Sifting through a seemingly endless list of gorgeous churches in Indianapolis can get exhausting, and that’s why I’ve compiled this list of the 4 best churches Indy has to offer with all of the histories you need to know!
But first, if you’re not sure the difference between a church and a chapel, check out last month’s blog here for all of the pros and cons you need to know!
The Sanctuary on Penn
The first church up is, of course, The Sanctuary on Penn! Of all of the churches in Indianapolis, The Sanctuary on Penn takes the cake for making your big day a completely stress-free experience.
Here, you get a full-service venue that’s all about your tastes, your wishes, your family, and your beliefs. As our website says, “It’s your wedding day, not ours… there’s no reason why you should have to compromise on anything, especially your venue.”
Whether you’re looking for a fabulous DJ, a skilled hairstylist, an artistic florist, or any vendor in between — you’ll find them here! Not to mention that with an all-day rental, two stories, a cozy patio, a lush courtyard, free city parking, and a capacity of 20-250 people there’s plenty of room for everyone!
As for the history of this church-turned wedding venue, The Sanctuary on Penn was built in two parts, mixing late gothic revival-style and romanesque revival-style – making it truly unique on the list of churches in Indianapolis.
The sanctuary’s interior features a large stained glass window on the west end depicting Jesus Christ, and affectionately referred to as ‘The Good Shepherd Window’ by its current owners. A dozen or so other stained glass windows can be found throughout both sections of the church, lending a fair amount of natural light to both the chapel and the sanctuary.
Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church, First Lutheran Church, the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, and the Indianapolis Near East Side Community Organization (NESCO) all organized at what is now The Sanctuary on Penn, and lent decades of history to the space.
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The Cyrus Place
If the one-stop-shop approach for the churches in Indianapolis appeals to you, then you simply must check out The Cyrus Place as well!
Nestled in the heart of historic Lockerbie, The Cyrus place boasts stunning stained glass windows in their main halls, a luxe bridal suite, a rustic groom’s quarters, and a one-event-per-day rental! As they put it, “we know that wedding planning can be overwhelming, and we’re here to help.”
Their incredible event team is always on standby to help you create the wedding of your dreams, and make sure that every little thing goes smoothly.
Another one of the churches in Indianapolis turned wedding venue, The Cyrus Place hosts everything Romanesque Revival – polychromatic brickwork, limestone accents, and a formerly slate-covered spire. Designed by architect D. A. Bohlen (most notable for the Indianapolis City Market, Morris-Butler House, and Crown Hill Cemetery’s Gothic Chapel) in the early 1880s, The Cyrus Place offers a prestigious location for your wedding.
The interior remains unaltered since its last remodel in 1928 and has dozens of stained glass windows, pristine hardwood floors, and tons of exposed brick boast. Formerly known as the First German Evangelical Church and Lockerbie Square/Central United Methodist Church, The Cyrus Place brings any eager couple all of the character they could hope for in an Indianapolis church venue!
If you’re looking for a gorgeous skyline view from the churches in Indianapolis on your big day, then Canal 337 may just be the one for you! Formerly known as both Buggs Temple and the Simpson African Methodist Episcopal Church, there is a LOT of history behind these walls.
After Buggs Temple was completely renovated, the building gained vaulted ceilings, exposed brick, and the classic beams you’d expect to see in an industrial renovation. An industrial church fusion? Yes, please!
Plus, Canal 337 features an expansive “preferred professionals” list to help you choose the best vendors for your day! These are going to be the people that are the best of the best at styling a wedding around such a unique venue.
Nestled at the north end of the Central Canal downtown, this venue will be a piece of cake (no pun intended) for you on your big day!
The Scottish Rite Cathedral
Despite not technically qualifying for the list of churches in Indianapolis because, contrary to its name, it is not a church and has never been one, The Scottish Rite Cathedral still deserves notable mention here. This fantastic feat of engineering can seat 650 people for dinner and 2,000 people for cocktail service – so if your guest count feels never-ending, there will still be plenty of space for everyone here!
Besides being able to offer 116,000 square feet of event space, the Scottish Rite also boasts some of the best cared-for German architecture that Indianapolis has to offer.
Looking for a truly elegant ceremony and reception in a major piece of Indy’s history? Then this may very well be the perfect venue for you!
Costing a massive $2.5 million to construct (that’s about $37 million today), The Scottish Rite Cathedral has held the title for being the world’s largest hall for Scottish Rite Freemasons since its construction was completed in 1929.
A notable mention for this cathedral on our list of churches in Indianapolis, its last renovation was in 1995, and included washing the decades of city pollution off of its limestone exterior, restaining the auditorium’s woodwork, and refurnishing their spring and felt assisted dance floor. Besides this general care, the cathedral has remained nearly unaltered over the near-century it has cut an imposing figure on Downtown Indianapolis’ skyline.
Add in the 54-bell carillon in the 212 feet high “Singing Tower,” and nothing could be more picturesque for your big day!