St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church

122 West National Road

Vandalia, OH 45377











Revised November 2006

by Church Council action


Welcome to St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church and our Wedding Guidelines.These guidelines were revised and approved by our Congregational Council in July 2002.They were developed from notes and suggestions contained in The Manual on the Liturgy:Lutheran Book of Worship and from our own experience of providing wedding ministry over the years.We ask that you read over them carefully and prayerfully.


Marriage is . . .



Marriage is a structure belonging to all humanity.Marriage is essentially a covenant of fidelity between a man and woman made with societyís sanction, grounded in the steadfast love of God.Godís abiding faithfulness is the model:as He is, so should we be.


Marriage is a glad occasion overflowing with joy.Those who celebrate marriage rejoice in the gifts of God:life, health, strength, sexuality, family Ė all that the Creator declared from the beginning to be ďvery good.Ē


Marriage is of interest to both church and state, and marriage is done in the presence of a representative of one or the other.It is not the minister who performs the marriage but the wedding couple.The bride and groom marry each other, exchanging vows of faithfulness and commitment to each other, and the minister is the principal witness to their action.Family and friends gather with the couple to witness the exchanging of vows.It is in this community of prayer and support that the couple begins their new life together.


Marriage is the relationship between a man and a woman.The marriage union is not complete until God is invited to be an active partner in the union.It is only through the power, presence, and grace of God in the marriage, that the promises of love and fidelity shared on the wedding day can have any hope of lasting a lifetime.

Wedding Requests


Requests for weddings to be held at St. Johnís come from members, former members and those with no affiliation with the Church.It is the policy of St. Johnís Lutheran Church that only church members may be married in the sanctuary. For the purpose of the wedding guidelines only, church membership is defined as a confirmed adult member of St. Johnís Lutheran Church and his/her child. The pastor of St. Johnís, presiding at the wedding, must approve any deviation from this policy.Exceptions include:


1.    Individuals who have established a significant pattern of regular worship at St. Johnís Lutheran Church.

2.    Members of area Lutheran churches with a pastoral vacancy.

3.    At the discretion of the pastor and with approval of the Congregational Council.



Planning Your Wedding . . .



Wedding Worship


A wedding is a time of special thanks and praise.You are asking Godís blessing upon your life together.In worship you join with family and friends in celebration.During your planning, remember every person involved in the wedding ceremony and every part of the wedding ceremony should be seen as adding to your worship of God and your celebration of joy.


The pastor and wedding couple will design the marriage service with the help of The Lutheran Book of Worship and other resources.The pastor will make suggestions to tailor the service to your needs, focusing on the true meaning of marriage and the close fellowship we know as Godís family.






Scheduling a wedding date one year in advance is not unusual.At least a four (4) month notice is required so that proper counseling and other preparations can be made.


After you have selected a date and time, it is important to call the pastor of St. Johnís to ensure the day and time are available on our church calendar.No wedding date is reserved or final until approved by the pastor.When the wedding date is set, the pastor will arrange for pre-marital counseling.


Weddings are to be scheduled and placed on the church calendar only by the Pastor in accordance with the St. Johnís Wedding Guidelines.


To avoid conflicts on the days weddings are scheduled, no other activities in the church building will be scheduled without approval from the Pastor.




All arrangements for the wedding music are to be made with our church organist.The organist is asked to submit all music titles to the pastor two (2) weeks prior to the wedding.All music to be used in the wedding ceremony must be approved by the pastor.It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to contact the church organist after the initial meeting with the pastor.


Since the marriage service is a form of worship, the music must be carefully chosen.The music should be in keeping with the worship of God, the atmosphere of the church, and the capabilities of the organ.


The wedding music prior to the service, both instrumental and vocal, has the responsibility of setting the mood.This does not mean the music should be ponderous and dull!It should be festive and joyful.It does mean the music should direct oneís thoughts to God.


Any number of musical options are possible before the entrance procession:solo, ensemble, or choral pieces; organ or other instrumental music, or music using a combination of these options.Whenever music is employed in the service and by whatever instruments or voices, it should be within the ability of the performers at hand to play or sing with assurance.


