Weddings

Getting Married at Grace

We are excited and pleased that you have contacted us about your wedding plans. This is a special time in your lives, and we are honored that you have requested information about our services. You are not only planning a ceremony, but are also laying the foundation for your marriage relationship. We want to help make the ceremony beautiful and your marriage strong and healthy. Our involvement with you as a couple will be personal and committed. We believe that a wedding in a church is evidence of a couple who wants to honor God in their relationship and follow His blueprint for marriage.

STEP ONE in the process of being approved to schedule your wedding at Grace Church (or if you would like a Grace pastor to officiate at an offsite location) is for the bride and groom to complete the application surveys for marriage.

Each survey will take about 30-40 minutes to complete and only one submission per person is permitted. After submitting your form, you will be contacted by your officiant [who will be secured by Cindy King, our Facility Scheduler] to arrange for an interview with them. Upon approval for marriage based upon your submission/application/survey coupled with your interview, you will be given a wedding packet with additional details for your wedding ceremony.

The survey is designed to give your officiant a comprehensive picture of your status and situation upon entering into marriage so that you are set up for a successful lifetime commitment that glorifies God. Because of the approval process, we encourage those applying to be married at Grace to hold off on any wedding planning commitments (e.g. invitations with Grace address, floral or catering orders) until you have received confirmation of your wedding date’s availability from our Facility Scheduling Director.

Inquiries related to facility availability may be directed to Cindy King at cindy.king@gracecma.org or 440.243.4885 x173.

We’re delighted to be working with you as you move toward marriage!

Useful Resources and Information

Grace Church Marriage Policy

Because we want to honor God in all of our relationships, we follow the commands that He gives us for our own good (Deuteronomy 10:13). Here are some principles that are taught in the Bible.

Remarriage after divorce is permitted in specific situations.  For detailed information please read our Marriage, Separation, Divorce and Remarriage statement.  If you have been divorced, there is a section for you to fill out on the Confidential Marriage Application; this will be reviewed by the officiating pastor.

The spiritual perspective of each individual is extremely important in marriage. 

The Bible warns against the marriage of a Christian and a non-Christian. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; see also Ezra 9, and 1 Kings 11:1-10. Because of this teaching, we do not perform weddings for couples where one is a Christian and the other is not.

Church Facilities and Ceremony Times

The following venues at Grace are used for weddings:

Worship Center: Seats up to 700 on main level, 1400 total

Atrium Chapel: Seats up to 120

Fireside Room: Seats up to 20

Weddings in the Worship Center are usually on Saturdays and must be at either 1:00 PM or 4:00 PM. Occasionally weddings are also scheduled on Fridays depending on availability.

Rehearsals are usually scheduled on Fridays at 4:30, 6:00, or 7:30 PM.

Most wedding ceremonies take 30-45 minutes. Receiving line (if desired) takes about another 45 minutes depending on guest total.

Dressing rooms are provided for the bridesmaids and groomsmen on the day of the wedding.

Receptions are occasionally held at Grace Church. Check with the Facility Scheduling Director for details. Note that alcohol consumption and dancing (other than bride/groom first dance; the father/daughter and mother/son dance) are not permitted.

Church Facility is to be used for God’s glory. This includes care and proper use of all equipment and furniture as well as care in music selections and photos in powerpoint slide shows.

Non-staff pastors are permitted at Grace, however, must be approved before the wedding is confirmed and must agree to our church policy on weddings.

Wedding Fee Schedule

WORSHIP CENTER or UPPER LEVEL CHAPEL

Non-Regular Attendee of Grace Church: $850.00

Regular Attendee of Grace Church: $425.00

Grace seeks to honor those who have given of their time, talents, and tithe to the church. Our wedding package has been discounted for those attendees who have been in our database for at least six months or more at the time of their wedding application.

Wedding fee includes:

  • Cost of facility rental for Wedding Rehearsal and Wedding Day
  • 2 Changing rooms for bridal party
  • Grace Wedding Consultant
  • Light & Sound Technician
  • Pastoral Honorarium of $100.00

FIRESIDE ROOM (max occupancy: 20 people)

Non-Regular Attendee of Grace Church $300.00

Regular Attendee of Grace Church: $150.00

Wedding fee includes:

  • Cost of facility rental on Wedding Day
  • Pastoral Honorarium of $100.00

MUSICIANS & VOCALISTS

For your convenience, a list of musicians and vocalists connected to Grace is available through your Wedding Consultant. At your request, your Wedding Consultant will check availability and make reservations through the Grace Church Worship Ministry. Musician fees should be paid directly to Grace Church. Grace will ensure payment to musicians and vocalists.

