It feels so good to cross off items on my to-do list! I have all my documents for the church squared away. Today we met with our church wedding coordinator to put down our deposit. She was so sweet and seemed like she was genuinely interested in us. I have to admit, we were getting pretty frustrated early in our search for a church venue. We tried other churches in the area, but there were always obstacles--too expensive, not available on our date, closed to non-parishoners, or we would have to wait for a once-a-month information meeting to find out any information. Sometimes I would get the feeling that a particular church wasn't really interested in welcoming us ...we were just one of countless other couples eager to get married in their church. And when you're faced with astronomical fees on top of other fees, you start to feel like maybe your kind isn't the kind that gets to exchange vows at their church...you know, the kind without money.
But then I found St. Elizabeth in Altadena. Not only is it close to our reception site (an easy 3 miles!), it's gorgeous and the people are so warm and welcoming. We didn't have to go through a zillion steps just to meet with a priest to set a date. There aren't any unnecessary fees like a bench fee for family members to use the piano that's already sitting in the church. They ask that we pay at least $500 and that includes the church coordinator's fee (there's also a $250 marriage encounter weekend we must attend). Overall, we'll be paying $825 (we're going to give a donation to the priest and to the altar servers). Not only is the church affordable, but we feel like it's a great fit for our wedding, for us. They weren't critical about my fiance not being Catholic. We knew instantly that this is the church where we would become man and wife. Ahhhh, Man and Wife. I'm smiling silly as I type those words.