Thank you for considering West Lafayette Christian Church as the place where you wish to seal your marriage vows. We are honored by your interest, and want to let you know what is involved in preparing for your wedding at WLCC.
God has a wonderful plan for marriage. His provision for man and woman to spend life together in a committed relationship can be one of life’s highest blessings.
As a church we are committed to helping couples build strong Christian marriages. Since “church weddings” have no value in themselves, it is our desire to help couples grow in a living relationship with God that will not only bring great joy to both individuals, but will also give the marriage the best possibility for success.
We understand that some couples at this time in their lives are simply interested in a nice wedding and at this time do not desire to grow in their relationship with God. In these situations, a Justice of the Peace at another site or other arrangements would probably best serve the couple’s needs.
Because marriage is more than just saying, “I do,” we provide a variety of services, both before and after the wedding day. We offer these in an effort to help each couple realize God’s best in their lives.
Premarital counseling is not a religious indoctrination program, but rather focuses on the marriage relationship. Its purpose is to help the couple know each other better, consider potential problem areas of family life, establish effective ways to resolve conflicts, improve communication, understand how to keep love growing after marriage, and build a solid spiritual foundation for the home. The importance of premarital counseling cannot be overstated and must be assigned your highest priority.
Premarital counseling should begin no later than six months in advance of your wedding date. A schedule for all the counseling will be set up so that it will be as convenient as possible.
The counseling involves both parties completing a PREPARE/ENRICH Inventory. These Inventories evaluate your relationship in terms of strengths and potential areas of growth. Go to lifeinnovations.com for more information about these Inventories. A nominal fee is charged for processing the results. The couple is responsible for this fee. It is to be paid at the first session.
The counseling also involves several personal sessions with the officiating minister touching on areas covered in the Inventories. There may also be additional outside assignments and/or reading to supplement these sessions.
Special needs, circumstances or problems may require more sessions with the minister or a professional counselor as the minister deems necessary. The couple is responsible for any costs incurred for professional counseling. If finances are a problem, we will endeavor to assist you with that need.
Your actual rehearsal and wedding plans, as well as policies and procedures for use of the building and grounds, will be discussed separately at the conclusion of the counseling sessions.
Our primary concern is that some sort of premarital counseling be shared by the couple if they are having their wedding associated with WLCC. You may, therefore, choose to see a professional counselor or another minister of your choice for this purpose. In such a case, upon completion of those counseling sessions to the satisfaction of the officiating minister, we will proceed to the wedding planning session(s).
We do not require couples being married at WLCC to be members of this congregation. We do, however, expect three things of those who are being married at WLCC.
First, we ask that couples be aware of, and understand, our church’s position on marriage. It is our position that (Biblical) marriage is sanctioned by God and that it joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. For this church, and those authorized by this church, to solemnize any other sort of civil union or marriage (e.g., “same-sex marriage”) would be a violation of our beliefs and faith. Likewise, for us to provide goods, services or the use of our grounds and/or facilities for any other sort of civil union or marriage, or other gatherings or receptions associated with that union or marriage, would be a violation of our beliefs and faith. Couples, therefore, that do not meet the Biblical criteria are not candidates for marriage at WLCC. The staff and/or elders of WLCC would be happy to meet with you to explain this position in greater detail if it is desired.
Second, we ask that couples be willing to abide by Christian conduct as set forth in the Bible for unmarried couples. To that end we do ask the following:
- That both be professing Christians. We are told in 1 Corinthians 7 and 2 Corinthians 6 that we are to marry “in the Lord” and are not to be “unequally yoked.” You do not have to presently be church members but you do have to profess your belief in Christ.
- Couples must remain celibate and not live together prior to the wedding. The officiating minister will not perform the ceremony if the couple is living at the same address. This is not to sit in judgment of you, but the Church cannot compromise the standard that God has set forth in His Word. Even though the world has put their stamp of approval on living together before marriage, God has not. In fact, the Bible says, “let not there be even a hint of sexual immorality among you” (Ephesians 5:3) and “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). If you would like to talk about this Biblical issue, the officiating minister would be happy to discuss the Church’s teaching on this matter. If finances are a problem, we will do all we can to find one of you housing until your wedding day.
