Scroll to the bottom of the page to find our local church marriage policies and guidelines.


From our United Methodist Book of Worship: “Christian marriage is proclaimed as a sacred covenant reflecting the Baptismal Covenant.  Everything about the service is designed to witness that this is a Christian marriage. . . . The service is parallel in structure to the Sunday service.  [Each] are equal partners in Christian marriage.  Those present are understood to be an active congregation rather than simply passive observers.  As active witnesses to the marriage, they give their blessing to the couple.  The decision to perform the ceremony is the right and responsibility of the pastor, in accordance with the laws of the state. . . . All plans should be approved by the pastor.  The pastor’s ‘due counsel with the parties involved’ prior to marriage, mandated by The Book of Discipline, should include, in addition to premarital counseling, discussing and planning the service with them and informing them of policies or guidelines established by the congregation on such matters as decorations, photography, and audio or video recording.  Any leadership roles taken by other clergy should be at the invitation of the pastor of the [host pastor].  Ethnic and cultural traditions are encouraged and may be incorporated into the service at the discretion of the pastor.
In the cases of couples who are not church members or are not prepared to make the Christian commitment as expressed in our services, adaptations may be made at the discretion of the pastor.”
[to view the traditional words of our Service of Christian Marriage I, keep scrolling down]

The Biblical Basis of Christian Marriage

from "The Worship Resources of The United Methodist Hymnal"

The institution of marriage is based on God’s work of Creation:  “Humankind was created as God’s reflection: in the divine image God created them; female and male, God made them” (Genesis 1:27).  It is plain that males and females are equally created in the image of God.  The equality of male and female is clearly stated in such passages as Paul’s declaration: “Each of you is a child of God. . . . All of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, slave or citizen, male or female.  All are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).  Christian marriage is a lifelong covenant between two people who are “subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).  It is more than a contract. 
“Covenant, in contrast to contract, involves giving of self unreservedly in love to the other.” 
The couple fulfill each other, and their love gives birth to new life in each and through each. 
Christ is the bond of unity when their lives are centered in Christ. 
The couple encounters the risen Christ daily in their love for each other. 
They make a little family within the household of God, a “little church” in the Body of Christ.

Marriage Equality Policy

adopted by unanimous vote of the PEUMC Church Council Laity (5/2023)

We, the leadership of Port Edwards United Methodist Church,
     declare that no one will be denied a marriage request
          based on sexual identity or gender expression.
     Our pastor may perform same-sex marriages
        and bless same-sex unions on church property.

This action is in accordance with the spirit of the following statements
     in our United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, 2016:

“Inclusiveness means openness, acceptance, and support that enables all
persons to participate in the life of the Church, the community, and the world;
therefore, inclusiveness denies every semblance of discrimination” (¶140).
“We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the
image of God” (¶161f).
“All persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation,
are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured” (¶161f).
“We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay
members and friends” (¶161f).

This policy is our expression of the biblical obedience to the radical hospitality of
Jesus Christ, whose teachings focus on unconditional love, compassion, and justice.

*** Our pastor reserves the right to require marriage counseling sessions for all couples
and may reconsider any request after careful discernment with the couple.



[The service below has been adapted using inclusive and expansive language
for same-sex/same-gender ceremonies. 

The words, in consultation with the pastor, can be further adapted to reflect the various realities.]

[Some aspects of traditional wedding ceremonies
can be regarded as incompatible with today’s values. 
While planning your ceremony, care should be taken to avoid traditional actions that emphasize (intentionally or not) archaic understandings of marriage as ‘patriarchal transactions’ and of the 
bride to be a piece of property that must be under the authority of some man (father to groom).  
We no longer ‘give away’ the bride;
and the handing off of the bride to the groom by the father should be reconsidered.
Additionally, we no longer ask if anyone objects to the marriage. 
They should have said something sooner!]


[The congregation may participate by using ‘A Service of Christian Marriage’ in The United Methodist Hymnal, page 864.]


[While the people gather, instrumental or vocal music may be offered.]
[The use of music, here and elsewhere in the service, should reflect Christian worship.]
[During the entrance of the wedding party, there may be instrumental music or a hymn, a psalm, a canticle, or an anthem.] [The congregation may be invited to stand.]
[The couple, entering separately or together, now come forward with members of the wedding party. 
Either may be escorted by representatives of their families.]

   Pastor to people:
    “Friends, we are gathered together in the sight of God
        to witness and bless the joining together of [Name] and [Name]
            in Christian marriage.
    The covenant of marriage was established by God,
        who created us for each other.
    With His presence and power
        Jesus graced a wedding at Cana of Galilee,
            and in His sacrificial love
                gave us the example for the love of husbands and wives.
    [Name] and [Name] come to give themselves to one another in this holy covenant .


    Pastor to couple:
    “I ask you now, in the presence of God and these people,
        to declare your intention to enter into union with each other
        through the grace of Jesus Christ
            [who calls you into union with Himself as acknowledged in your baptism].

