One of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding day will be where to hold your wedding ceremony – will it be outdoors (like garden) or inside a church? With me, I originally thought that a garden ceremony was part of my dream wedding. This idea eventually changed as we dip our hands into the planning process. Most of our wedded friends suggested that having our ceremony in a church is much more convenient in terms of producing document requirements for our future kids’ school etc. Hearing about our future kids’ school requirement is not that appealing at that time, but after several discussions and deliberations, we kind of agreed to it — after all, Philippines is still dominantly a Catholic country.
Church it is! Once you have decided that it is going to be a wedding ceremony in a church, several other considerations will appear – will it be an intimate or a grand wedding? What kind of ambiance would you like to experience? What tone would you like to set for your dream wedding? Your answers to these questions will affect your choice of a church. Here are some practical considerations that will hopefully help you decide.
Choose a church that has some sentimental value, some connection or that has meaning to you or your fiancé. This way, you will feel thrilled to get hitched in a place that is special to you both.
We had 2 choices: St. Pancratius Chapel in Paco Park and Transfiguration Chapel – Caleruega in Nasugbu, Batangas.
When I first visited Caleruega Retreat House, also-known as Transfiguration Chapel way back when I was in high school, I knew it will be something special in my life. I was bowled over by its charming little chapel atop a mountain, its lush greenery, its quiet peaceful surroundings, cool climate and panoramic view.
Although there were rumors circulating during our HS retreat that there is a white lady in the chapel, the creepiest part of it is that the white lady was an abandoned bride. Her groom did not show up that caused her to commit suicide.
Despite the creepy white lady story (which didn’t bother me at all), this lovely chapel is closer to my heart. We visited it together once before and that gave it more meaning. I silently wished, hoped and prayed that someday we will go back here for our wedding.
We did go back, this time for our ocular visit, a delicate smile painted my face as I was reminded of my silent prayer. When we entered the chapel, I just knew this is the one.
Your church must be readily accessible, easy to locate, have ample parking space and is near your wedding reception venue. For out-of-town weddings, it is best to provide a map or directions included in your save-the-dates or invitations. Your guests will love you even more for it!
Do you prefer a day wedding or night wedding? Formal or a more casual wedding? In all cases, the choice of church will set the tone for the kind of wedding you desire.
In our case, we initially wanted a night wedding to have a dinner reception. But since we combined the idea of having a garden wedding and a church ceremony — Caleruega IS THE perfect spot for us! It allows guests to enjoy the greeneries just like in a garden, and it also adheres to the Pinoy wedding traditions.
Size Of Guests
Determine whether your wedding will be an intimate affair or a big one. This will help you in choosing a church that will accommodate all your invited guests.
Cathedrals or basilicas are suitable for such big weddings. Chapels, on the other hand, are apt for intimate nuptials.
Since we also desire to celebrate with an intimate group of families and friends, this petite chapel fits the bill.
Most churches charge a fee for weddings. Find out the associated fees from your desired church and compare it to your allotted budget. Also consider if the church includes flower arrangements, if not, consider the size of the church and the flowers required to dress up the venue which will add up to the needed budget.
Moreover, be aware of the rules and regulations as well as the limitations and restrictions followed in the church of your choice.
Find out if you can write your own vows; select your own readings; select your own songs; wear a wedding gown that suits your taste, even if it means it’s less conservative; throw rice grains or rose petals etc.
I hope this equipped you in finding and choosing your dream wedding venue.
Happy wedding prep!
*Originally posted in Brodude + Ladybabe Wedding Planner