Sunday, March 11, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Finding A Church or Chapel for your Wedding

For many, the wedding day is not complete unless the wedding day is held in a church, wedding chapel, temple, or synagogue. As for finding a church it's important that the church is the right size for the amount of wedding guests you will have, this is important to create the right atmosphere for the wedding service.

If the guest count is less than 100, you should hunt for a small church or wedding chapel, if the guest count is between 100 and 500 you should seek a medium sized church, if the guest count is between 500 and 1,000 you should seek a large church, if the guest count is greater than 1,000 you should seek a mega church or a cathedral. The following 10 tips are some cost savings ideas for finding a church.

Tip 1 - Hold your Wedding at your Own House of Worship
If you already belong to a church and attend religious services regularly then you have an established relationship with that church and it's minister, you probably won't get a much better deal. You can use the church very inexpensively and in some cases for free. The church might just mention to put a little extra money in Sunday's Worship charity box. The thing you must do though, is book the church for the wedding far in advance. Churches book on a first come first serve basis. Make an appointment with the church director or church administrator and discuss setting up an appointment with a church officiant. You will meet possibly to discuss pre-marriage counseling, marriage requirements, order of service, musical wants, and how the church can and cannot be decorated.

Tip 2 - Choose a Church Close to your Beliefs and Crede 
Seek out a church with your doctrinal beliefs. Review the churches statement of faith and attend a couple of services. Ask yourself and your spouse what type of church you want to most belong to? What type of religious upbringing did you both have? Would you rather be a member of a church that is more formal like Catholic, Anglican, or Episcopalian or more informal such as protestant, pentecostal, or non-denominational. Also check out the classes, bible studies, programs, and productions the church might offer. Also check out the people in the church, are the officiants, laymen, and parishioners are their religious beliefs similar to yourselves and are they knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Lastly check out the music program the church offers. Does the church have their services with hymns, choruses, gospel music, organ music, piano music, brass instruments, string instruments, guitarists, vocalists, or a rock band. Which type of music most inspires you? Also choose a church with a officiants that are inspirational to you and spouse.

Tip 3 - Decide What Time of Year and Day of Week for your Wedding
Many churches charge higher prices to use their church during the wedding season. The wedding season may be slightly different in different parts of the country. In general, the high wedding season is usually during the May through June period and also weddings do pick up a little during the New Years period. If you can have your wedding during the off-season you can save money from fees for the church. Prices are also highest for Saturday weddings. You often can get weddings cheaper if you have a wedding on a Friday night or Sunday night. Weddings on week days often provides a huge savings, but if you have working wedding guests you would be best off having your wedding a little late in the day after work hours. If you don't have many friends working 9 to 5 on weekdays, your best deals for weddings will be early week days.

Tip 4 - Consider Having your Wedding at a Wedding Chapel
Many wedding chapels are created on the outskirts of towns. Very seldom will you see a wedding chapel in a downtown area. Wedding chapels are noted for their charm, many are geared solely for weddings. Many wedding chapels are beautifully designed for weddings and tend to be a lot cheaper than church weddings. Wedding chapels offer a wide variety of wedding ceremonies and wedding packages. You often can pick and choose what services you want included. Some of the choices they may offer are what type of flowers, decorations, and floral arrangements you want, they may have a photographer and create a mini wedding album for you, they may have some music options, they often have connections with limousine services, and often can provide you and your wedding guests with significant savings on hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts in the area. It is highly recommended though to meet with a wedding chapel's director and wedding officiant in person and see them live in person or see a copy of the officiant assigned to you in action on tape, make sure the couple checks the facility out in person, what you see on a website can be deceiving. Also get references and talk things over and use your gut feelings before booking.

Tip 5 - Investigate What the Church Decorations Has To Offer
A well decorated church not only makes the church beautiful but often makes the church service magical. Very often, churches and houses of worship have a lot of church decorations in storage. They may offer church decorations for a nominal charge or may even offer decorations for free. Meet with the church director or the church administrator and ask them what church decorations they may have you can borrow or rent for your wedding. Some examples of church decoration rentals are aisle runners, candles, candle holders, church bows, pew bows, silk flowers, hanging tulle, candelabras, front door decorations, and many more items. Usually though churches have many restrictions when it comes to church decorations. Decorations are not allowed in certain altar areas, nails, staples, and epoxy glue may not be allowed, things to hang decorations cannot leave any marks. The wedding director usually provides rules for their church on what decorations are and what decorations are not allowed and how decorations are allowed to be used. If the wedding director does not inform you of the church decorations is available be sure to ask the wedding director if the church has any decorations that can be used for your wedding.

