A priest rants about modern weddings

A friend alerted me to a fine rant by a priest, who has the unlikely name of Reverend Know-It-All.  I hope our mail doesn’t get mixed up.

In any event, Rev. K-I-A has good observations about weddings.  Weddings can be occasions of great joy and hope.  They can also be a serious posterior pain and severely unedifying.

Here are some samples from Rev. K-I-A’s piece on his blog, whose stats I urge you to spike by reading the whole thing there.

Dear Rev. Know it all,
I visited your church once and am thinking about having my wedding there. How long is your main aisle?
Mary O’Burne

Dear Mary,

I am often asked that question, and never quite understand it. Are brides curious about the length of the aisle because they think a longer aisle may give them a few more minutes to back out of the whole thing? Or, as I suspect, does a long aisle prolong the glorious promenade of which a young girl dreams as she thumbs through bridal magazine as she contemplates her special day, when all eyes focus on her as she approaches her enchanted prince and all the world thinks she’s gorgeous and knows that she has bagged her man just as surely as a Wisconsin bricklayer bags a deer and ties it onto the roof of his pick up truck? I have certainly seen a few grooms who look like a frightened deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck.
Why is it that weddings cause people to spend so much time, energy and money? And more money. The average American wedding costs almost $29,000, according to “The Wedding Report”, a market research publication. $29,000!” Oh, by the by, the usual donation to the church is about $200.00. That $200 goes to the church, not to the priest. The usual gift to the priest is a hearty handclasp. The usual cost of the photographer is $2,000.00. All this tells me that the photographs are ten times more important than the grace of the sacrament, in most peoples’ estimation. The usual fee for the DJ is $1,500.00. I am consoled by this. It means that painful, occasionally obscene music loud enough to cause brain damage is only 7.5 times more important than the grace of the sacrament.

You must be thinking why is this guy so down on weddings? I am down on some weddings because I am very “up” on the sacrament of matrimony and really in favor of marriage. That’s why the modern method of marrying and the wedding industry make me crazy. They militate against marriage. Here is the heart of my complaint. IT IS STUPID TO SPEND MORE TIME AND MONEY PREPARING FOR THE WEDDING THAN YOU DO PREPARING FOR THE MARRIAGE!!! I have known people who are still paying the credit card bills generated by the wedding years after the marriage is over.

The Modern Method of Marriage, a Reprise. The following is taken from my own experiences and things people have told me (outside of confession, you’ll be glad to know.) Here goes.

A young man and a young woman meet and have a few dates. They go for a weekend at a bed and breakfast where they bed one another, and then have breakfast. If he isn’t too much of a jerk and she isn’t too picky, they are then an item. She goes to the doctor gets a prescription and goes on to a more permanent form of birth control. At some time during this stage, the uncomfortable meeting with the parents happens. Everyone is polite and “supportive.” Secretly the father of the young woman who knows exactly what’s going on, contemplates buying a gun and the mother of the young man begins gossiping with whomever will listen about how her little boy could do better. After a while, if things hold up, they begin to have the conversation about taking their relationship to the “next level” by which they mean shacking up, as we used to call it. Now, I think it’s called moving in together.

Mom and Dad buy housewarming gifts in an attempt to, once again, be supportive. They don’t want their little dears to hate them and besides, it’s what everyone is doing these days, so it can’t be wrong. They have vague thoughts about getting married at that point and mom explains to grandma and to friends at church that they are just doing it to save money for the wedding. At this stage an engagement ring may appear. At some point, when they think about getting the house and the kids, because that’s what you do, they decide to have the wedding.

They rent the hall and then go see the priest. He tells them there are four other weddings that day and they respond, “but we’ve rented the hall already.” Someone suggests a garden wedding if the church is occupied. The priest says we can’t do garden weddings. (More on this later.) The young couple begins to complain about how narrow-minded the Church is with all these rules and regulations. They eventually pick a date. Then the bottom drops out. It seems the groom is not Catholic. He was baptized in the First Reformed Church of the Druids, though he never practiced. This means there must be a dispensation for the marriage, another irritating Catholic invention, and the wedding date cannot be confirmed until the dispensation is received.

[...]

Read the rest there.  Hint: He does back off a bit.

He also has some sound idea on church music.

