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Weddings at St. Michael's
GUIDELINES-MARRIAGE SERVICE

The Christian wedding is a unique service in the church: on the one hand all marriages are governed by the state; on the other hand, the church marriage service is to be conducted from within a Christian context, reflective of our faith. Paul the Apostle compared marital love to Christ’s love for his church (1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5).

1. All those who seek to be married in the church are aske to contact the Pastor at least three months in advance (unless valid circumstances preclude). Dates during Lent are strongly discouraged. No weddings will be celebrated during Holy Week, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Easter Day.
2. Marriage in the church and the service itself is orientated for baptized people, i.e. people with faith in Jesus. It is assumed that couples are baptized Christians. If not, they should enter classes with the pastor to prepare for baptism, or at least learn about Christianity so they understand the nature of the prayers and references to Christ in the wedding ceremony. Please speak to Pastor Weiss about your circumstances and do not presume they preclude a wedding through the church.
3. The Parish Pastor shall normally officiate at the wedding but may approve other clergy at her discretion.
4. The Organist of the church shall normally be engaged for the music of the wedding at the church building. Another Organist may serve, provided the regular Organist concurs. Unless he or she has absolutely no responsibilities in the wedding, the Organist is to be paid the normal fee. All music to be scheduled in the wedding is to be negotiated with Organist who will meet with the couple at mutual convenience.

1. The music of the wedding shall reflect the finest traditions of the church. Music emphasizing romantic love, sentimentalism or the glorification of human beings is strongly discouraged. It is your wedding, however, so we try not to dictate. We just want it to be in good taste.
2. Couples seeking marriage shall meet with the Pastor for counseling, which will normally include a discussion of Christian marriage, a couple awareness inventory, and the planning of the service itself. If the Pastor judges, with good cause, that the planning process should not proceed, she will so inform the couple as early as possible in the preparatory period. The counseling usually takes three sessions.
3. The fee schedule is as follows:
• There is no pastor’s fee for active supporting members as marriage preparation is part of her ministry to the member. The fee for non-members is $300 for the use of the pastor’s time and the counseling.
• If the wedding takes place at a site other than the church the non member pastor’s fee is $500.
• The building use fee for weddings at the church is $200 for non members.
• The Organist fee for the rehearsal and service is $200.
• If she accompanies a soloist on one song it is an additional $50, two songs; $75, three of more; $100
• If the wedding takes place elsewhere than St. Michael the organist fees double due to travel expenses, practice time on an unfamiliar instrument, etc.
• The Custodian fee is $50 for a wedding that occurs at the church building.
• If the couple chooses to have a service bulletin the cost to order is approximately $10 per hundred. The church secretary can print the bulletins at a cost of $15 to her for her time.
• The "PREPARED" pre-martial inventory computer scoring costs $35.
• A thank offering to St. Michael is encouraged, but not required.

1. The throwing of rice or bird seed is not encouraged. If the couple plans it, they are asked to have their photography at the Altar completed before they go outside, to prevent tracking of confetti, etc. into the church. Care should be taken that such materials do not litter the church.
2. Photography is not permitted during the service (as soon as the bride has reached the groom). A video camera is permitted as negotiated with the Pastor. It is to be fixed on a stationary tripod in an inconspicuous place.
3. Holy Communion may be included in the service in the context of the full service of Word and Sacrament. If it is, it shall be open to all baptized Christians who commune it their own tradtion..
4. The Marriage License is to be given to the Pastor at the rehearsal. All fees should be paid at the rehearsal.
5. If you wish the pastor to attend your rehearsal dinner or reception, send her an invitation. She will not assume she is invited to these functions, otherwise, but will not be offended if she is not invited.