Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Can't Decorate My Church?!?

Hi everyone!

This is my first post and I've actually just got engaged last month.... So totally new!

Anyways, I booked my church and reception hall.. Everything is beautiful but I'm not sure how to decorate the church aisle. My fiancé and I are both catholic and I have been a super active member of my parish for over 10 years, so I have a sentimental attachment to that church. Unfortunately they told me that I am not allowed to have flower petals thrown on the floor (or anything that requires clean-up) and since they have marble floors, I also can't have an aisle runner.

I'm more than a little annoyed.. I think it's harsh to say I can't have either or. But anyways, how can I decorate the aisle (not the pews) with these restrictions? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
Tia
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Re: Can't Decorate My Church?!?

  • Honestly, I wouldn't worry about church decorations beyond, perhaps, some altar flowers. People really don't notice flower petals or aisle runners (both of which are often not allowed in churches). In most churches, there is enough other stuff going on that more decorations become distracting and take away the beauty of the church (or draw attention to the other visual interests of the church).

    You are going to receive a sacrament before your family, friends, and God at a parish that you have a relationship with. Really, at the end of the day, there is nothing more meaningful. I promise.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • I agree with the ceremony being the most important part, but I just feel like if I'm going to be splurging on a photographer (photos are the most important part to me... Budget-wise) I wanted something amazing for them to photograph. I want to be able to share these photos years down the line.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    Why do you feel the need to decorate the floor?    It's THE FLOOR.

    Think of this way, one less you have to buy and NO ONE will care that the floor is not decorated.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    In Response to Re: Can't Decorate My Church?!?:
    I agree with the ceremony being the most important part, but I just feel like if I'm going to be splurging on a photographer (photos are the most important part to me... Budget-wise) I wanted something amazing for them to photograph. I want to be able to share these photos years down the line.
    Posted by thayilstyle312

    The amazing "something" the camera and photographer will be focusing on is the beautiful and handsome bride and groom.  That is the focus of the ceremony; that is where all eyes will be looking.  As a bride enters the church, guests eyes are directed toward her, not the floor.  

    Most churches are inherently beautiful.  We did not add one decor item at our church.  The ceremony and the photographs are beautiful.  I doubt in the "years down the line" you will look at your pictures and miss a few strewn flower petals or aisle runner.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I've seen thousands of wedding photos. I've never noticed the floor. Our wedding was on a paved slab, a lot less photogenic than a nice marble floor. I don't even see the concrete. I see our happy faces, the emotions of our guests, the bright sunny weather, etc. How on earth is a lack of aisle decoration going to keep you from sharing your wedding photos?!?! But to answer your question, ask the church coordinator what other couples have done. My guess is the answer will be "nothing."
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  • The ONLY decorations we had in the church were a few pew bows. Not even flowers up at the front. The church had lovely stained glass and a beautiful organ, and then with the WP and DH and I, the pictures look just beautiful. I really wouldn't worry that much. People aren't going to be staring at the floor.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • smalfrie19smalfrie19 Home of SB XLVIII Champs
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    If you want to decorate the pews, may I suggest pomanders?
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • mlg78mlg78
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    I love the look of pomanders. A lot of churches have restrictions about decorations.  You really can't get your panties in a bunch about that.

    One thing to keep in mind...I love pomanders but I can't have them because I have both my mom and stepdad walking me down the aisle and the three of us next to each other will be too wide and pomanders would get all knocked around.


  • We didn't decorate our church at all...it was in the middle of Lent, so we just went with what the Altar Society had put up for the season.  No one noticed or cared, especially me when the day came.  All I could see was H waiting for me at the altar.  Our pictures are great as the photographers focused on us, the Mass and the WP.  


    It will be fine.
  • Our church said we could decorate, as long as there wasn't any massive cleanup.  We're doing silk flower petals and nothing more.  The only other things I considered adding  were some flower arrangements up front or as people enter, because cleanup would be easy.  But you'll have to find somewhere to place to put them because at least in the Catholic Church, putting anything else on the altar is NOT allowed.

    Most churches are beautiful on their own, so I wouldn't worry about it to much.  If you're having a flower girl, having her carry a pomander is perfectly acceptable.  What matters most about your pictures is that they reflect the love you two have for each other, and the happiness that you share with those that care about you.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • We just did a few pew bows. But before you go spending money on things to decorate the isle just take this into consideration. How wide is the isle? One you are walking down the isle with your train all nicely laided out (assuming your dress has a train) and being escorted by someone (if you are doing that) how much room will you really have left on either side. I only bring this up because some churches have narrow center isles and and if you have a dress that has a poofy bottom you don't want to be bumping into things on the isle.

    My photographer said skip isle runners because by time BM walk down them & then bride, they are usually all messed up & make photos taken from behind to show the beauty of your dress while walking up the isle & then when you walk back after the ceremony look bad because the runner is messed up.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I don't think it's harsh of the church. It's their house, you play by their rules. If you don't like the rules, you shouldn't have gone with them. If a friend is helping you by providing their house for a party, they'd be pretty po'd if you scattered crap all over the floor of their house, right?

    Get some pew bows/decorations for the first few rows, no one will notice the floor
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    In Response to Re: Can't Decorate My Church?!?:
    Our church said we could decorate, as long as there wasn't any massive cleanup.  We're doing silk flower petals and nothing more.  The only other things I considered adding  were some flower arrangements up front or as people enter, because cleanup would be easy.  But you'll have to find somewhere to place to put them because at least in the Catholic Church, putting anything else on the altar is NOT allowed. Most churches are beautiful on their own, so I wouldn't worry about it to much.  If you're having a flower girl, having her carry a pomander is perfectly acceptable.  What matters most about your pictures is that they reflect the love you two have for each other, and the happiness that you share with those that care about you.
    Posted by wittykitty14

    What kind of floor is it?   Silk petals can be slippery on something like a marble floor.







