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