You’re Getting Married!



If you are reading this, then you are planning a wedding.  That is certainly a reason to celebrate!  And, you may also be interested in having one of our Pastors officiate at your wedding ceremony. If so, we consider that a privilege, and we want to help everything go as smoothly as possible.  So, we have anticipated some questions you might have, and we have put together this letter to answer some of those questions:

  • What’s the first thing we should do?

If you plan to be married at the First Baptist Church of Shallotte, the first thing to do is to access our Facility Request Form on our website, which you can find under “Forms.” You can find this link at the bottom of our website. Carefully review the form and the guidelines for using our facility, and then complete the web form and submit it.

When we receive the web form we will check the date and, if it is available, tentatively reserve it for you on our church calendar and let you know.

  • Also, be sure to connect with a Pastor right away. If you would like for us to officiate at the wedding, make sure that a Pastor is available before you finalize the date. Also keep in mind that enlisting one of our Pastors to officiate are your wedding assumes that you want an explicitly Christian ceremony, and that the other elements of the ceremony will demonstrate that as well.
  • What if want to get married at location other than in the church?

There are lots of beautiful locations for weddings, including our surrounding beaches! You can arrange the location as you desire. However, if one of our Pastors is officiating at your wedding, all of the other guidelines we have still apply.

  • Do you provide premarital counseling?

Yes. In fact, we require it, so if you want one of our Pastors to officiate at your ceremony, you will need to allow time for premarital counseling. And the counseling is easily integrated into your wedding plans if you plan ahead.  You and your spouse-to-be will study a workbook together, undertake some additional learning processes to help you grow together, and meet with the Pastor periodically. It usually takes six sessions to complete the counseling.  The counseling is Christ-centered and directed toward helping you begin your marriage on the strong foundation of the Bible.

If you are not a resident of Brunswick County, and, for instance, you are planning a beach wedding, we still require premarital counseling. But there are options that we can consider that will help you in the process of preparing for your wedding.

  • Can we get help planning the ceremony? Our Pastors can offer suggestions for a wedding ceremony and order of service, or we can provide sample ceremonies for you to choose from. We want to help you plan a wedding that will honor Christ.
  • Do we have to be members of First Baptist Church for you to officiate at our wedding?   Although we give preference to members of our church, we are glad to talk with anyone who feels that they wish for us to be involved in their ceremony. But please be aware that we are not obligated to officiate at any wedding, and we reserve the right to decline to officiate at a wedding. For example, we only officiate weddings that honor the biblical model of marriage, between a man and a woman as defined by Scripture (Gen. 1:27, Matt. 19:1-6), and which seek to honor God during the ceremony.
  • How much do you charge? While some officiants charge set fees, typically for a wedding a Pastor receives an “honorarium” rather than having a set “fee.” An honorarium is an expression of appreciation that accounts for the Pastor’s time and expertise, and also accounts for what the wedding party, usually the bride, can afford.
  • What about other participants? Can FBCS provide instrumentalists, soloists, wedding directors, etc.? Enlisting other members of the wedding party is the bride and groom’s responsibility. We certainly have many folks at FBCS qualified to help with music, or even to direct the wedding, and we would be happy to suggest them to you.

Please keep in mind that such participants also sacrifice their time for your special day, and it is appropriate to give them honoraria as well.

For more information on this, and for matters related to the church’s sound system, utilities, kitchen use, and so forth, please see the Facility Request Form.

We hope that answers some of your initial questions. Your wedding is a special day and we would be delighted to be part of it!

In His Grace,

The FBCS Ministry Team