Weddings & Premarital Counseling
Thank you for your interest in the Wedding and Premarital Counseling information of Grace Bible Church. We believe that the marriage union is established by God and designed to be a visible portrayal of Jesus Christ’s love relationship with His Bride, the Church.
If you are interested in using a Grace facility or a Grace officiant for your wedding, please proceed with reading the Letter, Marriage Eligibility Statement and Wedding Policies below. Upon agreement of this information, please complete the Wedding Application which notifies the church of your requests. We look forward to working with you at this important juncture in your lives.
For more information about Premartial Counseling through Grace, please proceed to the Premarital Counseling information below. Premarital counseling will expose you to God's amazing truths regarding marriage so that you are personally and spiritually prepared to make this very important lifelong commitment.
Grace Bible Church
Wedding Ministry Policy
Counseling for Engaged and Seriously Dating Couples
Wedding Ministry Policy
1. Introduction letter
To the Bride and Groom,
Thank you for considering the use of our Grace Bible Church facility for your wedding ceremony. We believe that the marriage union is established by God and designed to be a visible portrayal of Jesus Christ’s love relationship with His Bride, the Church. Thus, the relationship between a husband and wife is one which must be established upon each person’s individual relationship with Jesus Christ. We thank God that He has brought you together and given you the desire to enter into a holy, life-long covenant of marriage. We look forward to serving you by considering your request to use our facilities.
If a Grace officiant will perform your ceremony, he will meet with you to make sure you understand the Biblical basis of marriage and are eligible and prepared to enter into this relationship. We ask you to read our Marriage Eligibility Statement, Wedding Ministry Policy and Wedding Application first. Please know that we reserve the right to postpone your wedding, if necessary. Also, we do allow other officiants to perform weddings at Grace. Those requests will go through our Pastor of Family Ministry prior to confirming the use of the facility.
Whether you use a Grace officiant or not, we hope to provide premarital counseling for you. At this time, we have two options for premarital counseling as follows:
- At certain times of the year, we offer Merge which is a class that consists of large group teaching and small group table discussion. The purpose is to prepare seriously dating or engaged couples for the life-long commitment of marriage using biblical principles. Click here to see if this is currently an option.
- Grace also offers two-on-two counseling premarital counseling on an “as available” basis. We have trained mentor couples who are members of our church and have a heart for helping you lay a solid foundation for your marriage. For this option, please click here and complete the premarital counseling request form.
If you use a Grace facility, whether you use a Grace officiant or not, we require premarital counseling. Other premarital counseling training may be substituted, but must be approved by your Grace wedding officiant or the Pastor of Family Ministry.
Warmly in Christ,
Pastor of Family and Care Ministries
2. Marriage Eligibility Statement
To communicate the church’s policy regarding marriage.
- Marriage is a divine institution.
- (Genesis 2; Matthew 19:4-6; John 2; Ephesians 5:32)
- Marriage is regulated by God’s commandments as found in the Bible:
- There should be no unions between believers and unbelievers.
- (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
- Partners must be committed to fulfilling their mutual responsibilities:
- “Submit to one another” (Ephesians 5:21)
- “Do not deprive each other” (1Corinthians 7:5)
- “Wives, submit” (Ephesians 5:22)
- “Husbands, love” (Ephesians 5:25)
- There should be no unions between believers and unbelievers.
- Marriage is a permanent arrangement. (Matthew 19:6)
- Only death dissolves the marriage relationship.
- (Matthew 5:32; Mark 10:9; Romans 7:2)
- In the case of adultery and/or abandonment, divorce and remarriage may be permissible, but reconciliation is always preferable.
- Only death dissolves the marriage relationship.
Based on the Scriptural guidelines cited above, the following describes scenarios which meet the church’s policy of eligibility:
- Two never-married believers.
- Two never-married unbelievers.
- Two widowed believers.
- Two widowed unbelievers
- Two divorced believers who wish to reconcile and remarry each other.
- Two divorced unbelievers who wish to reconcile and remarry each other
- A believer who has been the “victim” of adultery or desertion leading to divorce to: (a) a never married believer; or (b) another believer who has been the “victim” of adultery or desertion leading to divorce; or (c) a widowed believer.
- An unbeliever who has been the “victim” of adultery or desertion leading to divorce to: (a) a never-married unbeliever; or (b) another unbeliever who has been the “victim” of adultery or desertion leading to divorce; or (c) a widowed unbeliever.
Based on the Scriptural guidelines cited above, the following describe scenarios which do not meet the church’s policy of eligibility:
- A believer to a non-believer.
- Individuals (believer or not) prohibited by civil law (e.g. blood relatives, underage people, severely mentally retarded persons).
- Two people of the same sex (believer or not), whether presently or formerly (e.g. transsexuals).
