Bloomingdale Church is committed to marriage as a sacred institution, ordained by God, between a man and woman. The Bible (Matthew 5 & 19) teaches that marriage is a lifelong commitment that should entered into with deliberation and unhurried preparation. Bloomingdale Church strives to help couples build strong marriages based on the Bible’s practical teachings for relationships.
Bloomingdale Church does not charge couples who want to get married. We do this because we want people to get married and not simply live together because they cannot afford the $33,391 average cost of a wedding and reception in suburban Chicago.
At Bloomingdale Church:
- Officiating Pastor – Free
- Use of Sanctuary – Free
- Use of reception area – Free
- Use of church decorations – Free
- Sound system set-up, monitoring , and take down – $75 (fee is to compensate sound technician, not church)
All couples who would like to get married at Bloomingdale Church are required to fulfill the following:
- Meet with one of our pastoral staff to discern whether Bloomingdale Church can host your wedding.
- Fully complete one of the following tracks:
- Attend five-week Pre-Marriage Course (preferred): On the The Pre/Marriage Course, you are seated at your own table for two. Each session consists of food and drink, a practical talk and a time for private discussion. The five sessions are: Communication, Commitment, Resolving Conflict, Keeping Love Alive, Shared Goals and Values. Couples often find friendship with other couples attending the course. Register for Pre/Marriage Course >
- The couple will also meet at least twice with the pastor officiating the ceremony.
- DVD track: Watch six premarital DVD’s and meet with the pastoral staff or assigned mentor-couple six times, following these steps: 1) Watch the assigned video session as a couple together, filling int he blanks and Scriptures verses 2) Call to make an appointment for each session after you have completed the video lesson
- Attend weekend worship service together at least six times.
- Church membership is not required.
- All of the premarital requirements must be completed at least two weeks before the wedding.
- The church performs weddings for divorced persons only when there is Scriptural basis to permit it.
- The pastors of the church reserve the right to tell the couple they do not feel the couple is ready for marriage and therefore cannot officiate their wedding.
The Wedding Ceremony
- The facility is to be reserved in advance. Please contact church office (630.894.0090 / firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be asked to make committed to premarital preparation to secure the reserved date.
- Saturday weddings must be scheduled in the morning or early afternoon. All pictures in the sanctuary must be completed by 3:30PM.
- Sunday weddings may begin after 2PM.
- Friday or weekday weddings normally can be at any time.
- The church expects the wedding party to treat the facility with respect and care.
- Inform florists, musicians and photographers that the church office is open Monday-Friday 9AM-4PM & Saturday 7-10AM in order to see the sanctuary or make deliveries.
- A center runner (if used) should be at least 100 feet in length. Do not use real rose pedals as they stain the carpet.
Music & Sound
- The couple is responsible to make their own arrangements with the musicians of their choice. There is a piano and keyboard available in the sanctuary.
- If using instruments, music, or if the guest list is over 100 in attendance, the couple is responsible to engage an official Sound Team member. (Please plan for a $75 honorarium.)
- A complete rehearsal on the day before the wedding and with all of the wedding party attending is required.
- No children may be left unattended in any area of the church during the rehearsal or the wedding.
- On the wedding day, the church is unlocked and available for pictures up to one hour before the ceremony.
- The wedding party should dress before they arrive at the church.
- There is a closed area (south lobby) that serves as a waiting area for the bride’s party before the ceremony. The men wait in the front of the sanctuary or in the north stairwell near their entry door to the sanctuary.
- Please arrange for a host(ess) to greet guests, and remove wedding items (candles, bows, rose petals, runner, etc.) after the wedding.
- If the couple enlists a wedding coordinator, she/he assures that musicians and ushers are in place and the wedding party is lined up and ready to enter on time.
Elements of Ceremony
The elements of the wedding ceremony include the traditional wedding vows and a short personalized promise. The ceremony generally takes about 30 minutes. Other elements that the couple want to include will be considered.
Basic Order of Service
- Seating mothers/lighting candles.
- The mothers light the outer unity candles together if using the unity candle.
- The runner (if used) is pulled.
- (Standing when the bride enters.)
- The bride and groom should plot out in advance the anticipated standing positions of the bridal party at the ceremony.
