn of the Day/Solo: At this point it is appropriate for a musical piece to be used.

Vows: The central part of the wedding liturgy focuses on the meaningful exchange of
promises and commitments made to one another by the bride and groom. Sugges-
tions are printed at the back of this booklet.

Giving of Rings: Each person exchanges a ring as a symbol of their commitment to the
other.

Acclamation: Spoken by the pastor, this is the public affirmation that you have been
joined together in marriage.

*Unity Candle/Sand: This is a good time for the lighting of the unity candle/sand.

Marriage Blessing: The pastor prays for God’s blessing on the newly married couple.

Prayers of the Church: You may write your own or ask others to write them. You or
anyone you choose (as well as the pastor) may pray at this time.

Lord’s Prayer: Either sung by musician(s) or the congregation or said by the congrega-
tion.

Benediction: A final blessing on the newly married couple by the officiant.

Presentation of Couple: Prior to your wedding day you will be asked how you would

like to be presented by the pastor. 3

Recessional: As with the processional, this music can be instrumental, vocal, or a con-
gregational hymn.

Postlude: Musical selection to play while guests are leaving the sanctuary.

It is also possible to celebrate Holy Communion as a part of your wedding service. In that
case, the appropriate communion liturgy is inserted into the wedding liturgy. Communion
must be open communion, that is, all present must be invited to receive the sacrament!

If you have any questions, thoughts, concerns or ideas that you’d like to talk about with
either the pastor or the organist, please feel free to contact them. They are eager to
assist you in making your wedding service a uniquely meaningful event in your life.

The Rehearsal

Before the wedding rehearsal, speak with the pastor about these details:
 Will the complete wedding party be at rehearsal, including ushers, musician, lector,
parents?
 Who will escort the bride and groom’s parents and grandparents?
 Who will light the altar candles?
 Will groomsmen & bridesmaids enter together or will bridesmaids enter alone?
 Will bride be escorted or alone?
 Will flower girl/ring bearer stand or sit during ceremony?
 Do you want ushers to seat guests by bride’s side/groom’s side or fill pews evenly?
 What time should everyone arrive for photographs?
 Who is in charge of picking up the dressing rooms, kitchen, decorations, etc.?

Other

AISLE RUNNER
Aisle runners are not allowed. They are difficult to walk on and pose a hazard to both
wedding party and guests.

ALCOHOL/DRUGS
The use of alcohol/drugs on church property is forbidden. Intoxicated wedding party
members will not participate in the service.

CANDLES
A unity candle holder is available for no charge. The candles are your responsibility.
Please place a sheet of plastic under the unity candle holder to avoid wax getting on the
altar linens. Extra candelabras are not allowed.

4

CLERGY
If you have a meaningful relationship with another pastor or priest and wish to invite her/
him to participate in the service, please discuss this with Trinity’s pastor. It is proper for
Trinity’s pastor to send an invitation to the pastor/priest in question.

DECORATIONS
Decorations should be approved by the pastor. Do not use nails, staples or tape for
securing décor, pew hooks are available for you to use.

DRESSING AREAS
The bridal party may dress in the youth room at the west end of the hall in the education
wing and use the restroom at the east end of that hall. The groom and groomsmen may
use the library in the narthex and the restroom across from the library.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE
We encourage you to bring a light lunch or snack for the wedding party to eat while get-
ting ready and while pictures are being taken. Food and beverage should be kept in the
kitchen or the dressing areas. You are responsible for clean up. No food or beverages are
allowed in the sanctuary.

PICTURES AND VIDEOGRAPHY
The responsibility to retain a photographer/videographer is yours and they must consult
with the pastor before pictures are taken. No flash pictures are to be taken in the
sanctuary during the service. Flash pictures may be taken before or after the service as
well as during the processional and recessional. Please have “No flash pictures during the
ceremony” printed discreetly on your programs. If pictures are taken before the service,
the pictures must be finished at least one-half hour prior to the service time.

RICE, CONFETTI, GLITTER, AND BIRD SEED
Please inform your family and friends that the throwing of rice, confetti, glitter or bird-
seed is prohibited anywhere on the church grounds.

USHERS
It is recommended that for weddings up to 100 guests two ushers be used. For those
exceeding 100 guests it is suggested that three or four ushers be used.

VALUABLES
Please do not leave valuables at the church. The church will not be held responsible for
lost or stolen items. Please delegate others to be in charge of clean up and removal of
personal items and decorations. Decorations not removed immediately after the service
are subject to disposal.

5

Suggested Scripture Text for Wedding Services

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of scripture texts that may be used.

Genesis 1:26-31 Psalm 136 Romans 15:5-7
Genesis 2:18-24 Psalm 150 I Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Ruth 1:16-17 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a II Corinthians 5:17-19
Psalm 23 Isaiah 63:7-9 Ephesians 5:21-33
Psalm 33 Jeremiah 33:10-11 Philippians 4:4-7
Psalm 68 Micah 4:5 Colossians 3:12-17
Psalm 100 Matthew 19:4-6 I John 4:7-12
Psalm 117 John 2:1-10 Song of Solomon 2:10-13
Psalm 1127 John 15:9-12 Song of Solomon 8:7
Psalm 128 Romans 12:1-2

Fees

Fees for the pastor, building use and custodian must be paid at the time you reserve the
church. The fee for the online marriage inventory will be paid online prior to counseling
sessions with the pastor. The organist/pianist fee should be paid directly to the organist/
pianist on or prior to the wedding day.

Members Non-members

Pastor with Counseling $150 $250

Sanctuary Use No Charge $150

Custodian $100 $150

On-line Marriage Inventory $35 $35

Organist/Pianist $100 $150

*Fellowship Hall and Kitchen $50 $200

*Optional services and fees

6

Suggested Forms of Vows

1. I take you, __________, to be my ____________
from this day forward, to join with you and share
all that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to
you until death parts us.

2. I take you, __________, to be my ____________ ,
and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to
you and honest with you; I will (obey), respect,
trust, help and care for you; I will share my life with
you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven;
and I will try with you to better understand our-
selves, the world, and God though the best and
worst of what is to come until death parts us.

3. I take you, __________, to be my ____________ .
I promise before God and these witnesses to be
your faithful wife/husband, to share with you in
plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness
and in health, to forgive and strengthen you, and
to join with you so that together we may serve God
and others as long as we both shall live.

4. __________, I take you to be my ____________
from this time onward, to join with you and to
share all this is to come, to give and to receive, to
speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and
in all circumstances of our life together to be loyal
to you with my whole life and with all my being un-
til death parts us.

7

Notes and Questions for the Pastor

8


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