Post # 1
I want to get married in a church, and am having a time finding near to the reception place. I am not originally from here so I don’t have a home church in town. I had to write a letter to one of the churches to a committee to use one of the presbyterian churches in town only to be rejected because I didn’t indicate that I was “assocated” with anyone with the church. They didn’t say in their pamphlet anything like “you will only be considered if you know a member.” So basically I wasted my time with them. Now there is another church that requires a letter and I really really like this church (aesthetically speaking). This church is an Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church and in their letter they need a
- statement of faith
- reasons why I selected the church
- reasons why my home church isnt being used
Because I’ve already been rejected now I am wondering how I can insure that I have not left any stone unturned with this new church. Here are my concerns about my status.
- I am not Presbyterian nor A.R.P.
- I am Baptist (for all intents and purposes)
- I am not a member of my home church. I have just been going there most of my life
- Neither I nor my fiance have been baptised THOUGH I do plan on getting baptised before the wedding
- They require my pastor to call and interview with their pastor. I am not saying anything bad will be said about me, it is just I don’t know what all he could really say since I am only at church occasionally when I go home.
Help me out, what can/should I do?
Post # 2
You might be out of luck. If you have no ties to their church, their religion, and only minimal ties to your home church, it’s going to come across like you want to get married in their church because it’s a pretty space, and not because of any religious ties or convictions.
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
JiminyCricket: That about covers it.
OP, have you considered a local Baptist church? Or a Unitarian Universalist faith center? (The latter tends not to be picky.) I don’t think most churches are going to be very receptive to someone with no ties to their faith, congregation, or town picking their location because it’s nice-looking.
Post # 4
OP, it sounds like you picked this place purely for aethetics, and that’s not really what they want to hear. Are there any other Baptist churches in your area? You might have better luck with those. Or even any “non-denominational” churches- they tend to be in college towns, but it could be worth a shot.
ETA: Why do you want to get married in a church anyways?
Post # 5
I think this is one of the most frustrating things that churches have to deal with- people who do not attend church, but want to be married in one for aesthetic reasons.
How long have you lived in the community where you now reside?
The Unitarian Church is known to be very welcoming but their church may not meet your aesthetic standards.
Post # 6
Can I ask why you feel it is so important to get married in a church? Any why this particular church?
Do you plans to have contact with this church after your wedding?
I think that you should ring up the minister and have a chat about what it is that you would like and what you believe. If it is clear that the church concerned only marries church members then you can ask him or her to suggest other churches that you might like to consider.
It’s a shame that churches have these rules but luckily Jesus will be present at your wedding whether you marry in church or not. (He has a soft spot for weddings.)
Post # 7
rachel85: JiminyCricket: Well the other church I am looking at is Baptist. I have to wait till 6 months out to book with them. Other than that there arent any issues per se. The ARP church is a bit smaller (which is what I need) and cheaper than the Baptist church. I feel like if I am willing to consider their denomination for my family and getting married there is a part of it I am concerned that they would want to close their doors to me. Now I don’t know if knowing someone is a part of their process as it was with the presbyterian church. My philosophy if it were my church would be if a couple is grounded in their beliefs in God and understand the teachings of the church and want to have their ceremony in that church…then I think that is an awesome reason. Which should be looked at (IMO) more than: did your grandma go here ESPECIALLY since you are still paying for the facility.
Apple_Blossom: It’s not just because of aesthetics. I mean all the downtown churches near my reception place are beautiful so that isn’t the real reasoning. I want to get married in a church because I want God to be at the center of this momentous event and desire God’s guidance in our married life. Of course that can technically happen if the ceremony is outside, but I just don’t think it’ll be the same. I will let them know in my letter about this. I am just a little jaded from the other church that had this whole packet of information that they wanted but in the rejection letter basically said “if you knew a member that went here then we could have accomodated you.”
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast
If it doesn’t work out… look for a non-demoninational community church if you have one in the area. They’re much more open and there more to serve the community than preach any 1 specific reglion. They’re much more inclusive and welcoming.
Post # 9
Talk to the minister first and then fill in the form. The minister will then know that you are people of faith rather than a couple just looking for a pretty venue.
Post # 10
You might increase your chances by actually going to the potential ceremony church for services and participating in their community events for a little while before applying.
Post # 11
Horseradish: Good idea, I was thinking about that and start by visiting this Sunday.
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
If you don’t know what the application process entails or how one would go about becoming a Presby member, then you aren’t “grounded in the teachings of the church.” Maybe in the broader sense of Christianity, yes, but not that particular church. I’m afraid I will have to side with the church on this one: aesthetics isn’t a good reason to pick a house of worship, nor for the record is “it’s cheaper.” Maybe with a banquet hall or a reception caterer, but not a center of faith.
I myself am spiritual, not religious, but I believe God (however you define him or her) can be at the center of ANY relationship, ceremony, or wedding. What matters is the devotion of the couple and the feelings therein, not the physical structure in which it takes place. Could you have your home Baptist minister come to your new town and conduct a wedding in a spot that makes you feel connected to the universe (ex: a garden)?
Post # 13
rachel85: Thanks for the advice. I hate to be so particular, but I didnt say grounded in the teachings of the church. I said understand. To me those are very different..to understnad vs. being grounded. I have looked at the specifics of each denomination of the three churches that I have mentioned. I wouldn’t just be like, “oh this is a pretty church let me get married here” and not have any understanding of what their traditoins and beliefs were. The fact that it is slightly cheaper is just a throwaway bonus to me. I would be lying if I said my budget was the sky is the limit. So if this church had been $10,000 I definitely would not even be able to consider it.
To any pp or new psters: As far as reasons to not choose a certain church goes….isn’t denying a couple the ability to marry in a church because you don’t know a member a petty reason. I definitely get a church being skeptical about couples only wanting to get married for the looks of the place require counseling or an interview. Under various circumstances what if I had spent my enitre life not believeing in anything and the life changing event that a wedding symbolized that I decided I needed to make a change in my life….soooo I cant get married in a church because I wasn’t apart of their denomination before?
Anyway, this church hasn’t done anything wrong so I don’t want to make it seem like I am upset with them about their process. I just want to convey how I feel and hope it is met with understanding rather than a since of exclusivity.
Post # 14
MrsHistory-Bee: I don’t know if this will help, but I wasn’t a member of the church we got married in. In fact, at that time I wasn’t a member anywhere. We were going to church at our current church, but weren’t members yet. Most churches denied us because we weren’t members or because we wanted the pastor from “our” church. So I had asked the pastor marrying us where we could possibly check. She gave us the name of a church that she has preached at before, and we called and they allowed us to be married there.
I want to add that, giveb our circumstances and our denomination, we really couldn’t be picky. We were just glad to have a church that said yes, and we were willing to pay the couple hundred dollars to get married there.
Post # 15
MrsHistory-Bee: “isn’t denying a couple the ability to marry in a church because you don’t know a member a petty reason.”
On the surface, yes. But I’m guessing that’s not the only reason. You said you’re Baptist. The first churcch you applied for was ARP. I’m not sure of the intricate differences, but I know they’re different.
I’m guessing (so I could be wrong) that in this case, if a couple does not follow the faith, an exception can be made for those who are “associated” with someone in the church.
That said, this comes from a Catholic understanding. Can’t get married in a Catholic Church without the bridge and/or groom being Catholic, no exceptions. Yes, it is exclusive, but it’s a faith based exclusion, and I can’t understand why someone would want to get married in a Catholic Church with a Catholic ceremony when they have zero ties. So I’m projecting that feeling into my replies.
What denomination were you planning on being baptized in?