Author Topic: Classic Tacky: We Didn't get Married Here, We Just Want The Church As A Backdrop  (Read 31159 times)

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Thipu1

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In my experience (Roman Catholic) you do not pay a 'fee'.  You make a 'contribution' to the church.  We were married in a beautiful church and the contribution, which included an organist, was only about 50 USD. 

Catholic churches and, I believe, those of most mainstream Protestant denominations are semi-public property in that they are usually opened during the day for private prayer.  Unless the guest list for a ceremony is large enough to fill the entire church, anyone may come, sit in the back and watch the Wedding.  When I was a teenager, this was a standard Saturday morning entertainment. 

     

Sophia

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I might know the church from the story.  I say might because there is probably more than one Episcopal church that looks like a Gothic English castle.  I am Episcopalian in a nearby church and I have heard that this is regular occurrence and a huge problem.  Enough so that members of the church sometimes get married in another church just so that they don't have to deal with the angst of having to chase off random wedding parties.  I've heard stories of one showing up just as another is chased off.   Anyone with the gaul to take photos at a random church are not going to be chased away easily.

Jocelyn

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It would seem to me that the church could solve this by asking for volunteers to represent the church and keep random wedding parties from disrupting their weddings.  Any sufficiently bossy member with a cell phone would do. I'd volunteer for it!  ::)

WillyNilly

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Ok obvious the WP in the OP were rude because they were in the way of legitimate church business (the couple who were getting married there), but whats wrong with using a lovely church as the backdrop to photos so long one isn't in the way?  Such as in the  end of the story where the WP returned as the writer and his folks were leaving. 

Where I live (NYC) churches are tax free entities and its illegal to park in front of them.  So that means they are profiting off the surrounding community, even the community members who are not members of the church (by getting the benefits of the area without paying into the tax system that provides those benefits).  (We actually have a big problem in my neighborhood and have had to stop allowing new churches in because we were loosing too much of a tax base and on a personal level people were complaining about less street parking available.)

I think so long as they aren't disruptive, it should be perfectly fine for anyone to use a lovely church as their photo backdrop and I'm just not seeing the outrage...

Piratelvr1121

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There are some really pretty churches around our town, and some that are as old as the Civil War, if not older.  People like that would have an absolute field day here.  I'm talking stone churches complete with elaborate stained glass windows and steeples.  I could totally understand wanting pics of them, but to take a photo in front of it when you weren't even married there is really messed up!
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Sophia

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Assuming it is the church I am thinking of:

The people that do this are loud, as the SS variety of people seem to be.  As in, you can hear them inside the church.

I don't remember what the windows are like in this church, but in mine if someone were taking pictures outside they could be seen from the sanctuary. 
Thereby being distracting for the people actually attending a wedding. 

No one is allowed to park on the nearby street, church or not.  Church is back a little bit from a fairly busy road.  Parking is on the parking lot.

Which leads to another nuisance these people cause.  Of course they take the very close parking which is generally where the wedding party parks.

The outrage is because people are treating private property as a park.  It really isn't any different than someone posing in front of your house.  The church membership paid for that land and they have the use of it.  Taxes, or lack thereof, have no impact on etiquette.

WillyNilly

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Obviously being disruptive is, well disruptive, and therefore rude, at a church.  But really I'm not seeing how the mere act of using a church - which aren't really private property, they are certainly at least quasi-public - as a photo backdrop is wrong if the people doing so aren't disruptive.

Sophia

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I'm not precisely certain what quasi-public is supposed to mean. 

Venus193

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This is incredibly rude and any church that becomes a target for this should be able to do something about it.

When my cousin is ordained I will have to ask her what her church does.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 06:11:49 AM by Venus193 »

AngelBarchild

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Obviously being disruptive is, well disruptive, and therefore rude, at a church.  But really I'm not seeing how the mere act of using a church - which aren't really private property, they are certainly at least quasi-public - as a photo backdrop is wrong if the people doing so aren't disruptive.

The people being disruptive were rude. However I do not think it's rude to take pictures in front of a building. I don't see how it's any different than taking your picture in front of any other building.

artk2002

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I'm not precisely certain what quasi-public is supposed to mean.

There's an assumption that churches are public, in the sense that anyone at any time can enter the property. This is false*. Churches may have a policy of being open to the public, but there's no other law in force making them be open.

The analogy breaks down even if churches were public in the same sense as a civic building like city hall. City hall may be public, but I can assure you that there are things that can't be done there and there are people who can't get in, despite being taxpayers. It's absurd to think that because a building is "public" (in pretty much any sense), that you can simply do what you want. In many places, if you wanted to take wedding pictures in a public park, you'd have to get a permit.

*This is the US I'm talking about -- not sure about other countries where church and state are more closely entangled.
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WillyNilly

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I'm not precisely certain what quasi-public is supposed to mean.

A church is not private like a house or private business.  They are quasi-public in that they get financial/practical support from the general public - churches don't pay taxes but still have benefits of tax-paying private buildings like the roads in front of them maintained by the local government (pot holes filled, traffic lights installed & maintained, snow plowed, etc) and still get police & fire protections, etc.  Churches benefit directly and financially from the community around them even if those community members are not members of the church.  They are more like public atriums - the are private projects but not private property in the sense that they must have certain aspects available to the public.

There's an assumption that churches are public, in the sense that anyone at any time can enter the property. This is false*. Churches may have a policy of being open to the public, but there's no other law in force making them be open.

