I guess I haven’t posted about this much before… but we have really been struggling with finding a place for our wedding ceremony. I contact a church in December, when I threw myself into wedding planning to give myself something positive to think about after losing Olivia. Because our wedding date is shortly before Christmas, our church will be doing construction on their huge Christmas pageant set. Our Church also holds thousands of people, so we needed somewhere a little bit smaller, so that our small wedding wouldn’t look ridiculous with all of the empty seats. In addition, Sunday service is filmed every week for a local TV station, so the alter area is really a stage with a plain black background. Not very wedding-ish. Our pastor told us that he would marry us pretty much wherever we liked, and we will still be going through all of the pre-marital things through our own church.
Anyway…To make a long story short, I started working with that church’s wedding coordinator. I e-mailed her multiple times trying to get her to send me the information that I needed. I made it very clear that we were not members of her church, that we would be going through counseling with our own pastor, and that we live together. Every time, she would tell me that she had to meet with someone, and would send it “this week”. Then, sometime in February, I received an e-mail from her saying that she had re-evaluated her membership with said church, and she and her husband decided to leave… therefore she could no longer be the wedding coordinator. Wonderful. She gave me the e-mail address of the person I should contact to help me. I e-mailed. And waited. And got no response. Finally, I decided to call the church. They gave me the phone number of someone else to contact. I guess she was the person who did the wedding stuff before this lady quit, and would be helping again until they hire someone.
FINALLY, we received the packet in the mail from this church. I ripped open the envelope, and read the letter on top of the stack. It said that this church is not a wedding chapel, it’s a community of people who follow God. Which is good. Don’t get me wrong. I continued to read, and to summarize… the letter said that non members must go through counseling with THEIR pastors. [I was told that going through our own counseling would be just fine]. But they only require 3 sessions, so I thought that was doable. Then… It said that they will not allow two people who live together to be married under their roof. The next line said something to the effect of, “However, if you do live together, we will work something out with you”. And what will they do to work with us, you ask? They will help us move into separate residences until our wedding date… OR… perform an immediate private ceremony that no one has to know about, before they will allow us to proceed with the planning process.
I was irate. I mean… every church has the right to subscribe to certain beliefs, and to make sure that everyone involved in their church follows their rules. That’s fine. I get that. I know that living together before marriage is looked down upon by lots of churches. I was just COMPLETELY upset about the fact that I had been waiting for the information from this place for FOUR months, all because the woman I was working with said that all of these things would be “just fine”. I was so frustrated. I couldn’t think of any church that would allow non-members to marry there, that wasn’t huge like ours.
But I found one! As long as we don’t run in to any problems, we will be married at Chambers Protestant Chapel at Boys Town! I couldn't be more excited, and seems like a much better fit for us than the other church anyway.