The Rev. Laurie Brock reflects at Dirty Sexy Ministry on allowing non-members to be married in the church:
While January is not wedding season, it is the season for those who got engaged over the holidays to begin planning their weddings. The first few weeks of January for many churches includes numerous phone calls inquiring about weddings. Lots of phone calls. Often from brides or mothers of brides who are not members of churches or have come “a few times, and it’s close to the reception, so we were wondering…”
I absolutely understand the desire to have one’s wedding in a beautiful setting, and many churches are elegant and beautiful. And I understand the deep desire, perhaps almost unknown, to have such a momentous event in one’s life blessed by God or, if you don’t actually confess a belief in God, blessed by something larger than you.
Brock offers seven points to consider when thinking about a church wedding:
2. If you aren’t a member of the church, be prepared to explain why you want God (and, by extension, God’s representative in the clergy person) present at your wedding. Why is that blessing important to you and your future spouse? Are you not particularly religious or spiritual, but is a church wedding important to your family? Also, please don’t say you’re going to be active members after the wedding if you truly haven’t made that commitment. My experience is that if you aren’t active for at least a year before the wedding, you likely won’t be active after the wedding – although I know there are exceptions. I’d rather you be honest.
3. Expect to pay a fair amount for use of the church. You’re paying for the dresses and suits, you’re paying for the catering and flowers. The church is not free, either. Maintaining church buildings involves insurance, cleaning, and utilities, among other things. The church staff is working for your special day. To prepare for a wedding involves preparations just like any other building preparing for a special event. One rabbi I know told his couples the fee to the temple was 10% of what they spent on the wedding.
Read the rest here.
What are your thoughts? Experience?
Image: By Allan Ajifo via Wikimedia Commons
posted by Ann Fontaine