Technorati Tags: ,

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Mail from priests, The future and our choices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to A priest rants about modern weddings

  1. Paul H says:

    I have attended Mass celebrated by Reverend Know-It-All a few times, and have spoken with him once. (His parish, St. Lambert in Skokie, Illinois, is located about a block away from my mother-in-law’s house.) He seems like a great priest. He has more good stuff on his blog, if you look through the older posts. He is pretty good at using humor to make serious points about the faith, though he does tend to write long posts.

  2. Ioannes Andreades says:

    About the only thing that rings untrue in this scenario is that there ever will be a ring/proposal offered by a man who is already living with his girlfriend. There’s no incentive. I’ve met serveral women living with their boyfriend who are sure that they’ll get the ring this Christmas/New Year’s Eve/Valentine’s Day/birthday, etc., despite past holidays frought with disappointment.

  3. basilorat says:

    Father needs to learn a few tricks of the trade from my priest friends.

    For Example: When doing a convalidation of a Jew and a Catholic, when asked, “what should we give the priest?” Simply say, “ohhh, whatever you give the rabbi will be fine with me too!” The average rabbi won’t come and do any service for less than $1,000!

  4. priests wife says:

    basilorat- oooo- great advice! the same happens with mixed Byzantine Catholic-Orthodox weddings- my husband does all the counseling, etc and gets $50 maybe- the Orthodox asks for $1000+ and gets it

  5. Ohio Organist says:

    Rev. Know-It-All makes some astute observations about the amount of money people spend on weddings and how their spending reflects their priorities. As an organist, it’s always irked me a bit that the DJ gets paid around 10 times what I’m paid to play for a wedding Mass, and all he has to do is push a few buttons and read a script. And of course, some people are shocked and outraged that they have to pay church musicians at all – especially when I have to be the mean, nasty guy who tells them they can’t have their favorite country song for a processional.

  6. amenamen says:

    @”It seems the groom is not Catholic. He was baptized in the First Reformed Church of the Druids, though he never practiced.”

    But his parents (all, or most of them) are active Druids, and they would like their Priestess to con-celebrate the wedding.

  7. wardniner says:

    Fr. KIA is a wonderful priest who exudes joy and peace during his Masses.
    For a great way to spend a few hours, read the Fr. KIA archives. He is wonderfully witty and spot-on.

  8. Phil_NL says:

    Father, please do not use the abbreviation KIA for Father Know-It-All, I keep thinking he has been killed in action.

    Although on reflection, that’s probably what will happen sooner or later when a really bad Bridezilla comes along…

  9. amenamen says:

    In London, the Prince and his live-in girlfriend have followed this script pretty closely. Were they just trying to save money for the wedding? They probably spent more on the photography, but I doubt that the Anglican cleric will be short-changed for his services.

  10. Mary Ann says:

    I love listening to Father on Relevant Radio, one of the priests who regularly hosts the program “Go ask your Father”, weekdays at noon Central time!
    Fr. Richard Simon (aka “Reverend Know-It-All”) is the pastor at St. Lambert’s Parish in Skokie, IL. His expertise is in apologetics with concentration on the early Christians.
    If you aren’t familiar with Relevant Radio, it’s faithful Catholic programing—just wonderful.

  11. Henry Edwards says:

    In London, the Prince and his live-in girlfriend have followed this script pretty closely.

    Although allegedly they will sleep apart tonight in preparation for chaste reception of the sacrament tomorrow morning. (I have tried successfully to entirely avoid the pre-coverage of this historic event, but unavoidably heard this tidbit from a TV in another room.)

  12. scarda says:

    Whatever became of the custom of picking your favorite saint’s day and having a wedding at/before the daily Mass? Does no one love the saints anymore? Remembering the marriage along with the story of the saint’s heroic virtue always seemed an ideal way of keeping focused on the sacrament instead of the party. Is everything matrimonial now governed by weekends?

  13. DB1995 says:

    2 Questions for Fr. Z (or another priest):

    1. Agreed $29k or even $10k for a wedding is the absolute wrong way for most Catholics to start a marriage. Many are left wondering, how can we “legally” put off having kids (perhaps with some supposedly novel NFP technique) until their student and wedding loans are paid down (to say nothing of getting a home with a mortgage). With 5 kids < age 7, experience says that having kids makes a marriage stronger, and makes one (hopefully) more Christ-like as ones selfish tendencies are ripped away and spouses grow closer with each having great esteem for the other. What practically can you do though to have a ceremony worthy of the occasion, while not selling the rights to your firstborn?

