Giles Fraser was on fine form on yesterday's Thought for the Day (available now on the BBC website), waxing lyrical about the absurdity of some modern weddings. With a price tag for the couple averaging £20,000, he pointed out that even attending a wedding these days could cost a guest - if you include the present (usually from some overpriced store list), travel, overnight accommodation and an outfit - upwards of £500.
He added: 'And yes, I blame the media here, not the happy couple. For the pervasive influence of the media on the look and feel of weddings - not least those weddings that are featured in celebrity magazines - has encouraged an atmosphere of narcissism and self-promotion to work its way into the very fabric of the modern wedding celebration. Little wonder that, at their worst, some weddings can feel like an overblown vanity project, all justified by foot-stomping references to "my special day"'.
And today, as if to prove Fraser right, the editor of one of the wedding magazines was on the programme defending the amount spent on the day because it was so important for the bride to feel special on her special day.
Since when did feeling special have anything to do with the price tag? Surely feeling special is about knowing that today you are committing yourself to the man you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with because you're head over heels in love with him, in the presence of those people who have made you the person you are - your family and friends - and who will stand with you, supporting this choice you have made through all the ups and downs of married life.
This is what we saw on Saturday at David and Ruth's wedding where family and friends came together to create a truly memorable day for a couple they loved dearly. And it really was a special day despite the bill being a fraction of the twenty grand average; special because at the heart of it was the commitment of two people in love, pledging themselves to one another in the presence of those who love and support them.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
More thoughts on weddings
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We have a similar thing here. A couple have started coming to the church, they have a toddler and baby on the way and are very short of money. They wanted to get married but couldn't afford it so the church offered everything free for the service itself, flowers, and a buffet for 30 people afterwards. Other friends have bought them wedding rings, a £16 suit for the groom and a second hand dress for the bride. Others have offered food for a party latter in the day. Another friend is lending his car. Our flat in Devon will be their honeymoon. The couple are deliriously happy because they can get married - the groom even has a countdown on his Facebook page and had written vows that will make everyone cry.
The cost will be very small due to the generosity of people but they couldn't be happier and the bride will feel very special on the day.
That's great. Maybe the church should be leading the way in doing low-cost weddings, not because we're cheap but because what matters are the relationships being celebrated on the day.
I've thought for some time how sad it is that Christian couples seem to be caught up in the same weding obsession as the rest of the world.
Wouldn't it be great if simplicity wasn't just for those who can't afford to be extravagant but was a deliberate choice
No doubt about it of all the weddings I've done far and away the most memorable have been the DIY ones with everyone mucking in.
Hope my daughter reads this.
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