Featured Bride, Anna T.: The Search for the Perfect Pews

Featured Bride, Anna T. Wedding Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN | Wedding Date: May 19, 2012 “Most little girls start dreaming of what their wedding will be like someday, and they continue dreaming, until it gets closer to the time that they really start thinking about marriage.

Finding the perfect ceremony and reception locations.

There was one thing I took away from all those dreams I had when I was a little girl: I wanted church pews at my wedding.” (Featured Bride, Anna T.)

MN wedding ceremony and wedding reception venuesRiverview Baptist Church (West St. Paul, MN) and Shamrock Hall (Inver Grove Heights, MN)

Every bride has her own dreams about what her wedding will look like. Whether her dreams are down to the last detail or a bit more general, she usually has at least a few ideas that stick with her through the years.

Unfortunately, some real brides also discover that planning a real wedding can be discouraging at times, especially when one of those special details from their “dream wedding” becomes harder to obtain than they had hoped.


Anna's story:

Let me start off with a small fact: I am not Catholic. This means that church pews are not easy to come by. I started Googling like crazy to find as many churches in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that would let us get married there, without being a member of the church, and also for a reasonable price. We were not having much luck narrowing it down, so I decided that it might be easier to first get our wedding reception venue, and then find a church in the area around the reception venue. That way, the list of phone calls we would have to make to churches would be a lot smaller. We began searching for “perfect” wedding reception venues. I was looking at everything from country clubs to zoos to hotels and everything in between, but all of the wedding reception venues were so expensive, and working within a budget was already proving to be more difficult than we thought it would be. So we needed to find a wedding reception venue with some flexibility. After days of searching around the Internet, we came across Shamrock Hall in Inver Grove Heights, where some of our friends had gotten married and had their reception. We decided that it was something we wanted to look at more, so we called them to set up an appointment.

The perfect wedding reception venue!

We went in on a Saturday to check it out, and fell in love with it. We had our parents come in to look at it on Monday after work, and signed the papers that night! We were excited because we would be able to bring in our own caterer and liquor, there was no cake cutting fee, and they were available on our first choice for a date: May 19, 2012. We were happy and we would be able to save some money on top of it all. After the reception hall was booked, we started the search for my beloved church pews all over again. This time we had some criteria. Because the reception hall was in Inver Grove Heights, we would look in the surrounding area to find churches. Wayne and I compiled a list, split the list between the two of us, and started making phone calls.

“Do you have church pews?”

“Do you allow non-members to get married at your church?” was usually our first question. Those who said “yes” either did not have pews or they weren’t going to be able to hold the 300 guests that are expected to be at our wedding. It was becoming very discouraging, but we heard back from Riverview Baptist Church in West St. Paul right as I was beginning to give up on my whole “pews dream.” We have some friends who go there, so we were hoping that would help our case—and it did. They would allow us to get married in their church, bring our own pastor, AND they have pews! I was so ecstatic! I will be meeting with their wedding coordinator after January 1, and I can’t wait to start figuring out decorations and other details. This journey so far has been incredible; we have everything planned already (except for the cake), and are just enjoying being engaged. Our day is less than six months away and I wish I could fast-forward time so we could be there already—but I know that I need to savor this time because it goes by so quickly.


Thanks for sharing part of your journey with us, Anna! We love hearing from Wedding Shoppe Inc. real brides, and we are so happy to hear that you will get to have your “pews dream” on your big day! Keep us updated on the rest of your wedding planning process. ~Wedding Shoppe, Inc. Other Posts We Think You'll Love: Featured Bride, Anna T.: The Most Memorable Day of My Life Forever Classic Wedding Trends: Vintage Style Wedding Dresses NEW Spring 2012 Casablanca Bridal Gowns at Wedding Shoppe Inc.!

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Sarah Vreeland
May 16, 2019 06:53

You are not alone. We too booked our reception hall first, because finding a church was proven to be such a harder task than imagined! I wanted pews and a pretty background for those pictures taken during the ceremony – and so many churches had so many requirements!
I am glad you found something! Enjoy the rest of the planning!

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