And finally a church

Because it’s really hard to sing “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married” without one, no?

After many struggles and more than a dozen calls, I finally found the perfect church for our ceremony.

And what do you know?! They don’t charge more than $1K for a wedding there. How about that? Even for non-members.  In fact, my entire first encounter with this church was nothing but positive.

1. Before any red flags were thrown up, such as lent or the fact that we aren’t members there, the receptionist congratulated me and said they’d love to host my wedding. I was already in love.

2. Then, I had some questions about allowing my brother to officiate the ceremony and the premarital counseling issue and the receptionist immediately put me through to Pastor Jim. Woah, access to the big dog so fast? Wow. I felt honored.

3. Pastor Jim was nothing but welcoming and informative. Yes, my brother can be involved with the ceremony, but a pastor from the United Methodist church must be the “lead.” I can completely get behind that concept. Besides, the entire reason I wanted my brother to do it was to give my ceremony a more personal touch, since I knew any church that hosted our wedding would not know us at all.  This way, should my brother be certified in time, we can do a tag team ceremony. But, there’s not all this pressure for him to complete this step prior to the event.  Oh, and the counseling thing was A-OK by Pastor Jim. In fact, he said we were going above and beyond! I love to go above and beyond. How did he know that?!

4. Even on Sundays, this church opens it’s doors to all, regardless of sexual orientation.

5. They immediately e-mailed me a packet of information. The pricing was broken out  ala cart. So, if we don’t want to rent the “get ready rooms,” we don’t have to etc… And the fees for janitorial, sound technicians, a wedding planner etc…were all extremely reasonable and will amply cover all the church’s expenses for the event. Even if I were to get the works, it wouldn’t cost us more than $700 (after our refundable $150 deposit.) 

You, know. I can’t say this enough. It reallybugged me when in conversation and in blog responses, people tried to justify $1,400 -$1,700 for a wedding. NO. NO. NO. It doesn’t cost the church that much to host a wedding.

And the church like every other wedding vendor has marked up their non-member prices to inflate the already inflated wedding industry. In fact, I can almost respect a church that doesn’t conduct non-member weddings more than a church that marks up their prices “because they can.”

I would venture to say that the entire point of allowing non-member weddings is to introduce the church to new people and provide a service to the community.  If the church wants to love new members into its fold, it should really consider the financial burden of a wedding on a couple. It should be asking how it can help this couple enter into a union without breaking their budget. Not, how much money it can make off of said couple.

The entire process of finding a church and the response to my previous post was very disheartening. Look. I know I tried to use some albeit failed humor. (Hey, I still think the lent thing is funny.) But some of the blog and Facebook responses such as, telling me to seriously reconsider the step of marriage that the fiance and I are taking, were judgemental,  hurtful and reminded me of why I stopped being involved in a particular church in the first place. 

All we wanted was to find a church that on a Sunday morning would welcome ANYONE regardless of faith or sexual orientation, that was affordable, would recognize outside counseling (even if it was in addition to a few sessions with the church) and would allow us to add a personal touch by having my brother perform the ceremony (this one was negotiable, by the way)– with a  price tag of less than $1,000. I had no problems with a pastor from said church meeting with us or “vesting an interest in our relationship.”

 I guess my attempt to use humor was a #fail at getting these points accross. But honestly, if you can’t laugh, then you have no business planning a wedding or a marriage because they both take a sense of humor.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “And finally a church

  1. October Bride

    “If the church wants to love new members into its fold, it should really consider the financial burden of a wedding on a couple. It should be asking how it can help this couple enter into a union without breaking their budget. Not, how much money it can make off of said couple.”

    What? You expect a church you aren’t even a member of to worry about your finances? Or even a church you are a member of to make an exception because you can’t afford to pay their fee?

    And it does indeed cost the church to have a wedding. You need to take things into account like:
    Officiant (whether or not you’re bringing your own, the preacher needs to be there, too)
    Organist
    Janitors
    Electricity (for lighting, A/C or heating, sound system)
    Offsetting costs of insurance
    Offsetting costs of church sponsored programs like VBS, etc.
    and on and on.
    It’s not free for them to open their doors, nor do they have any obligation to. They charge for funeral usage, too. Charging for facility usage is one of the only streams of revenue a church has, and to hear you balk about it makes you sound like a childish, ridiculous bridezilla.

    Here’s where I’m confused – why is a church wedding so important to you if you claim to not believe in many of the tenets of organized religion? There’s no rule that says you need to get married in a church, and I really don’t understand needing the symbolism of a building so much that you’d do it in a church that you have no knowledge of. It seems a little shallow and self-involved.

  2. Hi October Bride!

    Thanks for your comments. No, I don’t expect a church to make an exception for me. I guess I just expect them not to rack up crazy prices for non-members in the first place. Like I said, I can respect a church that doesn’t allow non-members at all to have a wedding there more than a church with crazy prices.

    I completely agree with you about the fees incurred for weddings. But it doesn’t cost $1,400 for ONE day.

    That’s why I can respect a church such as the one I’m getting married in because it breaks down what you are paying for all those fees – you pay $X for janitorial, $X for organist (if you use one), $X for facilities which includes lighting etc… But the sum total is only $700. A VERY reasonable and fair fee that covers everything I’m going to use, and probably even brings in a little proffit for the church.

    Let’s make this clear: NOTHING is free. I certainly wouldn’t expect a church to be free either.

    Regarding why I want to get married in a church: I believe in Jesus Christ and have my own faith. And guess what? It is very important to me. I do have issues with the church as a whole, but it doesn’t stop me from having my faith, and continuing on my journey of faith. Just because my personal faith doesn’t match the faith of some churches, should that exclude me from being married in a church? Is my faith less important than someone with say, more conservative beliefs? Why am I being any more shallow and self-involved than anyone else who is not a member of a church but wants to get married in a church?

    But I’m always one to take criticism and run with it. So, maybe I am being shallow and self-involved. Hey, I’m a blogger, so that’s like 10 points right there for self-involvement. 🙂

    I am sure that there are non-bloggers who have had this struggle. Many of them are friends of mine. They were just smart enough not to have blogs. 🙂

    Best of luck on your wedding plans, October Bride!

    QoQ

  3. Melissa

    I thought it was funny.

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