Not many people are getting married in Church these days. Over a quarter of a million people get married in the UK every year but approximately 70% of those are civil ceremonies. So, the remaining 30% of weddings are being shared between churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious buildings.
The reason that I’m focusing on churches specifically is because of the recent row about same sex marriages in Church, which concluded with the first same gender ceremony between Jan Tipper and Bar Burden. If I was CEO Reverend whoever, in charge of Christian business and venue sales I wouldn’t have dragged this out for quite so long, saying, ‘hell yeah, all business is good business’.
Civil ceremonies are great, the wedding happens at one venue so the logistics are easier without travelling to a new location for the reception and nobody is going to make you sing. Having said that, Church weddings offer a great aesthetic in both the church itself and there’s the chance to ride in a fancy carriage to the wedding breakfast. Oh yes, and you get to marry in the presence of God.
Not everybody that attends a Church wedding as a guest, or even the bride and groom, will be regular visitors to the house of God. If Off To Wed can offer any advice to those of you that feel uncomfortable in a church, it’s simply, relax. Try and keep the effin and jeffin to a minimum, don’t worry about your attire, there doesn’t seem to be a specific dress code – wedding attire will be smart enough. What could go wrong, there will be an order of service telling you what to do, you’ll be told when to stand up or sit down. You won’t be judged on your ability to sing, besides which the words never really match the tune of the hymns anyway so everybody sounds bad.
What’s the worst that could happen? I’ve never seen anybody be thrown out of a church, you’ve got more chance of getting thrown out of a night club that you’ve paid to attend than a church and lets face it there doesn’t seem to be much of a security presence. Even if you do manage to get yourself ejected from the ceremony, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to get ruffed up on the way out.
I’m sure the Church would prefer it if you are a believer but, if you aren’t that religious, a Church wedding will offer a great backdrop to the ceremony and following the changes that took place this year, it doesn’t even have to be boy meets girl to get married in Church anymore. Maybe the term ‘same sex wedding’ will soon even be replaced with ‘wedding’.Tschornow Photography