In a world where outdoor or alternative wedding locations are the norm, I've chosen to get married at my church. Why?
Well, I'm glad you asked. :) There are a number of reasons we've decided to get married at my church. I'll expound on them briefly below. (But don't click away from this post because I need advice on church decor later in this post...okay??)
The church I attend is the one I've basically grown up in. I've been going there for 19 years and I worked there for 5. It's a huge part of my life and is a place of familiarity and happiness. The sentimental part of me loves the idea of getting married in the place that has helped to form me into who I am today.
I can't ignore my personality type and not give a nod to tradition. It is more traditional to get married at a church and while it's not required in my faith, it's something that I feel is necessary. A holy place where a holy union takes place. I know that sounds weird... but...it's just how I feel. It's like I'm honoring those who have gone before and pledged their lives to one another in the church.
3. No need for concern about the Big Three
This one is a little more shallow, but by getting married at my church, I can avoid what I call the Big Three. The Big Three are the three of the largest stressors or anxiety-causers in outdoor and often alternative-location weddings. These are the elements, comfort and parking. I can avoid having to plan for different weather (the elements) by having an indoor ceremony. Regardless of the weather, my plans will be the same. For comfort, I mean mostly bathrooms and AC/Heat. I don't need to worry about bringing in portajohns or having heaters/fans if the weather is less than ideal. Finally, I needn't worry about parking or shuttling cars or transportation of guests because the church has an ample parking lot. So, not having to worry about those little things: bathrooms, parking lot, ac/heat, really helps to eliminate some stress on the big day.
Simply put, I hope that by starting my marriage in a church, it will help to establish the foundation of my marriage on Christ.
So, these are the basic reasons I've decided to get married in my church. Once that decision was made (and yes, M had an opinion too) I immediately began to think about how I would make the sanctuary look like a wedding but still maintain the authenticity of the room.
You see, I go to a modern church with cameras and lighting and a worship band. Lighting for services are more like theater lighting than a traditional church. Not that I would have it any other way, of course, but it presents an interesting challenge.
Below are a few photos/screen shots of the sanctuary itself before and during a service. You can see that there are a lot of options for lighting and color.
A slightly weird looking panoramic shot before the service... (click the above for a larger image)
My main concern is making the sanctuary look like a wedding, without compromising the authenticity of the room. I want it too look like it does on Sunday morning...but with a little something special to note the occasion. Does that even make sense? I know I'll probably have a small table set up with the unity candle and flowers and have some floral arrangements...but I'm kind of at a loss as to how to make it look "wedding". Or does it really even need to look "wedding"?
Any ideas/thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated. :)