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St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, ELCA
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 Wedding Policy 

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church

Wedding Policy

(revised and adopted May 1, 2014)

What is the purpose of a wedding?

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) defines marriage as a covenant of mutual promises, commitment and hope authorized legally by the state and blessed by God (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, 2009:15). Marriage is a gift of God intended for the joy and mutual strength of those who enter it and for the wellbeing of the whole human family. God created humankind with the need for companionship and the capacity to love, care for and nurture each other. A wedding celebrates these gifts. To be married in the church and/or by a pastor is, first and foremost a statement of faith indicating a commitment and/or desire to live in relationship with God and God’s people.  

Who can get married at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and/or by its Pastor?

  • Any couple who can legally be married in the state of Iowa AND
  1. Is connected to our congregation in one or more of the following ways:

Is a member

Has relatives or close friends who are members

Has been baptized or confirmed at St. Stephen’s

Desires to become a member


  1. Is willing to engage in the life of our congregation, allowing us to be part of their journey of faith, for at least four months prior to the wedding in one or more of the following ways:

Attending worship

Participating in a class other than the premarital preparation class

Participating in a small group, program, or service project

Contributing time, talents, or treasure to support our ministries

What do we require of couples who desire to be married at St. Stephen’s and/or by its Pastor?

  • A minimum of three sessions of pre-marital preparation with the Pastor. Prior to the first session couples will be asked to complete the on-line Prepare/Enrich Relationship Assessment.
  • Additional meetings with the Pastor and/or musicians and/or other worship leaders or support personnel may be necessary to finalize details of the wedding service.

What will it cost to be married at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and/or by its Pastor?

  • The following minimum fees are suggested:
Building Use $50
St. Stephen’s Pianist $80 for the service + $25 for the rehearsal
AV/Sound Tech $25-$50 depending on the complexity of the service
Prepare-Enrich Assessment $40
Pastor  $300

How to schedule a wedding at St. Stephen’s and/or engage the services of its Pastor?

  • Contact the Pastor directly to make sure that s/he is available on the dates you have selected for the wedding and the rehearsal, and to set up dates for pre-martial counseling:

Rev. Dr. Ritva H. Williams

To Know, Live, and Share Christ


St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, ELCA

610 31st Street SE | Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 | 319-364-2637 | ©2014