wedding picTo the bride and groom, congratulations on your engagement! This is an overview of the steps in preparing and planning for your big day.

Your Preparation – The first thing you’ll want to do is schedule your first meeting with a member of our Pastoral Staff Team. The process you’ll be starting with that appointment looks like this:

  • 1st meeting: Pastor/Couple Getting to Know Each Other and Initial Wedding Details
  • Take the FOCCUS Premarriage Inventory (A link will be emailed to you.)
  • 2nd meeting: FOCCUS Inventory Results and Update Wedding Details
  • 3rd meeting: Finish FOCCUS Inventory Results and Finalize Wedding Details
  • Complete premarital education – recommended but not required – and receive your Educator’s Statement to take to your county government center. (See “About Premarital Education” for more information.)
  • Apply for your marriage license at the government center. For Sherburne County: 13880 Business Center Dr NW, Elk River, MN 55330. Recorder’s office: 763.765.4420. www.co.sherburne.mn.us/recorder/vital/marriage.php 

Your marriage license is valid for 6 months. Please make sure you obtain your license from the government center at least 2 weeks before your wedding. The bride and groom must both be present and show valid photo identification (e.g., driver’s license). It is a good idea to pay for at least one additional copy of your marriage license as you may need it for updating documents with a name change, etc.

About Premarital Education

The cost of your marriage license is $115. However, if you complete 12 hours of premarital education, you qualify for the reduced rate of $40. Financial incentive aside, it is definitely worthwhile to invest the 12 hours of time in preparing for your marriage together. The three meetings cover 6 of the required hours (2 hours per meeting), plus you can count the time spent taking the online inventory.

To complete the remaining 4-5 hours you may:

  • Attend a premarital workshop (Ask about options.)
    • The WHY Church is hosting a 4-week marriage series on Sunday nights at the Y in January 2020. This would be a great option! 
  • Read or listen to a book about marriage and discuss
    • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
    • Getting Ready for Marriage by Jim Burns & Doug Fields
    • 31 Creative Ways to Love and Encourage Him/Her by Jefferson & Alyssa Bethke
    • Another book of your choosing (with pastoral approval)
  • Grow in your spiritual life together
    • Attend a worship service
    • Read Scripture and/or pray together
  • Meet with a married couple whom you respect. Ask them questions about what makes for a healthy and vibrant marriage. 

Pastoral Preparation – Includes at least 10 hours of time for the following:

  • 1st meeting: Pastor/Couple Getting To Know Each Other and Initial Wedding Details
  • 2nd meeting: FOCCUS Premarriage Inventory and Final Wedding Details
  • 3rd meeting: Finish FOCCUS Premarriage Inventory and Finalize Wedding Details
  • Preparation of the ceremony and message
  • Rehearsal
  • Wedding

Honorarium – The suggested honorarium is $300 and is typically given at the rehearsal the day before the wedding. If the rehearsal/wedding is a significant distance away from Elk River, please consider covering travel expenses.

More Than a Wedding – Whether you’re part of the WHY Church or we’re just getting to know each other, please know that this is about more than planning a wedding. This is a chance for us to make a lasting connection and to celebrate what God is doing in your life – on your wedding day and beyond. We look forward to our time together and will be praying for you. Again, congratulations!

Yours in Christ,

The Pastoral Staff Team

Bjorn Dixon

Megan Pedersen

Sonja Dixon

Click here to contact us // office at the Y: 763.230.2814