Tip 6 - Evaluate a Church from it's Website
Many churches have horrible websites. They are old, not updated, and often ugly. A well run church has a nice website. A nice website might have the picture of the church and directions on how to get to it on the front page of the website. The church has an inviting website and an easy website to navigate. There are biographies and contact numbers and maybe email addresses of all the clergy members. The website has contact information for any services or programs or church times. Who should be contacted should one to be married and contacts for counseling services. The website might include inspirational messages or what the sermon was for the week. The website should include photos or Youtube videos of a happy congregation moments and changed regularly either updated weekly or monthly. The website should be maintained by a group of individuals and promote interaction or a place to approach if people have problems that come up in their lives. Websites should be maintained by a team and not an individual, problems with websites often happen when one person assigned to it leaves. (Just a note, many websites aren't maintained because they cost money, if money is an issue, push the church to use Wordpress, it's free and powerful for interaction and serves all the functions a church needs for a Website and is easy to learn and easy to use)

Tip 7 - Share in Decorative Expenses with Other Brides
Ask your church director if there are any other weddings happening at the church the same weekend as yours, either a different time of day or the day after or before. Some churches will make contact for you and other churches will forward contact information to you. See if you can make contact and share in flower decorations. In certain situations, the brides might even talk about sharing in other church decorations. Maybe you can share in the cost of aisle runners, candelabras, church bows, pew bows, hanging tulle, hanging garland, door decorations, church table sprays, church table linens, guest book tables, flower petals. potted plants, arches, and whatever. Make sure there is no undue influence upon the other brides. You can often find supplies that can help you decorating the church from religious stores, craft stores, dollar stores, florists, and rental supply shops. You might consider Do It Yourself decorations. Create beautiful floral arrangements with a decorative wire piece plastered with flowers, spread flower petals on tables, or use the flowers and leaves from a magnolia tree or you may think of decorating with non-blinking white or clear Christmas lights.

Tip 8 - Check What Other Venues The Church has to Offer
Churches often have connections with other venues. If you don't ask you may never know about them. You can get a substantial savings by using other venues the church has. Maybe the church is too large or booked, but the church may also have a rectory, an assembly hall, an auditorium, or maybe an area on it's premises for a wedding tent. You can still have your wedding and decorate the area and still make it a beautiful wedding. Also churches have auditorium basements, banquet halls, and fellowship halls, or you can rent a wedding tent to have a wedding reception. Make sure you check the parking situation and you can still use the front of the church or church spire to take beautiful bride and bridal party pictures.

Tip 9 - Investigate Music Possibilities with the Church
Most churches have a rule, no taped music is allowed at church services. About 80% of churches abide by that rule. It's good and it's bad. The rule allows many music artists to show off their music skills, it's bad, with the sound systems today, music cost savings could be substantial. If taped music is allowed you might consider using it. You may also save on costs with the church organist or pianist. In some churches organists are part of the church fees and it costs you no more in fees to use the church organist. Evaluate other music possibilities also. The church may try to push you to use their wedding musicians such as their church choir. You might save on using a vocalist, flutist, or guitarist instead. Check though with the church director or wedding administrator. The church may have all sorts of wedding musicians you might consider for playing music for your wedding. You might consider a sting duet, a violinist, brass instruments, a string quartet, a harpist, or a church band.

Tip 10 - Find a Church with Aesthetic Beauty
You might find a church that is so beautiful that there is hardly any decorations needed. The church has beauty built into it's design. You may not need any decorations, maybe only a guest book. A church may have beautiful stained glass on it's windows, it might have a beautiful foyer, have wrap around seating with beautiful tapestries, have beautiful architecture built right into wooden beams, church pillars or church floors built with beautiful marble, may have a beautiful candle grotto, have beautiful sculptures on the church grounds. The church may also be overlooking a beautiful mountaintop or be that beautiful church in the woods or overlooking a lake. Find a beautiful church that has a lot of decorations built into the church and hardly no need for ceremony decorations.

So that's it in Cost Savings tips for churches and chapels. See you on the other side!

1 comment:

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