  • Musician fee: Rehearsal and Wedding: $100
  • Vocalist fee: Rehearsal and Wedding: $100

PAYMENT

After meeting with your officiating pastor, please complete the paperwork he provides you and drop off or mail, along with your $100 deposit, to Facility Scheduling Director Cindy King.

Your $100 deposit secures your wedding reservation and is applied to your total balance due.

Upon receipt Cindy King will confirm your wedding reservation, your pastor/officiant, and provide your balance due.

Your wedding balance is due any time up to two weeks prior to your wedding day.

Wedding Officiants

The pastors below are licensed to officiate weddings at Grace.

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Wedding Consultant

The purpose of a Wedding Consultant is to facilitate your access to and use of the church facilities. After your paperwork and deposit are received by our Facility Scheduling Director, a Wedding Consultant will be assigned to you. She will contact you about six months prior to your wedding to schedule a time to meet you at Grace and plan your ceremony details.

Meeting Agenda (scheduled about six months out):

  • A walk-through of the facility, including rooms for Bridal Party to prepare for ceremony
  • Establish times of events (Ceremony and Rehearsal)
  • Delivery needs (Florist, etc.)
  • Equipment needs – candelabras, podium for guest book, table for gifts, unity candle stand, etc.
  • Preliminary needs for a vocalist, pianist, or other musician will be discussed. The Consultant will review the procedure and go over list of available people and provide you with contact information. The Bride will contact the musicians regarding music selections and details.

Final Details Confirmed (two or three weeks before wedding):

  • Consultant will contact Bride to review arrangements and make adjustments as needed.
  • Review ceremony plan – order of service, special accommodations.
  • A final Wedding Day Plan will be provided to the Grace Church staff listing each participant and their phone numbers.

Rehearsal (evening before wedding):

  • Consultant will arrive 30 minutes prior to see that everything is set up properly – tables, podium, etc.
  • She will ensure the rehearsal goes off well and make any necessary adjustments or arrangements.

Ceremony:

  • Consultant will arrive an hour prior to the ceremony and stay until the Bride proceeds down the aisle.

“Preparing for Marriage” Class & Premarital Counseling

Plan to attend a 12-week “Preparing for Marriage” class.
The class is usually offered each quarter of the year, spring, summer, fall, and winter. For current class availability, click HERE  to view our current schedule. If you do not see the Preparing for Marriage class on the schedule, please check the schedule just before the start the next quarter and contact Pat Senkar with inquiries.

Our desire is for each couple to establish a solid foundation for their marriage and equip them to weather the challenges ahead. Participating in one of these options below will help equip you for this lifetime commitment. You need to complete at least one of the options below. Know that happiness is not the highest purpose for living. God’s heart is that we be holy like His Son Jesus. As a result, we want to follow the principles of His Word knowing that true joy is found in obeying the One who created us and gave His life for us. 

Preparing for Marriage Class

Plan to attend a 12-week, fun, informative “Preparing for Marriage” class. It is usually offered once a quarter (spring, summer, fall, and winter). For current class availability, click HERE to view our current schedule. If you do not see the Preparing for Marriage class on the schedule, please check the schedule just before the start of the next quarter. Contact Pat.Senkar@gracecma.org with inquiries.

Family Life Marriage Conference: A Weekend to Remember

If you are unable to attend the marriage prep class, you may make arrangements to attend the Family Life Marriage Conference called A Weekend to Remember. When registering, follow the prompts related to “Engaged Couples” for the conference.

View upcoming conference dates and locations.

PreMarriage Counseling

If you’re not able to make arrangements to attend classes or conference, you may opt to schedule pre-marriage with Mark Valley, a Grace Church affiliated counselor.

Click HERE for general information on our affiliated counselors.

Click HERE to contact Mark Valley.

Decorating for Your Wedding

Decorations are the responsibility of the couple. Since there are so many weddings performed at Grace (often two the same day), we discourage a lot of decorations and ask that you exercise sensitivity toward others who may be sharing the facility. Grace is happy to provide some decoration options for your use. Your Wedding Consultant will show these options to you at your meeting, including candelabras, decorative screens, and lighting. The lighting in our Worship Center can be modified to produce a “smaller” feel if desired and often times incorporate your wedding color scheme.

