Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interview Questions for a Church or Wedding Chapel

For many wedding couples, the church or wedding chapel that they grew up using it's a given, it will be the church they get married in. For others, they grew up in a certain religious affiliation and they must find a church or chapel that is of the same faith. For others, it's a matter of finding a church that's right for them and to find the church that will make their wedding day special it boils down to asking the right questions.

You first must ask yourself, what size wedding do you want and what you can afford. Do you want your wedding ceremony to be small, medium, large, or cathedral type? You should focus on finding a church that will fit the size of your wedding guest congregation. You can search for churches of your faith in a number of places; wedding directories, recommendations from friends and family, ask questions to the church you belong, also yellow pages, and Google searches. If it's not a church you are really familiar with, you best interview 3 or 4 churches.

There are some things to look for as you perform your church interview. Is the church available, the date you want your wedding? Can the church handle the amount of wedding guests you would like to invite? Does the church hold a believe system similar to yours, what you consider normal and not weird? Also does the church hold the charm you are looking for and would your wedding guests be comfortable out? Does and will the church allow amenities that you are looking for? Also is the staff of the church approachable, honest, and helpful and do the churches congregation appear to be honest, trustworthy, and helpful?

Also to consider is the pricing and to be aware of other fees associated with weddings. The church you grow up in, the church may give you a break on the price of renting the church, the bigger the church, the more the rental fee cost. The large and very large churches often are over priced for what they ask for for weddings, history shows even some of your wedding guests end up joining the church that you got married in because they saw how beautiful the church was.

To find the church that is right for your wedding, review the questions below to help you prepare an interview questionaire to find the right church for you. If you have multiple churches and can't decide which church to choose you might score the church, a blog on how to score a venue is three posts back. Now for the questions to ask.

Interview Questions for a Church

1-Ask for a business card or brochure that has information about the church, if none are available, ask for the name of the church, the church denomination, the street address, an email address, and website address of the church?
2-Who would be the church administrator or wedding coordinator for the church, the person's name, phone number, and email address? if that person has a business card, get their card in addition.
3-Is the church available for our targeted wedding date and time?
4-How does the communication interaction work with this church?
5-How long do we have control of the church wedding ceremony?
6-How many people can this church accommodate?
7-Is the church allowed to perform religious, secular, and civil wedding ceremonies?
8-How many years has this church been in operation?
9-How many weddings does this church perform in a typical year?
10-What days and times is the church available for weddings?
11-Does the church insist on the wedding couple using one of their officiants or can the couple bring their own officiant?
12-What staff does the church employ and what staff is available for the wedding?
13-Is the church open to the proceedings of the wedding ceremony or is the church very restrictive?
14-Does the church provide a wedding ceremony format(s) to review?
15-Does the church offer any amenities that goes along with the wedding? candles and candle holders? candelabras? aisle runners? pew bows? anything other? are they included free or are there additional costs?
16-Are candles allowed in the church?
17-Are personal aisle clothes or runners allowed?
18-Are there any restrictions on decorating the church? can we decorate the church in which we like? if we are allowed to decorate the church, how much time do we have before the wedding to decorate?
19-Are flowers and floral arrangements allowed to decorate the church? if they are allowed can the wedding coordinator let us know if we can possibly split decorations with other weddings the church has for the day, if the church has multiple weddings?
20-Is rice, confetti, floral petals, wedding sparklers allowed for the wedding celebration?
21-Does the church allowing a receiving line after the wedding?
22-Does the church have a wedding guest table or are we allowed to bring one?
23-Are we allow to prepare a wedding program or must we use a program provided by the church?
24-Does the church employ a church organist and a choir and if there is do we have the option of using them or not?
25-Are we allowed to bring our own photographers and videographers and do they have full access to the wedding ceremony or are they restricted? is flash photography allowed at the wedding ceremony?
26-Are there any music restrictions? what type of wedding musicians allowed in this church? where would musicians be located in the ceremony? is there a holding room or location for them? is there a sound engineer to help them get set up?
27-What are the parking arrangements for the church? how many cars can park? is there a place to park if there is a parking overflow? would any police or security or valets be needed for parking purposes?
28-What church officials need to be talked to regarding our wedding and what would be their names, functions, and phone numbers?
29-Are interfaith weddings allowed and how might they be setup in this church?
30-Does the church have a reception hall that goes along with this church? if it does, what is provided with the reception hall? a caterer? a wedding cake and dessert baker? a florist and decorator? a bartender? a bar? a wait staff? a cleanup crew? handle special lighting? is music allowed? dancing allowed? a dj allowed? wedding musicians allowed? how many wedding guests can the wedding reception handle? can we control the wedding reception facility ourselves? decorate it the way we want? does it have all the chairs and tables and equipment needed or do we need to make arrangements to rent it? does it have all the linens, plates and glasses needed?
31-Does the reception hall have a kitchen and what is provided in it? stoves? refrigeration? storage areas? food preparation tables and equipment?
32-How much time is there between weddings?
33-Does the church have a bridal dressing room and is there a holding room for the bridal party?
34-How much time before the wedding must the bride, groom, and bridal party arrive?
35-Can the church be used for a wedding rehearsal? is it part of the fee of the wedding ceremony? is there a restrictive time for the wedding ceremony?
36-What fees are there to rent the church and what do the fees covered?
37-What other fees are there such as, a separate fee for the officiant? janitors? organist? choirs? wedding musicians? altar boys? ushers? housekeeper? church staff? other?
38-How far in advance of the wedding does the church need to be booked for the ceremony?
39-Is there a church package available?
40-When is final payment required for the church rental?
41-Is there a church form that needs to be filled out by the wedding couple? can we take a copy to look over?
42-Can we see pictures of the church for a wedding, can we see a video of a wedding ceremony? can we stop by to see another wedding live?
43-Can we clean out the wedding ourselves or must we use the church janitor or cleaning crew?
44-Can we get three referrals of prior wedding couples?

