Congratulations on your engagement! God created us to be in relationships with others and we rejoice with you as you begin this lifelong commitment to your spouse.
Christ Our Savior is available for weddings to both members and non-members, though non-members should pay special attention to our wedding policy and the non-member guidelines. We suggest contacting the office as early as possible and a minimum of 6 months before your planned wedding to confirm availability.
Our wedding policy is listed below. (Yes, it’s rather long, but we like to be thorough.) If you have any other questions, please contact our office manager by calling 262-246-6537 or email here.
(Items marked with an asterisk (*) are taken verbatim (or nearly so) from rubrics in Lutheran Book of Worship, Ministers Desk Edition.)
1. *Those who plan to be married shall discuss with the pastor the nature of marriage and the form of the Liturgy, as well as confirm the date and the time of the wedding.
2. At this preliminary meeting, the Pastor and the couple shall discuss the congregation’s policies (this document) regarding weddings, shall take a look at different procedure, practices, and Liturgies available, and shall set the exact time for the wedding, the rehearsal, and at least three (and perhaps more) premarital counseling sessions.
3. All those married at Christ Our Savior shall participate in a pre-marriage workshop through Lutheran Social Services or the Pastor’s own pre-marriage counseling program. There will be an additional fee for either service.
4. Every wedding at which a pastor of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church presides shall normally be inside the church at the regular place for worship, or, should there be an invitation to do so, a Pastor may take a leadership role in a wedding held in the church building of another Christian congregation. Except under special circumstances, weddings at Christ Our Savior will only be presided at by a pastor of Christ Our Savior.
5. *The service is designed to present a variety of options. By choosing from among them, the bride, the groom, and the pastor may create an appropriate service of worship and praise fitting the particular occasion.* The liturgy in the Lutheran Book of Worship is suggested, but other wedding rites, approved by the Pastor, can be used.
6. *A Marriage Service may not be celebrated during Holy Week (6:00 p.m. the eve of Sunday of the Passion through 6:00 p.m. Holy Saturday) because of the solemn character of that time. A Pastor of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church may not take part in any Marriage Service held elsewhere during the same period.
7. *The presiding minister must be ordained (and authorized to perform marriages by the appropriate civil authority). Care must be taken that a record of marriages is kept in the congregation and that legal documents are executed properly.
8. *Assisting ministers may be members of the family or friends of the bride and groom or members of the wedding party assuming they are baptized Christians and members of a congregation.
9. *The service as printed in the hymnal, is for use by itself. It may, however, be placed in the context of the Holy Communion.* The celebration of the Eucharist at a wedding is especially fitting, for the festive garments worn for the congregational worship follow a “wedding feast” tradition (rather than the somberness of the “upper room”, and Jesus was at a wedding feast in Cana when he accomplished his first miracle; that of changing water into the “best” wine.
10. Should the couple choose to include Holy Communion, they should both be active members of a Christian Church, and both believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine, giving us his Body and Blood. Since the Eucharist is a demonstration of unity, it would be a shame if one member of the bridal couple participated and the other didn’t.
11. *When Holy Communion is celebrated, it must be open to the congregation and not limited to the bride and groom or the wedding party. If circumstances prevent including the congregation, the marriage service should be used alone.
12. Wedding Bulletins, if desired, are to be supplied by the couple.
13. A couple may wish to use the lighting of a wedding candle as a symbol of their union in marriage. After the Pastor has declared them married, they light a large candle on the altar with two smaller, flanking candles to indicate the joining of their individual lives into one. If a couple wishes to include this rite in the wedding, it is the responsibility of the couple to furnish the appropriate candles.
14. *Except during the marriage itself, the wedding party may occupy the front pews (or specifically provided chairs), and simply take part in the worship as members of the congregation.
15. There shall always be Lessons from the Scripture read, a Gospel reading and a sermon preached pertinent to the marriage. Options may be obtained from the pastor during planning.
16. PARTICIPANTS: The order for Marriage in the Service Book and Hymnal said it well: “Due reverence shall be maintained in the preparation for, and the celebration of, the marriage.” In order to ensure the seriousness of a wedding, it is strongly recommended that careful consideration be given to including young children in the bridal party.
17. DECORATIONS: All of the chancel furnishings and vestments are dedicated items and are not to be removed or covered in any way. The chairs in the sanctuary are not to be removed or rearranged. Any decorating of the church is to be accomplished at least one hour prior to the wedding service.
