Whether you’re a high-holiday Jew or a fair-weather Catholic, when it comes to getting hitched, you’ve determined that religion must play its part. The wonderful thing about churches, church halls and synagogues is that they usually don’t (technically) cost anything, you just have to be a member of a congregation and schedule a slot.
If you’re happy with the church hall you can have the entire event in one location. Depending of your beliefs, the menu and alcohol are open to whatever you’d like and can afford. Often the church men’s and women’s groups can be hired to cook, serve food and tidy up. The food might be a little more on the old fashioned side, but your dollars will go back into the church coffers and not into a caterer’s pocketbook. Ask the church organist to provide the music, or if you live near a university, hire a quartet. They’ll love the opportunity to perform with a church’s acoustics.
Depending on the denomination, you and your partner may have to jump through some hoops. Catholic churches usually require a series of classes, a weekend retreat, and if this is marriage number two, you may have a few more hurdles.
Questions for churches/synagogues/temples:
- Do we need to be members
- What if a parent or sibling is a member
- What is the cost or recommended donation
- Are classes required
- How far in advance should I make a booking
- What is the capacity
- Is there a bride/groom room
- What is included, what extras do I need to provide
- Is an organist or pianist available
- Are there restrictions to the music selection
- Are there restrictions on the types of readings
- Is a church hall available
- Is there ample parking