monday i was listening to a talk of the nation episode discussing the increasing trend of young couples without higher education to postpone marriage but not kids. the trends have swapped between people with higher education and people without higher education. those who have four year degrees or greater are now more likely to get married and less likely to get divorced than those without four year degrees. while there are multiple reasons for for this trend the one that has been bouncing around in my head deals with the cost of wedding ceremonies. many of the couples postponing getting married said that a large part of their wait was because they could not presently afford the wedding ceremony they wanted.
this has been killing me the more i think about it. tapestry has been involved in advent conspiracy because we believe that the present manner in which the u.s. celebrates CHRISTmas needs to be challenged and confronted. obviously there are probably issues other than the cost of a wedding ceremony that are keeping many of these couples from getting married that should be dealt with. yet i wonder if the church needs to begin confronting societal expectations concerning the costs of wedding ceremonies while also dealing with these other issues. for example, the average cost of a wedding in plover is between $14,030 and $23,384. shouldn’t the bride of CHRIST (i.e. the church) offer a different and more reasonable model of what a beautiful wedding ceremony is? how can we expect young couples to start healthy marriages when many are going into debt for their wedding ceremony?
the most beautiful wedding that pam and i have ever been a part of is also one of the least expensive ones we have ever been to. it was the wedding of the daughter of two of our friends in missouri. the ceremony took place on a small hill overlooking a wheat field and it was amazing. it was also very inexpensive. the whole thing depended upon the creativity, love, and effort of their family and friends. it would be a wonderful example and model for others hoping to have a meaningful yet inexpensive wedding ceremony.
i’m beginning to contemplate whether there is a way that tapestry can offer something different to our community in regards to wedding ceremonies. we have 3 pro photographers and tons of wonderfully creative people in our church. what if churches began to offer their resources to young couples in such a way that the expectation of an expensive wedding ceremony was challenged? i don’t know what it would look like for us to confront the cost of wedding ceremonies in our present age but it is something i am interested in exploring. i do think that the community of faith has a ton to offer in regards to “creativity, love, and effort” and i have already seen the beauty that those three resources bring to a wedding ceremony. again i am not sure what they would look like but it is something that i am pondering and would like to enter into conversations concerning.