Wedding Shows Are Another Ploy

May 24, 2012

I once officiated at a wedding where the Bride and Groom spent over $18,000 on the wedding ceremony. There were real swans on the lawn as she drove up, ten musicians playing coronet trumpets as she ascended the stairs, a 20 foot train on her wedding dress and the church was a 200-year old landmark that her father pressured politicians to allow her to use. Result: Their marriage lasted 5 years and they split up. That’s about $3500/year.

It used to be that people found this story amusing. It used to be that people found it to be quirky, unique and out of the ordinary. Now, it doesn’t really cause anyone to bat an eye. Why? They see this all the time on the half dozen “Wedding” reality shows. And I believe the effect this is having on couples is much more insidious than people realize.

Most people who read this blog regularly are followers of Jesus Christ. I realize a number of you are not. So, let me be clear on a few things that the Bible teaches us. I am not asking you to agree with what the Bible teaches, just to acknowledge that it does.

First, there is nothing wrong with being single. There is nothing that makes a married person more important than a single person. In fact, the Apostle Paul almost seems to endorse the idea that if you’re single you can serve God with a greater fervor than a married person. Let me say it this way: If you want to be single, good for you. God has no problem with that.

Second, God also tells single people that having sexual relationships with other people is unhealthy. Sex does more than bind two people physically together. It creates emotional, psychological, relational, spiritual, social, financial and memory bonds that cannot be broken completely. The reason for sex within the marriage covenant is that sex creates ties that are best expressed when there is a lifelong commitment attached.

Third, the Bible teaches that if you’re single and the need for sex is getting too strong, there is nothing wrong with getting married soon. And the goal is to stay married.

Now, what do wedding shows have to do with this? They make weddings so altogether more important and EXPENSIVE than they need to be. In some misguided ideal promoted by wedding dress manufacturers, cake designers, rental hall companies etc. we are led to believe that you cannot have a great marriage without a correspondingly great wedding ceremony. There could be nothing further from the truth.

The sole purpose for a wedding ceremony is to drive home the permanent nature of the vows to the bride and groom. All the rest is fun and games; and I don’t have anything against the rest of the hoopla except this. If the cost and complications of a wedding ceremony are keeping you from getting married any time soon, you need to do one of three things:

1. Get married now in a simple ceremony and have the big ceremony later.

2. Ditch the big ceremony altogether.

3. Break up and find someone who hasn’t been sucked in to wedding shows.

I’m not trying to be funny either. People have always struggled with sex outside of marriage. I am not here to pound that pulpit or say that everyone is evil. Sex is as natural a need as we have. But there isn’t a person on this planet that doesn’t think that sex complicates great friendships. And I don’t know a lot of people who can be in a deep committed relationship who can abstain from sex forever.

So, my advice for all of us who have a biblical mindset is to stop watching these unrealistic and distracting wedding shows and just go back to being smart again. Have a small wedding and enjoy your guests. Put away the swans…put away the huge meals…and have a wonderful marriage. That’s a thousand times more important.

Or stay single and celibate. It doesn’t matter.


  1. I could not agree with you more. I think that too many couples focus on the wedding and are enamored with the whole “princess/prince” wedding that they forget what the whole thing is all about and what comes next, marriage. I think if they focused on and made as much to do about their marriage as they do about the wedding, we would have a lot more marriages that stayed together.

  2. Anonymous…you sound like an expert on how to have an excellent marriage. Thank you for your stellar input.

  3. I agree that the commercialism of weddings is over the top and often a bit “gaggy” to me. On the other hand, all this hoopla is good for the economy! Has your daughter read this blog!

    • Yes, she has…and she finds it hilarious.

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