- Please be seated. We welcome you to their sacred wedding ceremony. You may be a close family member, a distant relative, a life long friend or a new friend, but today you are welcome family. We have gathered together today to witness the public ceremony of joining in Holy Matrimony. This covenant of marriage was established by God. The Scripture commends that it is to be respected and honored among all people. Therefore is not to be entered into unadvisedly or light, but in reverence to God.
DECLARATIONS OF CONSENT
- Bride/Groom: Do you desire to make the lifelong covenant promise of marriage this day?
- Parents: Do you hereby release the responsibility of your son into the loving care of Bride/Groom who will be his wife, confidant and loving life partner as long as they both shall live? (“Yes, we do.”)
- To Father of the Bride: Who gives this woman to be married to this man? (The father kisses the bride, takes her hand and places it in the groom’s hand.)
- The couple should choose a friend(s) or family members and also choose the Scriptures to read. The couple can seek the pastor’s input if they would like help choosing the Scriptures.
(Repeated phrase by phrase after the pastor.)
This is several heartfelt sentences that the groom & bride compose and repeat from a written card. Bring these promises printed legibly on a card to the rehearsal.)
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
UNITY CANDLE (OR ALTERNATIVE) AND SONG
Have you ever considered that the local church should regularly operate in a manner that is exactly the opposite of the world? For example, the world sees a couple get engaged and says: “Great! How can we make money from this couple?” ($32K, on average, according to The Knot).
In an effort to help couples get off to a good start in their marriage, Bloomingdale Church offered a free marriage preparation course that was held for five consecutive Wednesday nights and included a free dinner each night so the couples would not be so rushed. One of the pastor’s of the church worked with the couple to plan their wedding ceremony. A soloist from the church with a degree in vocal music sang. A very savvy young man took care of the sound and all the music playlists for both the service and the reception. An amateur photographer did their pictures. The church decorating committee tastefully decorated for the wedding with church-owned decorations. A deacon ordered and served the food for the reception, and an experienced wedding coordinator worked with family and friends to pull the entire occasion together.
None of these people were paid. In fact, that is what made the whole occasion especially joyful. You could feel the love of these Christians as they volunteered. We all made new friends in the process.
Today, while at L.A. Fitness a stranger came up to me and said, “That was a really nice wedding you conducted for Alexandra.”
Why is the church doing this when it could be charging for the wedding? We want to see couples get off to a good start in married life and even be able to buy a home with the money saved. If you are interested in what I’ve described go to bloomingdalechurch.org/weddings
The average wedding in suburban Chicago is $33,391 according to The Knot. It’s no wonder the number one reason people give me for why they have not gotten married is simply: “We haven’t been able to save enough money.”
Last May I was involved in the most beautiful wedding. The bride looked as dazzling as a movie star. Her friends and family were all smiles as they saw how sharp her boys and stepdaughter were dressed. The groom looked like he stepped off the cover of GQ magazine as he watched his bride come down the long center aisle of the church on her beaming father’s arm.
It did not take long before the ceremony was underway. When it came time to exchange rings, many people, including myself, were in tears. This couple could not afford to buy wedding rings so a friend of the family said, “You can have the rings my father and mother left me. I had them soldered together but I will get them separated and burnished at the jeweler.” There was so much love in the sanctuary during the ring ceremony, no wonder there were so many tears of joy.
At the conclusion of the wedding, the bride and groom exited to Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love with You,” and walked into the church’s reception hall which had been decorated by family and friends.
They cut a beautiful three-tiered wedding cake that had been baked and decorated by a terrific baker in our church. We also ate other goodies prepared by people from the church. In the words of Brandon and Kiara: “God is who brought us together, even through the stormy weather. We know the devil is clever, but we know that God is way better.”
Our church wants to do more free weddings. Go to bloomingdalechurch.org/weddings for more information about weddings at our church.
If you have ever attended an 11am worship hour at Bloomingdale Church, more than likely you’ve seen Head Ushers Curtis and Danielle W. greeting at the front doors. They always have big smiles and are willing to give comforting hugs.
We are grateful that some friends invited Curtis and Danielle to an Alpha Course in 2005. Although they both had religious backgrounds growing up, they have had dramatically different experiences and fell away from any organized religion in their adult lives. Curtis was raised Baptist until he was fifteen and then attended meetings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses until he was 18. Danielle was raised Jewish, and had never attended a church before she visited Bloomingdale.
