Wedding at the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, B.C.

In a wedding you ask God to bless you and your relationship. You ask God to help you make your marriage a happy one. You make mighty promises and ask God to help you keep them.

The happy couple with the pastor by the altar To be married by our pastor, at least one of you must be a baptised Christian. If you have a Baptismal Certificate, please bring it when you visit our pastor to talk about your wedding. If neither of you are baptised, we can of course arrange a baptism.

Because of its old world charm, our church is a popular wedding chapel. You do not need to be a Dane or have family ties to our church; however, if our pastor or our building is busy, we hope that you will understand that we give priority to those who have some connection to our church or to Scandinavia.

Contacting the pastor

If you would like to be married in our church, or if you would like God’s blessing on your civil marriage, please contact the pastor by e-mail , through our contact page, by phone at 604.525.9894, or through the office at 604.298.6112. Please do not set your wedding date before talking with our pastor.

It is delightful to share a road
when two have chosen to stay together:
the joy is double when light the load,
and storms are but half as hard to weather.
Yes, it is merry
for two to carry,
for two to carry
their plumage, very,
sustained by love,
sustained by love.
N.F.S. Grundtvig, 1855.
©2001 by Folmer E. Johansen
and Mogens Lemvig Hansen.

Paperwork you can attend to now

To be married, you need a Marriage Licence. The Licence certifies that you can be legally married to each other. The web site of the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency explains where you can obtain your Licence. Please complete your Licence with the information about your parents as well as the full name of the two witnesses. Then give your Licence to our pastor well in advance of your wedding. After the ceremony, our pastor will send the completed Marriage Licence to Vital Statistics. They then register your marriage and send you a British Columbia Marriage Certificate.

Witnesses

To be married, you need two witnesses. If need be, our organist and janitor can serve as witnesses, but you probably want to divide the few tasks among your friends and family; for example like this:

Best Man
One of the two witnesses, often a brother or close friend of the Groom. The Best Man arrives early with the Groom and sits next to him in front of the Altar.
Maid of Honour
The other of the two witnesses, often a sister or close friend of the Bride. The Maid of Honour enters the Sanctuary during the processional before the Bride. She may escort the Bride the last few steps and sits next to the Bride in front of the Altar. The Maid of Honour assists the Bride with her gown.
Escort
Escorts the Bride into the Sanctuary, often the Bride’s father. The Maid of Honour may also serve as Escort. If the Bride does not have an Escort, she may walk into the Sanctuary alone or you may skip the grand entry.
Ring Bearer
Keeper of the rings until they are needed.
Groom’s Men
The Groom’s Men arrive early with the Groom and sit behind him in front of the Altar. We have room for up to five Groom’s Men. The Groom’s Men may also serve as Ushers.
Bridesmaids
The Bridesmaids enter the Sanctuary during the processional before the Bride and sit behind her in front of the Altar. We have room for up to five Bridesmaids. The Bridesmaids can assist the Bride with her gown, but one experienced Maid of Honour may serve the Bride better.
Flower Girls and Boys
Enter the Sanctuary during the processional before the Bride. You probably want small children to sit with their parents or other relatives in the pews.
Ushers
If you have many guests, a few ushers can help people find where to sit. The Ushers also hand out song sheets to your guests. The Groom’s Men often fill the role of Ushers. The Bride’s family sits in the North side while the Groom’s family sits on the South side.

You may also feel a need for rings and a bride’s bouquet.

Meeting the pastor

Before the wedding, our pastor will meet with you at least once. You will discuss the practical details surrounding your wedding. You will walk through the wedding ritual so you know when to do or say what. You will choose a date; most weddings are on Saturdays, and almost all are in English. You will choose the hymns, the processional, and recessional. You may arrange a rehearsal. You will also discuss the significance of being married in a church.

Practical arrangements

The Sanctuary You or your family may want to decorate the church before the service. You are expected to provide flowers for the two vases on the altar. The vases are about 8 inches tall and have an inside diameter of a little more than 2 inches.

The holders in our 28 pews can be adapted for candles or flowers; we provide the candles. Candles are very beautiful but they also give heat; for a summer wedding you should consider using more flowers, say candles in the front pews only.

The wedding

The happy couple leaving the Sanctuary Arrive early for the wedding. The Groom, the Best Man, and the Groom’s Men should be seated in the Sanctuary 20 minutes before the service is to begin. The Bride, the Maid of Honour, and the Bridesmaids in principle arrive in the nick of time, but you may ‘hide’ downstairs. Do bring a cell phone just in case you get stuck on the highway; the church’s number is 604.298.6112. Please turn off all cell phones before entering the church. If your guests are not regulars in our church, please give them instructions on how to get here: 6010 Kincaid Street, off Norland Avenue in Burnaby.

Photography

Please discuss with our pastor when pictures can be taken. Please remind your photographers that they, too, are attending a church service. Photographers are asked to not ascend the two steps to the Altar, and we will not repeat any part of the service for the sake of a better picture.

After the service, you and your photographers may re-enter the Sanctuary and take as many pictures in whatever way you like.

Remember to charge your cameras.

Paperwork that will follow

We will issue a Marriage Certificate for you, and you will receive a British Columbia Marriage Certificate from Vital Statistics in the mail. The British Columbia Marriage Certificate is the official document that certifies that you are indeed legally married. The certificate we issue certifies that you were married before God.

Your donation

We expect a donation of $500 (or more…) to cover the pastor’s time, the organist, decoration of the church, and clean-up after the service. Please give your donation to our pastor before the wedding, for example at the rehearsal. Thank you!