Post # 17
@bride21: You just repeated yourself, and what everyone has said still rings true. This man is under no obligation to provide a space and service for you for free when you A)Don’t pay tithes and B) Don’t even go. He has every right to make a judgement call and say “Hey-you know what? You don’t even come here. The church needs money.” I understand money is tight but that is why you need to schedule a meeting and explain yourself. No one is doubting that you can’t afford it. But you seem to think you’re entitled because you can’t afford it. You’re not. The man offered you a great deal, you haven’t been attending, and he made what was most likely a business call. Also I doubt that the church keeps absolutely no records of their members and donations given. There’s always the odd un-labled cash in the pot, but I assure you there IS a record keeping system. And I highly doubt you’ll find a better deal anywhere at this late hour. Again–call him. Schedule a meeting. This is solvable.
Post # 18
BTW when you tithe to a church ALWAYS either write a check or put your donation in an envelope with your name on it. At the end of the year, your church should send you an accounting of your donations which you can then claim as charitable contributions for tax purposes. Just an FYI.
Post # 19
I actually am a member of a church that will not hold all of our guests comfortably, and my FI’s family are all memebers of a HUGE, and beautiful church that will. Since he and I were not memebrs, and didn’t attend mass, etc we paid $250 for the use of the church as well as use of any of their decorations (candelabras, candles, etc). Also this fee is going towards the cleanup after the ceremony. We are actually planning on giving the pastor an extra donation as well for officiating. It’s not uncommon to have to pay. And for $350, plus eating the cost of now useless invites and the stress of getting the word out that the venue has changed, don’t make a snap decision based on hear-say.
Set up and appointment, discuss it calmly and rationaly with the pastor, and work it out. It will be worth it in the end.
Post # 21
I will say this one more time, we aren’t upset because he asked us to pay. We are upset because he told us it would be free and then a month before the wedding decides to charge us an amount he knows we can’t afford. We were going to pay someone to stay and clean up after the wedding because that was the agreement originally made by the pastor. We wouldn’t be charged as long as we cleaned it up, or had it cleaned, without the church having to do any of it. If he had originally told us he would charge us we could have looked for a better deal or talked to him about doing something in return, though we aren’t good at much of anything that the church could use.
Everyone keeps acting like I’m expecting everything for free but I’m not. I know things cost money but if someone told you they would do something for free and then changed it I’m sure all of you would be upset too.
Post # 22
You keep repeating that the reason you are upset is because he “lied” to you (which is not exactly how it went): “What bothers me is that he told us he would do it for free and then changed months later just because we didn’t start going to church regularly.”
You are completely ignoring your end of the bargain here. Why should you get special considerations? His generosity was contingent upon your attendence. Make excuses if you want, but you didn’t follow through, nor does it sound like you reached out to talk to him about it at all. Perhaps if you had kept in contact even when your baby was sick, he would be more understanding, but it sounds like that is just an excuse to postpone church a little longer.
And I have to say it — if you can’t afford rent and utilities, go to the justice of the peace and be married and save your money. The wedding industry indoctrinates us that a big special wedding is required for a marriage; it’s not. It’s a luxury, and it favors people who can afford it, as so much of society does, but that’s how it works. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want it, but you also need to face your reality. You have a family to provide for. Have a vow renewal down the road after you are more on your feet.
Post # 23
I’m paying $1500 to use my church. It’s considered a donation and I don’t mind paying it.
Good luck finding a venue cheaper than $350. That really isn’t that much money considering you are getting a venue and a pastor to officiate the wedding.
Also, you haven’t been there for 7 months. You are not an active member. It’s not unreasonable for them to request that you pay a fee to use the venue. They have bills to pay too.
Post # 24
@bride21:Its true, for you to marry in the church for free you have to be an active member and pay your tithe or offering.
Post # 25
@bride21:For the record, your relationship with God has nothing to do with who you live with. That’s a terrible reason to disassociate yourself with your church.
Post # 26
I can see why you’re feeling stressed out but before you freak out and try to find another place, CALL the pastor! I don’t understand why you would just settle on word of mouth for this type of news?
Just go in and explain that your child has been sick and you’ve been unable to attend because of that.
However, your logic of “we’re living in sin so we’ll just wait until we get married to go to church” doesn’t really make any sense to me. The pastor is trying to do something very generous for you- giving you space for free (and it costs him money for you to be there- electricity), the least you can do is show up to church for 1 hour a week.
I wonder if he is throwing out the $$ to get your attention. Afterall, he hasn’t heard from you in several months, hasn’t seen you at church…how else is he supposed to get your attention to this??
Post # 27
I noticed that some people keep saying “It was only free if you started going to that church” or “his generosity was contingent on your attendance”..so I reread the original post…. nowhere in there does it say that the pastor would do it free IF she started coming to church. It states that since he’s known Fiance for so long he would do it for free. The pastor may have “expected” that she start coming, but we don’t know, becasue it doesn’t say that here. According to what I know from reading the OP, I would say she has a reason to be concerned…if someone flat out told me “I am NOT charging you” and turns around and does, that would suck!
I do however think that $350 is a great price and I can certainly understand why the church charges for things like these…it does take a lot of money to run a church.
Bride21: I think you should talk to the pastor and see exactly why he has changed his fee (your Future Sister-In-Law may not know all the facts) I don’t think you should try to find a different venue this close to your wedding. Try to work it out with pastor. Good Luck
Post # 28
It always strikes me as odd when folks have trouble paying their rent yet insist on throwing a party for their wedding…
Post # 29
@jenroh1984: Since you quoted me, I’ll reply… that’s how churches work. The poster below me said it better — she hasn’t been there for 7 months. And knowing her Fiance for so long is the context of being a parishioner. That is how churches function, as so many have pointed out. It doesn’t need to be said, though we can’t know for sure that it WASN’T said since we have only bride21’s side of the story. Obviously, she needs to talk to the pastor and find out for sure what is going on and what can or can’t be done, but I don’t think this is an unreasonable change and I do think we are not getting the whole story.