First things first. Congratulations.
As you come to the altar, you are asking God to meet you here. As you seek to come together in this sacred relationship, we will help you create a deeply meaningful event within the context of worship. Here’s how the process works:
- When you have narrowed down the possible dates for your wedding–ideally nine months to one year before the date needed–you should contact our office to check for availability of the pastors and building.
- Once a date has been determined, we will tentatively hold that date on our calendar. When we receive your $100 deposit (non-refundable), that date will be held for your wedding.
One note – in order to respect the time and scheduled holidays for our staff, the following dates are excluded from consideration for weddings: News Year’s Eve Day, New Year’s Day, Easter Eve and Day, Mother’s Day weekend, Father’s Day weekend, July 4, Labor Day and weekend, Thanksgiving Day and weekend, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day. Due to a large number of events held at Grace Lutheran Church, additional days may be excluded from consideration.
Couples marrying at Grace Lutheran Church are required to attend a one-day Pre-Marriage Workshop presented by Karen Stevensen, a private practice therapist who provides pre-marriage counseling for couples. Throughout the six-hour day couples learn more about their relationship, and strengthen their commitments to each other.
This one-day workshop costs $150 per couple, which includes beverages, snacks and lunch. This also includes all class materials. After registering ahead on line, one can pay the $150 that day.
The course is offered throughout the year on Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404.
Minnesota law requires couples to apply for a marriage license at any Clerk of Court office a minimum of seven days before the wedding. The Apple Valley location is in the Western Galaxie Center (County Road 42 and Galaxie Avenue). The license should be given to the wedding consultant at the rehearsal so that it can be completed, signed on the day of the wedding, and mailed to the county offices for filing.
Our sanctuary at Grace provides a beautiful setting for your wedding ceremony. The sanctuary comfortably holds up to 500 guests. The church’s piano and organ are available for use during the ceremony.
Note that church furnishings may not be moved for the ceremony. Altar colors and decorations are determined by seasonal directives and are typically not changed for weddings. In addition, no food or beverages are allowed in the sanctuary at any time.
Weddings are typically held on Saturdays, with the rehearsals on the preceding Friday evening. Rehearsals are an opportunity to walk through the ceremony so all can feel confident about their roles. Please urge each person in your wedding party and family to be present by the beginning of the gathering time.
Rehearsals last approximately one hour. Please note that the pastor and/or the wedding coordinator will be present for rehearsal; however, should you want the organist or pianist present, there is an additional fee of $75.
This is also a time to bring printed bulletins, the unity candle, guest book, marriage license, honorariums, and any other items you would like to have for your ceremony.
A marriage ceremony is a worship service that is personal and meaningful for you and all who gather. As we plan weddings, every attempt is made to personalize the format of a traditional wedding ceremony. Our pattern for service is from the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal. The service, which is approximately one-half hour, includes scripture readings, marriage vows, selected music, and prayers.
We work with flexibility and creativity in our preparations. We have developed very meaningful and intimate wedding styles for weddings of all sizes.
Bulletins need to be provided by the couple. At your request, the wedding coordinator can provide samples of previous bulletins.
You may want to select a florist or other individual to decorate the church. At your request, the wedding coordinator can provide names of florists who have provided flowers for past weddings.
Flowers may be placed on the entrance tables in the sanctuary and in front of the church on one or all of the three wooden pillars provided by Grace (3 feet, 2 feet, and 1 foot tall). Should you use flowers on the pews, they cannot be taped in order to protect the wood, only hung with ribbons or floral wire.
Candles add a lovely touch to the ceremony. Should you choose to use a unity candle, the church has a gold stand that can accommodate a candle from two-inches to four-inches wide, with one-inch wide tapers. The couple must provide the candles. In addition, the church has two gold candelabras that hold seven taper candles, and six matching gold aisle candle stands that each hold one taper candle. There are no extra charges for the use of these candle stands.
Grace’s organist is available to play at your wedding; the bride and the groom should contact her at least three months before your wedding to discuss your music requests. Our organist is Shari Albrecht, who can be reached at 651-352-7749. If Ms. Albrecht is not available for your ceremony, she will assist in the hiring of a substitute.
Because the wedding is a worship service, care should be given to ensure all music is in keeping with the sacredness of the ceremony. Whether classical or more contemporary, selections are to be discussed with and approved by the organist/pianist.
Fees for the organist to play at your wedding are included in the member/non-member wedding fees. Additional remuneration may be required if special music and/or rehearsal and performance with additional musicians is required. It is the obligation of the organist to secure said fees.
Photographs of your wedding create beautiful memories. It is your responsibility to secure a photographer. At your request, the wedding coordinator can provide names of photographers who have photographed weddings in the past.
Pictures can be taken before the wedding; however, we ask that they be completed at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony. Pictures can also be taken after the ceremony. All photographers should check in with the wedding coordinator the day of the wedding to determine where they may stand during the ceremony.
Because this is a worship service, photographers will not be allowed to use flash during the ceremony. We ask that once the bride has come down the aisle, all photographers stay in the back of the sanctuary.
It is your responsibility to secure a videographer, if so desired. At your request, the wedding coordinator can provide names of videographers who have worked at Grace in the past.
Discretion must be used by the person(s) recording so as not to disrupt or interfere with the ceremony. Stationary video stands can be set in the front of the church but the videographer cannot be in the front of the church during the ceremony.
Grace does not provide childcare for wedding ceremonies. For this reason, the nursery is locked during these ceremonies.
Grace’s custodial staff will make sure the church is cleaned before your wedding and that the church and necessary rooms are available for your use at the required times. Specific areas are provided for the wedding party to dress, and are assigned at the rehearsal.
Please arrange for the removal of any decorations you want to keep as soon as your guests have left the sanctuary. After the wedding, we will dispose of any items that are left behind.
Please note that no rice or confetti of any kind may be used in the building or on the premises. Bubbles may be used in non-carpeted areas and outside.
Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Policy
Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the building or on the grounds. Use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on church property is prohibited. A fine of $250 will be incurred for violation of this policy. The wedding couple will be responsible for this fine.
The charge for weddings at Grace Lutheran Church for members of the church is $500. This fee includes the wedding coordinator, custodial fees, organist/pianist, and general church maintenance. A deposit of $100 is required to hold your date, with the remainder due two weeks prior to your wedding. Payment can be made in the form of cash and/or check (made payable to Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley).
To qualify for these member-only rates, you must be a member of Grace at the time of your inquiry. Please note that for members, there is no charge for pastoral counseling and officiating at your wedding. At your discretion, a honorarium may be given directly to the pastor in appreciation for the time spent in preparation and officiating at your wedding. Honoraria range from $150 – $200.
The charge for non-member weddings is $900. This fee includes the pastor, wedding coordinator, custodial fees, organist/pianist, and general church maintenance. A deposit of $100 is required to hold your date, with the remainder due two weeks prior to your wedding. Payment can be made in the form of cash and/or check (made payable to Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley).