Wedding Guidelines for the Church of the Living Water

Introduction

The Church of the Living Water welcomes the opportunity to share our wedding guidelines with you. The following wedding guidelines will assure you of a beautiful and memorable ceremony.

Marriage is a divine institution given by God at creation. Since He created it, He has both the right and the obligation to establish His own rules for marriage.

In view or the spiritual meaning and message of marriage which the church is committed to proclaim and preserve, and in view of the vows which a married person has made, our policy is to not marry a divorced person whose partner is still living (Romans 7:1-3, Luke 16:17-18), a believer to a non-believer (2 Corinthians 6:14-17) or two people of the same gender (Romans 1:26-27).

Minister

Arrange an appointment with the minister to discuss the dates you have chosen for the wedding and rehearsal to be sure he is free to perform the ceremony and to reserve the sanctuary and any other necessary facilities. Ordinarily weddings performed at the Church of the Living Water are conducted by its minister. If another minister is to be invited to conduct the ceremony or to share in the service, the invitation should be properly extended through the minister of the Church of the Living Water. The minister will be in charge of the wedding rehearsal and the wedding ceremony. All arrangements pertaining to the service of marriage should be made following the wedding guidelines and with full consultation of the minister.

Facilities

Our sanctuary and facilities are available to members upon request.

Date

Your wedding date can be made final only after you have contacted the minister and determined that the Church’s calendar and the minister’s schedule will allow for the date you have in mind. Please wait to have your invitations printed until the date is cleared.

Counseling

The minister will counsel with you as you prepare for marriage. Arrange for these sessions early before other details crowd the calendar. Four months before the proposed wedding date would be a good time to start. Eight weeks would be a bare minimum. Six sessions (usually one per week) are required. In pre-marital counseling, we will discuss personal matters such as finances; marital roles including sex; relationship with family and in-laws; and of course, the wedding ceremony itself. Pre-marital counseling has proven helpful for newlyweds and can alleviate troubles that come up in marriage.

The counseling sessions are free; however, there is a fee for the FOCCUS INVENTORY which is a part of the pre-marital preparations.

Music

Music and lyrics at a Christian wedding ceremony should glorify God who sanctifies marriage. Our general principle is that if a song would be appropriate during a church worship service, then it would be appropriate for a wedding. This does not explicitly exclude “secular” songs; it means the songs need to portray a Godly interpretation of life, love and relationships. If a song would not be appropriate for a church worship setting, then it would not be appropriate for a wedding in the church building. It is very important that you clear your music selections with the minister.

Pianist or Musicians

You will need to arrange for a pianist or other musicians if you plan to have live music. If you have a soloist or other special music, it is important that he/she meet with the pianist or musician(s) in advance of the rehearsal and come to the rehearsal well-prepared.

Sound Operator

A trained operator must be in the sound booth during the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony. The Church will supply a trained operator, but it is your responsibility to communicate with the sound operator in advance of the rehearsal to make sure that he/she is prepared to meet your needs regarding the sound equipment.

Decorations

You are free to decorate the sanctuary as you like, within reasonable limits. If you plan to use candles, they must be of the non-drip variety and we request that you use a protective covering on the floor space surrounding them. Proper precautions should be taken for safety and it would be a good idea to point out to the ushers the location of the fire extinguishers, just in case it would be necessary. Be sure to see that someone is delegated to light the candles. The Church does not own a lighting taper so you will need to obtain one before the rehearsal if you want to use a taper.

Cleanup

Since the Church does not have a full-time custodian, you must arrange for your own setup and cleanup. All wedding decorations must be removed the same day as the wedding unless other arrangements have been made with the church office. You may opt to leave flowers in the sanctuary to be used by the Church. If that’s your intention please notify the church office. If you are planning to have people throw rice, seeds, confetti or the like, this must be done outside. Wedding guidelines state clearly that nothing will be thrown inside the building.

Photography

Our wedding guidelines welcome flash photography before and after the ceremony, as well as during the processional and the recessional. The minister will instruct people to turn off their flashes during the main body of the ceremony. We recommend that pictures of the wedding party be finished at least one hour before the ceremony begins.

License

The marriage license should be given to the minister at the rehearsal. Don’t forget to apply early for your license as there is a waiting period of several days before you can receive your license.

Rehearsal

The minister is in charge of the rehearsal and will assist member of the wedding party to find their roles and places. A wedding consultant is not recommended. The rehearsal usually takes place the night prior to the wedding and prior to the rehearsal dinner if one is scheduled. All wedding participants must be at the rehearsal, including the ushers as there will be a short usher training session. The rehearsal is a time of careful preparation for the ceremony. Taking care to get things right during the rehearsal leaves everyone more relaxed on the wedding day.

Wedding Day

All wedding participants should be at the church building at least one hour before the scheduled starting time. The ushers will begin their duties approximately one half-hour before the ceremony begins. Facilities are available at the church building for changing clothes. Usually one of the classrooms on the lower level is reserved for the bride and her attendants to prepare and wait for the processional.

Reception

The facilities we have are available if you choose to use them.

Wedding Guidelines Regarding Finances/Costs

Plan your wedding wisely. Modest arrangements that you can afford are much more desirable than a lavish ceremony which results in beginning married life with debt from the ceremony.

Minister--no charge for members
Pianist/Musicians-- Varies
Use of the sanctuary and church facilities-- No charge to CLW members

Wedding Guidelines 1978
Revised 5/25/2010

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