couple and wedding party kneeling at altar traditional catholic ceremony

Photo: Brit Perkins Photography

Years ago, weddings were traditionally and usually held in houses of worship. Times have obviously changed and while there are a variety of wedding venues to choose from, there are still many benefits to hosting a wedding at a house of worship. Note: While many houses of worship can only host ceremonies, there are some that have event space and can host receptions as well!

Here are five reasons you should consider choosing a house of worship as your wedding venue.


You and your fiancé want a religious ceremony.
While a wedding can feature religious elements in just about any ceremony venue, having your wedding in a house of worship puts the religious aspects front and center. For many couples, marrying in the presence of a higher power with the guidance of a priest, rabbi or imam is an important part of the wedding day.

You want a large (or small) wedding.
The size of a house of worship can vary greatly. The church you belong to may have pews that can seat upwards of one thousand, or you may attend a small synagogue that would only accommodate very close friends and family. Either way, a house of worship shouldn’t limit the size of your wedding because there are a number of options.

It’s a good venue for a daytime wedding.
With a house of worship, you usually have to work around the services schedule. Select times are usually available for weddings and they’re often in the daytime. A house of worship is a nice place to host a daytime wedding and then welcome your guests at a separate reception venue for lunch or an early dinner.

You want the wedding, not the reception, to be the focus.
For many couples, much of the wedding planning is focused on the details of the reception. But if you and your betrothed want the focus to remain on the ceremony, you could even choose to hold an understated reception in the house of worship itself, post-I Do. Many religious houses have an event room where you can host your guests for a low-key meal, cake and toasts.

It’s your childhood house of worship or your family has ties to it.
A house of worship can hold a special place in your heart if you grew up going there (or currently attend services). A house of worship is an integral part of a religious community and many couples want to wed there as a way of feeling the love and support of their extended religious family. If you and your fiancé feel at home in a particular house of worship, wedding there is a wonderful way to start your life together.