Heathen Wedding

You would think this would be the easiest part of planning a wedding.

 (You would also think a smart planner would have her church lined up before her reception venue. Der…)

Well let me tell you, fellow non-regular church goers. It sucks. (Editor’s Note: For those who regularly attend church, if you are easliy offended, you may want to disregard this entire post and come back tomorrow. )

First off, you would think any church would be happy to have a wedding for “non-members.” It’s a P.R. move, really.  I mean, once said couple pops kids out and decides they need to go learn about Jesus in a proper context – not in the context when Daddy gets mad at slow drivers or Mommy burns the pasta to the bottom of the stove – where are they going to go? Well, most likely that little church where they tied the knot will do just fine.

But nooooo, most churches want you to be a member before they’ll marry you. One church didn’t have that requirement, but they did say they expected to see you in the pew every Sunday prior to your nuptuals. Woah. Milligan chapel flashbacks. I wonder if they have a punch card…because I totally lost mine my junior year and ended up on chapel probation. It meant I had to sit on the front row of every chapel service and be counted. I can’t begin to imagine the conditions of a wedding chapel probation…

Those churches that do allow heathens non-members to tie the knot in their sanctuary may have all or most of the following requirements:

  • Required premarital* counseling by their peeps
  • A hefty fee at $1,400 and up – often getting you with charges for a wedding planner and organist that you may or may not even want.
  • Must use the church’s dude or dudette to officiate the ceremony

*Nothing wrong with premarital counseling, but why should it have to be through the church?

So finding a place with:

  • Fees less than $1,000
  • With no premarital counseling requirement OR will accept outside counseling
  • And, will allow us to bring in our own dude. (Namely, my bro, if he gets his license on time.)

Not so easy.

To make matters worse — just when I thought I had found the PERFECT ceremony site, the planner wrote me back and said they don’t do weddings during Lent. (She made a point by adding, “Your date falls smack in the middle of Lent.”)

What gives? I’ve heard of giving up chocolate, soda, and maybe even wine, but weddings?! Is Jesus just  too busy during Lent to bless a marriage, or is it all the hot honeymoon sex you are going to have after your wedding that is offensive to the church? 

Maybe I just didn’t know that Mardi Gras is like the hot new wedding day. (Shame on you, Bridal industry for not knowing this!)

“Go wild! Get wasted. Get married. Because you can’t do either one for 40 days.”

 Well, anyway. It’s too late. I’m getting married smack dab in the middle of Lent. I will follow my ceremony with much wine, chocolate and honeymoon sex.

I’m so not finding a church that will have this wedding now.



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11 responses to “Heathen Wedding

  1. Bob Loblaw

    Hey-I have got an idea. You can use my house. Of course, I don’t know you at all, know anything about who you are or your spouse-to-be, but, you know, I’m sure your wedding fits the exact ideals of my family and my house, so why not? I mean, despite having played absolutely no role whatsoever in your life ever, and likely continuing that trend, I would be happy to kick my family out of the house for the day so that you can simply make it whatever you want for the day. It’s not like this space has meaning apart from your own sentimental reasons for wanting to use it–we just get together here once and a while and eat and say bedtime prayers together–why wouldn’t we be available at your whim for something we know nothing about and have absolutely no stake in? If you want, you can borrow our car for your honeymoon, and I think can make my family beach house available to you free of charge–I just cancel whomever wanted to use it that week.

    How does that sound?

  2. Bob Loblaw

    ps–I like how you require non-anonymous comments, but are afraid to identify yourself anywhere on your blog. That seems to fit, strangely.

  3. Pingback: Good dog « Quirky Wedding

  4. Hi Bob – thanks for your thoughts. Regarding my anonymousness, I really do this for my own safety. Those who know me in real life know who I am.

    I understand where you were going with your analogy , but I wasn’t trying to take over a church and kick its members out for the day and I’m not even trying to use said church at no cost. I just find costs of upwards of $1400 to be extremely high. That’s all.

    Also, the space does hold meaning to me other than “sentimental”, but maybe the meaning I find in it differs from what others find in it.

    My fiance and I have an eclectic group of friends and family who all have a stake in our relationship. They will be there with us to celebrate the day.

  5. Wow. You pissed Bob off.
    But I totally get his comment and kinda agree with him. Most churches try to create a community, not just act as a physical location for gatherings. I think that’s why they insist on the counseling, and I’m glad they do. Basically, they’re putting their name and community behind your marriage, so they want to make sure you’re ready.

    I see how this situation is frustrating for you. Why are you set on a church wedding if you aren’t a regular church goer? Have you considered having it at the theater?

  6. New motto for you: KIQ
    keep it quirkya

  7. umm, that a was a typo.

    keep it quirky

  8. Hi Erin,

    While I don’t regularly go to chuch, I am a Christian. So I want to have my wedding in a church. I don’t think you need to go to church regularly to have a faith, but I would like to have my wedding in a church. Selfish? Perhaps.

    The church I “go to” is way out of my budget. So I started looking for alternative options. I guess I just got frusterated because of all the road blocks and costs.

    But I too see where Bob is coming from. There just needs to be some affordable options for people such as myself looking for a church outside their “church home” (using that very losely) that costs less.

    The theatre would really not be my ideal place to have the ceremony, although I’m sure God would come and all. I just like churches for that part.

    Oh, re: the counseling – totally get it too. I just want to have mine done by a licensed therapist, not by a pastor. I think a church should accept outside counseling as an affirmation of your committment. Not sure if I said it here or not, but the lent church did allow an outside counselor. Sadly, there’s that whole lent issue… 🙂

  9. Justin

    I’ll show you the balance sheet for the church you “go to” sometime, and you’ll see why we charge what we charge. More than 80 percent of our budget goes to cover the operation of the very resources you would use for a wedding…and the remainder goes to support some important groups/causes that I know you agree with.

    The location makes it very popular among limosine liberals, so we try to make what can off of it with non-members.

    As for having foreign officiants, you know our church is about as liberal as they get…but you have to have standing in a denomination before you can stand up in a pulpit. Like Erin said, there is an implicit “seal of approval” situation going on.

    • Hi Justin,

      I feel like you responded to the main issue I have with the cost by saying that your church tries to get what it can out of people who can afford it. And to clarify, the idea to have my brother officiate the wedding only came after I realized I could not afford to have Scott do my wedding. He was certainly my first choice, as I really respect him and his beliefs. I would have certainly chosen your church regardless of location, because I like it so much.

      I feel like a church should be able to adjust to different budgets. Especially if it up charges to get what it can off “limousine liberals.” It looks like we are getting married at a wonderful Methodist church who is charging around $700 — a far more reasonable fee that will certainly cover all costs that we will rack up having our wedding.

  10. Pingback: And finally a church « Quirky Wedding

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