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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Non-Member Church Weddings

Does anyone know of any denomination that always allows non-member church weddings?

My fiance & I are of different religions, and we just want to get married in A church, any church.

Any info would be really helpful!

Re: Non-Member Church Weddings

  • This is going to vary by the parish but you can rule out the Catholic church.

    Why do you want to get married in 'just a church' though?  You're going to be having a religious ceremony if you're getting married in one and that ceremony will be of that Christian denomination.  If you don't practice or believe in it, don't take vows in it.  It can be offensive to those who are of that particular faith if you do.

    Instead, if you're not looking for a particularly religious ceremony, why not just get married at your reception venue by a JOP?
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  • I believe the Unitarian church has a pretty open policy for this.  The majority of churches don't want to marry strangers.

    But ditto Banana.  Why would you want to get married in just any church that doesn't mean anything to you?  Why not pick one of the two churches you two attend and ask the minister from the other to co-officiate?
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  • Unitarian churches will marry anybody.

    Also if you are near the college that one of you attended you may be able to get married in the campus chapel.  That is what I would do if we were holding our wedding where we live.
    Married 10/2/10
  • Colleges that have chapels will often let non-members use the chapel (for a fee) and you can usually bring in your own officient.  My DD and her FI are being married in a chapel at the university they graduated from. Many schools, even state schools, have chapels or former chapels on their grounds that can be used.
  • LasairionaLasairiona
    500 Comments
    member
    edited January 2010
    If you want to get married in a church just for the pretty pictures, then that is very disrespectful to the church itself. Especially if you don't believe in what that particular church teaches as it makes you come across as hypocrites and is offensive to those who belong to the church in question as well as those who know you alot better. People do it all the time (marry in a church they have no connection to at all but want pretty pictures or to satisfy family whose opinions don't count) but it doesn't make it right, nor are there any loopholes that do make it so. More and more churches are actually starting to not allow non-members who have no intention whatsoever of ever returning to marry there. Those who do allow it for whatever reason, charge a much higher fee than a member would pay. Be respectful to everyone and find a non-church venue.
  • I googled non-denominational churches in our area to find a church for us.  We are Catholic but cannot get married in a Catholic church due to his previous divorce (unless we wanted to wait at least a year and a half for the church to do the annullment).  We decided we didn't want to wait that long but we do want a church wedding.  I felt compelled to respond due to all the negative feedback.  Just because someone wants a church/religious wedding but is not particular about which specific religion does not make them a bad person in my opinion.  A person can be religious but not belong to any one particular church/religion.  There are many non-denominational churches willing to work with these situations.
  • Pakarufus, keep in mind that what you're doing is also not viewed very favorably by the Catholic Church either. 

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  • I agree with pakarufus: "A person can be religious but not belong to any one particular church/religion.  There are many non-denominational churches willing to work with these situations."

    We are both religious and want a religious ceremony, but he's catholic & i'm another denomination, and neither will let us have a church ceremony without us both being members.
  • If you are religious, you belong to a church and attend it.  If you do, one of those churches will marry you. 

    I have never heard of a church refusing a couple because only one party belongs.
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  • well, i'm a mormon & he's a Catholic.
    we've checked & they won't. :/
  • Oh, I realized I should probably clarify that.
    He's catholic, but hasn't been baptised Catholic...
    I'm baptised mormon.
  • Look into a reformed Catholic priest. They will marry you just about anywhere you want, whether outdoors or indoors, but it won't be recognized by the Catholic Church if that is a concern for him. Also, it won't be recognized by your church either. However if you want a church wedding, you will have to find a chapel (not a church of any type) in your area that allows you to bring in your own minister. Your local board may have ideas.
  • So you're Mormon and he's practicing but not baptised Catholic.

    Just keep in mind that if you get married outside of one of  your faiths, generally you're no longer considered to be in good standing in your faith.

    For example, when an aunt of mine was married by a JOP, she was no longer a Catholic in good standing.  When an ex-BF's mother was married in a Congregational church, she too was not considered to be a Catholic in good standing.

    There are ways to get married in the Catholic church if the other partner isn't Catholic but it doesn't sound like your FI has received any Sacraments so it would be a rather long procedure for one or both of you to be married there.  My understanding with the Mormon religion is that their services can be closed to non-Mormons.  Is that correct?

    Have you two thought of how you're going to want to raise your future children?  Perhaps finding a church of THAT faith can be a good start.
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  • By definition, you can't be "religious" without adhering to a specific religion. 

    If he wants to get married in the Catholic church, then he'll have to get his sacraments first.  Usually adults entering the Church get them all at once.  He'll have to take RCIA classes, which can range anywhere from four months to a year.  You'll also have to complete the pre-cana, which is usually another six months (though you may be permitted to do the classes concurrently).  Most Catholic churches will marry couples where only one party is a member, but that party needs to be baptised and (usually) confirmed.

