Weddings

Congratulations on Your Engagement!

We want to wish you joy and blessings as you begin your life together. We also want to help make your wedding day a real celebration of your love for each other. 

This page contains the policies of Good Shepherd’s regarding weddings at our church.
Please feel free to discuss any questions with us.

First Things

First, the emphasis of a Christian wedding is, of course, the presence of God in this important time of commitment. In a Christian wedding we receive God’s (word of ) direction and God’s blessing. The wedding is, first and foremost, a worship service. The music, prayers, and actions focus on the worship of God and the celebration of God’s love as experienced through the love of two people. 

Second, the wedding is a worship service for the people. Even private weddings are public in the sense that all worship services are open to all the people of God.

Please remember that the only audience is God. All others are participants with some kind of role to play. All are here to worship, all are here to witness, all are here to pray, and all are here to acknowledge your marriage and wish you God’s blessing on your life together.

Third, the wedding is a service of celebration. As we celebrate your marriage and God’s  presence, we give thanks that God has given you to one another. We celebrate and thank God for all the friends and family who will be with you on that day for the joy you will be sharing.


1. Make arrangements at least 6 months in advance: Speak with the pastor about your date as soon as possible.

2. Pre-marital counseling is a requirement: We ask couples to attend a marriage workshop offered at the direction of the Pastor.

3. Marriage license: The state of California recommends you attain your wedding license within one month of your wedding date. The license is valid for 30 days. Please contact the County Clerk for marriage license requirements.

4. Officiating pastor: Our pastor officiates the weddings here at Good Shepherd. Other ELCA pastors may officiate if prior arrangements have been made with our pastor. Pastors from other denominations may assist our pastors or another officiating ELCA pastor.

5. Wedding bulletins: Today’s wedding bulletins can be simple to extremely creative. It is your preference. We have the ability to print simple bulletins at the church, but will not design them. If you would like to bring your finished bulletin to the church to be printed on your paper or if you have any questions about this service, please contact Laura Mott, Office Administrator.  She will discuss the printing cost.

6. Rehearsal: Rehearsals are usually scheduled the evening before the ceremony. Please have the wedding party arrive early so that the rehearsal starts on time. The rehearsal should not last more than one hour. If any member of the wedding party comes to the rehearsal or wedding service obviously under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the pastor may refuse to perform the ceremony.

7. Getting dressed: We have designated two rooms in different parts of the church for dressing purposes. The men’s dressing area is in the Youth Room above the office. The woman’s dressing area is in the Fireside room attached to the fellowship hall.  Please use these designated rooms only for dressing.

8. Bringing items to the church: We ask that you do not bring or leave items associated with the wedding or the reception to the church earlier than the day of your rehearsal. Please be sure to pick up all of your things after the wedding. Good Shepherd cannot assume responsibility for any items left at the church.

9. Banners: All paraments stay the color of the church year.

10. Decorations: We do not have decorations on hand for weddings.

11. Flowers & candles: Flowers can be placed around the altar. We do not have flower stands or candle holders available for use, but they can be rented from wedding rental locations. Candelabras are not permitted.

12. Photographer/Videographer: Because of the sacredness of the wedding ceremony, we request that NO FLASH be used during the ceremony. Please remind your photographer of this when making your arrangements. You may take flash photos before and after the ceremony. 

13. Music: Our accompanist has the first right of refusal for all weddings.

Music is a beautiful part of any wedding service and should be planned with much care. Only sacred music is permitted at weddings due to the fact that the wedding ceremony itself is a sacred worship service. By sacred, the Church means that the text and setting of the music should be that which expresses and witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Music which would not be used during congregational worship time is not appropriate during this service of Holy Matrimony.

Congregational singing is suggested. This participation will allow your guests to be participants in your wedding.

14. Usher guidelines: There should be at least two ushers, even for small weddings. For large weddings, there should be a head usher (who ushers the bride’s mother) and 1 usher for every 50 guests. Ushers attend the wedding rehearsal.

15. Food and/or beverage: No foods or beverages are allowed in the sanctuary. If you would like to have refreshments for the wedding party, please ask if the kitchen/fellowship hall is available for use.

16. Bubbles: Remind your guests use bubbles outside the church building. No rice, please.  Bubbles make an excellent alternative.

17. Reception: Depending on the date and time of your ceremony, the fellowship hall/kitchen may be available for your use. You will need to supply tablecloths and centerpieces should you wish to use them.   All clean-up will be your responsibility. If you are interested, please discuss this with the pastor as soon as possible.

18. The order of liturgy: The marriage service is found in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship Book.  This is the liturgy that your wedding will based on, but there is some flexibility.  It allows for the selection of scripture readings, prayers and the writing of vows. The officiating pastor will assist you in choosing which options are most appropriate for your desires.  We believe you will find the liturgy is dignified, beautiful, and holy.

19. Scripture:  Generally, there are three separate scripture lessons at Lutheran services of worship: an Old Testament Lesson (frequently called the First Lesson), an Epistle Lesson (frequently called the Second Lesson) and the Holy Gospel. Since the Holy Gospel features the actual words of Jesus, the congregation rises in reverence.


Parishioner’s fees are as follows:
Organist/Pianist: $175
Sanctuary: —
Sound/Video Tech: $40 (an additional $15.00 an hour after 4 hours)
Pastor: $250 (Suggested)

Non-Parishoner fees are as follows:
Organist/Pianist: $200
Sound/Video Tech: $40 (an additional $15.00 an hour after 4 hours)
Pastor: $400
Sanctuary: $500 + Pastor Approval
Fellowship Hall: $700 + Council Approval ($1,000 with kitchen)

Please see Banquet Hall/ Room Rental and the rental agreement for use of the Sanctuary and Hall.