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Wedding Policy and Procedures

?AND GOD BLESSED THEM...? (Genesis 1:28)
Congratulations!  You are planning to wed ? to enter into a relationship which God has ordained for the perpetuation and happiness of God?s people.  Through the ages God has continued to bless in marriage those who enter it with prayer and live in it by faith.

The church teaches that marriage is a life-long relationship based on the promise of faithfulness and it is rooted in the love of God.  God?s faithfulness and self-giving love are important models for your relationship.  It is a happy occasion overflowing with joy, and those who celebrate it rejoice in the gifts of God - life, health, strength, sexuality, the family.  All this the Creator declared from the beginning to be ?very good?.

A wedding is the ceremony in which a couple exchange their covenantal vows and ask for God?s blessing and presence in their life together.  On May 22, 2005, by vote of the congregation of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, the congregation adopted a policy stating that ?The blessing of same-gender unions may be performed at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Grace?s wedding guidelines will apply equally to all gender combinations.?

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church adopts this wedding policy as a reflection of its calling to nurture its members for them to grow in faith and love and its understanding that it is in fellowship with other congregations in the universal Church, which belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church and its staff will cooperate in every way possible with couples who desire a church wedding. However, in the event that a wedding cannot be held at Grace for any reason, the pastor will inform the couple as soon as possible.

While there is much room for flexibility in your wedding, the following guidelines are offered to make the occasion more enjoyable for you and to the glory of God.  Blessings!

Wedding services may be performed at Grace when at least one individual is a member of this congregation.

For non-members, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church may perform weddings as a courtesy.  These will be considered by the pastor with the advice of the church council on a case by case basis.

The Service
The church wedding is a religious service and it is important that liturgical traditions be observed.  Some creativity in the service is encouraged, but it is the responsibility of the couple to work with the pastor for any changes or additions to the wedding service.

Conference with the Pastor
In planning a wedding at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, it is important that the couple make an appointment with the pastor as far in advance as possible ? at least three months. During that initial appointment the opportunities and requirements for weddings at Grace will be outlined, arrangements counseling made (usually 3 to 4 sessions), and wedding plans discussed. Formal announcement of the wedding, including preparation and mailing of the invitations, should not occur until most of the counseling has been completed.  Church weddings are not scheduled during Holy Week, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The Wedding Coordinator
Arrangements for all weddings will be coordinated through Grace?s Wedding Coordinator.

Church Records
All weddings will be recorded in Grace Lutheran Evangelical Church?s official record.


The Marriage License
Insofar that the couple can receive and wishes official sanction of the State of Texas for the recognition of their marriage, the couple is responsible for obtaining the State marriage license and giving it to the pastor at least one day prior to the ceremony.  After it is signed, the church office will mail it to the appropriate State office for processing.

The Officiants
The pastor of Grace will officiate at all weddings.  Should the couple desire to have another religious leader participate, the request must be approved by Grace?s pastor, who may then extend the invitation.

The Music
The choice of music must be appropriate for a Christian wedding.  Wedding music is selected by the couple in consultation with the pastor and the Church Music Director. Requests for musicians other than the Grace Church organist are subject to the approval of the Music Director.

Photography
Flash pictures of the processional and recessional may be taken.  Non-flash (available light) pictures may be taken during the service, and video taping is permitted from a recorder positioned in one place only.  Please advise your photographer it is not permitted to move between the congregation and the altar area during the ceremony.

Ushers and Acolytes
The couple is responsible for securing the ushers and acolytes for the wedding, and they should be at the wedding rehearsal for instructions. (The suggested minimum number of ushers for a wedding at Grace is two. The head usher should remain at the main door throughout the service with at least one other usher escorting guests to their seats. It is best for the head usher to be familiar with ushering a wedding.)

The Flowers
Flowers are furnished by the couple.  No flower vases may be used on the altar.  Should the couple desire to leave flowers for the Sunday worship service, please notify the Wedding Liaison one month in advance so a notice of your generosity may be placed in the bulletin.

If pew-markers are used, please ask the florist to place them in wrapped hangers to protect the wood pews.

The Candles and the Altar
Two candles are provided on the altar.  These are used during all weddings.

Two candelabras with candles are available for use during weddings ? see fee schedule.  No tacks, wire, nails, or adhesive tape is to be used on the candelabra.

No altar furnishings may leave the sanctuary and the altar and pulpit paraments are those appropriate to the liturgical season of the church.

General Information
Wedding bulletins, if desired, are to be provided by the couple.

Dressing rooms are available for the wedding party.  Please notify the Wedding Coordinator if dressing rooms are needed.

Only birdseed may be thrown, and it may be thrown only outside the building.

Smoking is not allowed in the church buildings.
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the premises for non member services.

The Fellowship Hall is available for receptions until midnight ? see fee schedule.

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church cannot be responsible for lost or misplaced articles of clothing, cameras, or other possessions.

Wedding Fees

All wedding fees, except the damage deposit, will be paid to Grace Lutheran Church through the Wedding Coordinator 30 days prior to the wedding.  The damage deposit will be paid at the time of booking, and returned after the wedding, provided no damage has occurred and the facilities that were used are in good order. 

Summary of Charges

Grace Members

Non-members

 

 

 

Reservation Fee

50%

50%

Pastor

Pastor?s Discretion

$500

Grace Wedding Liaison

$150

$150

Sanctuary: Use
     Cleaning

$100
$45 + ( $15/hr over 3 hrs )

$750
$45 + ( $15/hr over 3 hrs )

Organ Rental

0

$100

Fellowship Hall: Use
     Cleaning

$100
$45 + ( $15/hr over 3 hrs )

$450
$45 + ( $15/hr over 3 hrs )

Damage Deposit
(needed  to secure booking)

$100

$300

Candelabra Rental with candles

0

$75

Unity Candle Stand Rental without candles

0

$15

Organist: Wedding / Rehearsal

$250

$250

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact
Pastor Lura:

713-528-3269
Church Office