    Pastor to first person:
    “[Name], will you have [Name] to be your husband/wife,
        to live together in holy marriage?
    Will you love them, comfort them, honor and keep them,
        in sickness and in health,
            and forsaking all others, be faithful to them
                as long as you both shall live?
    Person #1: I will.
    Pastor to second person: [~~ditto~~]

    Pastor to couple:
    “The marriage of [Name] and [Name] unites their families and creates a new one. 
        They ask for your blessing.
           [parents and other representatives of the families may respond like this . . .]
    We rejoice in your union,
    and pray God’s blessing upon you.
[Note: It is no longer appropriate to ask “Who gives away this person?” to which fathers have traditionally responded, “Her mother and I.”  Marriages are no longer considered ‘patriarchal transactions’ of past centuries for which such outdated (but often highly cherished) responses imply. 
A variation of this could be: “Who offers their blessing on this couple—Her family and I.”]

         [or, they may reply to the pastor’s question . . .]
    Do you who represent their families rejoice in their union
        and pray God’s blessing upon them?
    We do.
        [or children of the couple may repeat these or similar words, prompted line by line,
             by the pastor.]

    We love both of you.
    We bless your marriage.
    Together we will be a family.
           [family escorts may now be seated]
    Pastor to people:
    “Will all of you, by God’s grace,
        do everything in your power
            to uphold and care for these two persons in their marriage?
    We will.

    The Lord be with you.
        And also with you.
    Let us pray:
    God of all peoples,
    You are the True Light illumining everyone.
    You show us the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
    You love us even when we are disobedient.
    You sustain us with Your Holy Spirit.
    We rejoice in Your life in the midst of our lives.
    We praise You for Your presence with us,
        and especially in this act of solemn covenant;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord: AMEN! 



[a simple search on the internet will provide you with many scripture reading suggestions for weddings. 
There are some suggested readings that we can offer, but couples may request their own. 
Several passages may be read; try to choose ones from both the Old Testament and New Testament.]


    Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all life,
        Author of salvation, Giver of all grace:

    Bless and sanctify with Your Holy Spirit
        [Name] and [Name], who come now to join in marriage.
    Grant that they may give their vows to each other
        in the strength of Your steadfast love.
    Enable them to grow in love and peace
        with You and with one another all their days,
        that they may reach out in concern and service to the world;
        through Jesus Christ our Lord: AMEN!


          [If you wish to write your own personal vows, you may do so;
             however, it is highly advised that you share these vows with your partner
             before or after the ceremony, or at least, in addition to the vows as printed here.]
          [the couple face each other, joining hands.  The pastor may prompt them, line by line.]

    #1 to #2:
        In the name of God,
            I, [Name], take you, [Name], to be my wife/husband/partner,
                to have and to hold,
                from this day forward,
                for better, for worse,
                for richer, for poorer,
                in sickness and in health,
                to love and to cherish,
                until we are parted by death.
            This is my solemn vow.
    #2 to #1: [~~ditto~~]


    #1 to #2:
    I take you, [Name], to be my wife/husband/partner,
        and I promise before God and all who are present here
            to be your loving and faithful wife/husband/partner
            as long as we both shall live.
        I will serve you with tenderness and respect,
            and encourage you to develop God’s gifts in you.
    #2 to #1: [~~ditto~~]


    #1 to #2:
    [Name], in the name of God,
        I take you to be my husband/wife/spouse from this time onward,
            to join with you and to share all that is to come,
            to give and to receive,
            to speak and to listen,
            to inspire and to respond,
            and in all our life together
            to be loyal to you with my whole being,
            as long as we both shall live.
    #2 to #1: [~~ditto~~]

                                                [The exchange of rings is optional. 
                Other tangible symbols may be given in addition to, or in place of, rings.]
                         [The pastor, taking the rings, may say either of the following . . .]

  These rings (symbols)
    are the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,
    signifying to us the union between Jesus Christ and His Church.


    These rings (symbols)
    are the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,
    signifying to all the uniting of [Name] and [Name] in holy marriage.

        [The pastor may bless the giving of rings or other symbols of the marriage . . .]
    Bless, O Lord, the giving of these rings (symbols),
    that they who wear them may live in Your peace
        and continue in Your favor all the days of their lives;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord: AMEN!
               [While placing the ring on the third finger of the recipient’s left hand,
                      the giver may say (prompted, line by line, by the pastor) . . .]

    [Name], I give you this ring
        as a sign of my vow,
        and with all that I am,
        and all that I have,
        I honor you;
     in the name of the Father,
        and of the Son,
            and of the Holy Spirit.

    [If a unity candle, or equivalent, is used, the two side candles representing the individuals are lit first, and the center candle representing the marriage is lit at this or some later point in the service.  The side candles are not extinguished because both individuals retain their personal identities.]
    [Couples are invited to exercise their creativity when planning this part of the service.]