When searching for a wedding chapel here are some tips on what questions to ask a wedding chapel manager of wedding chapel coordinator and also questions to ask yourself. There are many wedding chapels around, some are very romantic and some are very vanilla, don't even have electricity. Many show beautiful weddings and scenery in the pictures. The thing that is important to having a chapel wedding is to check the chapel out in person first. Many wedding chapels treat you like a number, get you in and out of the wedding so you don't feel like you really got married, are very restrictive or very uncomfortable for your wedding guests, the seats are very hard, you have to go by the rules of some of the wedding chapels, some have limited parking, some won't allow you to linger and take pictures. Some offer a lot of amenities and are very romantic and charming.

Make sure the wedding chapel has the date of the wedding you want available, can handle the amount of wedding guests you would like to invite and are comfortable with the price at the wedding chapel. You also need to understand the requirements of getting a wedding license, almost all states have their own rules on wedding licenses, you should confer with the wedding chapel of where you could pick up a wedding license. Many wedding chapels have relationships with local wedding vendors and may offer you suggestions and provide discounts and coupons and deals.

Interview Questions for a Wedding Chapel

1-Ask for a business card or brochure from the wedding chapel or take down the name, address, phone number, email address, and website address.
2-Who would be the manager or wedding coordinator of the wedding chapel, get the name of the person, their phone number and ask them if they have a business card?
3-Is the wedding chapel available of the date of your targeted wedding, if not the interview is over or you must be willing to change the date of the wedding?
4-How many years has the wedding chapel been in operation?
5-How many weddings are performed at the wedding chapel in a year? a month? a day?
6-What days of the week and what times are available for a wedding at the wedding chapel?
7-How much time is there between weddings at the wedding chapel?
8-Does the wedding chapel handle all religious wedding ceremonies? secular ceremonies? civil ceremonies?
9-How long does the wedding chapel ceremony service take?
10-How many people can the wedding chapel accommodate?
11-How comfortable are the seats and the pews? if possible sit in a few to check them out.
12-Does the wedding chapel only allow their own officiants? are we allowed to interview them if we must use them? can we bring our own officiants?
13-How does the communication interchange work between the wedding chapel and wedding couple? phone? email? text messaging? other? how often and when is the interfacing?
14-Is there a marriage counseling session provided? required? with whom? optional?
15-Does the wedding chapel have an official religious affiliation?
16-Does the wedding chapel have a wedding ceremony that must be followed or do we have some say in the wedding ceremony?
17-Are readers and speakers allowed at the ceremony? can we provide our own?
18-Are wedding vows allowed as part of the wedding ceremony?
19-Does the wedding chapel provide a dressing room for the bride and a holding room for the wedding vendors and the bridal party?
20-How much parking is available at the wedding chapel? is there a place for overflow parking? is a policeman or security or valet required?
21-Are wedding guests allowed to mingle after the wedding ceremony?
22-What amenities are provided at the wedding chapel? are not provided?
23-Are wedding programs allowed to be handed out at the wedding chapel? must we use the chapel's program?
24-Is an aisle cloth/runner provided by the wedding chapel? allowed?
25-Are flowers, decorations provided by the wedding chapel? allowed?
26-Are pew bows or pew decorations provided by the wedding chapel? allowed?
27-Is rice, confetti, floral petals, wedding sparklers provided by the wedding chapel? allowed?
