So you want to get married?
Congratulations on your engagement! You have begun as amazing journey of planning and making a commitment to Marriage, not just a wedding. We at Southland Church believe in Marriage. We also love weddings! We invite you to read this information to answer any questions you may have and to help you make arrangements for your wedding. You are welcome to contact Pastor Tim Ryan who coordinates all weddings at Southland. He will then work with you in finding one of the Southland Pastors to officiate at that very special day.
How to Arrange for a Southland Pastor to Officiate
Simply make a phone call to the Church office and you will be connected to the Tim Ryan’s Office. He will discuss your plans with you and then connect you with an available Pastor. You may give your preferences but of course it will depend on their availability, but we will do everything we can to get you an officiating Pastor. Couples that desire to be married by a pastor from Southland must attend our Pre-Marriage Seminar and meet for counseling with the officiating pastor. Couples who are not requiring a Southland Pastor may also attend the Seminar at a reduced price.
A Few Considerations
WHO: there are several Pastors at Southland who have experience at serving couples at weddings.
WHAT: we as Pastors see our service as more than just standing at the altar with the couple. Due to our collective experience in weddings, we are more than happy to help you with creative ideas to plan a beautiful and memorable wedding. We will do our best to help you with the rehearsal, the wedding and with ideas for the reception.
WHERE: Southland facilities are very spacious and attractive to handle most weddings from small to large. Be sure to check with the Church office on rental fees, details and availability. Southland Pastors are available to officiate almost anywhere as we have officiated at other Churches, parks, community centres, and even beaches. Of course the Pastors reserve to right to decline officiating if they are uncomfortable with the venue.
WHEN: Due to our full weekend ministries and services, Southland facilities are not available for weddings on Saturdays, although the Pastors are. We really encourage you to consider a Friday Night wedding (think outside the box) or a Sunday afternoon or evening wedding.
Fee for Pre-Marriage Seminar and Officiating Pastor
We have established $150 as a fair amount to cover the expenses incurred in providing the seminar and counseling and other services related to the preparation for and carrying out of a wedding. This will be collected during the Pre-marriage Seminar, no later than the final session. This fee also includes the Honorarium for the officiating Pastor as he will receive a portion of the above amount for officiating. If the Wedding and Reception venue is a distance away from Steinbach, please consider helping the officiating Pastor with travel expenses.
Offered three times per year (typically January, April and October), we have an amazing and practical 6-week seminar that is designed to prepare you for your married life, even making your engagement healthier. Facilitated by Hans & Luella Rahn, one Southland’s couples, this seminar explores many areas that will encourage and challenge you and your fiancé to talk, discuss and get to know each otherbetter. Some couples feel nervous about the group aspect: “will I have to share all my stuff?” The answer is, no. This is a seminar, not a therapy series. However this is a great way for couples to get to know other couples, even developing new friendships.
You will then connect with your officiating Pastor to plan your wedding. For discussion on the more personal issues that may come up in the seminar, you are encouraged to talk with the facilitators and/or Pastor Tim Ryan. We also encourage couples to take part in our Marriage Retreat about a year into married life as a great way to keep your marriage on track
SCC Statements on Marriage
1. Marriage is not a human creation, or invention, but a God-given, God-initiated, and God-ordained institution (Genesis 2:18 & 2:24).
2. God intended marriage to be a monogamous, life-long union (Genesis 2:24, Exodus 20:14) between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others (Genesis 2:18, 20-25; Mark 10:7-9). Furthermore, God also intended that those who marry not be close blood relatives (Leviticus 18:6-18).
3. Marriage is constituted in mutual covenant and is a solemn, binding agreement entered into before God and others (Malachi 2:14). God views the breaking of this covenant very seriously (2 Samuel 12; Malachi 2:16).
4. Marriage is about love and companionship (Genesis 2:18).
5. Marriage is also about more than love and companionship (Malachi 2:15). All human beings are born of a mother and begotten by a father. This is a universal biological reality and the common experience of all people - all human beings require someone of the opposite sex to create life. Marriage is a unique relationship, then, whose chief function is to promote the biological unity of sexual opposites as the basis for family formation. It is the God-ordained institution (see above) charged with providing the stability, love, and nurture necessary for raising children and propagating the human race. As such, marriage is a child-centered, rather than adult-centered, institution.
Conditions for Marriage When neither the Man nor Woman Has Been Previously Married
SCC pastors embrace the biblical definition of marriage based on the Word of God that clearly states that the union of marriage is between one male and one female (Genesis 2:24). Therefore, SCC pastors are not permitted to officiate at a marriage that contradicts this definition.
If a couple has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, a pastor from SCC will discuss with them the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ and the importance of establishing a Christian home.
If one person from a couple states that they are a follower of Jesus Christ and the other person is not, then an officiating pastor from SCC will discuss the seriousness of being ‘unequally yoked’, a principle of Scripture declared in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Upon evidence of spiritual disparity, pastors at SCC may decide to not officiate at this wedding.
Conditions for Marriage When Either or Both Parties Have Been Divorced
Divorced couples may be considered for remarriage at Southland. Each case of divorce and remarriage will be dealt with on an individual basis keeping in mind a proper balance between God's inexhaustible grace to heal and forgive, and his desire for holiness and uprightness.
Individuals who were previously married will be required to complete the “Remarriage Preparation Inventory.”
For more information about Southland Weddings please contact:
Pastor Tim Ryan, Associate Pastor at 326.9020 ext 228 or email