Summer is a great time to have weddings and marriage in church in mind. Whether you have weddings that are about to happen, or weddings that are still a year or more away.
Weddings coming up
There are lots of opportunities to show care and welcome in the last few weeks before a wedding , right up until the day itself. Here are a few examples:-
- Invite couples to church to hear their banns and be present when the congregation prays for them. It’s a lovely way to welcome them to church and turn a legal process into special, moving occasion. See the Banns invitation card.
- The wedding day rehearsal is a great time to put the couple at ease and pray with them about the day and atheir marriage. This Prayer Candle Giveaway has been very well-received by couples, whether it is given at the start of their wedding planning journey, or towards the end.
- The Wedding day itself will stay in the couple’s memories for rest of their lives. Read all about making it the best it can possibly be.
- Making the wedding guests welcome is so important to couples. See this Download for seven ways to do this well.
- There are ways to involve guests in prayer too. This guest prayer card bcan be highlighted to guests during the marriage service, and allows you to draw attention to the promise they will make. It also offers a keepsake they can take away with them and keep praying for the couple.
- As so many weddings takes place in the summer, there will be many wedding anniversaries too. Remind couples who married last year that their church will always be for them throughout their marriage by sending an Anniversary card.
- Involve your congregation in praying for couples’ weddings and anniversaries by adding them to intersessions. You can even invite the couples to these services.
Weddings next year and beyond
A couple’s wedding planning journey will usually be around 18 months. It’s a long window of opportunity to build a connection with the couple that will last beyond the wedding day.
If a couple have just got in touch about getting married at your church, there will be the usual legal preliminiaries to sort and dates to be fixed, but there are opportunities to invite them to church too:
- Couples will want to review their reception venue to make sure it is everything they want it to be. They’ll want to try the menu and look at the facilities. Encourage them to ‘try out’ their church too. Invite them to some services, invite them to summer events so they can begin to get to know you and the people there. Keeping track of all your couples for these invitatations might be made easier with the Pastoral Services Diary. Once details are entered, you can extract addresses for posting or e-mailing invitations.
- At your first meeting with the couple, they may well be feeling very nervous and have lots of questions. It’s a time to assure the couple of the church’s warm welcome. Offering friendly information which they can take away will help with this. A folder available on the Church Print Hub can be used for this and has space to insert your own information too.
- As the months go by, you’ll be offering some form of preparation. Couples dislike the term ‘marriage preparation’, but you can still give them ‘space to think’ and it’s another chance for them to see you. Invite couples to think about their vows using this Space to think card. You might like to encourage the couple to pray too. This tealight gift may help with this.
- You can direct couples to www.yourchurchweding.org for information and advice about getting married in church, and especially the online Ceremony Planner. It will help couples to select music and readings for their service and print out their choices so that you can all talk it through together. The Ceremony Planner is designed to give couples confidence with discussing their choices with you.