Guidelines for Marriage by a Redeemer Pastor

Guidelines for Marriage by a Redeemer Pastor

Congratulations on this exciting time of preparation for your upcoming wedding ceremony and marriage! If you wish to have a Redeemer pastor officiate your wedding, please review the guidelines below and complete and submit the pre-marriage questionnaire to the appropriate congregational email address included below as soon as possible. Please note that considering the size of our church and the total number of pastors on staff, the pastor you request may already be at capacity and unable to officiate your wedding. This is why we advise contacting pastors as soon as possible.

Guidelines to help you plan for a wedding with a Redeemer pastor:

  1. Complete the pre-marriage questionnaire: Please fill out the form here.
  2. Review of your questionnaire: A Redeemer pastor will receive your completed questionnairre for review and we will contact you with any questions and next steps. Before a pastor can confirm that he can perform the wedding he may request an initial meeting with the couple. In this session, you can expect the pastor to ask you about information supplied in your questionnaire including:

    Your Christian faith: When did you become a Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian? What is the place that Christian faith has in your life? Are you both actively involved as members in a local church?

    The nature of your relationship: What is the history of your relationship? How do your friends and family feel about it? What do you perceive to be the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the relationship? Are you living together? Have you maintained sexual purity? Have there been relationships in the past that are unreconciled (i.e. if you’ve been married before)?
  3. Preparation with a Redeemer pastor: Once a Redeemer pastor has been confirmed to preside over your wedding, you should coordinate schedules as early as possible to ensure that he is available for your wedding date and to allow adequate time to complete the premarital seminar and premarital counseling process, allowing no less than six months between the time of the initial contact at the actual wedding.
  4. Premarital seminar: The couple must attend the Redeemer premarital seminar, “Preparing for Marriage.” The seminar is a six-hour course that discusses the meaning and purpose of marriage, the qualities necessary to have a healthy marriage, the true nature of love and how to effectively express it, communication and conflict resolution, role relationships and sexuality in marriage. It involves lectures and one-on-one interactions.
  5. Premarital counseling: Depending on the couple’s background and level of readiness, a pastor will provide three-to-six counseling sessions with the couple to supplement the seminar. Some pastors employ diagnostic tools or surveys to supplement their counseling, which may entail additional cost.
  6. Wedding venues: Redeemer's W83 Ministry Center is available for individual contract rental of space for events such as rehearsal dinners and weddings. Please contact [email protected] to inquire about availability and rental information.
    Weddings at W83
    If you are getting married in another church, be mindful that certain churches have restrictions concerning officiating pastors so make sure to verify their policies.
  7. Wedding licenses: Redeemer pastors are not responsible for the processing of wedding licenses. You are responsible for ensuring the proper processing of necessary wedding documents.
  8. Out-of-town weddings: Some pastors will perform out-of-town ceremonies and others will not. You must contact the pastor to see if he is available for such a wedding. Whether the ceremony is in town or not, you should plan to pay for any necessary travel expenses and accommodations, and provide clear directions and the precise address to the wedding facility. (Please understand that an out-of-town wedding is a significant commitment on the part of the pastor!)
  9. Honorarium: The suggested honorarium for the pastor performing your ceremony is $500-$1,000, depending on the number of counseling sessions that he provides. This is paid directly to the pastor. If additional counseling is required, the pastor may suggest additional sessions or refer you to the Redeemer Counseling Center. If there is a financial hardship involved in the cost of these sessions, please discuss this with your pastor.
  10. Wedding rehearsal and reception: The pastor will generally conduct the wedding rehearsal at the agreed upon rehearsal time. Regretfully, pastors are not always available to attend rehearsal dinners and receptions. It is our sincere hope that such inability is not taken as an offense.
  11. The wedding: Usually a meeting will be required to discuss the actual details of the wedding service. On the day of the wedding, plan to have the entire wedding party at the church at least one hour before the ceremony. IF you wish to have live photography or have your wedding filmed, please discuss appropriate parameters with the pastor before the wedding day. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you on this special occasion!

Redeemer Wedding Officiants: The following is a list of Redeemer pastors who may be available to officiate weddings and provide premarital counseling, along with the congregational email address where you can inquire about their availability:

East Side
[email protected]
Rich  McCaskill
Hector  Sanchez
David  Ellis
West Side
[email protected]
Andrew  Field
Paul  Yoo
Lincoln Square
[email protected]
Michael  Keller
Bruce  O'Neil
Downtown[email protected]
Pete  Nicholas
Jeff  White
David  Lee
Charles  Chung
Will  Anderson
East  Harlem
[email protected]
Justin  Adour
Abe  Cho

Pre­-Marriage Questionnaire

Each person should fill out the following questionnaire separately. When both of you have submitted the completed form your information will be forwarded to the pastor you have requested to officiate your wedding. This information must be submitted prior to your first meeting with him.

Please fill out your personal information below and make sure that your future spouse also fills out this form separately.

Christian Faith

Motives for Marriage


We believe we are responsible before God to marry only those people who have God’s blessing (favor) for the marriage and who are prepared for the demands and responsibilities of this relationship.

Marriage is work! You don’t expect to get other jobs without qualifications, so there are qualifications for marriage.

1. You must have a similar commitment to Christ (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Unless we are in covenant relationship with God, we lack the strength and love to really meet the demands of marriage. Without God, our natural selfishness prevents a relationship from really blossoming. Sin destroyed the oneness between Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). This means that a Christian pastor cannot marry a Christian to a non-­Christian. From a Christian perspective, the heart of the marriage is deep oneness. If your spouse cannot understand the central motive of your heart, and the driving force of your life, how can s/he have deep unity with you? The only way to have a tolerable marriage with a non­-Christian is to push Jesus off to the periphery of your soul. Either Christ will be central and your marriage relationship will be superficial, or Christ will be on the periphery and your marriage relationship will be central. From a common sense perspective, it would be hard to find a rabbi or Muslim cleric or Christian pastor or a marriage counselor who thinks two people should marry who differ on the most core/important commitments of their lives. There can’t be intimacy if two people differ in those central life commitments. Is there agreement between the two of you in this central area? Is there a similar commitment to Christ? You need to be active together as members of a church.

2. You must be mature enough and willing to build a marriage based on the principles of God’s word.

The way to handle a machine so that it continues to work properly is to follow the directions of the manufacturer. If you ignore the instructions, there will be breakdown. Freedom comes from following the rules of the creator. This means first of all, you must be willing to talk through and solve problems God’s way. For example, have you been engaging in sexual relations? Here’s a test! Are you willing to accept God’s word that this practice is wrong?

Please answer yes or no

One of the most important qualities of a healthy marriage is the ability to handle conflicts and communicate appropriately. Unless you can base your relationship on communication now, how will you do so later?

If this is not your first marriage and you are divorced, please complete the following questions.