After we’d fully ruled out White Chapel for our ceremony, I was given the go-ahead to contact the wedding coordinator at a church just down the road from our venue, First United Methodist Church of Arlington (what a mouthful!). The first woman we dealt with was unreasonably stingy with information. Because of our long engagement, we told her we wanted to become involved in the church we chose to be married in and become members. She was a little older and very suspicious of our motives for membership. It was true that we had heard members paid a lower fee, but we also were earnest in our desire to join the church!
Regardless. This church could not be more perfect in my eyes. It is literally two blocks away from our reception venue, historic, and Methodist, like us! This church was the perfect size, and gorgeous.
One thing we both thought fascinating about this church was that it was built in 1907, and it has tragically burned down since then not once, but twice! The church never gave up hope, and was always rebuilt on the same foundation. I thought this was an amazing metaphor for marriage!
Photo by Simple Moments
Photo by Johnathan Ivy
Photo by Johnathan Ivy
The sanctuary held around 800, and the intimate chapel held 100. The first time I saw the gorgeous sanctuary, I was sold, but we knew with our budget we would probably be in the chapel.
I have to admit that when I emailed the wedding director about policies and fees, I was filled with dread. After our experience with White Chapel I worried that we might not be able to afford the church wedding that Mr. Man wanted, or would have to draw drastically from all other areas of the budget to make it happen. Luckily, we were not as shell-shocked by the cost this time. Unfortunately, the woman in charge would not even give us a hint as to what the member cost would be at this point, so that would remain a mystery for quite some time.
Non Member Fees
And because awesome people make lists….
- Location! It was SO close to our reception location that if our friends/family got lost on the way, well…that was out of my control. We did all we could!
- Price! Even the non-member prices were cheaper than the member fees at White Chapel. The coordinator even let us elect to have someone we know marry us to avoid the $250 pastor honorarium (fee).
- Decor—The sanctuary and chapel were both so nice already that we wouldn’t have to spend a ton on flowers or decorating.
- We had to have live music, which meant either paying $225 for the organist or find our own live musicians, which would have their own fee plus $100 for a required sound technician.
- Our flower girls weren’t allowed to throw anything! No flowers, real or fake! Also, supposedly no glitter or rice or anything outside. This was a real bummer, but I found a pro-photo of people tossing things, so maybe it’s allowed under the radar. 😉
- We might have to be in the smaller chapel and not the sanctuary, if we didn’t find out member prices before we had to book.
On the grand scheme of things, the cons are nothing compared to the pros! We booked it right away, and since at this point we were still over a year away from our date, we didn’t have to commit to the sanctuary/chapel just yet. I became a member and we attended church at least every other weekend to service for four or five months. The snarky lady was still not impressed enough by our dedication to grant us the member price, but good news is coming!