Congratulations! You are embarking on one of the most exciting and sacred adventures of your life – marriage! We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with you in preparing a service that will be worshipful, meaningful, personal, and memorable. The people of First Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church asks the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to bless your new life together with peace, true happiness, and holiness.

• Contact Pastor Johnson via email or call the church office at 312.642.7172, extension 22.

• Pastor Johnson will officiate at all marriages, or may upon mutual agreement, designate another Pastor to do so.

• Saturday weddings normally take place after 4PM. (Earlier on Saturdays, we serve 125+ people in need of a hot meal in our building.) If you want the wedding to be earlier in the afternoon, there is an extra fee of $50 for custodial services to make sure the space is clean and ready for your wedding.

• Marriage may be performed in settings other than the church upon mutual agreement of the Pastor and the couple.

• Premarital counseling normally consists of six 45 minute sessions (or three 1.5 hour sessions). We use [Prepare/Enrich][1] to help guide our discussion. Pastor Johnson will email the couple the Customized Couple Login information and the couple will be asked to pay $35. If you need only premarital counseling because you are being married elsewhere, please contact Pastor Johnson.

• Our parish is very blessed to have rich musical resources that can be made available to you for the wedding service. Your primary contact will be with our cantor, Dr. Steve Wente , who will serve as the coordinator for all musical facets of the wedding.

• Smoking, alcohol, or controlled substances are not allowed.

• Rice and birdseed contribute to hazardous conditions on the sidewalks, are difficult to clean up, and squander the precious resources of food for God’s creatures. Try bubbles instead!

• Rehearsal dinner and reception expectations are best clarified with your presiding Pastor well in advance.

• Receptions on site are an option. What we as a congregation can provide is space and set up, and exact fees for these services can be arranged with the appropriate facilities staff person. What works best in our space and with the facilities we can offer is the “cake and punch” reception. A full catered meal or buffet is possible, but depending on other parish activities may have to be limited in scope.

• The marriage license is the document that authorizes the Pastor to preside at the service and act as an official of the state. The license should be given to the presiding Pastor or brought to the church office by the evening of rehearsal. Information about how to acquire a license, what fees are involved and other details are available on the Cook County Website.

Fees and honoraria must be received in the church office prior to the wedding rehearsal. Checks are to be made payable to First Saint Paul's, each individual performer, the Pastor, and additional staff, including security.

• A $500 contribution shall be given to First Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church for the use of the sanctuary and related facilities. A non-refundable deposit of $250 is made to reserve your date and is credited to the usage fee. (This fee is waived for couples, one or both of whom are members of the congregation.)
• A $500 honorarium for the Pastor for his services (*premarital counseling + ceremony). A $300 honorarium if you are getting married elsewhere but need local consultation.
• A $200 fee for site facilitator if an outside pastor performs the service. This person will help with facility use at rehearsal and wedding.
• A $300 honorarium for Musician/Organist consultation and ceremony only.
• A $100 honorarium for Organist to be present at rehearsal.
• Fees for instrumentalists/soloists varies.
• Security for rehearsal (maximum of 2.5 hours) $50
• Security for wedding (minimum for 2.5 hours) $50
• Custodian: wedding only $50; wedding & light refreshments $100; wedding & reception $200
• Service folders: first 100 are $80; subsequent sets of 50 are $15
• Unity Candle, if requested by couple $50 (our brass candelabra or silver candelabra can be used at no cost)

Again, there is a deposit of $250 required to hold date. All fees due by or prior to rehearsal.

Consider a gift as you begin your life together. While this may be the happiest time of your lives, for many the scourge of poverty, hunger, and injustice continue. This is a wonderful time for you to begin the honorable pattern of sharing some of your resources with those less fortunate. Your Pastor will be happy to guide you in making a gift to our Community Meals Program, Family Ministry, or other charity of your choice. In this way, your happiness can be, like the light of a candle, divided and shared, but never diminished.

Because worship is a community event, we encourage as much participation among those gathered for worship as seems feasible. Think about the possibility of including family members or friends who read with confidence as readers. The Gospel is proclaimed by the Presiding Minister. In the course of your pre-marriage work, your Pastor will discuss with you Scripture readings and other liturgical texts that might be used. The list below is not exhaustive but serves to help your consideration.

from the Old Testament
Genesis 1:26 - 31 The creation of man and woman
Genesis 2:18 - 25 The gift of companionship
Song of Solomon 2 My beloved is mine and I am his
Isaiah 63:7 - 9 He lifted them up and carried them
Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 12 Two are better than one

from the Psalms
Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd
Psalm 33 Let Your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us
Psalm 67 May God be gracious to us and bless us
Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise to the LORD
Psalm 127 Unless the LORD builds the house
Psalm 128 Happy is everyone who fears the LORD
Psalm 136 O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good
Psalm 150 Let everything that breathes praise the LORD

from the Epistles
Romans 8:31 - 39 Nothing can separate us from God’s love
Romans 12:1 - 13 Let love be genuine
1 Corinthians 13 Love never ends
Ephesians 5:21 - 33 The mystery of marriage
Colossians 3:12 - 17 Clothe yourselves with love
1 John 4:7 - 16 God is love

from the Gospels
Matthew 19:3 - 6 They are no longer two, but one
John 2:1 - 10 Marriage Feast of Cana
John 15:9 - 12 Remain in My love