    2. On the other hand, we use instruments worthy of the sacrament–we don't use 32oz plastic sport cups for a chalice–with those instruments being of non-cheap materials. So, maybe it is appropriate to pay a bit more for a wedding. Maybe the best point of the post is that we invest far more in the externals of the wedding than we do in preparing our soul for the sacrament and married life. Still, the question remains: What is the proper balance?

  14. APX says:

    @scarda
    Is everything matrimonial now governed by weekends?

    Many people have weekends off, as well as want their family and friends in attendence. This often means guests having to travel.

    IMHO, I think it’s unreasonable to expect weddings to return to the old customs of occurring during daily Mass. While there does need to be more emphasis placed on the marriage itself (and I really don’t understand how two Catholics can get away with no Nuptual Mass), and the wedding price should be within the means of the family, weddings and marriages are a big deal, especially in some cultures such as Italians and Greeks.

    On a side note, I had to laugh at the part about the aisle length. I’m so guilty of that. But really, there are some poorly designed churches with practically no aisle. It is for practical reasons too. A bride must know the aisle length to ensure her train and veil isn’t too long.

  15. Peggy R says:

    As a fiscally prudent and non-frou-frou-ish woman, I completed detested how much I was compelled to spend on some things when we planned our wedding. I went cheap on non-essentials. My head exploded at times. I kept it simple, but we had a large crowd of friends, which I wouldn’t trade for the world.

  16. Margaret says:

    @scarda– often real life scheduling issues come into play. I married while still in college. DH & my respective families were from opposite coasts, so we did need to allow at least the possibility of grabbing a Friday night red-eye to allow their attendance.

    Besides accommodating out-of-town guests, we also picked our wedding date such that, in the hopes of being blessed with a “Honeymoon Baby,” I would still have just enough time to finish out my final semester before the hypothetical baby’s arrival. I don’t necessarily recommend scheduling one’s wedding for the day after final exams end, but we survived… :)

    ~~~

    And now, A MODEST PROPOSAL: can we require engaged couples to complete all Church-required investigation and at least the majority of the counseling/Pre-Cana prior to booking a wedding date? Modern weddings are like runaway trains. Sadly, I have known brides who were not willing/felt unable to stop the train, even though going through the Pre-Cana process began to raise all sorts of doubts and issues they hadn’t considered before. Properly done counseling should scare off a sizable minority of couples. It should cause them to say, “Wow!!! Thank you for stopping this disastrous marriage before it began!” Instead, it just turns into another hoop to jump through to get to the all-important WEDDING. Not marriage, mind you, WEDDING.

  17. benedetta says:

    I have read this before and I like the way he says towards the end that even if it went this way for you that it is never too late to begin again. His is a funny blog and he doesn’t seem afraid to admit to the truth and keep going.

  18. Well, this _has_ been an informative thread. I wasn’t aware that you were allowed to get married in the Church on weekdays. I always thought it was Saturday or Sunday, or nothing. (Unless there was some dire emergency, that is, like a war, or a sudden realization of Ash Wednesday being the next day.)

    So people could get married on Friday, all their relatives would have the next day to recover, the reception would be vegetarian, and they’d begin their married life feeling penitent? :)

  19. Elly says:

    It didn’t sound to me like he backed off.

  20. sejoga says:

    I’m set to be married in about 3 months and even though the courtship between my fiancee and myself has been largely traditional and wholesome, we have lately been going round and round and round over the spectacle, waste, and misplaced values of the actual wedding ceremony and wedding day festivities. It’s nice to see a priest articulating things I’ve always hated about the actual wedding that everyone seems so timid to bring up because, don’t we all know, the most important thing is that “it’s the bride’s special day”? Grr.

  21. Philangelus says:

    Margaret, my mom used to do precana counseling for her parish, and she eventually started counting victories in the couples who broke it off. There were a couple of heartbreaking stories, though, like the couple that married knowing it wouldn’t work but feeling trapped because they’d already bought a house together. The woman met my mother on the subway once, and she got tears in her eyes. “You didn’t tell me how *difficult* it would be!”

    Being married doesn’t have to be unbearably difficult, though. Not if you prep enough to be sure you’re marrying the right person and God is a part of the fabric of the relationship.

  22. hicks says:

    Some lady asks an innocuous question about aisle length. In response, a Reverend: implies that she thinks it’s all about her, implies that she wants to back out, implies that the groom wants to back out, uses the phrase “bagged her man”, tells her a lurid story about a couple having sex on their first date and shacking up, and then proceeds to tell an even more lurid tale about the rehearsal dinner which involves tattoos, drunken groomsmen, and the Reverend himself speculating that the couple probably isn’t having sex very often anymore because it’s football season (yikes!). I know this is the internet and all, but isn’t this a little beneath our dignity, especially coming from a priest? His rant was indistinguishable from something I would expect to see on TV, cliches and all.

