Post # 1
This is my first post, and I hope it doesn’t sound stupid. My fiance and I are wanting to look at churches to choose one for our ceremony. I know that come churches won’t marry you unless you attend their church. When I call to set up a time to look and talk to the preacher, should I ask up front if they will marry us even though we don’t attend church? Also, is it tacky to look at numerous churches? We want a church that will look nice in photographs, so it’s very important to us to see if first then decide after we’ve looked at numerous. I’ve never helped plan a wedding before and now that I’m planning mine, even the small details seem to be bigger than i thought! Thanks!
Post # 3
Not a stupid question in the least! We’re not getting married in "my" church because my FI didn’t get an annulment to his first marriage. So we’re getting married in a Lutheran church that neither of us attend.
I say just visit churches. You don’t have to tell anyone why you’re there. Once you’ve narrowed it down, just call them and see what their policies are. Most will probably charge more if you’re not a member but I don’t think they won’t marry you. I’m not sure what religion, if any, you are. You might want to check those rules too, if there are any. Good luck!
Post # 4
Depending on the religion, some priests may be offended by the search for a pretty church. There’s a discussion in the pre cana (Catholic) that I attended about whether you’re marrying in the church or just in the church building.
If it’s not about a church that means something to you, but one that will look nice, then I would suggest attending mass at the "option" churches and seeing it that way first. Then, the one you’re interested in you can call and meet with the priest. They’ll ask what church you’re a member of and give you the requirements.
Post # 5
A lot of the churches I looked into were ok with the fact that neither of us actually attended the church in question, it had been awhile since I have been to ANY church All the churches I called, the first thing they asked was if either of us had been baptised. They would like at least one of you to have been baptised, but each church is different, just ask what their policies are for getting married in the church. You’ll probably need to do some sort of Marriage Prep course (all of the ones I called required it)
You might want to look at if there are any non-denominational churches in your area. Typically these are old churches that have been restored and are open to any faith/wedding.
Post # 6
If you call up a church to see the facilities, i think it’s already implied that you dont’ attend the church hee hee.
Here’s what i’ve learned thus far in my church hunting. It’s TOTALLY okay to just ask a church about getting married there even if you aren’t part of the church. The church I attend now is in an office building.. so that was out. And my fiancee’s church, which is my old church is ugly (to my standards). So we "shopped" around for a church. This is totally acceptable.
When you look into a church make sure you ask them:
How much?; are there any restrictions on decorations?, do they require pre marital counceling? (as some do), what is their policy on photographers, flower, etc.? Do they allow an outside ordained person to preside over the wedding?
One of the churches required that one of the pastor’s had to officiate the wedding in some way, so keep that in mind if you want someone else to preside. Also depending on the school, if you use a school church, they will not allow you to be married at the school church because you have to be an alumni or part of their order (usually pertaining to Catholic churches).
Catholic Churches: This is a whole other area. Depending on the Catholic church, since most are in the beautiful gothic style which is what i liked. They require that either 1 or Both have to be a PARTICIPATING Catholic. This means you have to have gone through your cathecism and sacrements, etc. My fiancee used to be Catholic so he could pass, but then some of them are even more strict and ask that both of you are in a certain order like Jesuit, or what not. We are both participating Christians, so we felt it was against our convictions to do it at a Catholic church since a priest from the church HAS TO PRESIDE over your wedding.
Hope this helps!
Post # 7
Thank you everyone for all of your help!!! My fiance is catholic and I was raised presbyterian. He doesn’t care if we get married in a church at all, and I don’t really want to get married in a catholic church(even though some are beautiful). i have heard you have to jump through a lot of hoops for catholic churches, and I still feel strongly connected to my protestant upbringing and don’t feel comfortable getting married in a catholic church. I will use all of the info you guys gave me. If you think of anything else, let me know!! Thanks again!
Post # 8
Trust me, they will go ahead and tell you if they won’t marry you in their facility unless you are a member or intend to become one. We had TWO Ltheran pastors turn us down because of this… my FI actually is a member of the Lutheran church in the town where we live, but his pastor will be in Germany the month of our wedding. The assistant pastor is leaving, and rather than just play pastor roulette, we went looking for another Lutheran pastor. Even understanding the situation, pastors from two Lutheran churches in adjacent towns let us know that they could only perform the ceremony or consider having us use their facility if we intended to join THEIR church. We don’t actually go much, but if we did, we certainly would go in our own town rather than driving to another town! But this came up in our very first communication with both pastors – and we didn’t have to ask – they came right out and told us.