Regardless of religious denomination, a church ceremony is an ideal option for couples who intend to incorporate their faith in their marriage and the rest of their life. Whether you envision yourself proceeding down the aisle of an intimate synagogue or colossal cathedral, there are a number of things to keep in mind before scheduling your ceremony at a religious sanctuary.
There are many benefits that accompany a church ceremony, including following tradition, partaking in customs, and receiving precious sacraments – however there are also a few drawbacks depending on your expectations. Consider the following pros and cons to decide if you should book a church or temple for the big day.
Photo by Eric Kelley; Planning & Design by Kelli Corn Weddings & Special Events
- Churches are prepared for ceremonies. Forget choosing a spot for the altar and planning your seating arrangements. The interior of a church is designed to host formal services, so the framework of your service is already prepared for you.
- There is plenty of seating. Churches typically have plenty of pews to accomodate large capacities. Not only does this save you money, but it also ensures that all your guests will have a seat.
- Music is usually included. Whether it’s a choir or a band, most churches provide music for the ceremony. You can always make an appointment with the band or choir, or you may ask the church director if it’s permissable to hire outside entertainment.
- Weather is not a worry. All churches are indoors and typically supply proper heating and air conditioning. Rain or shine, the ceremony will not be interrupted by the forecast.
- You’ll take part in tradition. For some, receiving sacraments and following religious customs is a great honor and something that you may have looked forward to since childhood. It’s also a perfect time to incorporate familial traditions or religious tokens that past generations used at their wedding days.
- You can’t host your reception in church. If you are looking to host the ceremony and reception at the same venue, then a church is not your best option. Some churches do include a hall within the same vicinity and may require separate booking and planning.
- Décor arrangements are limited. Unlike other venues, you cannot customize the space to your liking or rearrange furniture, statues, or other sacred items. However, most allow flowers and aisle runners. Consult with the director for specifics of what’s allowed in your favored church or temple.
- Some churches prohibit flash photography. Each church has its own rules, which include the permission or prohibition of flash photography. Discuss this matter with both the director and your photographer to make sure everyone understands these guidelines.
- The process is difficult if you are not a parishioner. If you are not a member of the church you are pursuing, you might be placed on a waiting list. Some churches do not allow non parishioners to even book a ceremony or may require an additional donation.