We believe that marriage was instituted by God from the beginning.  A marriage is a promise before the Lord which brings a man and a woman together in unity.  It is meant to grow and thrive for a lifetime.  It should not be broken by divorce or separation, but we recognize that happens.  With those facts in mind, we are open to performing Christian weddings for all couples who with to have a Christ centered marriage.

We perform wedding for those who wish to live in God’s blessing.  Those who only desire a church ceremony will be challenged to consider the commitments involved in a Christian marriage.  We do not wish to provide a ceremony which does not reflect the values of the couple.

The initial commitment is to meet with the Pastor, after which he and the Elders will consider the request to be married in the church.  There are certain cases in which we will not marry a couple.  Any such concern will be communicated to the couple who will be given opportunity to respond.  The decision of the Elders and the Pastor will be final.  Some examples are here listed.

  • Neither has made a profession of faith
  • Only one partner has made a profession of faith.
  • If there has been a divorce without proper cause
  • If the couple is living together already.

We understand the pressure many couples feel to live together before they are married.  Some wish to have a trial period.  Others wish to save money for the wedding ceremony.  We believe that a trial period has been proven to be of no help towards establishing strong marriages – there are more divorces among those who have had a trial period than those who have not.  We also believe it is a wiser course to get married before living together, even if that has to be a private or civil ceremony.  The marriage is more important than the ceremony.  Some couples have had a private ceremony first and then held a more traditional celebration later when they could afford it.  We would encourage and affirm that course of action.

Those who wish to marry will meet with the Pastor four times before the wedding to discuss what the scriptures have to say on marriage.  We also strongly encourage the use of Prepare-Enrich, an online tool that helps couples identify areas of strength and areas of potential growth in their relationship.  We will try to be flexible as to the time and location of such meetings.

(download Wedding Policy)

Bethany Evangelical Free Church, 301 Riverside Drive, Madison, WI 53704

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