Well, it turns out that the pastor we'd already chosen has a problem with the church we found - Or rather, with the beliefs of the church we found. So basically, we needed to start all over. David called about 10 churches, and none of them did non-member weddings or else they did, but don't allow outside pastors. Finally, we found one that allows both: RiverWalk Church of Christ (formerly Central Church of Christ). However, the fee for using it is $800 - which is a whole $500 above what we budgeted for the church, and that doesn't even include our gift to the pastor we're using. We decided to go look at it anyway, because frankly we didn't have any other options. The church has very few restrictions as far as music choices or the service in general. Also, we could have our rehearsal dinner at the church after the rehearsal (for no extra charge) and we could decorate at any time on Friday. RiverWalk is beautiful (minus the yellow pews):
I loved the white steeple, the pews, and the stained glass. And if we used the screen at the front for our slideshow, it could be raised afterwards and the beautiful stained glass behind it would be visible. They also had a couple candleabras and holders for pew bows/decorations available for use. The only negative was the price, and we just couldn't seem to get over it. The secretary who gave us our tour and all of the information said she would put a note on our date and contact us if anyone asked about it, so it gave us some time to decide.
Have you had to sacrifice part of your budget for an alternative venue/vendor/item?