Take Me to Church…or Not

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Deciding to have your wedding ceremony in a church is not one to be taken lightly.  Your soon-to-be-betrothed may have deeply-rooted feelings about secular versus religious ceremonies not to mention family expectations can weigh heavily on a newly-engaged couple.

Instead of going back and forth between yourselves, take a gander at our handy-dandy pros and cons list to give you an idea whether you want to take a closer look at a church ceremony or steer clear.  Hopefully you’ve discussed this at some point during your relationship briefly, at least.  Now that you’re engaged and wedding planning, this conversation has to go deeper.  So don your waders, we’re going in!


Not like the kind in that one Nicholas Cage movie…total classic, though it may be.  Some reasons to not have your wedding at a church may not be as obvious as you’d think.

One risk you run is alienating attendants who aren’t aligned with you and your honey’s religious beliefs.  Those that aren’t religious may feel uncomfortable and those that are affiliated with a different religion may find themselves offended.  It’s hard to predict and can end up being a very volatile and sensitive issue.

Along with some types of churches or other religious institutions, certain religious constraints or requirements may apply.  Certain practices may or may not be required, definitely begging for plenty of research and critical thought before deciding.

Along with general limitations on the ceremony, there may also be rules, no matter how official, on what can be worn, your music, your vows, among other things.  Perhaps if you’re a very non-traditional type of couple, this may cramp your style a bit too much.  Even though it’s a terrific choice, Pantera may not be the appropriate beat to march to.

Not to mention, having someone other than a figure affiliated with that institution to officiate your wedding is likely going to be out of the question.  So, props to Uncle Steve for getting ordained but it may not fly over so well.


Suspend any thoughts of shying away from having your nuptials in a holy location, for a few moments.  You’ve only read half of our list!  These are all the good things that you should take into consideration before you chalk a church up to just being too much of a pain in the pew. (Ha, did you see that?  Double pun points.)

So, churches happen to possess this compelling and inherent beauty, making them unmatched locations for exchanges of undying love and commitment.  And it doesn’t really matter the church – the beauty seems universal from the rugged and hardy beauty of the most rural wooden-floored chapel to the sky-high ornately decorated ceilings of the tallest cathedral.  Your photographer and his or her camera will adore the opportunity.

Pro number three: stained glass windowsNeed we say moreSeriouslyWe do not.

Church ceremonies typically go over pretty well with family.  It’s very traditional and will probably make your grandmother happy.  A happy granny makes a happy bride and groom, we’d wager.  Unless granny’s the gambling type…then bets are off.

There may be a cost-savings element in the seating at a church.  That is, there are usually pews or some sort of provided seating.  Guess who has two thumbs (we hope) and won’t have to pay for chairs?  You!  Even the church itself is usually cheaper than a regular venue if you’re a member.

Lastly, when you gather loved ones in a church to witness two people pledging their love and lives to each other before a divine entity, there’s usually an emotional wave that swells up and crashes over the guests.  You think your Uncle Jack is going to cry?  Well, gambling granny would double her bet on that if your ceremony is in a church.  There’s a very deep connection many people have with churches and it can elicit some powerful stuff…maybe you and your fiancée will succumb, as well.

Hopefully it doesn’t matter too much where you decide to say your vows and most family is just hoping for a happy and healthy marriage.  But before you go deciding for or against a church willy nilly, really talk to your fiancée, your family and, if applicable, your officiant of choice.  Go with what feels right to begin the rest of your lives together.  And please…for the love of Sunday brunch, if you get married in a church, you have to play the “Goin’ to the Chapel” song that day…just please do it.  For us.  We hardly ask for anything!


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