Post # 1
Over the holidays, my mother finally put her foot down and demanded that I start making official wedding plans haha! Mainly, she wanted us to get a venue booked so that our date would be officially set. I thought it was silly to book a venue 1.5 years out, but it turns out that I’m thankful we did!
Because of our tight budget, my FI and I decided to have the ceremony and reception at my hometown church. We can use all of the spaces for under $500, so it’s a great deal and it’s very sentimental to me. This is a relatively small church that I’ve been a member of for almost 21 years. I was baptized and confirmed here, and my parents were married here. We’ve done countless service activities through the church and all that jazz.
Obviously, nothing is officially on the church calendar for our wedding date or the day before since it is so far out. We would set up the afternoon before because we’re having a morning/brunch wedding. There are two groups (Weight Watchers and AA) that currently use the fellowship hall (our reception space) for their meetings and right now (1.5 years away) they have their meeting times during times when we would need to be doing a lot of setup and prep for the ceremony and reception.
My pastor has been making a huge deal about how difficult it will be to have those two groups meet in another room for that one day and wants to take all our decorations down for the meetings and then have us put them back up. One of these meetings is happening right as our ceremony is starting….logistically, I don’t even know how that would be feasible. Not to mention the stress of the wedding on top of the stress of not knowing if the reception hall is set up.
I understand that the groups have materials that have to be relocated, but would it have been that difficult for my pastor to just say, “We’ll work it out and make everyone happy!” It’s over a year away! It’s been so difficult getting straight answers from the pastor, and my mom and I are both really frustrated. Are we crazy hahaha?
Post # 3
@MKWeddingBee: I think it’s fair that the pastor gives use of the Church as he sees fit – if he finds WW and AA to provide lasting worth to the community, you have to respect that. Especially with AA, it’s important to have it in the same room since having simple directions to the meeting location can help people in a time of crisis.
Can you move around the ceremony start time? Alternatively, could you talk to the group leaders and see if they are willing to work with you. They might be perfectly happy to sit at a beautifully decorated table in their normal room. I would be careful there to make sure it doesn’t seem like you are going over your pastor’s head.
Post # 4
Maybe I am being unfair, but I think that’s just silly. I don’t see why having their meeting in another room in the same building one time would be an issue. I would be flustered as well.
I would respectfully ask the priest if you are permitted to discuss with the group leader to get their blessing and see if they would mind. The AA/WW group leader may totally be fine with it. Are their meetings everyday? Maybe they’d even be willing that week to switch their meetingto the day before. Or as PP said, I am sure they wouldn’t mind sitting in a decorated room for their meeting. You could find out how many people attend and set up their normal chairs for them aside from you decorated tables so you’d only have to take down those chairs after the meeting and not mess with your decor.
Good luck! I hope a compromise can be reached. But, I agree, I wish your pastor would be willing to at least attempt to work something out.
Post # 5
There is no reason they can’t meet in a different room for one day. I used to attend a few AA meetings with my brother (he wanted me to understand his alcoholism better and to strengthen my ability to not enable him). A sign at the door saying today’s AA meeting will be held in room 104 isn’t going to make or break anyone sobriety or ability to get help if they need it.
Post # 6
There may be contracts between these groups and the church— there usually are, because there’s all sorts of legal and liability issues when you allow meetings on your premises, and the church is probably collecting some sort of fee for use of those rooms. So it might not be as simple as ‘just ask AA or WW to use a different room.’ The church may be contractually obligated to provide that specific room, or there may be resources in/near those rooms that are spelled out in the contract such as stair-free access to a restroom.
I would actually wonder why the pastor or church secretary allowed the wedding to be booked, knowing that the exact same space was already in use by another group.
OP it’s still worth asking the pastor to look into possibly moving those folks to another room, but don’t get bent out of shape if they say No. You may have to explore alternate decorations that can be set up and taken down very quickly, or hire someone to put up the decoration after the meetings are done. You can probably get a couple of high school kids to do that for you fairly cheaply.
Post # 7
@Horseradish: Well that’s the thing…..the groups are not scheduled yet. The church calendar is completely clear. That’s why it’s a bit frustrating.
Post # 8
@MKWeddingBee: Just because they aren’t on the calendar doesn’t mean they aren’t scheduled. The Church may have a written contract specifying access to the room until 2018, but they don’t update their calendar more than a year out.
Post # 9
Update: We decided to look for another venue for the reception! My mom tried to get an update on the logistics for the space, and the paster was pretty rude to her (eeek!) even when we offered to help them out. It is going to be more expensive, but I’m sure we can find something that works! Thanks for letting me vent haha