Wedding Wednesday: Finding a Ceremony Location, Part I

If you’re easily offended by religious opinions, come back tomorrow please 🙂

Some people pick the ceremony location before setting a date. Some people do it before locating a reception venue. We have yet to do it.

All throughout wedding planning so far I’ve swayed across the line of not caring and caring a lot about the ceremony. Part of me thinks that it’s silly to pay a bunch of money to tell the people we love the most that we love each other, since ummm, ya know, that should be obvious to the people who love us. Then another part of me thinks that it’s a once in a lifetime event to have all of our loved ones in one room and although it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, it has to be “us”. I really don’t want just a typical wedding ceremony that matters to no one but us. Another (increasingly large) part of me wants to go far, far away and get married just the two of us and come back for the kick-ass reception we already have in the works.

But, ya know, it’s not entirely up to me now. I have to consider Matt’s preferences and he does not want just the reception. Ok, fine, I guess.

But since we got so excited about booking a great reception, we figured a ceremony location would fall into place fairly easily and we’d be good to go. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Let’s start at option one: Matt’s family’s Catholic church.

There is nothing wrong with being Catholic, but I am not, nor do I want to be. However, I considered their church because I know their family is rooted in it and I think they would prefer that. Wedding ceremonies are only $75 and there’s plenty of seating for our guests with minimal decorations required. Fair enough.

A big set back for me was the massive crucifix that’s dead center of the altar. It’s pretty graphic (ribs and all) and it’s the only altar “decoration”. I understand that Jesus is the center of the Catholic church, and again there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not what I believe. I didn’t want a big religious symbol in the majority of our wedding ceremony pictures, especially when it’s not my religion and Matt is certainly not a strict Catholic, either.

I was willing to look past it though if it meant we could have an affordable ceremony and it was one less wedding task to do. So last Saturday we met with a priest to talk about what the ceremony would include and what Matt and I would need to do to get married in the Catholic church.

Despite many hoops to jump through, the meeting was going well and I was willing to do all of these tasks even though it was not my religion. But then it took a rough turn. The topic of ceremony music came up and I almost started crying right then and there in the meeting. For a Catholic wedding ceremony, 100% of the music played must be religious. Crap.

You see, music is kinda my thing. I love everything about it. I’ve been thinking of songs to play for every aspect of my wedding since I was in high school. None of these songs are religious. I can compromise until I’m blue in the face but when if you take away music then the ceremony is literally just two random people in a church getting married with half of the guests bored out of their mind (my entire family and most of my friends are not Catholic either). Literally zero part of this ceremony would be “us” and I’m not going to jump through all those hoops for something that is not “us”.

Matt didn’t even need to look at me to say “Thank you. We will discuss this and get back to you,” knowing full well that the music was a deal breaker. We broke the news to his parents that their church was a no-go. They understood, and then proceeded to find “modern” religious music I might like. I appreciated their effort but sorry Charlie, no dice.

Now, finding a plan B wouldn’t be that so hard if we were almost anywhere but central Wisconsin. The majority of the venues are for receptions only because it’s almost assumed you would get married in a church.

Our photographer mentioned a ceremony site on a whim, which was a cute park with a gazebo. It wasn’t perfect but certainly worth looking into. However, it’s in the town next to Matt’s hometown and you have to be residents to book the park for weddings if it’s not in the same year as the wedding. So they currently have September 7, 2013 available but we can’t book it until January 1, 2013 since we’re non-residents. There are a few drawbacks about an outdoor wedding, according to both myself and others, but picking a location is kinda crucial so if we could cross it off the list, it would be really helpful.

Yesterday, Matt’s mom sent me a ceremony location suggestion. I had seen it online but didn’t see any wedding info so crossed it out in my mind. I did some further reasearch though and it would be a great option for us. It used to be a church but it was recently renovated for up and coming bands to play. It was exactly what we were looking for. So I called and e-mailed because I’m super impatient and waited patiently for a response. A few hours later I learned that they were already booked for September 7, 2013 but “they had a few other dates available if we were interested.” Umm, sorry. We already have our reception booked and contracts have been signed!

So now we’re back at square one and I’m about to rip my hair out. I’ve exhausted Google and we have no other feasible options in the surrounding area. I do not want to waste spend anymore time scouring the planes of Central Wisconsin for a doable ceremony.

Can we please just elope???

There may or may not be a Part II to this, depending on my sanity to keep looking for locations.

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3 Responses to Wedding Wednesday: Finding a Ceremony Location, Part I

  1. Stormy says:

    Hang in there girl! You’ll find something! We had a hard-ish time finding a venue too {and we live in Wisco too} but it ended up working out and being perfect!

  2. Emily says:

    We had a bitch of a time deciding what to do about the ceremony too. Our wedding is in one month from today, and holy cow, so stressful! I totally hear you on the eloping thing!

  3. I had similar issues because Kyle’s family is VERY conservative and VERY religious, and my family? Doesn’t even know what a church is. You have to do what’s right for you and Matt, and it looks as if that’s the deal which is great. I posed the venue question on Facebook and tons of people responded. We actually ended up picking a place that someone had suggested, so maybe try that?

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