285 North Dale Street  St. Paul, MN 55103 - (651)227-8295

A Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Saint Paul Area Synod

Affirmation of Welcome
Worship at Redeemer
Redeemer Ministries
Weddings at Redeemer
Your Wedding at Redeemer


Your Wedding at Redeemer
Pre-Marriage Counseling
"I feel like we got the support we needed to start off right."
We offer quarterly Pre-Marriage One-Day Workshops with other area Lutheran congregations, led by Karen Stevensen, an ordained Lutheran pastor and family counselor. You can find information (cost, dates, agenda) for these workshops at her website: http:\\
Couples can register for the workshop by email at
To the Bride and Groom Changing Rooms The Marriage Service
A Word About Marriage Guest Book A Sample Order of Service
Reserving the Time and Date Gifts and Cards Scripture Readings
Meeting with the Pastor Rice The Marriage Vows
Marriage License Smoking Holy Communion
The Wedding Host Food Music
The Wedding Rehearsal Photography Hymns For Weddings
The Day of the Wedding The Sanctuary
To the Bride and Groom:
We are glad you have selected Lutheran Church of the Redeemer as the place of your marriage celebration.  We welcome you as brothers and sisters in the community of faith.  In order that your marriage preparations go smoothly and this blessed event be both beautiful and meaningful, we ask you to read this booklet of guidelines.
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A Word about Marriage:
In Christian marriage two people "by their promises before God and in the presence of the congregation, bind themselves to one another as husband and wife" (Lutheran Book of Worship).  It is not the pastor who "declares" they are husband and wife, but the man and woman's promise of faithfulness to one another for life that makes the marriage.  This promise is made publicly before God, family, friends and congregation as witnesses.  The pastor is the primary witness, and so also fulfills a role for the state.
Christian marriage in the context of the church is a worship service, and not merely a civil ceremony.   The invited guests are not mere spectators, but participants in the service.  God is at the center to be praised, and the marriage service is a celebration of God's love, reflected in your love for each other.
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Reserving the Time and Date:
To reserve a time and date for your wedding, you should contact the office manager.  The normal time period allotted for a wedding in the sanctuary is five hours, which includes three hours prior to the service for dressing and photographs.  The date and time need to be confirmed with a pastor in order to be reserved for your wedding.
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Meeting with the Pastor:
If you will be using the pastor from Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.  Both prospective bride and groom should be at this initial interview.  In addition to making initial plans for your marriage service, the pastor will outline the fee schedule, options we have at Redeemer for pre-marital counseling and "Prepare" evaluation.
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Marriage License:
Weddings are regulate by the state and a marriage license must be secured in Minnesota.   You may apply for the license at the Clerk of Court in any County Courthouse in Minnesota.  Anyone who has had a previous marriage license must bring a copy of the divorce decree to the court. The fee for the marriage license must be paid at the time of application for a license.  Two witnesses, normally the "best man" and "maid/matron of honor" sign the marriage license and church certificate.
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The Wedding Host:
The role of the wedding host is to unlock / relock the doors on the day of the rehearsal and the day of the wedding.  The wedding host will also be available on those two days to answer questions regarding facilities, such as the basic use of the sound system, directing wedding party to appropriate changing rooms, location of bathrooms, etc.  The wedding host does not participate in any aspect of the rehearsal or the wedding.
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The Wedding Rehearsal:
Once your marriage date has been confirmed, arrangements for your rehearsal time will be made in coordination with the church calendar.  The rehearsal is usually set for the afternoon or evening prior to the wedding, although exceptions are possible.  For chapel weddings, a brief rehearsal prior to the ceremony is often sufficient.
For weddings in the sanctuary, a rehearsal will be necessary.  This rehearsal will take about one hour.  The purpose of the rehearsal is to acquaint the bridal party with their respective roles in the marriage service, so all those who will participate in the wedding should be there (bride, groom, parents, bridal attendants, groomsmen, ushers, etc.).  The organist does not customarily attend this rehearsal, nor do musicians and scripture readers.  They normally rehearse on the day of the wedding, an hour prior to the service.
Please ask all members of the bridal party to be prompt.  Out of respect for the church sanctuary, we also ask that appropriate attire be worn (i.e no "tank tops", "cut-offs", visors or baseball caps, please) at the rehearsal.
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The Day of the Wedding:
The time allotted for your wedding, pictures, and clean-up is five (5) hours, which should be sufficient for all your preparations, photographs, and ceremony.