18. FLOWERS: Flowers, palms, etc. may be secured from a local florist. It is suggested, however, that smaller, simpler floral arrangements are not only less expensive, they are more effective. No nails or tacks may be used in the church to fasten any decorations.
19. AISLE RUNNER: If you wish to use one, you must supply your own. The aisle from front of altar to sanctuary doors is 25 feet.
20. PHOTOGRAPHS: These may not be taken during the actual wedding service. The only exception is that a time exposure (no flash) may be taken by a professional photographer from the narthex, or sides of the church. After the service, any and all portions of the Liturgy may be re-enacted or posed for the purpose of taking as many pictures as desired. It will be very helpful if the bridal couple explains the above policies to their photographer in advance of the wedding. Video equipment is restricted to the back of the church or on the sides.
21. RICE, CONFETTI, BIRDSEED, OR ANIMALS, ETC.: The throwing of rice shall be discouraged entirely. Confetti should never be used under any circumstances, since it is very difficult to clean up. Violation of this request will result in a cleaning bill. Animals are not to be included in wedding, with the exception of guide dogs.
22. MUSIC: The selection of music proper to the occasion, including the singing of congregational hymns, shall be worked out between the wedding couple, the Music Director, and the Pastor. The Pastor shall have the final decision regarding the use of any and all music. Recorded music is strongly discouraged.
23. ORGANIST: The normal procedure is that the congregation’s organist plays for all weddings. The wedding couple normally makes arrangements for all music to be used with the organist. If the wedding couple desires to have another organist play for their wedding, permission must be secured from the congregation’s Music Director. However, if Christ Our Savior’s organist cannot be present for the wedding, no stipend will be expected.
24. SOLOIST: The wedding couple can select their own soloist, should they desire one. The Pastor or organist can arrange for a soloist if desired. The Pastor has the final word on where in the service any special music can be offered. If the organist must rehearse with the soloist or rehearse a specifically requested piece, the organist will be paid the regular hourly rate. It shall be the responsibility of the bridal couple to provide adequate copies of music for both the organist and the soloist.
25. REHEARSALS: Everyone taking part in the wedding service (with the exception of the servers) is expected to be present and on time at the rehearsal. Parents of the bridal couple should also be present. Normally the Pastor (or wedding consultant) conducts the rehearsal. It is not absolutely necessary for the musician to be present. The wedding license must be in the Church Office no later than the Friday morning proceeding the day of the wedding. Children under the age of 12 must be under direct adult supervision during the rehearsal.
26. USHERS: Each wedding requires at least one usher to direct guests, hand out bulletins, etc. Ushers should be at least 14 years old, and should not be part of the wedding party itself. Ushers should attend rehearsal, if there is one.
27. PARKING: No vehicles shall be left overnight in the Church parking lot on day of wedding. A fee of $75.00 will be assessed for each vehicle left in the church lot through Sunday morning.
28. RECEPTIONS: The church office should be contacted to schedule any reception held at the church. All arrangements are the responsibility of the couple.
- MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT RECEPTIONS:
- 125 people seated
- 150 people standing
- NOTE: NO alcoholic beverages may be served in the Church building or on Church premises. Smoking is prohibited in all parts of the church building.
29. The pastors are normally not available for wedding receptions.
30. STIPENDS: These are the minimum amounts suggested (subject to change):
- Soloist……………..$75.00 for wedding (plus $25.00 for each additional)
- Pastor……………..$200.00 (non-members)
- Note: There is no set fee for the Pastor for member weddings. However, please consider the time the pastor has spent in preparing for your wedding on evenings and weekends, and his time at the wedding. The customary honorarium by members is usually $125.
There may be additional fees for excessive preparations or arrangements.
- A deposit is required (subject to change)
OTHER FEES (subject to change):
*Post wedding cleaning expenses beyond reasonable use will be deducted from this deposit. This deposit will be refunded if the church and grounds are left as you found them. The wedding couple is also responsible for the following, if services are used:
Custodian………………………$10.00 (per hour fee for non-members)
Use of Church………………(Member) – no charge
Use of Church………………(Non-member) – $300.00
Supervisor for Reception…..$10.00
Use of Kitchen…………………(Members) – no charge
Use of Kitchen…………………(Non-members) – $200.00
All stipends for non-members are PAYABLE AT THE REHEARSAL.
CLEANING CHECKLIST: Throw out all runners, runner tubes, flower boxes and wrappers. Remove all excess bulletins, remove ALL decorations from church building and sanctuary. Seating and tables should be returned to their positions prior to wedding.
Note: There is a “Brides Room” which may be used to dress or prepare for the wedding for your convenience.