I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately.
This is a subject that is kind of hard for me to talk about, as it is greatly personal, but when I signed up to blog for Weddingbee, I committed to sharing my personal experiences as a bride and I promised myself that I would be 100% honest with y’all. So, I feel like it’s important for me to share the not-so-fun parts of wedding planning as well, and even the parts that are a bit painful for me to share.
In order for this story to really make sense, I feel like I need to give some back-story. It’s long and involved, and it might take some time to explain, so I’m going to break it up into a few parts. I know I’ve mentioned before that we have had some people who have been disappointed in some of our more non-traditional choices, and this week I want to really examine that issue and talk specifically about what those choices are and how we’ve been dealing with it. I know it’s an issue a lot of brides deal with, and I hope that by sharing our story I will help those brides realize that they are not alone and that while it might be painful and difficult, it is absolutely worth fighting for the things you want for your wedding.
So, let’s get to it.
I grew up in an extremely religious family ”“ my family was very involved in church (we attended three times a week, every single week), and my mom was the church secretary for most of my childhood. I absolutely adored my church and all of my friends there, and I was deeply connected to the church we attended. Some of the very best memories I have in my childhood come from that church, and I will always cherish the time I spent there.
When I was a freshman in high school, there was a church split. To this day, I still don’t know every detail of what happened, but I know it was big and I know it was ugly. I also know that my entire world was rocked and changed forever on the day that I found out that we would be leaving the church I had grown up in. To those of you who don’t attend church or who have never had a “home” church, this might not seem like a big deal, but you have to understand that for the first 15 years of my life I spend every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night in that church. I was extremely involved in the youth group, all of my friends were from the church, and so was my boyfriend. I spent countless days there growing up while my mom was working (I was homeschooled throughout elementary and middle school), so it was practically a second home to me.
My family left the church, and many of my friends (including some of my best friends, my sister and her family, and my boyfriend) stayed, at least for a few months longer. We began attending another church, and to be frank, I hated it. I didn’t speak up very much about it because it was clear that my parents wanted to be there, and they quickly threw themselves into being active in that church. They also tried to encourage me to become active, but I was not ready. They signed me up for a Bible study without telling me, and I was thrust into a group of girls who had known each other for years and who had grown up in THIS church in very much the same way that I had grown up in MY church. The new girls were great and I’m still friends with some of them to this day, and in all honesty, the church was a good church as well.
But it wasn’t my church, and it never would be. I wasn’t emotionally ready to get invested in another church, and I was still holding out hope that we would somehow go back to the church we had left. It’s a very difficult thing to explain, but to this day I still resist getting too involved in any church, because I feel that nothing will ever be as special to me as that church was.
I’m sure you’re wondering why in the world I’m babbling about my experiences with church on a wedding website. I promise it’s relevant.
When Mr. Cardigan and I got engaged, I kind of dreaded the thought of choosing a venue. Since we both are religious people and attend church regularly, it only seemed natural to get married in a church—that’s just what you do, right? But to me, church is a much more personal and emotional thing than just some building you get married in. It seemed wrong to me to just pick a random church that we liked and get married there, just because it’s a church. Since we don’t have a church that we really and truly consider “ours,” I just wasn’t comfortable having our wedding in a church. Something about it just felt wrong.
So, we chose to get married at our lovely venue, which is not a church.
Are you getting married in a church? Why or why not?
Next up, I’ll continue my discussion of how we’ve had to deal with people not approving of our decisions.