You’re in the planning stages of your wedding preparation, and have envisioned the most beautiful ceremony. You are asking the vendors all the questions and sharing your ideas, but have you spoken to the church Officiant? Have you given thought to the actual wedding ceremony? Do you know the church’s restrictions/guidelines?
Many couples aren’t aware that the churches have guidelines, and these guidelines could affect your plans. You don’t want to wait until the final week or the day of the wedding to findout what you can or cannot do in your church. When you meet with the Officiant to select the date of your wedding, make sure they give you the sheet with the guidelines/restrictions. If they don’t have anything in writing, ensure that you ask them what can or cannot be done during the wedding ceremony and take notes. Whether you are considering getting married at the church you attend or at a church you have always envisioned to have your wedding, consider the following:
Basic church guidelines:
- Pre-Marital Counseling/Meetings
- Pre-Wedding Preparation Classes
- Church fees
- Music/Organist reserved
Other (sample) church guidelines:
- No confetti/rice
- Birdseed, bubbles or rose petals allowed outside only or not at all
- Flower Décor only
- No décor allowed
- Vendor must sign agreement with church
- Age restrictions for flower girl or ring bearer (e.g. must be older than 5 years old)
- Photography flash restrictions for photographer and/or guests during wedding ceremony
- Videographer restriction to be stationary
- No candelabras in the aisle
- Wedding Party attire must be appropriate (e.g. no shoulders exposed for bridesmaids)
- No décor on pews (pew bows)
- Allowed time to set up prior to ceremony
- Only fresh flowers allowed in Altar area
- Interfaith or commitment ceremonies not allowed
- Wedding Planners not allowed to lead lineup during rehearsal or day of wedding
- Designate someone to ensure all items that are set up and removed immediately after the ceremony.
- And the list goes on.
It is important to find out all the information you need to plan a successful and beautiful ceremony. You don’t want to find out the day of the wedding that the draping you want from pew to pew is not allowed. You not only loose the vision you dreamed of, but money as well. If you are working with a wedding planner from outside the church, you may be informed that the planner cannot direct any rehearsal or day of lineup.
Important Note: Please consider the architecture of the church before bringing in too much décor. Some churches are beautiful just “as is”, especially some of the older churches.