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Changing Rooms:
The bride and her attendants may change in the Choir Room or in the Nursery.  Both rooms is adjacent to a Women's Restroom.  The groom, groomsmen and ushers may change in the East Transept room by the Undercroft.  Please DO NOT LEAVE CLOTHING OR VALUABLES in these rooms during the marriage service.  Please pack them up and keep them in the locked trunk of your car (not in the passenger seats).  Have someone in charge of valuables or personal items at all times.  Unfortunately, people do "prey" on weddings, and we cannot take responsibility for anything lost or stolen the day of your wedding.
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Guest Book:
A guest book may be placed in the narthex for guests to sign as they enter the church up to 5 minutes before the service.  At that time the book will be closed so your wedding may begin on time.  Late arrivals may sign the guest book after the service or at the reception.
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Gifts and Cards:
The church assumes no responsibility for gifts or cards.  We suggest you prepare a card box for cards and have scotch tape available to attach loose cards to packages.  The bride and groom will appreciate this!  Someone should be in charge of gifts and cards at all times.
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The throwing of rice, confetti is NOT ALLOWED inside the church building or anywhere on the church grounds.  Bird seeds may be thrown or bubbles blown outside the building as the bridal couple leaves the church (if they do not re-enter the church).
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There is NO SMOKING permitted inside the church, including the restrooms and dressing rooms.
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Any snacks or food should be restricted to the Undercroft and the adjoining kitchen.  No food or drink may be consumed in the narthex or sanctuary.  Please throw all pop cans, candy wrappers or food bags in the proper trash receptacles.
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Your photographer may take pictures of your wedding party prior to the service in the church sanctuary, the Undercroft, or other rooms you have reserved prior to the wedding.  You will want to be finished at least one-half hour before the service so your guests may begin being seated, and so the participants can relax before the ceremony.  Remember the church will be open for your use up to three hours prior to the service.  This should be sufficient time for pictures.  Please inform your photographer of this, as additional time would make an earlier arrival time necessary, and there would be an added charge to you.
There are NO FLASH PICTURES allowed during the marriage service (with the exception of the processional and recessional).  Please inform the photographer and your family and guests, with an announcement in your wedding bulletin.
Video recording is allowed as long as the recorders remain in any of three stationary positions:  in of the choir transepts, or in the balcony.  No photographs or taping may be done from the chancel area.  Any moving around distracts from your marriage service.
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The Sanctuary:
Please remember the sanctuary is the place of worship for this congregation.  Again, we ask that no food or drink be brought into the church sanctuary.  No church "furniture" may be moved around in the sanctuary, nor may any items the church has placed on the altar be moved or removed (except by the church staff).  Fresh flowers only may be placed on the flower stands in the chancel.  No other decorations (bows, etc.) may be added to the altar, lectern, pulpit or chancel area, except for the Unity Candle and candelabra.  Paraments on the lectern, altar and pulpit may not be obscured or decorated, nor may the colors be changed (as the colors reflect the season of the church year).
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The Marriage Service:
The marriage service is above all a worship service of the church which begins with the conviction that God's love is the basis for your love for one another.  At the center of your marriage service should be a proclamation of the love of God.  An equal amount of importance should be placed on preparations for the worship service as for all the other details of your wedding.  The service normally includes instrumental and vocal music, hymns, prayers, scripture readings, and pastor's homily, in addition to your exchange of vows and rings.  The pastor will assist you in these preparations.
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A Sample Order of Service:
Prelude (vocal solo optional)
Processional Hymn or instrumental
Declaration of Intention
Prayer of the Day
Scripture Readings
Sermon (Marriage Homily)
Hymn of the Day (or vocal solo)
Giving of Rings
Other Symbols of marriage, i.e. Unity Candle (optional)
Marriage Blessing & Prayers
Sharing of the Peace
MEAL (optional)
Eucharistic Prayer
Lord's Prayer
Distribution of Communion (vocal solo or instrumental music)
Blessing & Presentation of the Couple
Recessional Hymn (or instrumental music)
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Scripture Readings:
You may choose your own scripture selections to be read in the service.  A friend or family member may read the scripture, or you may wish the pastor to do so.  Following is a list of some selections from the Old Testament, the Epistles and Gospels.
Old Testament
Genesis 1:26-28 (29-31) The Creation of Humankind
Genesis 2:18-24 Man and Woman as One Flesh
Isaiah 63:7-9 God's Mercy Remembered
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 The Beauty of Love
Jeremiah 31:31-34 The New Covenant
Portions of the following Psalms may be appropriate:
Psalm 33 The Greatness and Goodness of God
Psalm 100 Praise God All the Earth!
Psalm 117 All Nations Praise the Lord!
Psalm 127, 128 The Happy Home of the Faithful
Psalm 136 The Steadfast Love of God
Psalm 150 Praise the Lord!
