Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I’m going to a lot of weddings these days.  I’m doing a few too.  The process is stirring up in me some stuff I’ve been thinking about for a while. So here comes a couple of things I’d like to change about weddings.

NO FREE LUNCH:  Back in the day, I assume families saved up for weddings.  Back in the day before that day I guess only the family of the bride shelled out big money.  Now a days, here’s how most people pay for them.  #1. Someone relative takes out a big loan or writes a check against a home mortgage.   #2. The couple themselves take out a loan or pay for it because people are getting married later in life these days and you don’t ask your parents to help you like you’re 20 when you’re not. #3. Those people lucky enough to get asked to be in the wedding party will offset some costs and shell out about $1000 each on gifts, clothes, hotels, food, and travel.

  • Instead, I think you should have to pay to go to a wedding reception.  Yup, pay.  It’s like getting invited to a private event months and months out and expecting there’s no cost.  I mean really, high school students pay to go to their prom!  Why is a wedding reception free?  That’s ridiculous.  
  • I think it should be normal for you to pay $35-50 a plate for an epic party where you celebrate a once in a lifetime moment with friends and family.  Maybe if you invite their kids, you can make exception.  
  • Maybe it means people give fewer lame teapots and towels and give the gift of their presence at your party instead.  
  • Subtly, it will weed out your casual invites from your friends unwilling to pay to play.  
  • Maybe then you could say it’s free to your wedding party.  That would be awesome. 

PRE-ENGAGEMENT COUNSELING INSTEAD OF PRE-MARRIAGE COUNSELING:  Once a couple is engaged, they essentially are married in terms of the pressure they feel.  Facebook messages have been sent, engagement pictures taken, reservations made, save the date cards sent, and deposits given for all kinds of things. The pressure is HUGE!

  • I think counseling should not only be about “how to succeed in marriage”, but should help a couple answer the “should we get married?” question too.  The first can be helpful post engagement, the second is a waste because breaking off an engagement is almost as stressful as a divorce.  
  • I think churches and counselors should start offering pre-engagement counseling for serious dating couples. 
  • I think the only reason we don’t is because no one wants to admit their considering getting married publicly before a ring is on a finger.  That’s just lame cuz everyone talks about it first.  It’s a myth that people just pop the question.  Those who “surprise” their soon to be spouse with a “will you marry me question” are still single.  Everyone talks about it first. For most, the question is a romantic formality of a predetermined result anyway. 

There’s my top 2.  What’s yours?


  1. I don’t think there is going to be any getting past the “being engaged before we are engaged” loop hole of item 2. But what if your idea changed the concept of the one step engagement to a two step process? What if the asking was the preparatory step; with the engagement becoming agreed upon and official only after the pre-martial counseling sessions? How much better would it be that once a couple finds out that marriage is not just dating and hanging around for breakfast, that they then get to decide to become engaged and then agree to go forward?
    So we have your pre-engagement with rings and professions of love, followed by the counseling sessions, followed by the friends and families waiting outside to home to see if white or black smoke comes out of the chimney, as a yes or no to “the engagement” proper. My sense is like yours Brian…if we interject more knowledge and self reflection into the process we might have a better chance of preventing the 3 year ooops marriages. Christ followers who race to the alter, sometimes find themselves limping to to the finish line. Sign me and Teri up as your first pre-engagement marriage counselors.:)

  2. I have a few…more linked to the wedding itself. Back in “my day” we didn’t need “save the dates” (another expense!). Back in “my day” we didn’t have to have a bachelorette party…that’s what the shower was for (another expense for the wedding party). Back in “my day” we didn’t have program for the wedding (another expense). I mean, come on, we know what’s going to happen, a procession, a song, a prayer, the vows, another prayer, announcement of the couple. Why do we need a program for that! Back in “my day” a bride would not have a second dress for her reception! This is absurd. All that money for the 10-15 minute ceremony. By golly, as a parent I would not stand for that. You wear that dress for one day and you better get some time in it. OK, thanks for letting me rant. (maybe this is why we took the wedding out of the country)

  3. I don’t know about the who pays for what part, but I like the pre-engagement counselling idea.

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