5. SCHEDULE PREMARITAL COUNSELING
Will you do premarital counseling sessions with the couple?
If so, agree in your first meeting how many sessions you will you meet for, and when you will you meet.
Schedule it all upfront.
6. AGREE ON PAYMENT
If you charge for officiating a wedding, which I think you should since you are working and taking time away from your family, you need to agree on the payment amount and when the payment is due.
For example, if you decide to charge $100 to perform their wedding, make sure they know that you will need the $100 a week before the wedding.
Decide what you think is best. It’s not unusual to charge between $100-300 for a wedding.
If you struggle with taking money to perform a wedding, think about the number of hours it requires of you.
First, you have the meeting with the couple which may run for an hour. Then, if you do premarital counseling, you may meet three or four times for another hour each time. Next, you’ll spend time preparing and practicing the ceremony. And if there’s a rehearsal ceremony, you’ll spend an hour or two there. Plus, you’ll spend at least two hours at the wedding.
So in total, you could easily spend 10 or more hours on one wedding.
You deserve to be compensated for your time just as much or more than the photographer, wedding coordinator, caterer, DJ and all the other professionals that charge for their services in exchange for the value they provide.
7. PRAY WITH THEM
It’s easy to get caught up in the practical side of scheduling and planning the wedding and neglect the spiritual side.
Don’t forget to bring God into every step of the process.
PLANNING THE WEDDING CEREMONY
Although it can vary, most wedding ceremonies follow a standard order: procession, welcome, declaration of intent, giving the bride away, sermon, vows, ring exchange, optional added elements, pronouncement, kiss, recessional and closing comments.
Music plays. The pastor, groom and groomsmen enter. The bridal party, ring bearer and flower girl enter. Then, all stand (traditionally led by the mother of the bride standing first) and the bride is escorted down the aisle (usually by her father).
“Dearly beloved we are gathered here today…”
The pastor greets everyone, explains the reason for the gathering, often stating the purpose of marriage, and then prays for God to bless the marriage.
3. DECLARATION OF INTENT
“Do you take this man to be your husband…?”
The bride and groom say “I do” to declare their intention to be married.
4. GIVING BRIDE AWAY
“Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
Traditionally, the father of the bride responds to grant his approval to the marriage.
Often at this time, the pastor will also ask people to speak now if they have any reason to object to the marriage.
But instead of a tense moment where everyone holds their breath hoping no one speaks up, I like to include a response of family and friends to agree to support the couple in their marriage.
The pastor reads a passage of Scripture and delivers a brief message directed toward the bride and groom.
I will also use this time to explain the gospel and how it applies to marriage briefly.
This helps the bride and groom understand how their faith connects to their marriage and also presents an opportunity to share the gospel with those in the audience who may have never heard it before.