Thursday, September 1, 2011

We have a Church!

For the past 10 months I’ve spoken almost exclusively about the reception, and neglected the part where we actually, you know, get married. So not long after we finally chose our reception venue, I called up my church and booked the date.

Michael and I don’t think this blog is an appropriate place to talk about our religious views, but one of the few things I had always envisioned about my wedding as a girl was getting married at First Presbyterian Church- Tower Hill, in Red Bank, NJ. Known to many in the area as ‘the church on the hill’, Tower Hill is a beautiful church- my mother always called it a Christmas card church. I wish I could find more pictures of the sanctuary- as far as churches go, it’s very pretty!

The grounds are lovely too and should make a beautiful back drop for family photos after the ceremony. Speaking of the ceremony, that’s probably the most nerve-wracking part- it’s a pretty long aisle I’ll be walking down! The sanctuary was renovated a few years ago and also has air conditioning- good news for my summer weddding! Also, the church in Red Bank is less than half an hour away from the reception at the Supper Club in Asbury Park.

My father and brother left the church years ago, but my mother, sister and I stayed members. My mother worked there for about 20 years, cooking the dinners for all the church’s weekly youth groups. I still think of that kitchen as hers. I practically grew up there- I was in choir, youth groups, handbells, attended and then taught Vacation Bible School and Summer Music camp 4 weeks out of the summer, and even taught Sunday school as a teenager. Even though I know longer attend, when I tried to envision our ceremony on the beach or in a garden or a room at a venue, it just didn’t feel like my ‘real’ wedding.

I live out of state now, but I still feel the sense of community I had there. When my mother passed away last year, her service was held at Tower Hill and I was astounded by the number of church members who came, people I hadn’t seen in a decade. My mom was a fixture in that church, and it’s the main reason we’re getting married there. I remember her telling me when I was young that couples usually got married in the bride’s church, and so the vision has stuck with me this whole time, walking down that long, red-carpeted aisle with the sun streaming through the huge windows. I can picture my mom in the front row.

So we’ve got a ceremony site, we’ve got a reception venue, I’ve already made inroads with our DJ and photographer- it looks like we’re really getting married! Let’s do this thing! Is it June 29th yet??