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.