Wedding Policy and Guidelines for Epiphany Lutheran Church
Approved by Board of Elders on October 5th, 2021
Welcome to Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church of Castle Rock! We are almost as excited as you are about your wedding. We appreciate your interest in becoming married at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Epiphany). Marriage is a holy estate instituted by God at the beginning of creation, and He “joins together” all marriages (Matthew 19:4-6). This document presents the guidelines for the conduct of weddings at Epiphany Lutheran Church officiated by our Pastor or a pastor in pulpit and altar fellowship with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). These guidelines adhere to Biblical principles, as we understand them, and conform to Colorado State Law. Everyone getting married has questions. All such questions are best discussed during a required, face-to-face meeting with our Pastor. We trust that this document will answer many of the questions you may have regarding your wedding at our Church. May God abundantly bless you as you prepare not just for the wedding day, but for a marriage that lasts a lifetime.
Biblical, Epiphany and LCMS Requirements
Member Policy: At least one person of the couple should be a member of Epiphany. Exceptions allow the wedding if either of the couple has member parents or grandparents. In addition, in special circumstances, Pastoral exceptions may be made.
Marriage Situation: Either the bride or groom must be a Christian confessing saving faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If either of the couple is divorced, the Pastor is to be informed during the first face-to-face meeting to determine the reason for the divorce. Weddings of those divorced for un-Biblical reasons cannot be performed by our Pastor or at Epiphany (Matthew 5:31; 19:3-9; Malachi 2:6; 1 Corinthians 7:15).
Wedding Classes: Couples wishing to be wed at Epiphany or by its Pastor must participate in a series of pre-marriage classes. Typically, this consists of 8 to 9 one-hour class sessions. Homework assignments of various kinds must be completed between sessions. For couples outside the Denver metro area, arrangements may be made for online video conferences. However, the initial meeting must take place face-to-face in person.
Traditional Genders: Weddings will only be performed for couples who are male and female (see separate Statement of Belief).
Renewal of Vows or Blessing of a Civil Marriage: A Christian service for the Renewal of Vows or Blessing of a Civil Marriage may be conducted in lieu of a wedding for previous civil marriages.
Eligible Clergy for weddings: Only clergy who are rostered and ordained ministers of the LCMS or the church bodies with whom we are in full altar and pulpit fellowship (for example, The American Association of Lutheran Churches [AALC] and The Lutheran Church-Canada [LCC]) may perform weddings at Epiphany or participate in the liturgy, readings, prayers, or preaching at Epiphany weddings. The Pastor of Epiphany may not participate in joint worship services with non-LCMS clergy regardless of whether the wedding occurs at the Church property or offsite.
Facility Use Policy: All wedding activities must comply with the Church’s Facility Use Policy (see separate document).
Marriage License Documents: Prior to the wedding ceremony, engaged couples must provide a marriage license from the County in which they are to be married (not the County in which they reside or will reside). A current, valid marriage license must be presented prior to the ceremony for signing. Epiphany Lutheran Church is located in Douglas County, Colorado. The Pastor (Officiant), Bride, Groom, and two adult witnesses (ages 18+) must sign the marriage license, which will become the marriage certificate once recorded by the County Clerk. Traditionally, the best man and maid or matron of honor witness the signatures. Please note: The Bride should sign her current legal name, not her new married name, on the marriage license.
Wedding Worship Guidelines
Music: A Christian wedding is a worship service to the praise and glory of the Triune God. As such, traditional hymns and contemporary Christian music are suggested for use. Instrumental classical music is also allowed with the exception of Wagner’s “Wedding March.” Secular love songs or popular music, country, rap, R&B, Rock, etc., will NOT be allowed during the wedding service or as prelude or postlude music, including the processional(s) and recessional.
Secular music which does not include sexually explicit or profane language may be used at the wedding reception. All music is subject to Pastor’s approval or refusal. While live music is preferred and strongly encouraged, recordings are allowed. If you use Epiphany’s musicians for the service, honorariums must be provided as indicated in Section 21.
Music is NOT required for the ceremony. Epiphany retains current performance licenses for most Christian hymns, contemporary praise songs, and choral music. Ask the Church office for information about what music publishers are covered.
