Wedding Information & Forms

Marriage Policy

Marriage is not an institution created by man, but by God. Genesis 2:21-24 states So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. {22} And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. {23} And the man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." {24} For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ reaffirmed the sacredness of marriage by referring to the above text and stating that “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:6) As the creator of people and of marriage, God knows what is best for a successful and fulfilling marriage. It is to the Bible that we look, therefore, to discover what the plan of God is for marriage. Our goal is to discover and follow God’s will in marriage. As a church, we seek to have the highest regard for this institution that is sacred by virtue of its being God’s creation. It is understood that people do not have to come to a church to be married. The state can provide the contractual agreement necessary to make a man and woman husband and wife. However, the state and the church view marriage very differently. For this church, marriage by the church is not simply a means to providing a beautiful ceremony at which the minister presides. It is a holy event which calls upon the Creator God to superintend and to bless. It is the recognition of His word. Marriage is an act of worship meant to glorify God, not just a legally binding ceremony. Marriage is the coming together of two lives under God in a covenant relationship in obedience to the Bible till death does them part.
Marriage Defined: Marriage is the God instituted covenant between a man and a woman in which the two become one. That marriage is monogamous, holy, exclusive, and intended to be permanent.
  1. Covenant – Meaning that marriage is not simply a legal contract recognized by the state. Marriage is a covenant – with God creating, defining, and establishing the purpose and parameters of the relationship. Marriage is entered into with promises being made to one another and to the Lord.
  2. Man and a Woman – God created male and female.  He brought them together for the purpose of intimacy – spiritual, emotional, and physical. Marriage is for a man to enter into a relationship with a woman. As a church, we graciously decline to participate in marriages that are outside this understanding. We do so because of submitting to the authority of Scripture and not because of being motivated by prejudice, hatred, or pride.
  3. Monogamous – Marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman.
  4. Exclusive – The intimacy that at the heart of marriage is intended exclusively for the two people who have entered into that covenant. Sharing that intimacy with other people is outside of God’s will and is a sinful act of rebellion. Intimacy cannot be known when one of those being married is a Christian and one is not.
  5. Permanent – Divorce and disillusionment of the marriage covenant grieves God and injures the body of Christ. Every effort should be sought for reconciliation when there are difficulties encountered within the marriage. We do recognize that abandonment and infidelity may serve as permissions for divorce but they should not serve as guarantees of it. One man and one woman for life is God’s plan for marriage.
Therefore, with a deep sense of reverence toward the Lord and humility toward men, the following matters need to be considered by the couple requesting marriage:
 
  1. WEDDING FORMS
            A set of forms that are obtainable through the church office (also found on the church web site: gibsoncitybible.org) should be completed as soon as the couple determines that they desire to be married in the Gibson City Bible Church. The submission of these forms is required and only initiates the process of moving toward a wedding ceremony in the Bible Church. The submission of the form is not an automatic approval of the date and the ceremony. This includes an initial meeting with the pastor performing the wedding ceremony.

Please submit your initial request for Wedding information below:

