What do United Methodists believe about marriage?
In our denomination, marriage isn’t officially considered a Sacrament (like Baptism and Communion), but it is holy ritual nonetheless.
During the wedding ceremony, two people make a sacred covenant together and declare their love before witnesses. Christians believe this is a holy act for two reasons. First, we believe that God is love, and so wherever love is present, God is present. Second, the marriage covenant serves as a mirror for the covenants God has made with humans throughout history.
United Methodists believe that when two people enter a marriage, they become one without losing their own individual selves. They work together to build a home, to support one another, and to learn from each other. For many Christians, working at a relationship with a spouse leads to spiritual growth over the course of life.
How do we plan for our wedding?
Regardless of the size of your ceremony, we recommend that you plan carefully and without hurry. Give yourselves a chance to imagine not only your wedding day, but the life you will share together afterward.
As early as possible in the planning process, contact the church office to begin making arrangements. Your Wedding Booklet (see below) will help guide you through this process, but here are the basics:
1. Select a date. You may wish to have a couple dates in mind, in case there is a conflict with your first choice.
2. Send in your information form and depost. Once we receive these, your date will be confirmed. Give us a call if you haven’t heard back from us within a week of sending these in.
3. Plan and attend pre-marital counseling. We ask that anyone being married at the church attend a few sessions of pre-marital counseling with the pastor.
4. Plan the service. Work with the pastor and musician(s) for the service, as well as any other clergy who will be involved, to choose your liturgy, readings, hymns, etc.
5. Attend the rehearsal. Especially if you have a complex service, rehearsal is a key part of ensuring your big day goes smoothly. Please ensure that everyone participating in the service attends the rehearsal, including special musicians, readers, attendants, parents, etc.
Can I be married at Victor UMC if I’m not a member?
Sure! We are happy to host weddings for non-members. We do request that anyone seeking a wedding through the church attend pre-marital counseling with the pastor, whether or not they are members of the church.
Can I be married at Victor UMC if I’m gay?
YES! We are thrilled to announce that our new bishop is allowing same-gender weddings. You are more than welcome to be married here, and our pastor will gladly officiate.
What does pre-marital counseling involve?
You’ll be invited to meet with the pastor a few times as part of the preparations for your wedding. During these meetings, you’ll talk about what each of you is expecting out of marriage, and out of life in general. This process helps our pastor get to know you, and helps ensure both of you are on the same page before you take this significant step.
In most cases, pre-marital counseling simply helps the marriage start off well. In very rare cases, the pastor may decide not to move forward with the wedding due to concerns that arise during counseling. If this happens, we cannot stop you from planning your wedding elsewhere, but we do recommend that you take some extra time to develop your relationship and ensure that you are genuinely committed to one another.
We did our legal marriage at the courthouse; can we still have a big ceremony?
Absolutely. While a Christian wedding ceremony can serve as your legal ceremony, too, it doesn’t have to. We will gladly help you plan a blessing of marriage ceremony where you can consecrate the promises you made at the courthouse.
Does my wedding ceremony have to be too Jesus-y?
Yes and no. You are welcome to work with the pastor to choose a liturgy that you are comfortable with. That being said, we do ask that anyone seeking to have their ceremony at the church be willing to recognize the wedding as a Christian covenant. If that’s still too religious for you, we encourage you to seek secular assistance for your wedding.
Can I have an interfaith or ecumenical wedding?
Of course! As soon as possible, let us know the contact information of the other clergy involved in the service so that they can work with our pastor to build a liturgy that honors both of the traditions involved.
Can my friend/cousin/mom officiate the wedding?
If you’d like to involve a friend or family member in the service, please talk with the pastor about arranging that. Sometimes, we will be happy to permit an outside officiant. Sometimes, we will ask that they co-officiate with our pastor. In either case, we still ask that the couple attend pre-marital counseling beforehand.