PURPOSE OF PAGE:

This page has been prepared to assist you in planning your wedding. If you have any questions which you feel are not answered in this booklet, please feel free to contact the Pastor the Church Office.

The contents of this page are presented by the Congregation Council of Hazel Run Lutheran Church. This is a guide and direction for all weddings of members and non-members.

The pastor of Hazel Run Lutheran Church (or the interim pastor if the parish is without a pastor) may at his or her discretion allow deviation from these guidelines in the rare event when the pastor feels that circumstances call for it. This would be entirely at the discretion of the pastor and what he or she feels appropriate.

WEDDING PREPARATIONS:

The act of marriage is a very serious responsibility. Marriage should not be taken lightly. The Wedding Service should be a time of great joy and celebration, but our Wedding Services are a Christian Worship Service and as such it must be kept in the context of worship and not some theatrical display

When getting married in the Church, the couple is asking God to bless their marriage. Therefore, the couple must understand that the Church and God have expectations of that couple and their married life together. Pre-marital counseling sessions will help the couple explore these expectations with the pastor. In short, this congregation cares about you and your future spouse enough to have premarital counseling. This will become more evident.

A minimum of three months should be allowed for planning the wedding service. This is because of the 12 hours premarital counseling and wedding service planning. Please check with the pastor and the church office before setting the date of your wedding.

PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING:

Each couple that plans to be married at Hazel Run Lutheran Church shall meet with the pastor for at least TWELVE HOURS prior to rehearsal and wedding. One meeting will take care of the formalities of setting the date and time of the wedding; discussing the different policies; discussing the various options for wedding services, music, etc.

Couples spend a great deal of time and money preparing for their wedding day. Pre-marital counseling helps couples to plan for their life together – not just their wedding day. We strongly encourage couples to take time planning their life together after the wedding day.

For couples who are marrying in the state of Minnesota, a substantial discount on the cost of the marriage license (currently $40 instead of the usual $150) is offered to those who undergo 12 hours of recognized pre-marital counseling. The pastor will sign a notarized declaration that the 12 hours have been completed only if they have been. Please do not put the pastor in an embarrassing situation by requesting the form be signed if the necessary hours have not been completed.

Studies have shown that 50% of all first time marriages end in divorce. the figure is lowered, however, when couples take the time to prepare for their life together through some type of counseling program. The counseling does not determine whether a couple should or should not get married, but rather, is to give the pastor and the couple an opportunity to identify their strengths on which they can build their marriage. It also gives direction as to challenges that may arise later in their marriage.

CHURCH POLICIES

Rules concerning the Wedding Service:

  1. Scheduling the Wedding –
    1. Please call the Church Office and contact the pastor at least 3 months ahead, earlier if possible. (Weddings are often scheduled at least a year in advance).
    2. The availability of the Church will be on a first come, first served basis.
    3. A time should also be scheduled for the rehearsal.
    4. Please specify whether you will need the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall or just the Sanctuary.
    5. If you intend to use the fellowship hall for the reception, you will be required to have an approved member of the congregation present to supervise the use of the kitchen. The pastor will be able to advise you of suitable persons.
  2. Honoraria and Fees – Checks are to be given to the Church Treasurer (with the exception of those for the pastor, which should be given to the pastor directly.)
    Service Member Non-Member
    *Deposit (see note below) $0.00 $150.00
    Use of Church $0.00 $150.00
    Use of Fellowship Hall (for reception) $0.00 $150.00
    Organist (if provided by church) $75.00 $75.00
    Pre-marital Counseling fee $40.00 $40.00
    Custodian without reception $50.00 $50.00
    Custodian with Reception $100.00 $100.00
    Kitchen Supervisor $50.00 $50.00
    Pastor Your Discretion $150.00

    *NOTE: Non-members are required to make a deposit when the wedding date is placed on the Church calendar. The deposit will be refunded approximately two weeks after the wedding if there is no damage to the church property. Payment of all other fees must be made at least two weeks before the wedding.

  3. Decorations of the sanctuary for the wedding must meet with the approval of the pastor.
  4. Items distributed to the wedding guests to shower upon the wedding couple as they leave may be soap bubbles or noise makers but not rice, macaroni, bird seed, tapioca, or candy confetti.
  5. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed in the buildings or on the grounds of Hazel Run Lutheran Church. If any member of the wedding party has consumed any alcoholic beverage prior to the ceremony, the pastor has the right to refuse to conduct the wedding.
  6. It is the right of the pastor to refuse to marry anyone at his personal conviction, if the circumstances prevail to make this a necessity, at any time even after the arrangments have been made.

