Weddings @ hope
At HOPE, we believe marriage is one of the most important spiritual decisions a couple makes in their lives as a lifelong commitment to each other before God. Therefore, we take our potential involvement in your special occasion quite seriously, and we ask you to do the very same. Our goal is not only to help you have a memorable wedding day but to help prepare you and your future spouse to build a successful, lifelong partnership. While a lifelong, loving marriage partnership doesn’t come easily, we believe that with Jesus’ help it’s within everyone’s reach. We’re excited about how God can work in your relationship over the upcoming months!
While HOPE’s facility is open to external request (subject to the process outlined below), we exercise preference to HOPE Covenant Members and regular attenders. Often, external requests require special coordination work to see if any conflicts exist with pre-set ministries or functions here as well as available personnel resources needed to manage such a request. We are aware couples have many options to rent other church buildings, chapels, community buildings, or outdoor facilities for their ceremony.
For your best chances of meeting the requirements for a HOPE wedding, we recommend you initiate the wedding process 12 months before your wedding date. HOPE does not schedule weddings around Easter or Thanksgiving weekends or the weeks before or after Christmas.
WEDDINGS AT HOPE
HOPE pastoral staff members, in spiritual conscience, perform weddings according to the truths of the Bible. Please review the information below so that you’ll have a clear understanding of what the wedding process at HOPE Community Church looks like from start to finish. Please carefully read and consider all of the following information:
(1) Submit the initial online Initial Wedding Request Form. Do not proceed with any of the below until you submit that, HOPE staff reviews, and then gets back to you. We want to respect your time and goals, so please simply begin using the above link to make your initial inquiry.
(2) If directed by a HOPE Staff member who gets back to you after #1 above, couples would then submit our more full and complete Wedding Application PDF. Print the packet, write your responses, and return to the pastor or staff member you've been in touch with already. You will notice there are parts you may answer together, parts you must answer separately, and parts your parents must submit. Your completed wedding packet will be reviewed by HOPE staff to determine if the bride and/or groom meets the requirements to be married at HOPE Community Church. You will receive contact soon after your completed packet has been submitted.
If approved, a pastor will contact you to schedule a meeting to discuss the wedding date, plans, and other ideas. At this meeting, the HOPE Wedding Agreement will be reviewed and signed by the couple and the HOPE pastor.
For a HOPE staff pastor to perform a wedding, the couple must:
Complete a minimum of 6 sessions of premarital counseling by a licensed Christian counselor licensed. The counseling must be completed at least two months before the wedding date, and a schedule of three follow up counseling sessions is set for three months, six months and 12 months after the wedding day.
At the conclusion of counseling, the counselor is required to send a letter to the HOPE staff pastor stating the sessions were completed including the dates for the three follow up sessions. This letter must be received no later than 45 days before the wedding.
The HOPE staff pastor and the couple will meet two additional times before the wedding ceremony. The first meeting will be conducted to finalize wedding plans and the second meeting will be the actual wedding rehearsal.
On the day of the wedding, the ceremony will take place with the HOPE staff pastor arriving approximately 45 minutes before the wedding and leave after the ceremony is completed and the marriage license is signed. While the staff pastor and his/her family may choose to join the wedding party for the reception, this is not always possible.
If a couple wants to be married by a HOPE staff pastor and they are living together and/or sexually active, the couple must agree to sexually abstain from the date of signing the HOPE Wedding Agreement until the wedding night. Because the Bible’s direction is that a man and a woman should remain sexually pure before marriage, we believe this commitment before marriage is the best way to start fresh and do things God’s way.
HOPE staff pastors believe that God’s intention is that marriage is for life; however, they also understand that people make mistakes. HOPE staff pastors will consider remarrying those with divorce in their past according to Biblical principle (see page with more detail in Wedding Application PDF referred to above). We do require that the couple make this a major area of exploration in their counseling sessions.
It is the responsibility of the couple to obtain the marriage license before the wedding. The HOPE staff pastor, upon receiving written specific instructions from the couple in advance of their wedding day, will be responsible for mailing the marriage license to the appropriate municipal office following the wedding. Regarding the other aspects of the ceremony, such as programs, flowers, and musicians, it is the responsibility of the couple to make these arrangements. As needed, HOPE staff will gladly assist as much as possible to provide contacts and direction.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.