1. Remember, conducting a wedding is not a Biblical Pastoral responsibility. There is nothing in the Bible about a pastor conducting a wedding, or a funeral; at a funeral, you do preach however, we have succumbed to the depravity of our society by seeing these as pastoral duties.
There is not much you can do at a wedding that is spiritual and ethical.
2. It, then is simply good as P.R. It is a tremendous place for public relations. Probably, nothing else can accomplish this like a wedding.
3. Hence, it is the only service preacher conducts where he should primarily please the people. (A wedding is the only place you can pussyfoot and get away with it.)
4. It is the only service to make them like you. (Most people who don’t like your preaching come to not like it; if you can make them like you at a wedding, they may come back.)
5. This is the only service that should be formal and traditional. There are certain things that people expect.
6. It is not a time for preaching.
7. It is not a time for a Bible study.
8. It is not a time for an evangelistic service.
9. It is not a time for eloquence.
10. It is not a time for speech making. (I do not believe it is ethical for you to take advantage of a captive audience; it is better to teach the Bible to the bride and groom in your office.)
11. Mild advice may be given.
12. Be very careful about humor, I would not suggest you use humor the way I do here.
13. Watch the congregation during the processional. (You want to find out who is in the audience; what kind of spirit do you want to create?) The degree of ritual and humor is decided then. I spend a few minutes loving the parents.
14. Research the couples romance and courtship.
– First time they saw each other.
– How they met.
– What made them realize they were for each other.
– First I love you.
– Circumstances surrounding the proposal.
– Find good qualities about them.
– Achievements of bride and groom.
I try to give 4 hours preparation for every wedding and funeral.
15. I get alone and relive my experiences with them. (I actively work on that love. If I could give to someone anything I have, I would give them my awareness of what is going on.
16. I meditate on their hardships. (Our problem is that we don’t have enough character to think of what is going on.
17. I always look at their pictures.
18. If I can think of one, I go to a place that we shared.
19. Think of past weddings that you have attended. What you liked about them, didn’t like, and what was left out? Beautiful weddings are made by a preacher who cares enough to prepare.
20. I picture them listening to the tape and saying, I don’t think anyone ever had a nicer wedding.
21. Let the congregation see the couple.
22. Be slow and articulate; be conversational but deliberate.
23. Give attention to the parents. In some way, say something about them.
24. Give attention to others who have influenced the couple in a special way.
25. Have them look at each other during the vows. Would you repeat these vows after me and to Mary.
26. Have the photographer sit down during the wedding itself. (From the first “let us pray” to the last one – no pictures.)
27. Think during the first song of the bigness of the occasion. (Pray and be aware of your responsibility.)
28. Make such of the exchanging of the rings. (Bro. Hyles- favorite part of the ceremony.)
A. Talk about the love finger and its connection to the heart. (traditional)
B. Use the story of the prodigal son. (symbol of assurance; all that I have is yours.)
C. Find occasions of giving rings. (Commemorates something special.)
D. The symbols in a ring. (Gold/ Diety, circle/ eternity, diamond/ durability.)
E. A reminder of love. (Anything the hands do.)
F. The king’s ring was his official seal. (An official declaration.)
G. A seal of ownership.
H. Rings used to give the bride the right to change things.
I. Insignia of an office or position. (The highest office a woman can hold) Man is God’s deputy in the home.
J. A symbol of riches.. – Jas. 2:2 Diamond and gold.
Bro. Hyles has had over 2,000 weddings.
29. Be very deliberate in pronouncing them husband and wife.
Sharp people notice little, tiny things, and you are going to have a dozen or so in every crowd.
Turn and face the couple during recession.
30. Pray for them all the time they are walking out.
31. Congratulate the parents. (Go down to the front on both sides.)
– Cover up mistakes no one notices.
– If there is a gospel presentation, use if after the recessional.
– Study Hobbs Pastor’s Manual
In everything you do, give it your best.