The analogy breaks down even if churches were public in the same sense as a civic building like city hall. City hall may be public, but I can assure you that there are things that can't be done there and there are people who can't get in, despite being taxpayers. It's absurd to think that because a building is "public" (in pretty much any sense), that you can simply do what you want. In many places, if you wanted to take wedding pictures in a public park, you'd have to get a permit.

*This is the US I'm talking about -- not sure about other countries where church and state are more closely entangled.

I know they aren't public space, and even if they were public, spaces like parks and municipal buildings have rules.

But that's not what I'm asking.  I'm asking why its rude.  I'm not talking about legalities.

I'm saying if people are being polite - not disruptive - and not breaking any posted or known rules, or even approached by church officials and asked not to take photos - why is there this automatic assertion that its rude to take photos at a church?  I'm simply saying its not a "given" that its rude.  Its up to each individual church to decide and up to those deemed in authority by the church to enforce.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 10:37:05 AM by WillyNilly »

AngelBarchild

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I'm not precisely certain what quasi-public is supposed to mean.

A church is not private like a house or private business.  They are quasi-public in that they get financial/practical support from the general public - churches don't pay taxes but still have benefits of tax-paying private buildings like the roads in front of them maintained by the local government (pot holes filled, traffic lights installed & maintained, snow plowed, etc) and still get police & fire protections, etc.  Churches benefit directly and financially from the community around them even if those community members are not members of the church.  They are more like public atriums - the are private projects but not private property in the sense that they must have certain aspects available to the public.

There's an assumption that churches are public, in the sense that anyone at any time can enter the property. This is false*. Churches may have a policy of being open to the public, but there's no other law in force making them be open.

The analogy breaks down even if churches were public in the same sense as a civic building like city hall. City hall may be public, but I can assure you that there are things that can't be done there and there are people who can't get in, despite being taxpayers. It's absurd to think that because a building is "public" (in pretty much any sense), that you can simply do what you want. In many places, if you wanted to take wedding pictures in a public park, you'd have to get a permit.

*This is the US I'm talking about -- not sure about other countries where church and state are more closely entangled.

I know they aren't public space, and even if they were public, spaces like parks and municipal buildings have rules.

But that's not what I'm asking.  I'm asking why its rude.  I'm not talking about legalities.

I'm saying if people are being polite - not disruptive - and not breaking any posted or known rules, or even approached by church officials and asked not to take photos - why is there this automatic assertion that its rude to take photos at a church?  I'm simply saying its not a "given" that its rude.  Its up to each individual church to decide and up to those deemed in authority by the church to enforce.

I agree, and I'm not sure how you could ever enforce a "Don't take pictures in front of our building" policy. You could ask them to not be on the property, but if they are on a public sidewalk I don't see what you could do. If they are not being disruptive I don't see why you would do anything, it's a building, just like any other really.

Sophia

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...I'm saying if people are being polite - not disruptive - and not breaking any posted or known rules, or even approached by church officials and asked not to take photos - why is there this automatic assertion that its rude to take photos at a church?  I'm simply saying its not a "given" that its rude.  Its up to each individual church to decide and up to those deemed in authority by the church to enforce.

Maybe this will help.  People pay money to have their wedding at the church.  In the case of the church I am familiar with which could be the one on the post, they pay lots of money.  Part of that is the use of the church property.  Use of this room for the bride to wait in, use of that room for some other purpose, the parking lot, and the grounds for taking pictures.  Part of the deal is that there won't be other things going on at the same time.  There won't be 100 boy scouts practicing archery just outside the church.  There won't be a bake sale in the parking lot.  There won't be a SS intruder wedding party taking pictures on the lawn of the church.  The intruding wedding party is taking something that someone else paid for. 

They are also disruptive enough that church members have been married in another church just to avoid the jerks. 

WillyNilly

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Sophia, if you are going to explain the position, please explain it to the question I am asking.

I am asking if they are not being disruptive why is it rude.  Yes I get it.  If someone paid for the time - or heck even if they just reserved it for free - its rude.  That's beyond obvious.  But that's not in the least bit what I'm inquiring about.

I'm asking if they aren't disruptive such as in the OP after the other wedding was over and the happy couple and their friends and family were leaving why is it rude to use the church as a backdrop?  Yes if someone has the space reserved - for money or not - they get the space.  I get that.  Or if services are going on, its disruptive.  Of if they are trampling the landscaping, or taking up parking spaces from guests or worshipers.  Really, really, really I do.

But if its early morning or late afternoon one day and there are no services or weddings, or rehearsals going on - why is that "rude" or "just wrong" or "tacky"?  Those are all words several posters have thrown out there in this thread.  Even in the OP the groom seemed put off these people were returning to use the church as the wedding was leaving and no longer using the church.  That's my question.  Not why is it rude to be disruptive or intrude upon people who have space reserved - I know the answer to that question.  Its not the specifics that I'm asking about, its the general - why is it a blanket statement rude to use a random pretty church as a photo backdrop?

Is it because its a church?  If it was a beautiful weeping willow tree, or a full bloom cherry blossom tree in a park would it be rude/tacky/wrong to stop and take photos there even if the couple didn't marry in the park?  Even if the park required permits for weddings (but they weren't having their wedding there, they were just taking some photos)?  If it was a family on vacation driving through the town and the church wasn't being used at the moment, would it rude for them to get out their car and pose for a picture in front of it?  Is it ok when its people in regular clothes versus wedding finery?