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. Good Shepherd is an open and affirming church for our LGBTQ siblings and would be happy to be a part of your special day.
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.

All wedding are done at the discretion of the pastor. We welcome all couples to speak to the pastor about having their wedding here at Good Shepherd.

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

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.

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.

Wedding bulletins: Today’s wedding bulletins can be simple to extremely creative. It is your preference. We have the ability to design and print simple bulletins at the church.

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. 

Getting dressed: We have designated two rooms in different parts of the church for dressing purposes. 

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.

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

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. 

Photographer/Videographer: Because of the sacredness of the wedding ceremony, we request that your photographer be as discreet as possible.

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

Usher guidelines: There should be at least two ushers, even for small weddings.

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.

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

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.

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.

Parishioners cost are as follows:
Organist/Pianist: $ 250
Sound/Video Tech: $150 (an additional $50.00 an hour after 4 hours)
Pastor: $400 (Suggested Honorarium)

Non-Parishioner cost are as follows:
Organist/Pianist: $300
Sound/Video Tech: $200 (an additional $50.00 an hour after 4 hours)
Pastor: $700

Please see Banquet Hall/ Room Rental Page for more info.