They will tell you that their experiences in the Alpha Course changed their lives. Pastor Bill became a support friend through Wednesday night Alpha, even with his crazy Alpha joke time.
The Alpha Course led Curtis and Danielle to start attending worship and they become more involved in the church fellowship. In September 2006, they both made the commitment to be baptized at BC as followers of Christ.
They attended Joe and Andrea Z.’s first Alpha 2.0 class. They later went on to lead that course for several years after Joe and Andrea left for international work. Now, Curtis and Danielle are instrumental members of Joe and Andrea’s Barnabas group, a team that seeks to encourage international workers.
As deacons, Curtis and Danielle can often be found serving all around the church. However, if you ask them what their favorite activity outside of worship service is, they will tell you it’s participating in Day Camp with Marina R. every June as well as volunteering during BC’s annual Interdependence Day Celebration. Danielle enjoys the Tuesday night Women’s Break for the lessons she learns each week and the wonderful women in her table group.
Since January 2012, Curtis and Danielle have really enjoyed facilitating the Date Night/Marriage Course on Wednesday nights. Married for more than 20 years themselves, they know that all enduring relationships take work. “We would recommend this course to those in all kinds of relationships who want to grow strong together through all situations,” said Curtis.
They have served couples engaged to be married and those who have been married for 40-plus years. “A common misconception is that couples take this class only when they are having trouble,” said Danielle. “We encourage all couples to take it. It certainly allows you some quiet, private time to strengthen your relationship.”
The course is nicknamed “Date Night” because couples are served a home-cooked meal in a soft-light setting at tables for two. The material produced by the folks that brought us Alpha is presented, and discussion is only between you and your partner. The children’s program, AWANA, functions at the same time, keeping the children (ages 2-Grade 6) safely occupied during the couples’ date night.
Curtis and Danielle know something about children. Their third child, Tyler, is 19 and has grown up at BC. He is currently attending College of DuPage and lives at home with Curtis and Danielle in Addison. Their older children have grown and started families of their own. Daughter Kiara is 25, and she has 5-year-old Joe and 4-year-old Isaiah. Curtis and Danielle’s son Belden is 23 years old and has 2-year-old Lorrell. No one will worry about the Washington house being an empty nest! There is always room for grandbabies, and rescued pups George, Bailey, and Bella who are always eager for the boys to visit.
As Curtis and Danielle approach their 10th year attending BC, they said it is impossible to pick out a single favorite memory. However, if you run into them some Sunday morning just ask them for a story. They will be glad to share one.
Our Neighbors: sharing stories about some of Bloomingdale Church’s people.
Imagine an evening where you sit at a candle-lit table, eat a thoughtfully prepared home-cooked and talk only to your spouse or fiancée in a private setting. Each week there is practical help by way of video coaching from Nicky & Sila Lee, an engaging couple who have been successfully married for over thirty-five years and have four children. The meal is free, and if you have children they are welcome at our children’s club program, Awana which meets in the main facility at the same time.
The Alpha Marriage Course begins on Wed Feb 4, 6:30-8:30 pm in the lower level of the north building. The cost is $13.00 for the two workbooks, but everything else is free. Curtis and Danielle W lead the course and Karla A is the chef.
Sign up here for Alpha Marriage Course.
Are you rushing around only to be late half the time and have dirty dishes to clean up once you get home? Why not eat a home-cooked meal with your family here at Bloomingdale Church on Wednesdays from 6:30-6:55PM, and stay for one of the great courses offered below? The dinner is free and delicious. We are offering some healthy choices and there is nothing to clean up. We do this because Jesus said, “freely you have received, freely give.”
The Alpha Course covers the most important matters of life: Who is Jesus? Who is the Holy Spirit? How does God guide a person? How can I resist evil? Alpha runs from in the fall and winter/spring, from 6:30PM dinner through 8:25PM.
The Marriage Course is for not only married couples but for those who are engaged or living together. The setting is a romantic candlelit dinner for two. Curtis & Danielle W are the leaders. The Marriage Course runs in the fall and winter/spring from 6:30PM dinner through 8:25PM. This class meets in the lower level of the office building north side of the parking lot. Cost is $6.50 for the workbook.
Financial Peace University, also known as the Dave Ramsey course, runs for nine weeks in length from 6:30PM dinner through 8:25PM. Ken & Valerie K are the leaders who have taught over 200 people in our church how to handle their finances God’s way. The only cost is for materials.