WEDDING DATES
Every effort will be made to provide the church building to the couple on the date that they choose for their wedding. The date must be cleared through the office master calendar and the processes involved in this policy must be fulfilled. However, there are certain precedents that may prevent use of the church building on a given date. It is requested that Saturday weddings, which include receptions at the church, take place no later than 4:00 p.m. Receptions may be held at the church provided they fit within the parameters of this policy.
III.       PERFORMANCE OF WEDDINGS WITHIN THE GIBSON CITY BIBLE CHURCH
            The actual building housing the Gibson City Bible Church is not the “house of God” in the sense that God lives there. However, it is a facility set aside for public worship and is meant to be an instrument to be used to the glory of God. What does take place there should reflect our belief in Who God is and what He is like. The following restrictions in no way mirror an attitude of arrogance on our part, but rather, an effort to honor the Lord in our conduct concerning these matters.B
  1. Pastor’s Services: The pastors of this church are the only ones authorized to arrange weddings. If a family desires to ask another clergyman to perform the wedding, such a request will be made known to the GCBC Senior Pastor. The Senior Pastor reserves the right to approve/disapprove the selected outside clergy. Adequate and biblical pre-marital counseling must be demonstrated to have taken place if GCBC staff does not provide that counseling.
  1. Music/Video: Music used should be consistent with the spiritual nature of Holy Matrimony. The use of the GCBC sound system, video camera, and/or computer requires the use of GCBC technicians. Technicians must be in attendance at the wedding rehearsal. Their compensation is established in the policy.
  1. Receptions: Wedding receptions may be held in the church. Administrative Assistant keeps the master calendar and must be contacted concerning reception dates.
  • Wedding parties may use GCBC tables, chairs, coffee makers, punch bowls, cooking and serving utensils during receptions.
  • The narthex, café, library, reception desk, worship center, kitchen, and all other rooms must be placed back in their original set-ups following weddings and receptions.
  • All items brought for decorations must be taken from the church following the wedding/reception unless prior arrangements have been made through the church office. This includes floral decorations. We have very limited storage capacity at the church.
  • The church will not provide paper products and foodstuffs (including coffee, tea, sugar or cream). Please do not use the church’s paper products.
  1. Ushers: The Wedding Party is requested to furnish at least two people to act as ushers to direct guests to their seats.   The seating capacity of our auditorium is 500.
  1. Pictures: Photographers are expected to work in coordination with the officiating pastor. Photography from the audience is prohibited unless specified otherwise by the bride and groom.
  1. Smoking: Guests are asked to refrain from smoking anywhere inside the church.
  1. Alcohol: The use of alcohol is prohibited in and around the building.
  1. Rice: The throwing of rice is prohibited. Birdseed is welcomed, but restricted to the outside of the building.
  1. Flowers: The florist should coordinate with the church Administrative Assistant when flowers are to be delivered. Flower petals strewn down the aisle must be silk.
  1. Remunerations: Compensations are to be made at the time of the rehearsal. Please see the following attached sheet for guidelines concerning payments.
  1. Wedding Coordinators: It is recognized that wedding coordinators can and do perform a valuable service. The officiating pastor maintains the right to write the basic wedding service and officiate at the rehearsal. He will seek to work as closely with the wedding coordinator as possible.
  1. Changing rooms: It is possible to arrange certain rooms in the building to be used as dressing/changing rooms. It is requested that food not be brought into the changing rooms. These must be arranged for prior to the day of the wedding.
II         PROHIBITIONS OF MARRIAGE IN THE GIBSON CITY BIBLE CHURCH FACILITIES
 
            The following may hinder us from performing a public ceremony:
 
  1. Any couple living together and/or actively engaging in sexual activity and who are unwilling to break off that relationship.   Couples living together will either be asked to separate or to be married immediately in a private ceremony. Those engaged in immorality will be asked to repent. A pregnant bride may be asked to have a private ceremony.
  1. Any couple of which one does not profess to know Christ. It is not enough to make a profession simply to get married. Marriage is a bonding together physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A lack of the essential building block of marriage (spiritual) is counter to all this church believes and teaches. The Scripture does directly address this issue.
  1. Divorce which is counter to Biblical guidelines. Any person wishing to be married who has been divorced needs to be willing to discuss that divorce with the officiating pastor. This does not mean the pastor needs to know explicit details, but reasons for the divorce need to be established.
  1. Obvious incompatibilities. The officiating pastor may determine from counseling that couple that they should either wait or indefinitely postpone their marriage.
  1. The senior pastor is willing to discuss any of these prohibitions with couples seeking to be married.
III.       PASTORAL COUNSELING
            Couples wishing to be married must become involved in pastoral counseling. The amount of counseling involved and the times when the counseling takes place shall be arranged at the discretion of the pastor in cooperation with the couple. Please note that the pastor is not a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a professional therapist. His counseling will reflect a strong emphasis on what the Scripture has to say about marriage. The counseling will normally cover topics such as communication, finances, what the Bible teaches about marriage, and other pertinent topics.