How to choose a wedding ceremony site
Churches and other places of worship are a good option for couples seeking a more traditional wedding ceremony. We at WeddingVenture.com are not going to speak for all the religions, but from our experience seeing our friends getting married in several churches of different denomination, wedding ceremonies are generally performed free of charge by the minister, priest, rabbi, etc. (a small donation to the church is expected, however).
Benefits of getting married in a church
One unique benefit of being married in a church is that the couple who gets married in a church is more likely to take the ceremony and the future union much more seriously than they would otherwise. This is not surprising, since the vows the couple gives here are the vows they give in the presence of their God. Overall, during the ceremony the couple feels a deeper spiritual connection as they would otherwise.
Another benefit is that the couple's officiant is likely to be very experienced at performing marriage ceremonies and had "practiced" with the script before :) That means that, again, the couple will not need to spend time creating the ceremony script or their own vows.
Finally, unlike the courtroom, the church in most cases can be decorated before the ceremony begins and at least some wedding procession music is welcome throughout.
Disadvantages of getting married in a church
On the other hand, having your wedding ceremony at a church or a place of worship may require time-intensive preparations. For example, before the wedding ceremony can take place, the couple may need to spend time with the minister getting to know him and discussing the sacred duties of marriage, the bride and groom may need to each go to a confession, etc. The exact time and effort needed depend on the religion.
In addition, again depending on the religion, a religious wedding ceremony may be very long, slow and even uncomfortable for the guests (in some religions, the ceremony could last 1-2 hours, during which time the entire wedding party and guests must remain standing).
On a final note, due to religious events and holidays, it may not be possible to perform a wedding ceremony on certain blackout dates. :) Thus, the couple that wants to hold their ceremony at a church could be constrained by the calendar or religious holidays.
In summary: weddings in a church
Pros: "free" (donation expected), no need to create own script and vows, experienced officiant, deeper religious connection between newlyweds
Cons: potentially long process, slow pace, "blackout" dates apply, time-intensive preparations may be required