- An adulterous/deserting individual (believer or not) who is divorcing or has divorced his/her mate in order to marry another.
- A formerly adulterous/deserting individual who, having divorced his/her original spouse and now claiming to have repented, to any new partner as long as reconciliation with the original spouse is still possible (i.e. the original spouse is still not remarried).
- Any couple who otherwise meet the church’s policy of eligibility but are cohabitating while unmarried.
Exceptions to this policy may be considered by the Elders on an individual basis.
Please familiarize yourselves with the criteria described above. After a careful and contemplative reading of the criteria, please continue to General Wedding Facilities and Officiant policies.
Please note: eligibility per this policy document is not an automatic guarantee that your wedding ceremony will be performed by your selected officiant or on the premises of the church.
3. Wedding Facility and Officiant Policies
Scheduling & Reservations
Our facilities may be reserved for the weddings of regular attendees, members, and their children. Dates may be guaranteed no more than nine months in advance and applications must be submitted at least three months in advance of your proposed wedding date.
Our Anderson & Southwood campuses are available for Saturday weddings from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and all activity should end no later than 7 p.m. Facilities must be clear of all guests, décor and equipment by 7:30 p.m. Due to the nature of our staffing, facilities can only be reserved for two weddings per month, per campus, and only one wedding can be held each Saturday.
On your wedding day, the facility will be open a maximum of four hours prior to the wedding for deliveries/preparation/pictures. You are responsible for informing the florist, photographer, etc. of these hours. The facility will be closed one hour following the conclusion of the ceremony or, if the reception is at Grace, three hours after the ceremony ends. The church is not responsible for personal items left in the facilities.
To reserve our facility, please click here and complete the Wedding Application.
Once the application is submitted, Grace staff will arrange to have the couple meet with a Grace officiant. We can allow other wedding officiants to perform ceremonies at Grace, but they must be approved by the Pastor of Family Ministries. Any couples wishing to use a non-Grace wedding officiant will need to click here and ask the officiant to complete the Guest Wedding Officiant request form and submit it to the Pastor of Family Ministries for approval before the wedding date can be confirmed.
A Grace Wedding Coordinator is required and included in your fees. She will contact the bride (at least one month prior to the wedding date) concerning church facilities and equipment needs. At the initial contact the bride will need to communicate if there will be an outside coordinator or if the Grace Wedding Coordinator will be the only one to direct the rehearsal and wedding. Additionally, the coordinator will need to review the “order of service” with the bride well in advance of the rehearsal. The wedding coordinator represents our staff, and will be with you during the rehearsal and wedding to assist you and will serve as a guide to our policies.
A Grace production technician is required and will be at the rehearsal and ceremony only (a reception media technician is an additional expense). If you plan to use multiple music selections during the ceremony, you must burn them to a flash drive in the order they will appear in the service. The flash drive must be submitted to the production technician at the beginning of the rehearsal. If you are planning to have a worship set that requires slides or utilizes a full band, the use of an additional Grace production technician will be required.
Musicians should be consulted well in advance concerning music for the wedding. Musicians must coordinate at least two weeks prior to the wedding with the production technician on their music plans, instrumentation, and Grace’s technical abilities and limitations. The soloist, solos, worship music, and instrumental requests should be chosen by the couple with care. Musicians and vocalists are to be hired directly by the couple as Grace does not provide these for you. Fees are at the discretion of the musicians. All musicians should be present during the rehearsal.
The music you choose for your wedding is a very important part of your special day and should reflect the spiritual nature of the occasion. Only sacred music, contemporary Christian selections, or music from the classics will be permitted prior to and during the wedding ceremony. Please submit the music selections to the wedding coordinator at least one week in advance in order for the appropriate approval to be confirmed. Because a Christian wedding is deemed sacred, some music selections may not be viewed as appropriate.
Please plan to decorate the facility during business hours and clear your plans and hours with your wedding coordinator. All decorations must be removed from the facility at the conclusion of the ceremony. Grace’s property may not be removed from the premises for any reason, including taking items to the reception. Please note that all holiday décor remains in place in the foyer and sanctuary and cannot be removed.
Items on stage will remain. Any exceptions to this rule will be at the discretion of Grace production staff.
Dripless candles must be used and the carpet/furniture protected. Clear plastic cellophane can be purchased in rolls like gift wrap and placed under arrangements. If you plan to take pictures with candles lit, you may plan to have two sets of candles, one set for pictures and one set for the ceremony. Ventilation causes them to burn quickly. Please note that tapers burn quickly and can be blown out by the a/c; therefore, we recommend pillar candles.
No tacks or nails may be used in decorations. Your wedding coordinator will visit with you as you plan your décor and let you know what has worked well in the past.
