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Ceremony Location - Help please!

Our guest list has outgrown our small church which only seats 150. It turns out my family from out of state is all coming in (close to 180 people total). We need to find a new church to have the ceremony, though we already have our pastor as our officiant. Every single church I've called doesn't rent out their church for wedding ceremonies.

Our reception is at Banquets Unlimited in Wilmerding, so we would like to stay East of the city (Monroeville, Irwin, Greensburg, etc.). We looked at the Old Stone Church in Monroeville but don't like the lack of parking and having to dart across the highway to get to the church.

Any ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Re: Ceremony Location - Help please!

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    edited December 2011
    What type of church are you looking for? I'd recommend my old church, but I don't think it would comfortably fit more the 150 people. Can you cut some of the guest list, like friends or more distant relatives? I think it's either that or find another venue besides a church, if none will allow you to use theirs.

    ETA: From what I gather, the Old Stone Church is Presbyterian... ?
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    yuengling58yuengling58 member
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    edited December 2011

    We're not planning on everyone coming, but just in case they do (you never know) we want to be prepared. It's important to us that we get married in a church, and ours right now would fit everyone very snugly.. but they're also mid-renovation and don't have carpeting down yet with no guarantee it will be down by November.

    Worst case scenario, we can use our church and just put down some type of cheap floor covering for the ceremony.

    We were both raised Catholic (he didn't go to church, I had to every week). The chruch we go to now is Baptist. We don't really care about what denomination the church is as our pastor would be officiating.

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    edited December 2011
    I would stay with your same church.  DH and I were married with full catholic mass, and while our church is huge, only about 80 of the 130 guests attended the wedding (which is so rude, since that is the primary part of the day, but /vent).  I doubt everyone will come, and you want the most important part of your day to be perfect (with your pastor)
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    edited December 2011
    What about First Unitarian church in Shadyside? I had my ceremony there and brough in my own Rev.  It is beautiful.  http://www.first-unitarian-pgh.org/ Or Bellefield Church in Oakland. http://www.bellefield.org/ You can bring your own officiant there as well.
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with Bri, it may be best to stay at your church. I have a feeling that you won't find a church that lets you bring in your own pastor (I could be wrong of course, not sure which churches you've called). For ex., I took a look on First Presbyterian Church of Irwin's website. It's $250 for non-members, but they expect their pastor to marry you. I looked at a few other churches, but couldn't find info on weddings on their websites. I was born and raised in North Huntingdon, so thought I may be able to help... which churches have you called already? I was looking at this list...

    http://www.mynorthhuntingdon.com/html/main/org/org_catID/4/index.html
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    yuengling58yuengling58 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you for the links. TBH, I just called the two baptist churches in North Huntingdon. I'm going to look on that website and call a few others.
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    jrsygrl10jrsygrl10 member
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    edited December 2011
    IMO, i would not utilize a space that cannot accommodate every person invited, just incase. we actually didn't have anyone that skipped the ceremony, surprisingly enough (i knew how many chairs were put out, and had my mom make mental note of chairs going unused).
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    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hmm, I'm no help with that area, but just to buoy your hopes a bit, FI and I are getting married in a (Catholic) church in which neither of us are members, and we are bringing in our own priest.  I'm not sure if Protestant Christian churches operate in the same way, but I know of at leat a couple Catholic ones in the downtown area that do.

    One of my best friends was married in her home church's chapel, and she was so stressed out about how many people were coming because they were right at the limit.  More people than seating capacity ended up coming and there was a row standing in the back- I don't think they thought it was a big deal, but my friend felt really embarrassed about that.  So I think your concern is warranted if you think most of your family will come to the ceremony.
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    edited December 2011
    I had plenty of chairs at my wedding, but to my embarrassment, people still stood across the back because they didn't want to go in and sit right down next to someone they didn't know...eek! :)

    Old Stone Church doesn't hold a lot, but they do have a Monroeville police officer help direct traffic back and forth across the road.

    It actually is not rude to limit the number of people at the ceremony and just invite people to the reception. (It IS rude to just invite people to the church and not the reception). You could make the church ceremony family only (20 or so people), but then have a larger reception. That's an option for some.
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