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Planning a Religious Wedding

Many couples still choose to get married in a house of worship, and many churches will allow weddings to be held in their church facilities, even by those who may or may not be members of the church. For many of these religious organizations and across the various dominations, their clergy or priesthood do feel that the church is there to serve the community.

If you are already a member of the church, you already have an established relationship.  Regardless of denomination or what relationship you may have with a church, there are still some guidelines to keep in mind when choosing to get married at any house of worship.  Some churches have compulsory courses for couples to take prior to their nuptials. Ask your officiant if there is such a requirement well before your wedding day.

Following Established Guidelines

Many churches have put together documents that they will distribute to couples who wish to use their church to get married in. These documents will give couples an idea as to what is considered acceptable and what isn’t.  The best thing to do is to ask either the church office or a minister about any specific guidelines.  Some of these areas may include:

Dress Codes

If you are already a member of a church, mosque, temple or synagogue, chances are you will already know what the dress code is.  Make sure to go over it with your officiant or a representative who can answer any questions or clarify this with you.   This could make a difference with what you; your wedding party and guests choose to wear.  Some religions and houses of worship do not allow for any skin beyond the elbows to be exposed as a sign of respect.  This may mean having to wear a shawl or jacket in order to be adequately covered.   Head coverings may be required as well. Women may be required to cover their heads with a veil or scarf while men may be required to wear a yarmulke.

Your Choice of Music May Be Limited   

Some denominations have specific and rather limited choices when it comes to the music that is used for wedding ceremonies.  Whether it is for a processional, recessional or solo, be sure to check with the officiant or music director to be sure that the music you choose for your wedding falls within the guidelines of the house of worship.   If you are thinking of bringing in your own musicians or soloists, check to see if it would be acceptable before making any bookings. It may be acceptable to have your own choice of musicians, or you may be required to use those that are attached to the church.

Encourage Participation

It is probably safe to say that a fair number of the guests attending your wedding will not come from the same church or even the same denomination as you do.  Every house of worship is different and everyone in attendance is sure to want to be a good guest and do what’s appropriate.  Encourage your family and guests to join in for any prayers or songs.  Some services require congregants to stand or sit at various times in the ceremony.  Most will look for cues from others in attendance and make it feel as if your religious wedding ceremony truly feels like a community that is coming together on your special day.

Make Sure that Your Wedding Planner and the Venue are in Synch

Churches may also have in place guidelines as to the sort of décor that is permissible for your wedding ceremony.  Your wedding planner can help you coordinate everything according to established guidelines regarding flower arrangements, candles and other décor elements so that it all comes together perfectly.

Religious ceremonies and observances, especially for such important life events such as getting married can be deeply significant.  You want everything to be as perfect as possible. That is why it’s a good idea to work with a professional wedding planner.

Geri Sims of Atlanta Wedding Décor has been planning weddings and special events of every kind for more than 20 years.  She can help you as well.  Whether have chosen a traditional, ethnic or a more creative wedding, Geri can help you go over the details and coordinate with all of the other people who can make your wedding day as perfect as you imagine.

Contact Geri today to schedule an appointment to go over your wedding plans at 404-558-1300.


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