So I’ve got less than six months to put this wedding together, Find a ceremony and reception venue, was number one on my list of things to do.
First, we had to determine in what town we wanted to get married. We knew we wanted to get married in NC (remember my list of favorite things?), and we quickly decided to stick to the city of Greensboro (where we both live) or the surrounding area. Geoff has lived here all of his life, but I am not from Greensboro originally, my family lives about 2 hours farther east. I briefly considered getting married back home, but I thought it would be too much of a hassle to try and plan a wedding from two hours away. I would have to do a lot of traveling to meet vendors, visit venues, etc. And with gas getting so expensive, it just didn’t seem very budget savvy.
I have always wanted to get married in a church. I imagined walking down the aisle in my big white dress on the arm of my dad. Making my way toward my future husband as the music fills the sanctuary and the sun shines through the windows and the birds sing. (Ok, the birds don’t have to sing, but everything else is how I pictured it!)
Being in the Bible belt, you wouldn’t think it would be that difficult, would you? But I’ve been a little particular about the kind of church I want to get married in. First and foremost, I want a center aisle to walk down. I don’t know why this is such a big deal to me, but I am unmoving on this point. Second, I want a church that is pretty on the inside and the outside. I know it’s superficial, but I love those old brick churches with the tall steeples and the big front porch with the pillars. I definitely want to take a group shot of all the guests that are at the wedding and I think doing that on the front steps of the church would be perfect!
The church where Geoff and I met and where we still attend was never a consideration. Not only did it not meet my outward qualifications, but the sanctuary fits 1,500 people, much too big! Not the kind of place for an intimate wedding.
I was able to find a couple options, but there always seemed to be some kind of problem. No center aisle, already booked, too far away; but the problem I ran into most: “we don’t do weddings for non-members.” I can’t tell you how often I heard that statement while trying to find a church, so much in fact that one day I just had to lay my head on my desk and weep for a few minutes because I didn’t think I would ever find a place to get married. I guess I can’t blame the churches, it seems like they were burned too many times by strangers who didn’t respect the building or the rules of the church, so they had to make a blanket rule of no non-members. But I have to admit, I don’t like being punished for other people’s bad choices.
Pretty church, but no center aisle!
Photo courtesy of Clark Berry Photography
I work right down the street from this church and I love it! But they don’t allow non-members to get married there.
Photo courtesy of Jamestown United Methodist Church
But perseverance paid off and I was finally able to find the perfect place. I don’t have a picture of the inside, but you’ll just have to trust me, it’s lovely. Because it’s so nice on it’s own, we won’t have to spend much money on decorations. If anything, I’ll probably just have a flower arrangement of some kind at the front. Rental fees for the rehearsal, wedding, and a sound technician come to $400. That’s roughly 5% of our overall budget, not too bad!
This is where we’re getting married!
Photo courtesy of Southeast Baptist Church
I’ll tell you all about my quest for finding a reception venue in my next post.
Do any of you have tips for finding inexpensive ceremoney and reception venues?