Church offers free weddings

Reception, florists, music, photographer included

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Thinking about getting married but the cost of a wedding is just too much?

“I’ve had several people tell me over the past year or so, ‘We were going to get married but we really couldn’t afford it,’” said Gene Barron, senior pastor at Valley View Christian Church in northwest Douglas County. “So we thought, ‘Wow, what a good service we could do for our communities by providing free weddings.’”

Barron, who has been with the church 34 years, does numerous weddings on and off-campus, and after helping plan an off-campus knot-tying that cost $24,000, he got to thinking.

His plan calls for a weekend-long church project that allows for a maximum of 16 couples to get married, each enjoying their own 90-minute service in the church followed by a 90-minute cake and punch reception that can hold up to 75 people.

The senior pastor will be one of six pastors performing the services, which are slated to begin at 5 p.m. May 31 and conclude with the final ceremony at 8 p.m. June 2. There are three Friday time slots, eight on Saturday and five on Sunday.

As far as all the other planning that goes into a wedding, the church has that covered as well, and a planner will work with each couple to make sure they get exactly what they are looking for.

“We have bakers in the church that are going to bake the cakes, florists that are going to provide flowers and photographers that will provide photography,” Barron said. “The photos will be done outside with the mountains in the background.”

As for music, couples will have the ability to choose from a list of 25-30 songs that will be performed by church musicians during the services, and there will also be a DJ providing music for the receptions.

Couples need not be members of the church to take advantage of the free ceremonies, but there is a pre-requisite of attending at least one marriage sermon and three of four premarital classes, which kick off at 11 a.m. April 21.

“We don’t ever do weddings here without providing either counseling or marriage classes,” Barron said. “We just feel like marriage is such a big step.”

The time slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the only costs involved are a $100 fully refundable scheduling deposit as well as the $25 it costs to purchase a marriage license through the county.

For more information or to register, call the church office at 303-794-6481 or visit www.valleyviewcc.net/wedding.