Right after Michael and I got engaged I threw myself head-first into wedding planning. The were highs and there were lows, specifically breaking into hives from a stressful reception venue search. But things came together and before I knew it, we had a venue, a caterer, a photographer and my dress. I was floating around in the engagement happy bubble and decided that with the holidays coming up, I would put the planning on the back burner until January.

Well, January is here. And is more than half over. So, um, time to resume planning.

Next big items on the list are save-the-dates and invitations.

And oh yeah, a place to actually get married.

Our reception venue does hold ceremonies, but because of the set-up I’m not completely sold on holding it there. So that leaves us with finding a church. Which if you remember, we weren’t going to do.

Michael was raised in a very religious home. Raised Catholic, he grew up attending church and Sunday school, received his confirmation and said grace before every meal.

I didn’t grow up that way. My religious background is one I discussed a long time ago. You can read about it here. In short, while I was raised with values and the understanding that there was something bigger than myself, it wasn’t within the structured walls of an organized religion.

As you can imagine, this has never settled well with Michael’s mother. In her eyes, my life will never be complete unless I accept Jesus Christ into my heart. I tend to disagree, seeing as though my life is pretty good. Let me make it clear–I’m not anti-religion. Not even close. Iย believe in a higher power, the beauty of nature and the importance of being a good person.ย But finding religion–whatever religion I end up finding–is just something I need to do on my own.

Needless to say, when we decided to start looking at churches I was very apprehensive. Would we be able to find one that fulfilled Michael’sย beliefs while also allowing me to feel comfortable?

We have plans to visit one near our house. I’ve checked out their website and like the message they’re sending. Accepting of all backgrounds, promoting community. I also like that they hold two services: a traditional and a contemporary–leading me to believe that the laid back atmosphere I’m looking for actually exists.

I think finding our ceremony site will be the beginning of a personal journey for me. A journey that will hopefully lead me in a clear direction.

Only time will tell.