  23. PrairieHawk says:

    Rev. KIA left off my favorite part. Having lived together for more than a year, the bride and groom on the night before the ceremony sleep at their parents’ houses for a 12-hour-long “second virginity.” I guess this is so the bride can wear white.

  24. Fr. Basil says:

    \\priests wife says:
    28 April 2011 at 9:40 am
    basilorat- oooo- great advice! the same happens with mixed Byzantine Catholic-Orthodox weddings- my husband does all the counseling, etc and gets $50 maybe- the Orthodox asks for $1000+ and gets it\\

    I’ve not heard of Orthodox priests asking for $1000 stipends for Crowning.

    However, many Orthodox priests in the USA have to work secular jobs to support themselves and their families because the church doesn’t pay them enough.

    I know one Parish Council president who said this at the annual parish meeting, “Fr. X [who was paid only $400 a month in the '80's] has been doing a great job and attendance has improved, membership has grown, and collections are up. But I don’t think we can count on this, so we should cut his salary.”

  25. Cathomommy says:

    What an appropriate post for today, my and my husband’s Tenth Wedding Anniversary. We were cheapskates…spent less than $5000 on the wedding, made it very child-friendly (30+ nieces and nephews), no open bar (so no one got smashed or silly-drunk), had a fun reception but tried to keep the focus on the celebration of the sacrament itself. Must have worked, 10 years and six kids later. :)

  26. susanmk says:

    Hicks,
    I have been involved with marriage preparation. Unfortunately many couples are co habitating prior to marriage. In addition sex on the first date is almost the norm. The few couples that my husband and I have persuaded to be celibate before the wedding day, have found out that sex was papering over some huge problems.

    As for immodest dresses and drunken groomsmen? Well I have seen that too. The fact is that many couples do not understand that they will be receiving a Sacrament. Too often more is put into the wedding day without any thought, prayer or preparation for a life long marriage.

    FKIA wasn’t exaggerating too much. Unfortunately.

  27. hicks says:

    susanmk,
    I’m 28 years old and very well aware of what kids are up to these days. Rev KIA simply comes across like he’s the gossipy aunt at a wedding reception who should’ve stopped two glasses of champagne ago. Imagine that instead of writing this rant he was talking your ear off with it. You’d be like “Enough, Father!”.

  28. Kathy C says:

    Dear Hicks.

    Are you always this grouchy?

  29. albinus1 says:

    Margaret, my mom used to do precana counseling for her parish

    My parents also did Pre-Cana counseling for awhile. But they were disturbed by the number of young couples who were living together – and upset that the pastor didn’t instruct the couples to live apart before the wedding. The pastor was, in fact a parochial school classmate of my mother’s; when she confronted him about this, and he asked her what she expected him to do about it, she replied, “I want you to do what you know Fr. X would have done when we were growing up!” But the pastor just threw up his hands and said that he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do anything about it, and so my parents stopped acting as counselors, since they couldn’t in good conscience condone this.

    My fiancee and I (who will be married in a couple of weeks!) did Pre-Cana last fall. The couple running the session mentioned that perhaps there were some couples there who were already being “intimate”, and they suggested that these couples might want to consider abstaining from now on until the wedding, so that when their wedding day arrived, it would be “special”. Nothing about sin, or the teaching of the Church. Just making your wedding day “special”. We were appalled.

  30. Jayna says:

    This is why I have friends who do wedding photography, DJ, bake, and bartend. Still have to pay them, of course, but not nearly as much as I would have to otherwise. Not that I’m getting married any time soon, but I’m just saying.

  31. contrarian says:

    Love this Know-it-all fellow. Great post.

    Canon Law is vast and explicit. Is there not anything in there about wedding-cost caps? They do it in professional sports.
    Canon lawyers could yearly consult economists to adjust for inflation. Just a suggestion.
    A fella can dream…

  32. teomatteo says:

    To Rev. KIA: I couldn’t have said it better myself. And to think that he didn’t mention that pathoneumonic reality show: Say Yes To The Dress!!!

  33. susanmk says:

    Hicks,
    Well I have a very sarcastic sense of humor ( I had to give it up for Lent once), so RKIA rant makes me laugh.

