After all my drama about where to have the reception, you may have noticed I never mentioned where we are actually getting married.
That’s because it was one of our easiest decisions.
We’ll be getting married at my church.
You might recognize my church”¦its at the North end of Michigan Avenue, on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Fourth Presbyterian Church is a beautiful old building, and very popular for weddings. It was even the church in My Best Friend’s Wedding! All of that doesn’t really matter to me (and, in fact, those things make it more expensive). What matters to me is that it’s my church. I’m a member there. I sit on several committees. I helped with decor for our Annual Mission Benefit. My grandparents were married there. And most importantly, I know the pastor(s) and they know me. We even got engaged there.
Image via esenam photography
I can’t imagine getting married by a stranger, and the idea makes Shamrock uncomfortable too.
It’s not his church, however.
Shamrock is Catholic and attends Mass at Old St. Patrick’s downtown (which is also very pretty). I offered to check that church out as well, but he said my church is fine with him—and he knows the pastor as well.
Asking the pastor was actually one of the first things I did, before I contacted the church and found out how to book a wedding there.
I was surprised to encounter pushback on the church issue from BOTH of my parents—I guess I assumed as an active member of a church no one would have anything to say about getting married there.
First my father suggested I was being “picky” when I said we could only get married on a Saturday. He told me he understood if that’s what we really wanted, but that we would have a lot more options if we would be open to a Sunday. My church has four services on Sundays. The only day weddings are permitted is Saturday, and I want to get married at my church. We also can’t do a lunch reception, which was originally on the table because the church is so structured—ceremonies are at 12, 2:30 and 5 pm. Since most lunch receptions expect you to be out by 4:00pm at the latest, this won’t work with the church timing.
The real surprise was my mom though—she’s also an active member of a church; the one I grew up in. She didn’t question it at first when I said we were getting married at Fourth, but when I commented on how expensive it is, she asked if we had considered my childhood church. I told her I had mentioned it, but that Shamrock didn’t like it, and things were downhill from there. She’s fine with our decision now, but I think I hurt her feelings when I said neither of us wanted to get married there.
Oh, and Shamrock’s Mom? The devout Catholic who attends church six days a week? She’s totally fine with it. Figures.
I stayed firm, and am really looking forward to getting married at the place where I attend worship most* Sundays, by a person who knows me well.
Did you get pushback on anything that surprised you? Are you getting married in a church?
*Since Shamrock is Catholic, we try to go to church together about half the time, alternating churches. So one Sunday a month I’m at mass with him.
- HS Math Teacher
- Wedding Date:
- June 2014
- Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL & Cheney Mansion, Oak Park, IL