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August 2011 Weddings

Ceremony Dilemma!!! Help me decide :) (long...sorry!)

So we're trying to figure out what to do about our ceremony.

Option 1:
(I don't know if this will pip...ever since the knot changed it's format I can't pip here)

This is the inside of the chapel at our reception location. It's nice, but a little small. I really want a bigger aisle as well.

-On site, so we could have a later ceremony start (good for a Fri wedding)
-We could take pics beforehand in the garden area (which is really pretty).
-FI's step brother could marry us, which is convenient.
-No premarital classes required.

-Cost is $900 for the ceremony.
-Small aisle to walk down.
-The DJ would have to sit basically at the end of the aisle, so he'd be in some shots, and he would also cost $200 to do the ceremony music (same person who DJ's reception)
-Also there's an elevator for anyone in a wheelchair that needs to get downstairs at the end of the aisle, so it would be in pics too.
-I would either have to wait a.) downstairs...and going up all those steps in my dress would not be an easy feat, or b.) across the parking lot in the reception hall....so my entrance isn't directly in front of the aisle.

Option 2:
We could probably get married at my grandpa's old church as he still keeps in contact w/the pastor.

-Not exactly sure on cost, but between the church donation, paying the pastor and organist, I'm pretty sure it would be less than $1100.
-Longer aisle.
-Photographers could probably get nicer shots b/c there's more room.

-We would probably have to take classes before they would marry us, we I guess we would be okay w/as long as they don't require us to join.
-We don't want to have to start attending church (we aren't big church goers).
-FI's step brother probably wouldn't be able to marry us.
-Extra cost for the pastor and his wife to attend the reception.
-Start time would have to be at latest 4:30, if that is ok w/the church. (I would prefer a later start so I wouldn't feel rushed getting ready and so that we would have time to get a lot of the pics out of the way before the ceremony)
-About 25 mins from reception site, but the reception would start at 6.
-The church is sort of surrounded by a neighborhood, and it's not the prettiest building....it's sort of old and the yard in front isn't real big...so I don't know how well 'first look' pics would turn out. I don't really want some random person's house in my pics lol. And the back is all a parking lot.

Option 3:
Grandpa's current church.

-In same city as reception, probably less than 10 mins away.
-Church is on a nice big lot and the exterior is nice, so I think we could get some nice shots.
-There would be a lot of space inside for the photographers to move around.
-Also would probably be cheaper than option 1.

-I'm sure classes would be required.
-Again we don't want to feel obligated to start attending church.
-Not 100% crazy about the interior of the ceremony space. It's all stone, and they recently put up felt letters on the wall from one end of the room to the other. I can't remember if it's a passage or prayer. I just think it looks odd, but maybe I'm just being nitpicky lol.
-I think this church seems a little more strict.
-Again we'd have to accomdate the pastor and spouse at the reception.

It might be silly, but aside from $, I'm worried about pictures. At option 1 we'd have more time to use the garden area for pics (if someone else books a ceremony before our reception we may not be able to use that area), and I feel that more people would be able to attend since it would be at 5:30. But then we're also paying soo much money!

Then at option 2 I'm just not sure how much time we'd have to take pics beforehand b/c there really isn't a pretty area for the background. And we're losing a little time due to having to travel from the ceremony to reception. We could maybe stop along the way somewhere, but I don't want to fully miss the cocktail hour.

Even though options 3's interior isn't exactly how I would want it, I almost think that since it is a pretty nice looking church overall and it's near the reception site, I should go w/this one. (We would still need to get details and see if we could even get married there.) I'm hoping that if we go w/this place we could have a 5pm ceremony. I just think this church is more strict w/the religion, and we're pretty liberal.

Other churches in the area that we've looked into require you to be a member or have a family member that belongs to the church in order to marry there.

Sorry this turned into a book but I'm racking my brain over this and I'd like some opinions lol :)

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Re: Ceremony Dilemma!!! Help me decide :) (long...sorry!)

