When planning your wedding remember that you are preparing for a service of worship. Therefore all decisions and choices to be made throughout your planning and preparation result from that underlying premise.
Since the wedding ceremony within a congregational setting assumes a relationship with Christ and the Church, our perspective is a pastoral one. Weddings are permitted, including the hosting of same-gender weddings within our Church, only when one of the couple to be married is a member of the congregation or the child or grandchild of a presently active member. Any member wanting to schedule a wedding must be an active member on the rolls of the church for a full twelve months before a wedding date can be scheduled and before a wedding deposit can be received.
There are several guidelines, based on years of experience at St. John’s, that must be followed. Please be assured that our goal as St. John’s staff is to help make your wedding meaningful and memorable for you, your family, and friends, as well as the congregation.
You may wish to note questions to discuss with the St. John’s pastor who will preside at your wedding. Typically, you should plan on four pre-marital sessions with the pastor in order to properly prepare for your wedding. No wedding will be performed unless sufficient time has been made for pre-marital counseling.
Preparation and Planning
The Presiding Pastor
St. John’s has a staff of pastors, each with several specific parish responsibilities. Pastoral availability is considered when reserving space for your wedding, but availability of a given pastor is not automatic. Weddings will not be scheduled during Holy Week. Pastors of St. John’s will perform all weddings. If a relative is an ordained clergy, the presiding pastor may agree to invite the relative to assist in some of the service.
The Wedding Coordinator
A wedding coordinator will be assigned to you to be of assistance with appropriate customs and practices at St. John’s. The coordinator will help with arrangements for the wedding ceremony and rehearsal. You can expect a phone call from your coordinator several months in advance of your wedding date. The coordinator does not expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner or the wedding reception.
Service of Marriage
The Service of Marriage in the Lutheran Book of Worship is a celebration of Christian worship, which offers a Christ-centered experience. This service offers a complete and unified order but also allows for a variety of alternatives.
Order of Worship
Refer to pages 286-291 in the Lutheran Book of Worship. The basic order of service is:
- Scripture Lessons and/or Homily
- Exchange of Rings
- Prayers and the Lord’s Prayer
The service allows for the celebration of Holy Communion within the context of the service. At St. John’s all who seek to meet the Risen Christ in the bread and wine are invited to receive Holy Communion. The presiding pastor will be happy to discuss this with you.
One of St. John’s organists will play for all weddings scheduled at St. John’s. The organist’s fee is included in the total wedding package. All arrangements for music, rehearsals of soloists, and instrumentalists are to be made with the organist. Only music appropriate to a worship service may be used.
Wedding Fees and Worship Center Selection
A non-refundable deposit of half of the wedding fee is required before the church can be reserved for your wedding. Your officiating pastor must first approve the date of your wedding. Total fees are due at least one month before your wedding date.
The fee is $850 for members to have a wedding at St. John’s. Non-members must consult with the staff wedding consultant regarding the fee. This fee includes:
- Use of the Sanctuary for the wedding and rehearsal
- Custodial Services
- Pastoral Services
The Chapel is available for smaller weddings of 35 people or fewer. The fee of $550 for members. Non-members must consult with the staff wedding consultant regarding the fee. This fee includes:
- Use of the Chapel for both the wedding and the rehearsal
- Pianist (there is a piano, but no organ)
- Custodial Services
- Pastoral Services
St. John’s Policies
- Rice or birdseed may not be used in the church building or on the premises.
- Releasing of balloons is not permitted in the church building or on the premises.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the church building or on the premises.
- Smoking is not allowed in any part of the church building or on the premises.
The marriage license must be purchased at the McLean County Court House and is good for sixty days. Please bring the marriage license to the church office no later than two days prior to the wedding (preferably a week prior), in order to insure completed processing. The signing of the license will be completed at the rehearsal.