So I went to the chapel...

My first impression as I pulled up to the church was "wow this is pretty!". I also realized that it was directly off Las Olas Blvd, which is Fort Lauderdale's most famous street (resturants, shopping, hotels, boat chaters) that my fiance and I spend a lot of time strolling around, and then to the left of the church was a little park situated on the river - a perfect back drop for photos. I found my way to the front desk and spoke to a woman who turned out to be one of the wedding coordinators. She was....nice (I guess), but hardly displayed any kind of emotion - lots of blank stares, but whatever. She handed me the wedding planning packet and then led me to the sanctuary...

(I found this picture on the website for the church)
It was beautiful in there, but it was sooo big! I feel like my guests (of around 80) are gonna be lost in there - but I loved it. I must admit that I felt a little overwhelmed in there - all I heard in my head was "Oh my gosh I'm getting married"...I even walked the marble aisle and envisioned my fiance waiting for me at the alter. (BYO, I ended up going by myself). To be honest, growing up I did always see myself getting married in a church - but with reality and a recession in my face I just wanted to cut costs as many ways as I could. However, after visiting the church yesterday, I'm glad that my fiance brought this up - but let's get to business...
The cost to use the church is $350 (which is what got me interested) - but by the time other fees are added in such as the minister, the wedding coordinator, seminar (which must be completed), a custodian (?), the organist, then my mom said we might as well throw in a soloist - it's gonna cost us around $1000.
Then there are stipulations such as:
- We have to use the churches music (no tape or cd's are allowed) which is why we need the organist and soloist
- No flash photography is allowed at during the Worship Service, it's fine during the processional and recessional though, there's something about using still lighting but I have to ask about that
- No throwing of rice or even rose petals are permitted
- No children under 5 are permitted to be in the wedding party (I was gonna use my niece who would almost be two at that point, so I can't use her, and it's not like she'd be able to throw flowers anyway - so I guess I wouldn't be able to have a flower girl)
Of course I complained about the price tag but my mother mentioned the fact that it's not as if we also have to pay for a reception site since we'll be using our home. The church also provides an area for the wedding party to get dressed and the deposit for the church is only $100 - which I can live with. Also with the church being situated between Las Olas and the park, she pointed out that we'll be able to have a variety of scenery for the pictures without having to drive all over town. The church is probably about a 15-20 minute drive from our house which is also great.
So I guess that's the church I'll be using...I can't really say that I feel like hunting for more - at this point I just want to get started. It's beautiful, located in the most desirable neighborhood in town, and it's close to home. I should be able to put my deposit down after the Holidays, as all my upcomming paychecks will be spent on gifts, and taking advantage of Christmas sales to pick up a few items for the dinner/reception - I've already got my eyes set on some chargers, I'm just waiting for the sale to get under way, lol.

6 comments :

AmyJean {Relentless Bride} said...

That church is gorgeous! AWESOME! I love it ! Congrats on finding the ceremony venue! :)

T. E. C. said...

How exciting! I am so glad that you are finally feeling some sense of accomplishment. It is such a bummer when we ladies feel like we are not moving in the right direction.

I have had some of the same concerns. The church that I will be getting married in also has some of the same similar stipulations so it's probably safe to say that that just kinda comes with things. No need to look any further. The church I am using is my aunt's church (since the wedding is in Dallas and we live in Atlanta). We are being charged for the clean up and to use their music, and we also can not throw real petals. I guess I've learned to live with that because i found some cute silk petals with glitter on them. I kinda like the glitter idea so I'll live if I have to throw fake petals on the runner. As far as the music, well at least I'll have someone to hold accountable if it gets messed up. I guess thats what we are estially paying for, the services of the person to be in charge of it and not just the music, per se. Also, the church I'm using is really big too and I'm scared it will swallow my 100 guest (approx) but I guess we'll see.

I like the idea of it being in a great district and great photo opts. I'm so happy you found a great place. And I'm sure the recpetion will be absolutely beautiful at your home. I saw those pics when your FH was building the table in the backyard and it looked really nice.

I'm so happy for you!

EliandMe said...

It's beautiful. Really beautiful. And, personally, I would rather have (or hear) an organist and/or soloist than a CD. I'm not sure about the 'no wedding party under five' rule, that would have been a dealbreaker for me, but then I appreciate that my situation is slightly different! And how exciting to get the first element booked, thats when it all starts to feel real x

My Dream Ring said...

There are a lot of restictions. Are you willing to forgo your neice form the wedding party? She could just carry a kissing ball instead of throwinf flowers. Also you can't have pics while you exchange vows? WOW. From the picture it looks nice and the price is great.

CURLY+NERDY said...

@ Dream Ring -
we can have pictures while exchanging vows, it's just that still lights will have to be set up b/c no flash can be used at that point, I'm going to clarify all of that with the church though before I give them my deposit - the rest of the stipulations are ok I guess, from what I hear any church I go to will have their own set of rules - they're not too bad, I can deal...the positives out weigh the negatives...I'm really happy about it and to get the rest of the wedding elements together...I may have even found my dress!

CURLY+NERDY said...

Oh thank you so much for the encouragement

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