- Divorced people may be considered for marriage at WLCC after counsel with, and at the discretion of, the officiating minister being asked to perform the ceremony. No subsequent marriage after divorce of a spouse will be performed until at least one year has passed from the time the divorce is finalized.
- In the case of premarital pregnancy, the marriage may or may not be performed depending on the maturity of the persons involved and other considerations.
- Couples will not be married if either person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs (other than those prescribed by a doctor) before or during the wedding or rehearsal.
- If any of the following is a past or ongoing issue in your lives or relationship, it must be resolved to the satisfaction of the officiating minister before he will consent to perform the wedding: lack of openness to spiritual counsel; emotional instability, immaturity or incompatibility; substance, spousal or child abuse; financial mismanagement; history/practice of immorality; or any other matter which the officiating minister considers a significant barrier to a happy, lasting marriage.
- No WLCC minister will marry a couple if another minister of the church has refused to perform the ceremony based on spiritual reasons.
- No same-sex marriages will be performed under any circumstances.
Third, the best marriage is not merely a couple that loves each other but one that has the Lord at the center of the home. Since it is unlikely that this will happen apart from their involvement together in a church, we require and expect the couple to participate together in Sunday morning worship and suggest an additional small group Bible study during this time of preparation (premarital counseling) for the wedding day. This small group Bible study may be a Sunday school class, a mid-week Bible study or another counselor-approved small group. These small groups will provide not only a Bible study together, but also an opportunity to begin making friends with other married couples who will contribute invaluable supportive relationships. If you do not live locally, or will live somewhere else following marriage, the expectation is that you will involve yourselves with a church in your home area during this time of wedding preparation (premarital counseling) if you have not already done so.
The officiating minister must approve the wedding and dates before sending invitations and newspaper announcements. The date for the wedding will not be officially set on the church calendar until after the counseling is completed to the satisfaction of the officiating minister. This means that no wedding will be booked less than four months in advance of the wedding date in order to allow time for premarital counseling and other wedding planning to be completed. The officiating minister can terminate his involvement and that of WLCC in the premarital or wedding planning process for any cause or reason he deems sufficient that is not already stated above.
The rehearsal, as well as the wedding itself, must be scheduled with the officiating minister. Requests for reservations for a wedding, reception in the church fellowship hall, decoration of fellowship hall for a reception, and rehearsal dates must be made with the church secretary of WLCC following approval by the officiating minister.
It is of great importance that all participants in the wedding be present for the rehearsal to ensure a smooth running ceremony. The marriage license should be brought to the church at this time. No wedding will occur without a marriage license.
All fees and deposits must be paid on time for the wedding to be held as scheduled. The following are the usual costs associated with premarital counseling and wedding planning:
- $35 processing fee for your PREPARE/ENRICH Inventories. Payment is due at the first counseling session. The check is payable to Life Innovations, Inc. or PREPARE/ENRICH.
- $300 for use of the church auditorium (non-members) due two weeks prior to the wedding. The auditorium can seat approximately 300 people.
- $300 for use of the church fellowship hall for rehearsal or reception (non-members) due two weeks prior to the wedding. The fellowship hall can accommodate approximately 150 people.
- A refundable deposit equal to the above amount(s) for facilities due when rehearsal and wedding dates are confirmed;
- The officiating minister does not charge a fee for his services, but an honorarium is encouraged and appreciated.
If after reading the Wedding Policy you are interested in using our services, please fill out the enclosed Bride and Groom’s Application Forms and return them to WLCC. Upon their receipt we will contact you and schedule an initial get-to-know-you interview.
West Lafayette Christian Church
1980 Lindberg Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: (765) 463-7995