          [The couple now join hands.  The pastor may place a hand on their joined hand.]
    Pastor to couple:
    You have declared your consent and vows
        before God and this congregation.
    May God confirm your covenant and fill you both with grace.
                                [The couple may turn and face the congregation.]
    Pastor to people:
    Now that [Name] and [Name]
        have given themselves to each other by solemn vow,
        with the joining of hands,
            [and the giving and receiving of rings,]
    I announce to you that they are _______ and _______;
        in the name of the Father,
            and of the Son,
                and of the Holy Spirit.
    Those whom God has joined together,
        let no one put asunder: AMEN!

               [“You may now kiss each other” OR “You may greet each other with a kiss.”]

    [The congregation may be invited to stand and sing a hymn.]
    [Intercessions may be offered for the Church and for the world.]
    [Even if the above options are not used, it is highly recommended that a prayer or blessing immediately follows the announcement, so that the couple’s first act in their marriage is to turn to God in prayer.]

                          [The couple may kneel.  The pastor, if they are ordained,
            may choose to wrap their stole around the joined hands of the couple.]

    O God, You have so consecrated 
        the covenant of Christian marriage 
        that in it is represented the covenant between Christ and His Church.
    Send, therefore, Your blessing upon [Name] and [Name],
        that they may surely keep their marriage covenant,
        and so grow in love and godliness together
        that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace.

        [If Holy Communion is to be celebrated, it will take place here.
    The whole congregation must be invited to receive communion, just not the wedding party.
        It is our tradition to invite all Christians and seekers to the Lord’s Table,
            but there should be no pressure that would embarrass those who,
            for whatever reason, do not choose to receive communion. 
        Here the couple, or children from previous marriages,
            or representatives of the congregation, may bring bread and juice to the Lord’s Table.
            (We do not use alcohol.) 
        The couple may assist the pastor in the distribution of the bread and juice.]

    [If Holy Communion is not to be celebrated,
        the service continues with the following Prayer of Thanksgiving . . .]

    Thank You for Your tender love in making us a covenant people
        through our Savior Jesus Christ and for consecrating in His name
        the marriage covenant of [Name] and [Name].

    Grant that their love for each other may reflect the love of Christ for us
        and grow from strength to strength as they faithfully serve You in the world.

    Defend them from every enemy.
    Lead them into all peace.
    Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts,
        a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their heads.

    Bless them in their work and in their companionship,
        in their sleeping and in their waking;
        in their joys and in their sorrows;
        in their lives and in their deaths.
    Finally, by Your grace, bring them and all of us to that Table
        where Your saints feast forever in Your heavenly home;

            through Jesus Christ our Lord,
            who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns
            one God, now and forever: AMEN!
                      [The Lord’s Prayer is prayed by all; the couple may continue to kneel]


                                                   [A hymn may be sung at this time.]

    Pastor to couple:
    God the Eternal keep you in love with each other,
        so that the peace of Christ may abide in your home.
    Go to serve God and your neighbor in all that you do.

    Pastor to people:
    Bear witness to the love of God in this world,
        so that those to whom love is a stranger
            will find in you generous friends.
    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
        and the love of God,
        and the communion of the Holy Spirit
        be with you all: AMEN!

    The peace of the Lord be with you always.
    And also with you.
           [If the couple has not done so yet, they may now greet each other with a kiss.]

    [A hymn may be sung or instrumental music played as the couple,
    the wedding party, and the people leave.]


A Service for the Recognition or Blessing of a Civil Marriage

[may take place during a Sunday morning worship service or at another time and location]



[may take place during a Sunday morning worship service or at another time and location]




    Congratulations on your engagement!
    Here are some things to consider as you plan for your BIG DAY:

    1.) You do *not* have to be a member of our congregation to get married in our church or by our pastor.
    2.) Our pastor requires a minimum of 5 sessions of premarital counseling; this can be done on ZOOM or in-person.  They are usually 60-90 minutes long.  There may be a small fee for materials.
    3.) There *may* be fees for the use of the building, including additional space beyond the sanctuary, and in addition to an honorarium/fee by the pastor, payment to our musician (if used), and to our custodian.  Please check with us about building and pastoral fees and payment plans.
    4.) The ceremony can take place in our sanctuary; our Memorial Lounge is another option for a more intimate space overlooking the Wisconsin River; if outside the church facilities, please disclose your preferred location to the pastor.  Mileage for pastor and service leaders must be covered appropriately.
    5.) This congregation sanctions same-sex marriage in our building and encourages our pastor to officiate them; our pastor is also happy to celebrate with you! #loveislove
    6.) The pastor has the pastoral responsibility to deny any marriage requests, before, during, or after engaging in premarital counseling sessions.  The pastor will discern this decision with the couple.
    7.) Legally, the couple must be sober on the day of the ceremony in order to perform the vows “in sound mind.”  Anyone in the wedding party who is intoxicated or under the influence of any other kind of drug will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.
    8.) There can be no alcohol on church property.
    9.) All ceremony plans must be approved by the pastor (liturgy, music, order, roles, etc.); any additional leadership roles taken by other clergy must be at the invitation of the host pastor.

    10.) All payment must be made by the day of the ceremony; or according to an agreed-upon timeline.

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