The church organist is the custodian of our organ.Requests for a different organist must be made through the church organist.Any soloist or outside musicians may be of your own choice, but they should contact the church organist in ample time to arrange for rehearsals.


Please see page eight (8) of this document for details concerning our organistís fees.


Participation of Other Clergy


If you wish another ordained Christian clergy person to assist in the wedding service, share this desire with the pastor of St. Johnís.However, as host in our church home, the pastor of St. Johnís congregation will officiate at all weddings.


Marriage License


The marriage license is to be turned in to the church office on the day of the wedding rehearsal.There will be no rehearsal until the pastor has the marriage license in his/her possession.The pastor and your witnesses later sign the certificate.


Church Property


We are pleased to provide you with the use of our sanctuary and furnishings.All chancel furnishings are dedicated items and are not to be removed or concealed by decorations.A complete list of items provided by the church can be found in theďWedding Host Guidelines.Ē


The altar paraments are seasonal and the color represents that part of the church year in which your wedding is celebrated.These colors are not changed for weddings.


Your wedding host can assist with flower and candle selection, along with answering questions related to other chancel decorations.An aisle cloth or runner may be rented from a local florist.The wedding host must approve all chancel decorations.


Out of respect for the worship of God, the church property and our custodian, we request any birdseed be thrown outside of the church.We request rice never be thrown due to the nature of clean up and to prevent accidents.


St. Johnís Lutheran Church is a no smoking facility.We request no smoking inside any of our buildings.





Once a day and time have been finalized for your wedding, a rehearsal date and time will also be scheduled.A ďwedding host(s)Ē who will also assist you with planning and help to answer any questions will contact you.See ďWedding Host GuidelinesĒ for more detailed information.The pastor will direct the rehearsal, with assistance from the wedding host.It is important that only the immediate wedding party is present for the rehearsal and they are on time.




Local photographers and local florists have served weddings in our church for many years and are aware of our procedures.We do not permit flash photography while the wedding service is in progress.Please inform your guests of this as well.Any poses may be taken before or after the service and time exposures from the balcony are permitted.


If you plan to have your wedding service preserved on video, the videographer must be present at the rehearsal to discuss video guidelines with the pastor.




Our church fees are listed at the bottom of this page.Payment of all fees must be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the marriage service.Payment by check must be made payable to:St. Johnís Lutheran Church.Organist fees must be arranged with the organist and must also be made thirty (30) days in advance.If you secure the services of other musicians or singers, you are responsible for their fee or honorarium.


If the church fees and organistís fees are not paid by the required date or if checks are returned for insufficient funds, St. Johnís Lutheran Church reserves the right to cancel involvement in your wedding ceremony.Should that become necessary, we will communicate notice of cancellation by telephone or US mail within two (2) business days.



Member†††††††††††††††††††† Non-Member


Pastoral Service††††††††††††††††† No Fee††††††††††††††††††††† $150.00


Sanctuary Usage†††††††††††††††† No Fee††††††††††††††††††††† $500.00


Sanctuary Cleaning†††††††††††† $75.00†††††††††††††††††††††† $75.00


Fellowship Hall Usage††††††††† No Fee††††††††††††††††††††† $200.00


Fellowship Hall Cleaning†††††† $100.00†††††††††††††††††††† $100.00


Wedding Host(s)†††††††††††††††† No Fee††††††††††††††††††††† $75.00


Sound†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† No Fee††††††††††††††††††††† $25.00


Margaret Dill

Music Director/Organist

7883 Brookville-Phillipsburg Rd.

Brookville, OH 45309





As organist at St. Johnís Lutheran Church, I hope to help make your wedding a special and memorable day.My fee for attending both the rehearsal and wedding is $110.This includes initial consultation with the bride and groom to select music and discuss details.It also includes rehearsal with any additional musicians.


If I attend the wedding only, my fee is $75.This includes a phone consultation to discuss music selection and any other details to be considered.My fee is payable on the same day church fees are paid.


I look forward to serving as the organist at your wedding and making the music beautiful, meaningful and stress-free!