    I agree that you need to sit down and figure out what role religion is going to play in your lives and the lives of your children, then plan to get married in whatever organization fits into that role.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • In Response to Re: Non-Member Church Weddings:
    By definition, you can't be "religious" without adhering to a specific religion. Posted by aerinpegadrak
    But you can be religious without adhering to a specific denomination. You can be Christian and believe in God and Jesus without adhering to the tenants of any one denomination. You can always read and interpret the Bible for yourself, though it helps to understand it if you do it in a community with others. Lots of people compromise on one or more tenants of a denomination in order to join a community of like-minded individuals (denomination).

    I would suggest that you and your FI sit down and really examine your religious belief systems and see where you agree and disagree. The two of you need to be on the same page before you get married and procreate. Then, if your integrated belief system does not fit a denomination that you know of, try joining the Universal Unitarian church in your area and see if that fits. If I am correct, you are still young, and may be going though the process yourself of examining your spirituality apart from the way you were raised. That examination is really important and should not be rushed by a wedding date or stifled by percieved family traditions.
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  • Wait, your FI is a practicing catholic but isn't baptized?  Are you aware that catholics believe that you cannot enter heaven without baptism?  (This is why we baptize infants.)

    I'm convinced you are fake.
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  • My Name Is Not, Im not convinced she is fake, but I do think she is young and has not yet made the distinction between identifying with the denomination you were raised in and truly believing in all the tenants of that denomination because you have examined others viewpoints and think that one is the best. I think a lot of people go through this stage. I was raised Presbyterian and FI was raised ROmanian Orthodox, but neither of us agrees with the ideals of either of those denominations. WHile we both identify as Christians, we are still exploring and reading and educating ourselves, trying to find a denomination whose practices and ideals make sense to us. I think its a very important stage in becoming a faithful person, but I think OP is kinda skipping this stage in order to get married.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited January 2010
    I see what you're saying, but I thought she was fake before this post anyway.  I agree with you that adults do need to reevaluate what they are taught to find a church that is the right fit. 

    But, it just doesn't make sense for a family to raise a child catholic and never have him baptized.  Growing up catholic, most babies were baptized in the first year of their life (usually w/i a month), even for Christmas/Easter Catholics.  Catholics believe that a child who dies without being baptized cannot enter heaven and is stuck in limbo, so it is a big deal. 
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  • Sarah, despite what you may believe, the majority of folks do not belong to a church they don't fully and completely agree with. If they do, they are only there for the social aspect, not the religion itself that is being preached. Why would you belong to a group that doesn't completely match your beliefs? You're better off being spiritual on your own time since you are not being true to yourself if you do attend a church you don't fully believe in. Nowhere in the Bible btw does it say that anyone is required to attend church in the first place, especially in a man-made building, nor is anyone else given the authority to require that people attend or guilt-trip them into it. Whatever relationship you have with the deity of your choice is personal between you and them, no one else. Anyone who tells you that you must or should join in with worshipping with others before you can a good Christian (or any other religion) is preaching the wrong message and actually is defined in the Bible as a false preacher that folks are to stay away from (Christianity didn't exist in any form during Jesus' time when he gave out that mandate since he and his contemporaries were Jews and he preached solely to Gentiles since the Jews all ostracized him). Don't make a blanket statement based on your personal beliefs and then tell others they are doing it all wrong if they don't agree with you.
  • In Response to Re: Non-Member Church Weddings:
    Sarah, despite what you may believe, the majority of folks do not belong to a church they don't fully and completely agree with. If they do, they are only there for the social aspect, not the religion itself that is being preached. Why would you belong to a group that doesn't completely match your beliefs? You're better off being spiritual on your own time since you are not being true to yourself if you do attend a church you don't fully believe in. Nowhere in the Bible btw does it say that anyone is required to attend church in the first place, especially in a man-made building, nor is anyone else given the authority to require that people attend or guilt-trip them into it. Whatever relationship you have with the deity of your choice is personal between you and them, no one else. Anyone who tells you that you must or should join in with worshipping with others before you can a good Christian (or any other religion) is preaching the wrong message and actually is defined in the Bible as a false preacher that folks are to stay away from (Christianity didn't exist in any form during Jesus' time when he gave out that mandate since he and his contemporaries were Jews and he preached solely to Gentiles since the Jews all ostracized him). Don't make a blanket statement based on your personal beliefs and then tell others they are doing it all wrong if they don't agree with you.
    Posted by Lasairiona
    I happen to know people that do that. I didn't say the majority, did I? I also know a lot of people that believe whatever the church they were raised in tells them and don't question it, and that bugs me. There are reasons that people flock to congregations of like-minded people, and they are valid reasons. Some people worship alone and some like to worship in groups. Some find it comforting to associate with others who are following the same lifestyle and beleif system. My point was that sometimes people identify with a certain denomination, but may not know (and therefore may not agree with) all of the tenants of that denomination.
    I am addressing OP, saying that perhaps she and her FI should go through the same examination before they get married. They are identifing themselves as being of 2 completely different deonominations, which have some very conflicting views, which can cause an issue down the road. I am telling her that perhaps she should examine WHY they identify as those denominations.
     I am personally going through this examination and determining whether there is a faith community in my area that I can identify with. I, like you, take issue with many of the traditional church heirarchies, and that is why FI and I are going through this examination of our faith.  If they do identify with a certain denomination, then they can take the steps to join it. If not, then of course we all have a personal relationship with whatever diety we recognize. I never said that people HAVE to worship in groups, only that it can be helpful to some people to have others to study with. Please re-read my post. We are on the same page.
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  • We are gettting married in a church that neither of us have ever attended or really heard of before we got engaged and started looking into churches. It was important to me to have the ceremony in a church, but I was raised in a small, ugly Baptist church with which I do not agree on many issues and even if I did I would never get married and take pictures there.  I am a Christian, but don't like to associate with a specific denomination, especially because even in one denomination, many specific churches have different views. We are paying a substantial fee because we aren't members but the church is beautiful and the staff is very accomadating.

