Many couples think that by having their wedding in a church, they’ll be saving the cost of a venue rental. Unfortunately, this isn’t so. The Bridal Association of America shows the average rental cost of a church running between $400 and $450. Of course this is only an average. It may be that your hometown church, located in a small town, may only charge you $100. But if you are in a large city, the rental cost could run you $1,000 or more. If you are looking at getting married in a famous church, you could be looking at a substantially higher rental cost.
Depending on the church, you may also be faced with an additional cost for the officiant as well as a refundable cleaning deposit. The rental cost for most churches includes rental of the church for 4 to 5 hours (so that you’ll have time to set up) and will generally include a rehearsal which is normally held the evening before the wedding.
There are some churches that will offer wedding packages that include all of the services you’ll need – including the officiant, cleaning, organist and all the decorations you’ll need. As with anything to do with a wedding, prices vary significantly and depend a great deal on the church and the area of the country or state you are planning your service in. As a general rule, packages run anywhere from a low of $400 up and through $2,000.
One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that even when you purchase a package deal, you still could end up paying extra fees. For example, decorations the church provides may not include flowers or an aisle runner. Unity candles or a wedding canopy are sure to cost extra. And you could even be charged an extra fee if you want the church bells to ring at the conclusion of your service.
If you are a member, or your parents are a member of the church where you plan on getting married, you may end up getting a substantial discount, so be sure to ask. There are many small town churches that will charge very small rental fees to members – mainly just to cover any cleaning costs. Of course, in these cases donations are always appreciated.
Churches tend to book up very quickly and far into the future in busier locations. You also may need to put a deposit down to hold the church as well. If this is the case, be sure to ask about their refund policies as well.