When the Unchurched Want a Church Wedding

I've performed weddings both B.D. and A.D. (Before Diana and After Diana). Weddings A.D., it seems to me, are burdened by higher expectations. Couples and their families seem to think theirs should be a princess wedding replete with celebrative devices.

Many now use wedding consultants. Liturgical accouterment and even mini-rings for children of a previous union are common. No one throws rice anymore; they release balloons or blow bubbles.

One other change is obvious. Now the majority of couples that come to me are unchurched. Largely the product of a generation of adults who, in the '60's and early '70's, embraced a laissez-faire attitude toward religion, they come with little or no religious background. A surprising number tell me they believe "all religions are basically the same."

Their attitudes often suggest "We're here to arrange for goods and services." They have already been to the florist, the dressmaker, the reception hall, and the caterer. Their meeting with the minister is just ...

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