Communion: The Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion, Eucharist) may be served according to the communion policy of Epiphany and the LCMS (see separate document).
Service Bulletin: The couple should visit with the Church’s administrative assistant to select an appropriate cover for this bulletin and provide information to be included in this bulletin. After a draft of the bulletin is prepared by the administrative assistant, the couple should review and approve the final draft for printing. The fee for this bulletin will be calculated once the draft bulletin has been completed. Please provide your complete contact information to the Church Secretary and Pastor (use separate Wedding Couple Information form).
Flowers: Reasonable floral arrangements may be displayed in appropriate places within the Chancel area (e.g., in front of altar, pulpit, lectern, wall stands, etc.). Flowers may NOT be placed on the Baptismal font or Altar.
Vows: Traditional wedding vows should be discussed with the Pastor. The advantage of the traditional wedding vows in LCMS hymnals and agendas is that they are actual promises and not merely statements of feelings. Couples wishing to write their own vows must submit them in writing to Pastor for prior approval.
Behavior of Participants: Nobody who appears, in Pastor’s estimation, to be drunk, high, intoxicated, or “hung over” will be allowed to participate in the wedding ceremony, including the bride, groom, and/or attendants.
Dress: Modest dress is required by all members of the wedding party. No “negative products” may be displayed on clothing or jewelry (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis products, Playboy bunny, etc.). Religious symbols of non-Christian religions may not be worn or displayed (for example, Wiccan star, Muslim crescent moon, etc.). Sexually suggestive clothing is forbidden by all wedding participants and guests. Please ask the Pastor if you have any questions about the appropriateness of your wedding attire or that of other participants and guests.
Photography: Flash photography and videography are allowed before, during, and after the wedding service. However, the photographer(s) and videographer(s) may NOT enter the Chancel area of the Sanctuary (behind the Communion rail) during the procession, wedding ceremony, or recessional. Pastor may dismiss the photographer or videographer due to unprofessional or otherwise distracting behavior. Epiphany’s Director of Video and Digital Media may be utilized (see Section 23).
Outdoor Weddings: For outdoor weddings, the couple must provide a public-address (P.A.) system at their own expense (e.g., speakers and microphone from wedding reception D.J.). Please note: Pastor discourages outdoor weddings for a variety of reasons (you may inquire).
Pastor’s Fee: There is no fee for the services of Epiphany’s Pastor. An honorarium is always appreciated (check written directly to Pastor, not church). For a non-Epiphany pastor, an honorarium of $200 is suggested.
Destination Weddings: For weddings further than 20 miles away from Castle Rock, Colorado, the couple is encouraged to reimburse the Pastor’s travel expenses in order that the congregation may not be burdened with mileage, airfare, hotel, etc.
Wedding Schedule: If the wedding requires Epiphany’s Pastor to be away from the Church and his regular worship duties, pulpit supply applies (if available). Substitute pastor for one service: $150; for all three (3) weekend services: $350.00. Because of Epiphany’s weekend worship schedule, weddings are encouraged for Friday night, Saturday morning, or Sunday afternoon.
Church Musicians: $100 fee for organist, pianist, accompanist, etc. Make payment directly to Epiphany, which will compensate the staff member. An additional fee of $50 per rehearsal per musician is required.
Sound Engineer: $75 fee for operation of sound system during service. Make payment to Epiphany, which will compensate the staff member.
Video Services: $150 fee to film, edit, produce, and post video of the wedding service. Make payment directly to Epiphany, which will compensate the staff member. An additional $150-$300 fee is required to film the reception (depending on amount of time required).
Facility Usage: All such fees are to be in accord with the Church’s Facility Use Policy (see separate document).
Pre-Marriage Classes: Materials for these 8 – 9 classes are $35.00.
The Pastor and Elders of Epiphany Lutheran Church reserve the right to refuse to perform a wedding for anyone at any time for any reasonable cause. In the event of such wedding cancellation by Pastor, Church, or couple, some fees and deposits may not be refunded if the cancellation is necessitated by the couple’s behavior or attitudes.
 Revision of original approved October 1st, 2019.