    But I do know that sarcasm is of putting to some people which is why I tone it down when I teach RCIA. BTW I don’t think that the letter posted was a real one. Father was, I think, just making a point using sarcasm.

  34. Father S. says:

    The following link has been floating around as of late. It is funny and apropos to this topic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVErKZGzNNM

  35. inara says:

    Hicks ~ Fr. Simon’s “questions” are always his own creations, a humor device made to seem as though they were actually sent to him. The giveaway is in the signature…in this case “Mary O’Burn” (marry or burn)…others have included Narcissus Weakley (Why do I have to go to Mass on Sunday?), Fleming N. Furneau (on hell/purgatory), Tess T. Fye (on swearing oaths)…you get the idea.
    Yes, he’s long winded, but also knowledgeable on a broad range of topics & hilarious to boot :o)

  36. JaneC says:

    As a church musician, yes, yes, and yes. Underpaid, overworked, unappreciated, and often left to do the hard work of explaining why a pop song is inappropriate for the wedding Mass (Father and the wedding coordinator were probably busy putting out other fires). Naturally, we didn’t make any of those mistakes at our own wedding–but part of the reason we didn’t was because we’d seen everyone else’s mistakes in our capacities as singer (me) and organist (my husband).

  37. priests wife says:

    @Fr Basil I should have just told my direct experience because of course it can’t be true for all Orthodox priests- the last 2 mixed marriages my husband celebrated, he got $50 and the two different Orthodox priests got the thousand- because they asked for it perhaps….my husband tends to (wrongly perhaps?) err on the side of not taking a stipend

  38. friarpark says:

    Fr. Know it All is great!! He has a series on his blog about the ‘hootenaney Masses’. I love listening to him on Relevant Radio’s ‘Go Ask Your Father’.

  39. Maybe, instead of Say Yes to the Dress, today’s brides need Say No to the Owe.

  40. ErnieNYC says:

    Is Father correlating the graces received from a Sacrament with the donation/payment offered to the priest? I know this is not his intent…but is certainly a fair reading of at least part of his rant.

  41. Gibbons in SF says:

    She wants to know how long an aisle runner to buy.

  42. racjax says:

    For those who watch Say Yes to the Dress…do you notice how many weddings are conducted in Catholic Churches on that show and the dresses are always strapless and plunging!!! Not even a bolero just for the Mass! I find that so inappropriate and I am not an old grouchy woman either!

  43. GOR says:

    Yes, Friarparkl Fr. Know-it-all’s series on the origins of the Hootenanny Mass is awesome. A brief history, factually correct and humorous. He’s on episode 24 at present. Worth a read for everyone!

  44. Joanne says:

    In all seriousness, I’m surprised that Fr Know it all left out one of the most genuinely obscene things about weddings, ie, the bachelor party. That it’s not uncommon for a guy who on the verge of marriage and family life to be in a strip club or in a hotel room with strippers, etc, is really kind of sick and horrible.

  45. Andrew B says:

    @AXP:

    A bride must know the aisle length to ensure her train and veil isn’t too long.

    Unless your name starts with the word Princess, and it is a real TITLE and not a silly name, if you are even asking this question, the correct answer is that the train and veil is too long.

  46. Martin de Porres says:

    I also have witnessed sacriligeous reception of the Holy Eucharist far more often than I wish to recall, usually at weddings and funerals.

    In these days of universal ignorance both within and without the Church, it should be MANDATORY at public Masses such as weddings and funerals for the celebrant to make an announcement about the requirements for worthy reception of Holy Communion and its restriction to Catholics in a state of grace.

  47. amenamen says:

    @ Scarda: “Whatever became of the custom of picking your favorite saint’s day and having a wedding at/before the daily Mass? Does no one love the saints anymore?”

    I am intrigued by the fact that the British Prince and his live-in girlfriend, Catherine, are being married … on the feast of St. Catherine of Sienna.

  48. Warmiaczka says:

    Once a priest complained about the bride who asked him to use the violet [sic!]chasuble at wedding ceremony, because that was the colour she had chosen for all the decorations and she would love to have everything matching…
    I don’t remember his answer. But I’d love to know her reaction to his answer.

