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.