    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLost
  • I'd just do something hanging from the pews and maybe a floral arrangment up front. Don't worry about decorating the floor.




  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
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    Our Catholic church had restrictions too - no flower petals, no runner.

    We did simple pew bows to designate the VIP section and some altar arrangements.

    To be perfectly honest, our seating plan didn't go according to plan, I didn't even notice the altar arrangements or if the pew bows were even on.

    I mostly wish I'd saved the money.

    There will be so much other stuff to take in, you won't even notice.

     

    PrettyGirlLost
  • I have seen brides, fathers and wedding party skid on flower petals while walking down the aisle.  I have seen many wedding party and guests get tangled in lightweight aisle runners.  It is safer not too have these things...especially on a marble floor.  

    Most people focus on the altar of the church so you want to invest in beautiful decorations there.  If there is a lag in the groomsmen seating guest, people may be lined up at the end of the church.  A spray of flowers at the end of the last pew would give that group something pretty to look at.    
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Seriously... unless your church is just the plainest church in the world (and even a plain church could be beautiful in its simplicity), I see no need for decorations.  We're not buying a single decoration for our Catholic church ceremony.

    SaveSave
  • Ok, you guys have convinced me.. Maybe I'm being unrealistic with all the beautiful pictures and googling I've been doing. But hey, cut me some slack- I'm only about a month into this. :) 

    Thanks!

    Liatris2010MuppetOverlord
  • In Response to Re: Can't Decorate My Church?!?:
    Ok, you guys have convinced me.. Maybe I'm being unrealistic with all the beautiful pictures and googling I've been doing. But hey, cut me some slack- I'm only about a month into this. :)  Thanks!
    Posted by thayilstyle312
    It's ok :) It's hard to tell what level of "bridezilla" a person is.

    The may be a 1 - where they really want something, but if it can't happen exactly the way they have envisioned for 15 years, no biggie, OR they may be an 11 - BRIDEZILLA MAD! BRIDEZILLA SMASH!
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • I was disappointed in reading that my Catholic church won't allow most decorations either(though seriously, no gazebos constructed in the church, I was sooooooo planning on that! ;) )  My suggestion would be to talk to the parish secretary and see if he or she can recommend florists that have worked with them in the past.   See what they suggest.   Most florists where I am from in NJ are familiar with the Catholic churchs' rules about flowers and stuff.   We're pretty much allowed clip on pew decorations and two pieces flanking the altar.  
  • If you really want to change the look of this church and do it safely and within the perameters of the decor (as far as I understand them) you could consider having a row of battery-operated candles on either side of the aisle, with gaps where people would enter the pews, or have uplighting against the walls. 


    However, as others have said, most houses of worship are plenty lovely without much additional decoration.  And, you would want to clear whatever you did choose with them, naturally. 

    We're getting married in a garden, and we're adding a lot of floral and lighting elements including: little bouquets of rosemary and lavender tied with satin ribbon on each of the chairs which are along the aisles, hanging crystal-covered LED tealight lanterns, hanging battery operated fairy lights, hanging lanterns in the pergola of the garden where the ceremony is focused, and having the pergola covered in roses, lavender, and clematis vine and flowers.  The ceremony is at the end of March, so the garden will have many plants in bloom or bud, but we're probably also going to add small potted pansies to some big clay containers that will basically be dirt and mulch (later the hostas planted in them will grow in, but not in time for us).    But, FYI, even though this is an outside venue and not a church, we're also not permitted rose/flower petals, rice, or confetti. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Hello Tia,
    Be sure that you run ALL of your ideas for decorating the church by your church's wedding coordinator, pastor, or liturgy director as soon as you start thinking of ideas.  My wedding is one month from today and we had ideas for the church (potted flowers at the front and childhood photos of us on the pews).  However, they were shot down very recently as "not being liturgically appropriate."  Just a tip... as soon as you start thinking of decorations, make sure they're OK!

    Brittany
  • Pots of flowers? Or is that another thing they restrict.

     
  • I'm so glad to hear that decorating the church is a waste! I may put a few flowers by the alter, but the church will be brand new and they've said we can't remove any floral decorations we bring with us to re-use at the reception. They want us to leave it at the church. 

    Definitely going to skip the aisle runner.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    They want you to leave YOUR flowers?  Sounds like they want free decor for the Sunday service, too.

    My husband is a minister, and he would NEVER do that to a couple. Ick.
    Yeah, ick.  I'd tell the church that my flowers are MINE, not theirs to decide what to do with after the wedding.  And if they give me a hard time, I'd consider finding another place for the ceremony-and if necessary, another officiant.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    It is a parish rule in my H's family's church that anything that goes in the church stays in the church. Thus, for his great aunt's funeral, only two bouquets were taken in. In our Protestant church, not permitted were aisle runners nor any petals.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Tami87Tami87
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
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    Wow I'm really surprised at the reaction of leaving any flower decorations for the rest of the parish to enjoy the rest of the week. This seems completely normal to me. Really what else are you going to do with large flower displays? Why not let your church community enjoy them too. You still have your bouquets if you want to save flowers from your wedding.

    Also our Catholic church was very ornate no its own so the only decorations we had were pew bows and candelabras that were provided by the church.

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  • Of course if people buy nice altar flowers they should go to the reception. People pay to use churches for their ceremony. They shouldn't also have to leave their flowers for the rest of the parrish to enjoy. How weird.
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet
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    Ok, you guys have convinced me.. Maybe I'm being unrealistic with all the beautiful pictures and googling I've been doing. But hey, cut me some slack- I'm only about a month into this. :) 

    Thanks!

    Step away from the pinterest.



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