  • I think option 1. Reading your pros and cons, it seems to me that that is the one you truly want (I could be wrong though!) Churches won't make you feel obligated to join or go (at least they shouldn't), so that wouldn't be a worry. But I'd nbe very surprised if you didn't have to do some sort of pre-marital counseling. Good luck!
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  • I'd be iffy about getting married in a church unless it meant something to me religiously.
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  • Ditto PP. If you're not religious, don't go to a church.
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  • In Response to Re: Ceremony Dilemma!!! Help me decide :) (long...sorry!):
    [QUOTE]I'd be iffy about getting married in a church unless it meant something to me religiously.
    Posted by sarah0725[/QUOTE]

    Yeah I sort of feel a little odd getting married in one of my grandpa's churches b/c we're not that religious. I haven't attended church regularly since I was younger, and we only go a few times a yr, mostly to see my grandpa. And certain parts of the religion I don't 100% agree with.

    I wouldn't mind an outside wedding, but I'm just worried about what the weather will be like. Option 1 allows you to either marry in the chapel (which is nondenominational, which I actually prefer) or the garden, so there would be a back up spot if needed. I'm just not sure spending $1100 is realistic.

    There is a nice chapel at a university nearby, but they don't do weddings on Fridays. That was also over $1000.

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  • I agree with the prior posters.

    Our wedding is on the grounds of an historic village. The chapel there is small, but delightful. It makes it easy for our guests to arrive once, walk to the reception, and not have to move their cars. It also has gardens outdoors.

    Personally, I'd see if the site is willing to negotiate. I know it can be hard, but tell them you really want it there, but the cost seems high since you are also using them for your reception.

    There will be pros and cons to any decision you make. But a small chapel is really a nice place for a ceremony.

    As far as having the DJ do the ceremony, really, $200 to play a couple of songs? I'd also try to negotiate that as well. If he sets up in the back, he shouldn't be in any pics. And your photographer will, I'm SURE, try to keep him out of the pictures and center everything so only you two show up.

    Good luck.
  • In Response to Re: Ceremony Dilemma!!! Help me decide :) (long...sorry!):
    [QUOTE]I think option 1. Reading your pros and cons, it seems to me that that is the one you truly want (I could be wrong though!) Churches won't make you feel obligated to join or go (at least they shouldn't), so that wouldn't be a worry. But I'd nbe very surprised if you didn't have to do some sort of pre-marital counseling. Good luck!
    Posted by KWats2011[/QUOTE]

    If option 1 was half the price, I probably wouldn't think of finding somewhere else. But the more I go over it all, I think that really the right option for us is #1 since we're not real religious.

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  • Pre-marital counseling would be one or at most two days of time. I am getting married in a catholic church and I'm pretty sure they have the most strict pre-marital counseling. We have to take a test (kinda like a compatibility test) and also a full day of pre-Cana. Still, it's not too invasive and not entirely religious, and will probably make us think about things.

    That aside, I don't think you should get married in a church just to have a church-look wedding. If you are not religious, you should get married at the on site location.
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  • Aw, it's pretty. Would you consider getting married there? And you could talk indoor back-options and see if they have something. If you're really stuck on the church options and worried about counseling/attending. 
  • I was kind of in the same situation where I wanted to get married at a certain chapel and it was beautiful but they wanted 1100.00 and it included an hour time frame and that was it so i checked into a church and after hearing everything we would have to do seeing that we are not religious at all and so we finally decided to get married on site and our reception hall and the ceremony will be outside on the deck or inside if it rains.and this cut the cost basically in half. 
      but for you made a comment on the weather if you have it outside the weather isn't going to a big factor because it should be short since it isn't a regular wedding ceremony. my ceremony will be about 15 minutes long max and we are doing most of our pic's before the ceremony and then party time lol... but you do what ever fit's you...
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