The time slot in which you are permitted to decorate will be discussed at the first meeting with your Wedding Consultant.

Delivery of decorations, including floral, must be prearranged with the Wedding Consultant.

If bows or ribbons are used on the aisle seats, they must be attached with string as no tape or any type of adhesive may be used.

Already existing decorations and furniture in the church may not be moved or removed.

Your decorations must be removed immediately after pictures and the church returned to its original set-up design (unless there is an agreement between you and another couple getting married that day.)

Worship Center décor often corresponds with the current sermon series. Most décor is permanent throughout the sermon series. As your wedding day draws closer, check with your Wedding Consultant regarding décor on your wedding date.

“Farewell” options can be discussed at your meeting. No birdseed, rice or sugar confections may be used on church property.

Wedding Checklist

This checklist assumes your wedding is farther than six months away. If that is not the case, you will want to move faster through this list than the timeline below.

    1. Read Grace wedding policy and ensure you comply. 
    2. Confirm date availability. 
      1. Call Facility Scheduling Director Cindy King (church office 440-243-4885 Ext 173) to determine if your date(s) are available. She will place a 30-day courtesy hold on the date you would like to be married.
      2. If just requesting a Grace pastor to officiate your wedding at an offsite location skip this step.
    3. Complete Wedding Surveys on our website.
      1. Upon receipt of both the bride and groom surveys, Cindy King will secure an available pastor based on the order of preference outlined on your wedding survey.  
      2. She will call you to let you know which pastor has confirmed to officiate your wedding.
      3. The pastor will call you to schedule an appointment to go over your Wedding Surveys. He will provide you with the Wedding Information Form.
    4. Complete the Wedding Information Form and send or drop off along with your $100 deposit to Cindy King. Mark the envelope ATTENTION: CINDY KING.
    5. Plan to attend the 12-week “Preparing for Marriage” class LINK to classes
      1. If you cannot attend the classes, choose either A Weekend to Remember LINK 
      2. Or schedule four premarital counseling sessions with our affiliated counselor Mark Valley at 440-243-4885 X202.  
    6. Six months prior to your wedding, a Grace Wedding Consultant will contact you. After all your reservations are confirmed, a Grace Wedding Consultant is assigned to you about six months prior to your wedding date. She is your main contact for questions.

 

  • 30 days prior to wedding date, secure your marriage license. LINK to our wedding license page
  • Two weeks prior to your wedding date, pay your wedding balance. Your balance is due two weeks before your wedding. Make your check payable to Grace Church  and include your name and wedding date. Mark the envelope ATTENTION: CINDY KING. She will ensure your wedding account is credited.

Order of Service

You will plan the service with your officiating pastor. You are free to choose Scripture passages and even suggest some ideas you would like included in the message. The service is approximately 30-45 minutes.

Here is a sample order:

  • Music Prelude (starts 30 minutes before ceremony)*
  • Seating of the Grandparents*
  • Seating of Parents*
  • Set Aisle Runner (optional)
  • Brides Maids Entrance*
  • Bride’s Processional*
  • Giving of the Bride
  • Opening Prayer
  • Scripture Reading
  • Message
  • Declaration of Intent
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Pronouncement
  • Unity Candle*
  • Prayer music
  • Presentation*

*Denotes a time when instrumental or vocal music could occur.

All of your music can be pre-recorded or you may want to add live music. If you need assistance with finding a musician or vocalist, your Grace Wedding Consultant can provide you with a list of musicians and vocalists available for hire. The cost for each musician or vocalist is $100. Payment for musicians is paid to Grace Church who in turn will pay the musicians. All musicians/vocalists need to be at rehearsal.

Other Details to note

  • If you want to invite the congregation to your wedding via the weekly bulletin, please send an invitation to the church one month in advance to the attention of Cindy King.
  • Music selection, pictures, or videos viewed during the ceremony should be respectful and cleared by your officiating pastor.
  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted on church premises.
  • All decorations must be removed immediately following the ceremony. The church cannot store decorations.

Personal items should be removed from all rooms (including dressing rooms) promptly after the ceremony.

Marriage License

A license can be obtained from any county courthouse in Ohio.

Cuyahoga County Courthouse

1 Lakeside Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44113

216.443.8920

  • Social security numbers are needed for the license.
  • License valid for 60 days anywhere in Ohio.
  • Cash payments only.
  • License is processed while you wait – both must be present.
  • License is required by church and must be given to pastor at wedding rehearsal or before.