Planning Tips for a Church Wedding (1)

Photo Credit: Disney Weddings

Today’s guest post is from Michelle R. Mays. Michelle is the owner, lead planner and designer of RenayMeshell Events, a boutique wedding and event planning company based in New York City. Michelle treasures working with brides and grooms to manifest their wedding vision.

Church weddings are rather easy to plan as long as you know and follow the guidelines. If you start planning before receiving the guidelines, keep the ceremony simple and design an elaborate reception. Simple does not equal no décor, instead use statement pieces that will make an impact.

Read the full post after the cut!

This is Nadine and Peter’s church wedding planning story:

Peter recently asked Nadine to marry him and she said yes. Nadine knew she wanted the ceremony to take place at their church. Nadine and Peter also knew that they wanted to marry on the date Peter proposed. They picked the date, July 11th, 2015 and started planning. Nadine selected the reception venue that had the outdoor garden she always envisioned for her pictures.

Planning Tips for a Church Wedding (4)

Photo Credit: Braedon Photography

When Nadine called the church office to find out the requirements and guidelines for scheduling their church ceremony, she was informed that they must complete paperwork which required them to list 3 wedding dates. Hmm, Nadine thought. She said “3 dates, but we already selected our date?” The receptionist took down their date and said she will check with the church wedding coordinator and call her back with confirmation. Later in the day Nadine received the call and good news, the Pastor was available!

They continued on with the process and began filling out the forms. Since they were both members of the church, the only requirements they needed to clarify were the level of involvement their wedding coordinator would have in the church ceremony as well as décor limitations.

Planning Tips for a Church Wedding (2)

Photo Credit: Darin Fong Photography

After a second call to the church office, Nadine found out that her wedding coordinator would serve as the church wedding coordinator’s assistant. They were allowed to decorate the pews as well as the entrance, however no decorations were allowed at the altar. Nadine was also informed that the tossing of floral petals was not allowed – good thing she was already considering pomanders for her flower girls to carry! Lastly, Nadine found out that she may also leave the flowers as a gift to the church. Nadine decided to do just that, and increased the floral budget.

A few points to keep in mind as you begin planning your church ceremony

• Some churches may require that both or one (bride/groom) of you be a member or an active member for a period of time before the ceremony date.

• Know the requirements for the ceremony rehearsal. Is there flexibility for the day of the week and the time of day? How much time is allowed? Do all members of the wedding party have to attend?

• There may be restrictions for the day of the week and the time of day that the ceremony takes place.

• Have at least 3 dates in mind when requesting the pastor’s/minister’s/ reverend’s availability and confirm immediately.

• When the church has a church wedding coordinator, an outside wedding coordinator is typically permitted to assist with the ceremony. The outside wedding coordinator takes on the role of assistant to the church wedding coordinator if allowed to assist with the church ceremony.

• Co-officiates are not allowed unless they are affiliated with the church.

• Church floral décor may be considered a gift to the church, so you want to be sure you confirm the guidelines and factor this into your floral and décor budget.

• To eliminate carpet and floor staining, some churches no longer allow the tossing of flower petals. A beautiful alternative is to have your flower girl(s) carry pomander(s).

Planning Tips for a Church Wedding (3)

Photo Credit: Elle Danielle


  • Select the church
  • Request and carefully read the church’s guidelines
  • Confirm the pastor’s/minister’s/reverend’s availability
  • Set the date
  • Design and plan
  • Say I Do

Happy planning and wedding blessings!

Thanks Michelle! For more information about RenayMeshell Events, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Michelle? Add them to the comments below!