Ceremony

Many things associated with weddings have come through secular and commercial promotion. The fact that “everyone else does it” by no means makes it right or proper in a Christian ceremony. Any additions or changes in the Wedding Ceremony must be discussed and agreed upon by the pastor. The pastor’s discretion will be honored whenever a questionable area is discussed.

It is assumed that the locally installed pastor will officiate at all weddings in this church except as provided below.

If the wedding couple desires to have another ordained pastor assist by giving the message, this is to be cleared with the local pastor at the time original arrangements are made. A pastor who is a relative of the bride or groom may be asked to officiate only with the approval of the local pastor.

Only Lutheran pastors may officiate at our altar; however, pastors from other denominations may assist the officiating minister as mentioned above.

When others are officiating, There is still the requirement that such pastors consult with the local Hazel Run Lutheran Pastor before arrangements are finalized.

The paraments are the color for the church season, they are not to be changed for a wedding. Members of the church council will be present at the wedding to assist in any way necessary (such as heating, air conditioning, lighting, the sound system, etc.). Visiting pastors may use a cordless microphone which we have; the council person can assist with that. The altar furnishings are not to be removed from the altar. Because of limited space on the altar, nothing additional should be placed on it except for an arrangement of flowers and the unity candle (if one is used for the wedding). Only living flowers or plants (no artificial flowers or artificial greens) are to be used in the chancel area (the raised, front part of the church, around the altar). At the request of the couple, the banner may be removed by our staff, or we have a wedding banner which most couples like to use. All services conducted by the Church will be recorded in the official church records book of Hazel Run Lutheran Church.

At the time of a pastoral vacancy, the interim pastor will ordinarily officiate just as the installed pastor would do. However, couples who wish to select another Lutheran pastor may do so. They should, however, speak to the interim pastor and to members of the church council before such arrangements are finalized and have that minister consult with the interim pastor. When the new pastor arrives, that new pastor should also be consulted (as soon as possible after their arrival) – in person by the couple, and either in person or by phone by the minister who will officiate.

All the marriage arrangements are to be made either in face-to-face conversations with the pastor(s) involved or in speaking with the pastor(s) by phone. Leaving messages with a church secretary, a member of the church council, or on the church answering machine is not satisfactory to make these arrangements.

MUSIC

A wedding at Hazel Run Lutheran Church is a sacred worship service and this shall be reflected in the selection of all vocal and organ music. The pastor must approve all music. Due reverence shall be maintained in the preparation for and celebration of the marriage. The use of the secular music shall not be permitted in the worship service, but may be used before or after the service. The couple shall consult with the organist and vocalist prior to the wedding.

The following are suggestions (not an exhaustive list, however) for suitable music:

Organ Music:

 

Vocal Music:

 

Congregational Hymns:

*Musical selections must meet the approval of the pastor.

REHEARSAL

The date and time of the wedding rehearsal should be set with the pastor at the first consultation. IT is important that everyone who is going to participate in the wedding be at the rehearsal – On Time!

MARRIAGE LICENSE

The Marriage License must be in the hands of the pastor no later than at the time of the rehearsal or at least the day prior to the wedding. This is to allow the pastor to make out the certificates of marriage and prepare the license and certificates for the signatures of the witnesses.

Couples should also note that, in the state of Minnesota, there is a 5 day waiting period after the license is issued before the marriage ceremony can take place. Thus, for Saturday weddings, for example, the couple must obtain their marriage license from the county courthouse by the Monday before the wedding at the latest. Failure to do so will mean that the ceremony cannot take place. Bearing in mind that, if the couple has undergone pre-marital counseling, the declaration from the pastor that allows the license discount must be notarized, it is advisable to have completed all counseling sessions at the latest 2 weeks prior to the wedding date.

Following the ceremony, the Maid or Matron of Honor and the Best Man must sign the marriage license to finalize the wedding.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Please inform your photographer that there are a few rules of our church that need to be observed. No articles on the altar are to be touched or moved by the photographer. This is to protect the articles. there will also be no camera flashes during the ceremony. It is to be a reminder to all that this is a Christian Worship Service.

This booklet/page has been put together on accord with the approval of the congregation and council. It is to respect the gounds and congregation.