Romans 12:1-2, 9-13 Marks of the Christian Life
Colossians 3:12-17 Living in Love and Thanksgiving
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
    (or 13:4-8,13)
The Greatest Gift is Love
1 John 4:7-12 The Love of God
Ephesians 5:21-33
    (or 1-2, 25-33)
The Christian Household
Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord Always
Matthew 19:4-6 What God Has Joined Together
Mark 10:6-9 Two Become One
John 15:9-12 (or 9-17) Love One Another
John 2:1-11 The Wedding at Cana
The pastor will relate the texts you choose to the theme of Christian love, marriage and faithfulness, during the homily.
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The Marriage Vows:
There are several appropriate versions of vows for your marriage, which give words to your mutual promise of faithfulness to each other for life.  You may choose the vows directly from the Lutheran Book of Worship, or you may choose more traditional vows, or even write your own.  The pastor will help you make your choice, and show you some options.
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Holy Communion:
You may request that your marriage service include a celebration of Holy Communion.  As Holy Communion is a sign of unity, the Sacrament is not appropriate unless the congregation participates.  Under no circumstances should the bread and wine be received by the bride and groom alone, to the exclusion of the congregation.  Holy Communion is appropriate when all guests are invited to receive the bread and wine, and can enrich the meaning of your marriage celebration.  However, you may need to consider whether all of your guests will feel comfortable participating in the service of Holy Communion when deciding whether or not to include this in your wedding.
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A Christian wedding is a worship service of the church, and we encourage family and guests to participate as well as the bride and groom.  The promise that the man and woman make to one another is central, of course, along with the prayers and blessings on their life together.  The various parts of the service also offer praise and thanks to God for the gift of marriage and family.  Music is one way in which we praise God.
The "Manual on the Liturgy" for the Lutheran Book of Worship reads, in regards to music in the marriage service, that "...the music therefore must be carefully and discriminatingly chosen.  It should embody high standards of quality and the texts should reflect the praise of God, the steadfast love of Christ for his church as the foundation and model for love and fidelity in marriage, the invocation of God's presence and blessing."
In every case, music selected "should be of high quality and not cloud the mood of the service with triteness or sentimentality.  It should moreover be within the ability of the performers at hand to play or sing with assurance" ("Manual on the Liturgy").
While there are appropriate contemporary songs, remember that recordings of such music are made under ideal conditions with sophisticated electronic equipment which we do not have available.  Performing these selections on a pipe organ or piano will not sound like the recorded selections.
As an "offering of praise and thanks to God", music in the church is performed "live" on instruments or sung by the human voice.  Pre-recorded music is not appropriate for church worship.  Plan to use pre-recorded music at the reception.
Vocal music selections of a "secular" (not "sacred") nature, though often "beautiful" in themselves, are generally not appropriate for a worship service, and are best used at the reception.  Sometimes a secular selection may be sung prior to the service, before the processional.  Please consult with the organist before planning this, or any of your musical selections.
In summary, if you can answer "yes" to the following questions, the music is probably appropriate:
1. Does this music/text reflect praise and/or thanksgiving to God?
2. Is it based on, or does it reflect, a scriptural theme?
3. Is this song in the form of a prayer?
The church organist is a professional musician who will be of great help to you in selecting music for your wedding.  It is your responsibility to contact the organist to discuss the music (organ preludes and processional, hymns, vocal music and organ postludes and recessional).  The organist will help you to make an appropriate selection, in consultation with the pastor.  The careful selection of music will help enrich your wedding service by making it even more beautiful, worshipful and memorable.
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Hymns for Weddings:
There are several wonderful hymns that would be very appropriately used in your wedding.  A hymn could be sung as a processional, after the greeting/opening prayer, in place of special music, during the lighting of the Unity Candle, or as a closing hymn (recessional).  A familiar hymn is a great way to involve the congregation in your marriage celebration and enrich its meaning.  A few of these hymns are listed below.
Processionals or Recessionals:
Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (ELW 835)
Now Thank We All Our God (ELW 839, 840)
O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright (ELW 308)
When Morning Gilds the Skies (ELW 853)
Beautiful Savior (ELW 838)
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (ELW 858, 859)
For the Beauty of the Earth (ELW 879)
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (ELW 631)
Morning Has Broken (ELW 556)
Hymn of the Day:
Beloved, Godís Chosen (ELW 648)
Jesus, Come! For We Invite You (ELW 312)
Hear Us Now, Our God and Father (ELW 585)
This is a Day, Lord, Gladly Awaited (ELW 586)
Blest Be the Tie That Binds (ELW 656)
Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life (ELW 816)
Come with Us, O Blessed Jesus (tune: Jesu, Joy of Manís Desiring) (ELW 501)
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This Web Page was last updated on:  05/13/2013 03:06:07 PM