28-Is music provided by the wedding chapel? are we allowed to bring our own wedding musicians? are we allowed to bring our own wedding music system? booster speakers?
29-Is a dress code required at the wedding chapel?
30-Is there a photographer that comes with the wedding chapel? do they provide a photo album? are we allowed to bring our own photographer? is flash photography allowed in the wedding chapel?
31-Is there a wedding videographer that comes with the wedding chapel? are we allowed to bring our own wedding videographer?
32-Does the wedding chapel include a wedding rehearsal, if yes is it included or an additional price?
33-Is there a reception hall that belongs with the wedding chapel? if so, what services does the wedding chapel provide? what is not provided? does it include a caterer? florists and decorators? provide dishes and linens? does it include a bar? does it include a bartender? does it include a wait staff? doe it include a cake and dessert baker? a janitor? include anything else such as a sound engineer?
34-Are there any music, dj, dancing, or decorating restrictions at the reception hall?
35-Is there a kitchen and if so what equipment is in the kitchen? stove? refrigeration? storage for dishes and food? preparation tables and equipment? glasses and dishes?
36-Does the wedding chapel provide or have any connections with a limousine, transportation, or shuttle services?
37-Does the wedding chapel have any lodging agreements with local lodgings and can any of our wedding guests get discounts, or coupons?
38-Does the wedding chapel have lighting, heating, air conditioning, and if weather becomes a problem can we bring our own equipment to keep wedding guests comfortable?
39-Does the wedding chapel offer bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, ring bearer pillows, flower girl baskets, unity candles and holders, silk flower petals. crystal toasting glasses, and decorated cake cutting utensils?
40-Are there pictures, videos of a prior wedding of the wedding church and the reception hall or can we stop by live to see how it is decorated and the officiant in action?
41-What are the fees for the wedding chapel? any packages offered? what is not included? might there be hidden fees? what is not covered?
42-How far in advance of the wedding can the wedding be booked?
43-Is there a form we need to fill out?
44-When would a deposit be needed?
45-When would the final balance be due?
46-Have we covered everything?
47-Can we get a copy of the contract?
48-Does the church have a drawing of directions to the wedding chapel that can be used?
49-What is the cancellation policy? change of date policy? being late for the wedding policy?
50-Can the wedding chapel provide a list of local wedding vendors and their contacts?
51-Can we get referrals from three other wedding couples?

Questions to Ask Yourselves

52-Would all your wedding guests be comfortable at the wedding chapel?
53-Is it a beautiful church?
54-Does the church have architecture and charm?
55-Is the church in a beautiful location?
56-Are you comfortable with the church belief system?
57-Will the amenities suffice to meet the needs of the wedding ceremony?
58-Is the wedding chapel manager or wedding coordinator easy to work and communicate with?
59-Are the staff of the wedding chapel honest, helpful, and approachable?
60-Is the road paved to get to the wedding chapel and how easy is it for wedding guests to find?

Use the questions as a basis to develop your own questions for the church or wedding chapel, try to get back to the church within two weeks of your interview to let them know your plans to rent the venue. Don't leave the spot open so the venue loses a wedding chapel booking. Always be polite, in your interaction with all the church associates. Triple check all is taken care of the week of the wedding ceremony. Again score the different wedding chapels if you can't decide, a blog about scoring is three posts back!

See you on the other side?

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