Post # 1
I wasn’t raised Christian. I was raised Catholic. I’m happy to say that I’m a born again Christian. I have only been to Catholic weddings so I don’t really know how a Christian wedding goes. I know it doesn’t take an entire hour like Catholic wedding do. My pastor says that we are the example for the young Christians that go to our church of how a Christian-Godly-Wedding should be.
Do really need songs sung at my wedding? I imagine it would be beautiful and would send out a perfect romantic and traditional message, but I’m not sure I want so many of the people that go to my church involved in our wedding.
Also we are having doubts about our reception. We are not serving any booze because neither one of us drinks.
But music. My sister already booked a DJ to play at our wedding. We want to dance the traditional first dance, the money dance, and just have fun, but we are worried the pastor will be there and rebuke us the following Sunday at church. We love that church and we want to keep going there as long as we live in that town.
In your experiences, what is a Christian Godly Wedding exactly?
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2010 - Trinity Presbyterian Church/Harrison Opera House
This is a difficult question. Would you mind if I asked a few questions to clarify?
Is your church against dancing?
Are you the first couple to be getting married in a while? why are you set as the example?
Why would you need people at your church to be involved if there was singing?
Without knowing some of those answers which mikght make my response more nuanced, here’s what I think about some aspects of a wedding where you can be God honoring (not Christian and not Godly, because I think both of those things can be legalistic and that you can have a christian/godly wedding that doesn’t honor the Lord).
Vowing your lives to one another – Marriage represents the relationship between Christ and the church. Taking that vow to one another is deeply spiritual and there’s so much that God has to reveal to you through the relationship of marriage.
Praising the Lord – This can be done in song and word. If you’d rather not having congregational singing, that’s ok! You can have a soloist or reading scripture aloud is also a form of praise.
Fellowshiping and rejoicing together – the reception is a wonderful chance to rejoice together! Miriam danced with her tambourine on the banks of the river – dance and laugh! Jesus turned water into wine! Feast and enjoy one another’s company!
Post # 4
Thanks for your comment. I don’t mind if you ask me a few questions to clarify..
I’m not sure if my church is against dancing. I’m an Independent Baptist. I’m new to that church so I’m barely getting familiar with their doctrine. I could ask, but I might get an answer I don’t like. There will be dancing at my wedding so if I ask them if dancing is allowed and they say no and then there is dancing then we will get rebuked for sure. But if we play dumb like we don’t know. We could always say we didn’t know. Is there any one in here that’s an independent baptist who would know??? So we don’t have to ask the pastor.
Yes we are the first couple to get married in a while. The Pastor says it’s been several years since a couple has gotten married in that church. We will set the example to his younger sister because she’s in a serious relationship. They also have some members of the church that are in their 20s that are off at bible college that he thinks we will be an example to. He thinks that us getting married at that church will set a snowball effect that a lot of other marriages will happen in the next couple of years.
Well, if there was singing, we’ll have to invite our soloist to the wedding. The more church members go to our wedding the more disapproval we will get.
I guess the answer I need answered is if my church allows dancing. I mean pastor’s wife said this, in the Bible it says that a man and a woman shouldn’t touch before marriage.
Post # 5
- Wedding: January 2010 - Trinity Presbyterian Church/Harrison Opera House
Why will you get more disapproval by inviting church members? because they’ll see the dancing?
I want to be careful in the advice I give to you, because I don’t want to judge your church without knowing it personally. It seems like it may be a very conservative church if it were to rebuke you for dancing and pointing out that men and women shouldn’t touch before marriage. Outside of believing that Jesus is your personal savior, church rules and doctrine vary widely. You and your fiance need to decide for yourselves if the church you’re going to accurately reflects Biblical principles. This looks different to people based on their convictions. Think through about what you believe the Bible is commanding. Churches are not infallible in their interpretation of the Bible. Pray about what you think God wants you to do and listen to Him. God’s approval is the only approval you need.
Post # 6
Thank you! I will pray about this.
Post # 7
I can’t help you out here, because I’m an atheist, but just wanted to let you know that Catholicism is a type of Christianity. 🙂
Post # 8
Second Lamb’s advice to pray and meditate together regarding your church’s interpretation of the Bible and your marriage.
Remember that one of the driving forces behind the Protestant movement was to bring congregants closer to God by eliminating some of the mystery associated with Catholic worship. Services in English and translation of the Bible were important to them because it allowed individuals, not just those in the ministry, to read and discuss God’s word for themselves.
My point is that you and your Fiance aren’t doing anything wrong if you find that your reading of the Bible doesn’t necessarily correspond with what your pastor is telling you, and that no one person (save His son) has ever spoken for God on Earth with absolute authority – at least not in the Protestant tradition.
Post # 9
I don’t think anyone has pointed this out, but Catholics are Christians.
From what you’ve described, I’m getting a picture of Josh Duggar’s wedding (from 18 kids and counting). They didn’t have dancing. They dressed very modestly.
Maybe your pastor can give you some video tapes of Baptist weddings he’s envisioning yours to be like.
Is there an option to have the ceremony at the church and then have a separate reception elsewhere (without many of the judgemental church people) so you can dance?
Post # 10
From what I know of Baptist beliefs (DH is baptist so we visited a few churches), independent baptist churches are VERY conservative. No dancing, no rock and roll, dress conservatively, etc.
If you believe this, then that is one thing. If you don’t believe this, yet call this church your home, you are sort of in a pickle. It’s hard to belong to a church where you don’t believe in their fundamental beliefs.
