[quote="jc1234, post:7, topic:261415"]
First, thank you for your responses. Yes, I know my original idea doesn't make any sense. There's a couple of reasons why I wanted to do a small church wedding followed by some sort of ceremony at the reception venue. One, most of the churches in NYC asks for a church fee and they can be quite expensive. I know it's considered as a donation to the church but I'm trying to save where I can. So I figured I can do a church wedding with just our family the day before the reception at our church in NJ. Two, the venue is really beautiful and has a great view and they're letting us have the ceremony there for free. Having a short blessing at the venue will allow us to have all our guests be part of some sort of ceremony and they won't need to go through the hassle of traveling between church and reception specially with the NYC rush hour traffic.
Does my original idea make any more sense now that I've explained the reasons?
And yes, you're all right that I should have looked at churches first before booking our reception. I didn't know better. My plan is to talk to a few priests and see what my options are. Hopefully they can enlighten me with an idea on how I can make this happen. If not, I will probably have to do a church wedding with everyone. The guests will just have to bare the travel hassle.
Actually, the price of a contribution to the church is negotiable based on your budget. Say you were to go without additional flower arrangements (most churches are so beautiful that you don't need them), and have your wedding mass in conjunction with a normal mass... the cost would be GREATLY reduced (though you would have to put up with people other than guests being at your wedding in that case). You could go with some combination or whatnot, and you could find a church reasonably close to your reception location. (the option to celebrate a wedding during a normal mass cuts cost because it reduces heating, lighting, and staffing costs for music minister/priest, etc)
Priests will work with you on cost issues and there are always ways to cut back.