Where is This Shindig Going Down?
So, Clever Tribe- we have discussed the ring, the proposal and the fact you MUST hire a consultant. Now it’s time to determine where you will actually tie the knot. I am not talking about what fabulous location you have selected for the reception, but the ceremony.
What city? Chances are you are from different cities, but traditionally, whoever is footing the bill chooses the city. If her mom and dad are paying, and nothing is going your way, planning a party for your friends and family members after the wedding is an option; it needs neither to be expensive or fancy, simply a celebration (on your terms) of your marriage. You can plan on squabbles over location and money to commence early. Clever Guys, if you truly don’t have a strong opinion on either, siding with your future wife is the best course of action.
In addition to geographic location, you have to select a venue. What if you are of different faiths? Obviously, you have overcome this to the extent that engagement was possible.Theoretically, the marriage has been sanctioned by both families, but this does not mean the ceremony location has been agreed upon. If one of you is Jewish and one Christian, suggest both a rabbi and a pastor conduct the ceremony in a non-religious setting.
A non-denominational church would be an ideal setting, but don’t plan on an interfaith wedding to take place in a Catholic church or a temple without one of you converting. If converting is on the table, it should have nothing to do with the wedding – it’s an action that alters your lifelong belief system and will have an effect on both families. Be certain it’s something you both agree upon and desire, as you must be prepared to raise a child in the faith to which you have converted. When you get married, you are automatically involving the government, the church (not in every case) and the public. It becomes an institution and needs to be respected as such. Don’t enter into anything lightly. To come this far is a victory, but be aware: this is a marriage, not simply a wedding.
The person upon whom you bestow the honor of conducting the ceremony may or may not have any personal ties to you both as a couple, but be prepared because all parents are likely to chime in here. The rabbi you grew up with or the pastor of your soon-to-be-in-law’s church, or a close friend of the family- the list goes on and the debate is not likely to end until the day of the blessed union. Some states allow a friend or family member to be ordained at the county courthouse to conduct a ceremony designed by the couple. If you elect this path, be certain said friend is responsible and not likely to show up after firing back a twelve pack of Budweiser.
Hidden Costs of the Church Ceremony (the reception is an entirely different matter)
There can be numerous unanticipated extras associated with a church ceremony. Most charge between two and twelve hundred dollars to host your wedding. Cantors, singers, musicians, church coordination and janitorial expenses are not uncommon options. You can cut costs on floral by selecting a grand venue that needs little in the way of adornment- but don’t count on eliminating floral completely, as at minimum the wedding party will require flowers. Also, it is customary to tip your officiant and the church coordinator.