TWO SHALL BECOME ONE.
We gladly honor and celebrate those who wish to have their marriages blessed before God and their community of family and friends. A wedding is a public celebration and acknowledgment of a covenant made between two people. At Harmony Creek Church, we are pleased to bless and welcome all couples desiring to enter into the covenant of marriage, including same-gender and interfaith couples and those who have been previously divorced.
We affirm that marriage is an outward sign of inner grace. It is a visible sign of something invisible, meaning that many things in life are simply signs that point to something deeper. Your wedding ring is not love, but it is a sign of love. So it is with marriage. It is a sign of the way we are loved by God. As couples grow together, love, argue, forgive, reconcile, work through disappointments and trials, they become a living sign saying to the world: This is the same love we which God has graced us. God loves us through thick and thin, for better or worse, in sickness and in health. This is the way we love, you are saying through your marriage, and it is but a shadow of the way God loves us all.
This booklet will be your guide as to the wedding services provided at Harmony Creek Church. Your wedding may be as elaborate or as simple as you desire. Whether public or private, large or small, you will want to make this ceremony as meaningful, joyful, and memorable as possible. This requires careful preparation and planning.
DETAILS AND OTHER INFORMATION:
Setting the Date and Time:
Please call the church office at (937) 434-3941 to inquire about the availability of the pastor and the church facilities for the wedding, the wedding rehearsal, and/or the wedding reception or banquet.
Harmony Creek Church requests that weddings not be scheduled on traditional holiday celebrations.
Any exception to this request must be negotiated with the pastor, and higher fees will be expected.
Securing Pastor or Minister Services:
Services of Marriage are typically performed by and upon consultation with the pastor of Harmony Creek Church.
When it is the wish of the couple to invite another clergy person outside of Harmony Creek Church to participate in the ceremony, the couple should discuss this with the pastor BEFORE extending an invitation. In all cases, approval from our pastor is required before clergy outside of Harmony Creek Church are permitted to officiate at services of marriage at Harmony Creek Church.
Pastors at Harmony Creek Church are trained and prepared to offer pre-marital counseling. This service is included in the fees charged for pastoral services. However, this service is offered only to those couples who desire it and think that it will be helpful to them. The pastor will discuss this option with you. The purpose of pre-marital counseling is NOT to tell you whether or not you should get married. It is offered to help couples reflect on the meaning and realities of marriage and to help couples explore their relationship. All pre-marital counseling is held in the strictest confidence by our pastors.
Including Worship Leaders:
If you would like the pastor, musicians and other worship leaders as well as their spouses/partners to attend the rehearsal dinner and/or the reception/banquet, please feel free to invite them; please don’t simply assume they attendance. Without an invitation from you, they won’t plan on attending.
When ordering your invitations, the suggested form for the address of the Church is the following:
Harmony Creek Church
901 East Stroop Road
Kettering, Ohio 45429
For couples who are able and desiring to receive legal recognition of their marriage in the State of Ohio, a marriage license may be obtained through Montgomery County or any Ohio county, and the laws of the State of Ohio will be applicable. As costs and requirements for obtaining a marriage license vary from county to county, please apply within 3-5 weeks prior to your planned wedding date. Please bring the license with you to the rehearsal, or if there is no rehearsal, please present it to the pastor prior to the wedding service. In all cases, the Marriage License must be delivered to the Pastor or minister officiating at your service before the Wedding Ceremony may begin.
The Order of Worship:
Couples are reminded that the wedding ceremony is first and foremost a service of worship and celebration. When using a Harmony Creek Church pastor, he or she will be happy to work with you in designing a service that is uniquely yours.
In any service of marriage, music will greatly add to the experience. We will work with you to find music and musicians that fit the type of ceremony you envision. Harmony Creek does not currently have its own sanctuary but the use of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church's sanctuary may be available. Please discuss this with the Harmony Creek Church pastor before making definite plans.
You are free to use other types of musicians that you obtain on your own. Couples that desire vocal or instrumental music in addition to, or in place of, the organ or piano often ask family or friends to perform in their weddings. However, couples who do not have such a person(s) in mind sometimes ask the organist or pianist to assist in making these arrangements. The amount of the fee for such performers may vary widely. Generally, paid soloists are accustomed to receiving $50 – $100 for their services. You may discuss an appropriate fee with the organist or pianist if you wish to use his or her assistance for this purpose.
Having a soloist in your service that needs organ or piano accompaniment will require at least one additional rehearsal with the accompanist. Scheduling this can become difficult, particularly if the soloist of your choice is coming from out of town. Communication between the organist or pianist and the soloist at the earliest possible time can go a long way toward providing a well-coordinated effort.
Please provide the name, address, phone number and general level of training of your soloist(s) to the organist or pianist as soon as possible. Please make your payments directly to the soloist(s).
Use of Audio Equipment:
Harmony Creek Church has audio equipment available for use during your wedding ceremony. This could include the use of all microphones as well as the playing of CD’s and accompaniment soundtracks that may be used by a soloist. If you plan on using any of this type of equipment in your wedding service, it is required that you secure the services of one of Harmony Creek Church’s Sound Technicians. Fees for this service are included in the total fees paid to Harmony Creek Church.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church has their own sound equipment, lighting equipment, and technicians.
Photographs and Video:
Every couple wants a pictorial record of their wedding. We want photographs and/or videos to be made without distracting from the sacredness of the occasion.
We ask that ONLY the wedding photographer take pictures during the wedding ceremony and that the photographer consult with the pastor and the wedding coordinator BEFORE the wedding ceremony sothat photographs can be taken in the least disruptive way possible. We ask for the same consideration in videotaping the ceremony.
The photographer and videographer may move around and take pictures, flash or otherwise, during the processional and the recessional, as well as before and after the wedding ceremony. Otherwise, during the wedding ceremony the photographer and videographer must stay in the back of the sanctuary and not move around, and no flash or camera lights shall be used. Of course, after the ceremony, you may re-pose your wedding as you wish.
The Pastor will be happy to re-enact any part of the service which you would like recorded in pictures. Please arrange to have all pictures with the Pastor taken as soon after the service as possible, or before the service, if desirable.
Decorating the Church:
Most of the local florists are acquainted with our church and will be able to suggest various decorations for your consideration. It is not permissible to use nails, tacks or tape when decorating.
If you wish to leave your floral decorations for the Sunday morning worship service, please inform the wedding coordinator of your plans IN ADVANCE.
Please consult with the Wedding Coordinator prior to renting additional equipment.
Wedding Coordinator and Custodian:
When the use of the building is requested for services of marriage, the services of the Wedding Coordinator and Custodian are REQUIRED to prepare the church for the service and to clean up following the service. The cost of this service will be included in the fees charged.
The Wedding Coordinator will help you with preparations and details pertaining to the use of the church building, calendaring and collection of fees. The Coordinator will make arrangements for the use of our facilities for the rehearsal and the ceremony, and/or the reception or wedding banquet. The Wedding Coordinator will be present at the rehearsal and the ceremony and the reception to give assistance to the wedding party and guests. She or he understands our procedures and will advise you on any questions that may arise.
The Custodian will clean the church and prepare the building for use before and after any rehearsal and ceremony and reception.