Birdseed may be thrown outside only. No rice may be used. White or yellow rose petals may be dropped by flower girls, but no red/pink or other dark colored petals. We recommend silk petals as an inexpensive and cleaner option.
Receptions and Facility Policy
Receptions hosted at Grace will be limited to three hours following the conclusion of the ceremony. Events should conclude no later than 7 p.m. The service of alcoholic beverages and use of tobacco are not permitted on the property of Grace Bible Church. Plans for any forms of dancing must be submitted and approved by Grace Bible Church before reservations are finalized. Whether you wish to reserve the Anderson or Southwood facility, there are specific requirements that must be met. The Grace staff will provide the facility policy upon your request.
A deposit of $150.00 is required with the confirmation form to secure the wedding date. The deposit will be refunded after the wedding if all policies and procedures have been followed. If any church items are broken or missing, Grace will replace these items and deduct the cost from the deposit.
All fees for the wedding should be paid to the church one month in advance of the wedding date. Checks should be payable to Grace Bible Church and payments made in the church office or mailed to Grace Bible Church, Attn: Wedding Administrator, 700 Anderson St, College Station, TX 77840. **Officiant and musicians are paid directly by the couple.**
Wedding & Rehearsal
*Includes Grace wedding coordinator and sound technician
Officiants Honorarium (see below)
|Sound at Reception||+$40/hr; 2 hour minimum|
|Additional Media Technician||+$25/hr; 2 hour minimum|
|Musicians & Vocalists (fees at the discretion of the musicians)|
The officiant's honorarium for conducting the wedding rehearsal and ceremony is normally the responsibility of the groom. The amount of the honorarium is left to your discretion. A suggested honorarium would be a minimum of $300.00. In addition, for out of town weddings it is expected that the officiant will be compensated in advance for all travel expenses including room and board. Reservations, including but not limited to hotels and flights, are to be coordinated by the officiant and paid by the couple.
Procedure to Reserve Grace Facilities
- Complete the Grace Wedding Application on-line which will be submitted to Grace staff.
- Once a Grace Officiant is determined, request a meeting with him. Based on this meeting, the officiant retains the right to accept or refuse the wedding. If a Guest Officiant is requested, the Guest Officiant must complete the Guest Officiant Application on-line to be approved by the Pastor of Family Ministires.
- Once a date and officiant are determined, you will receive a confirmation form.
- Once the completed confirmation form and deposit of $150 are received by Grace staff, your date is confirmed.
- All fees are due one month before the wedding date.
1. General Information
Marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church. The wedding ceremony should point us toward the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We are to be the bride of Christ. Our purpose with this ministry is to help you get your marriage started so it can be a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church. Grace is here to encourage you and to impart some knowledge and wisdom to you.
We encourage you to register for a Merge class if the timing works with your engagement period and wedding date. Please continue to the Merge Premarital Counseling Class information to learn more.
2. Merge Class
Merge is a nine-week class that consists of large group teaching and small group table discussion. Each small group consists of three to four engaged OR dating couples with a married mentor couple. We cover topics such as communication and conflict, finances, sexual intimacy, in-laws and expectations. The purpose is to prepare seriously dating and engaged couples for the life-long commitment of marriage using biblical principles.
For engaged couples, if Merge is being offered at a time that works with your engagement period and wedding date, we highly recommend that you sign up for this class. The next Merge class will be held Fall 2017.
Couples can expect a few hours of homework every week. Cost is $40/couple. Completion of this class will qualify you for a $60 discount on your marriage license with the State of Texas.
For questions, contact Dean Hoelscher.
3. Two-on-Two Premarital Counseling Application
Two-on-Two counseling is available only for engaged couples. You will be paired with a mentor couple and establish a schedule together for you to go through our approved curriculum, Preparing for Marriage by David Boehi, Brent Nelson, Jeff Schulte & Lloyd Shadrach. It is designed to be an 8 week course. Topics to be covered include: God’s Design for Marriage, Roles and Responsibilities, Intimacy, Finances, Communication and more. Completing the class will also require answering a Family History Analysis.
Two-on-Two counseling is not guaranteed when requested. Couples getting married at a Grace facility or by a Grace officiant will be given preference in securing a mentor couple. We will attempt to place all couples requesting counseling with a mentor couple but it is on an ‘as available’ basis. Completion of this class will qualify you for a $60 discount on your marriage license with the State of Texas.
Click here to complete the Two-on-Two Premarital Counseling Application.
|Grace Bible Church||Grace Bible Church||Grace Bible Church|
|Anderson Campus||Southwood Campus||Creekside Campus|
|700 Anderson St||1901 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy S|
|College Station, TX 77840||College Station, TX 77845|
|(979) 693-2911||(979) 695-2000|
|(979) 693-5269 fax||(979) 695-2019 fax|