    I don't see where there is anything wrong with that. If someone wants to get married in a church they shouldn't be denied that just because they aren't members or don't necessarily identify with that churches denomination.
  • In Response to Re: Non-Member Church Weddings:
    We are paying a substantial fee because we aren't members but the church is beautiful and the staff is very accomadating. I don't see where there is anything wrong with that. If someone wants to get married in a church they shouldn't be denied that just because they aren't members or don't necessarily identify with that churches denomination.
    Posted by Brianne09
    Honestly, are you KIDDING me?!?

    You're not just "getting married in a building".  You're getting married in a house of worship.  For starters, that house of worship belongs to the parish members.  Second, that house of worship is of a particular faith.  Its one thing if you don't belong to the parish but you are of the faith and wish to marry in it.  At least then you're believing in that faith.

    However if you're just desiring to marry in a particular place but have ZERO desire to take vows of the faith, do you realize that what your'e doing is incredibily disrespectful to the members of the parish and particular denomination?  You'd be essentially "using" their SACRED ground to suit your personal desires - not a very holy thing at all.

    It's one thing if you want a non denominational chapel.  However if you wanted to just use a Catholic Church for your wedding when you had zero belief in the Catholic faith and no desire to take Catholic vows, why on EARTH are you even considering it?  And do you realize that what you're doing is disrespectful to those who ARE in that religion?

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  • I have to disagree. I think that if you're a Christian and you're getting married in a Christian church, that's all that matters. Who really cares what denomination it is? The same basic principle applies: You believe in Jesus. And you want to get married in a Christian place. That's what I think. I've actually found a church in the area that rents out the sanctuary to anyone. I'm going to go check it out soon. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. If someone wanted to get married in a church I was a member of, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Marriage can be important to Christians. I'd be glad that someone's chosen my chapel to get married in. They might come & check out the service sometime. I don't see anything wrong with it.
  • In Response to Re: Non-Member Church Weddings:
    I have to disagree. I think that if you're a Christian and you're getting married in a Christian church, that's all that matters. Who really cares what denomination it is?
    Posted by brimcleod

    Well, as a Catholic, it absolutely mattered that DH and I would be married in a Catholic church. 

    So WE cared and so did our families.

    And AS a Catholic, I'd certainly care if a non-Catholic wanted to get married in a Catholic church without actually believing in that denomination.

    If you were going to eat dinner, would you take your food to a different restaurant because it was nicer to eat inside it than in your own home?  Would you expect that a restaurant would be OK with you going to use their setting for YOUR food?

    The same holds here.  It's not OK to get married in a place if you don't intend to believe in that faith or to take vows in it.

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  • hmm..

    when I was a kid, I wondered if I'd get in trouble if I got food from Taco Bell and took it with me into McDonalds, where my parents preferred to eat. lol.

    but I think that a church is considered God's house, and it would be jsut like getting married in someone's house, except it's the best house, because it's God's! :)
  • oh, and I'm sorry, but I visit the Catholic church in St Augustine with my family all the time, and none of us are Catholic...

    but another point to be made is a restaraunt is a business, and they're offended by it, because it makes their food look bad & their food is what makes the money. they're offended because you aren't contributing to their business. a church isn't a business, and shouldn't EVER be treated as such.
  • Actually, a Church is ALSO a business along with it being a house of worship.  If you don't believe that then you're truly deluding yourself. 

    And you're missing the point entirely.  If you want to BE Catholic then have your wedding there.

    If you're not Catholic and don't believe in taking Catholic vows then you have NO business getting married in a Catholic church.  If you "visit" and attend the Catholic Church in St. Augustine then you're expected to go by their rules while you're there.   Saying non-Catholic prayers isn't an option. 

    THAT is the point I'm trying to make.  You can't just walk into a specific building and expect them to let you use it for your own individual purposes.  THAT building has a predefined purpose that you don't get to determine.
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