  49. @ hicks
    I am only a two years older than you and I applaud father for mentioning it. People need to know the truth in this area even if they find it unpleasant. Lately I am getting tired of walking on eggshells around people my age who always want others to say and do only what they want them to say and do. If they don’t they have fits and can’t handle it like adults- such people shouldn’t be coddled. The generations of the last 40 years or so are some of the most selfish, ungrateful and ignorant of recent history. Sad thing is most of them have no clue- all they know is what is on their xbox, ipod, tv or Huffington (thinking of those from the 60s/ 70s who never really grew up and realized that reality is not something that exists outside of their minds). Well some of the older selfish generations at least learned how to read and write English- not some primitive language like- “2 u heer me.” Many really have no clue and live and think like children who have lost the grace/ beauty of their innocence. Its pretty shameful and sad. What makes it worse is they are outraged when someone simply informs them of earthly consquences (as well as heavenly at times) such as STDs, possible infertility, dying alone and uncared for, never experiencing true love (as opposed to the passions of animals in heat or infatuations), etc.

    As far as that “12hr chastity thing” it is completly infantile. I have known of people who have gone without food for days- not to mention sex. Are they so much like animals that they can’t control themselves for more than 12hrs and must find something to bed? It is not even a token gesture and demonstrates no serious intent. Granted most of them are addicted but virtually none seem to want to overcome it but rather justify it. Their wedding is just a play act and nothing more serious to them. First they play childish games with each other’s emotions, etc. Next comes playing house and finally they play charades at their own wedding day (if it is not also a charade). Then after a while they usually get bored and when they no longer like their playmate they go and find a new one. The stages are all the same though not all “boys and girls” make it to all the stages. Often it is their children who are the real victims of their selfishness and they don’t even know or seem to care.

    So yes they need to be told because someone always pays for it it. Someone should have the common decency to warn them what will happen. It will happen whether they want to hear it or not so might as well tell them now because later on may be too late.

  50. Sorry i should have said “reality is not identical with their conception of it. In other words they are part of it but not the arbitrator of it.”
    not
    “realized that reality is not something that exists outside of their minds).”

  51. kittenchan says:

    Scarda – some churches have specific days and times for weddings. My parish is very active – we have a lot going on, and a lot of people especially at that “getting married age” – and if weddings were allowed to be scheduled on any day at any time, it would probably be a nightmare; so weddings are only scheduled for Fridays at 7pm and Saturdays at 10am and 2pm. Yes, it is a very orthodox parish, so no, it’s not always the couple who demands to have their wedding on the weekend because they want to make it a big production.

  52. VivaLaMezzo says:

    My husband and I celebrated a beautiful start to our marriage… and we did it for under $500. It was no less special for it. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t remember much of it beyond the exchange of rings and the kiss if my dad and uncle hadn’t captured it all on video and in pics.

    -NO bachelor/bachelorette parties
    -The rehearsal dinner was just the wedding party (all 4 of us) going to Ruby Tuesday – we had a BLAST
    -Wedding dress: borrowed from sister (didn’t even need alterations!); I made my own bouquet
    -Attendants: 1 each
    -Tuxedos: $50 rentals (best man paid for his own, bless him)
    -Wedding decorations (we were Lutheran at the time and we married during Advent, so the church was already decorated)
    -Invitations: local printing company (friends and immediate family only)
    -Reception: friend of the family donated the cake; my mom did all the other nibbles

    My husband and I both are very no frills. We decided from the start that the wedding was about the sacrament, not the dress, not the gifts, none of the trappings. What was important was that we be joined before God. Most of what we paid was for the church and the church musician. We married the day after my husband graduated from college and we have been deliriously, sickeningly (according to everyone else) happy or almost 14 years.

  53. ericrun says:

    The President Rector at St. Meinrad was a diocesan priest before joining the Archabbey.
    He had a few wonderful tales about weddings when he taught liturgy classes his first few years as a teacher.

    One, he told how a young man came to him wanting to join the Church. Fr. Denis invited the young man to his office to discuss this. The young man quickly revealed that his fiance wanted to get married in the church with the longest aisle in town, and the Catholic Church’s aisle was longer than the next by a small margin. Notice she didn’t have the wherewithal to go through RCIA herself. She didn’t get a Catholic wedding either.

    He had another story about a wedding scheduled to occur after the Saturday evening mass. Late during the evening mass, he noticed a little girl dressed up as a fairy wandering around the entrance to the church. Father was, needless to say, very intrigued by this development. After mass, he discovered that the bridal party was in the process of carrying in decorations for a winter themed wedding, and that the entire wedding party was dressed in themed apparel. I don’t recall what he said the outcome of that incident was.

  54. anthtan says:

    Before it was called “shacking up”, it was also called “living in sin”. Start calling it what it is again.

  55. amenamen says:

    @ anthan
    A man’s Castle is his shack.