You can have a glorious wedding that still is religious and honors the Lord though. Nice gospel music and readings, etc.
Do you plan on inviting everyone from your church? Are you having your reception at the church?
If your pastor’s wife believes man and wouldn’t shouldn’t touch before marriage–don’t show her that cute picture of you and your Fiance in your avatar =]. But if she believes that, likely that is the church’s belief, too.
If you believe dancing is ok, are you ok going to a church that forbids it as a sin?
Post # 11
I think the answer to what a Christian, Godly, wedding is will differ a bit depending on the denominations, experiences, and beliefs of the people involved. For me, a Catholic Christian marrying another Catholic Christian, this means having a full wedding Mass- the presence in the eucharist, the psalms, and the bible readings are all very important to us.
A closeness and reverence to God can be expressed in different ways, and I think you’ll have to talk to your Fiance and see what is important to the both of you. Are dancing, songs, and inviting people from your church important to you? Do you think they make your wedding more Godly? Perhaps you shouldtake feedback from your pastor, pray on it, and then have a long discussion with your Fiance to see what you both think a Godly wedding is.
Post # 12
It sounds as if your pastor is expecting kids to come to your wedding from college and for you to invite the rest of the church… Is that your plan?
In direct answer, a Christian-Godly-Wedding is one where the two of you unite in marriage before God. That’s I guess the simple answer. The long answer is that it depends on your church doctrine and beliefs….
As a wedding Photographer, I’ve done a wide array of ceremonies and receptions…. I’m a Catholic Christian and my own wedding will be centered around the Sacrament and Eucharist. I grew up in the “southern baptist bible belt” so while I’m more familiar with certain branches, I do know each church varies in beliefs.
I have done 2 “extremely conservative” baptist weddings with no alcohol, no dancing, etc. But, in both the bride wore a strapless gown in the church. In one the bride walked in to “somewhere over the rainbow”
All weddings of christian origin (including Catholic) usually
- will have your father/special person escort you down the aisle
- the giving away of the bride
- one or multiple scripture readings
- A preaching by the pastor / officiant
- statement of vows
- a “unity” ceremony, candle, sand,etc. (some Catholics will not do this)
- A communion/Eucharist service if the church has them regularly or on special occasions
- go back down the aisle
Some have a song by a soloist, some just have an entrance and exit song. Catholics will usually have the most music as they are very liturgy based.
Post # 13
I am a Baptist, and we were married in a southern Baptist church. I don’t know enough about different church’s doctrines to be much help in that area, but as far as what constitutes a Godly wedding, I agree with lamb’s description 100%! 🙂
In the church we married in (it was my church before hubby & I met) it is against the rules (for lack of a better word) to have any alcohol or dancing on site. Any alcohol whatsoever was grounds for canceling the ceremony (it actually said that in the wedding application) but that was fine with us because we rarely drink.
As far as rules go, those were the only ones that were on the application. I wore a strapless gown and walked to Canon in D. I wanted to be married in church because we are Christians and I just really felt the need to do so. There are too many problems in the world today and with a skyrocketing divorce rate, God’s presence in our marriage is extremely important. I also recognize the symbolism in marriage as being between Christ and the church (bridegroom & bride 🙂 and I love it. I think it’s awesome 🙂
Post # 14
It sounds like it is very important to you and your pastor that you set a really positive example for family, friends and especially others in your parish or others who look up to you and your marriage. Keep in mind that much of what people will look at and take from you will be outside of the 30 minutes of your wedding ceremony. It will be in how you live your life, treat your husband and others, live humbly and in God’s light. You can have an amazing ceremony, just going through the motions and saying all the ‘right’ things, but believing those things, making your faith a priority in your daily lives and sharing it with others is much more important and will impact others more profoundly than singing songs and reading Bible passages at any one point in time.
Post # 15
i come from a church that is considered to be on the ‘liberal side of conservative’.
our weddings are very easy going i guess. everyone that i’ve been too has had dancing, most have had alcohol (although not to the point where people have got so drunk… most of the time).
the father usually does give the bride away. sometimes the mother too. and there’s usually a song or two that gets sung, but these have varied from hymns to more contemporary songs that the couple wrote (that was strange though, cause no one sang along because we felt like we were intruding).
i don’t know if it’s just our denomination but there always seems to be a short message at the wedding, based off the wedding passage the couple chose, and usually ends up being something about how the marriage should be a Godly marriage, etc.
now my dads employee is a baptist (don’t know what kind), and they are a little bit stricter than us, but even so, they’re still easy going. i know they don’t drink at all, but i’m pretty sure they also dance. i think dancing would just have to be like, make sure the songs aren’t super.. ‘bad’? i guess… like, no explicit songs, but maybe if you have a dj see if he does requests and that way the guests will choose?
Post # 16
I grew up in the Church of Christ, which makes the Baptist denomination look super liberal! There is definitely no drinking or dancing. For us, its different, because while we intend to respect and honor my religious upbringing, neither of us are currently practicing that faith and so we don’t have any personal qualms about drinking or dancing. We’re having a separate after party so we can drink and dance with our friends.
For you, I think its clear you believe dancing is alright, but you just don’t want to upset your pastor. I honestly believe you can disagree with your religious leaders and still respect their guidance and be a part of their congregation. As others have mentioned, Protestantism was founded on being able to draw your own conclusions from the Bible, while Catholicism is more dogmatic. If you want to have dancing, and you believe its okay, I say don’t worry what your pastor thinks. This is YOUR wedding, not an opportunity for him to teach your church about marriage and weddings through you.
I would also talk to him soon about the fact that you don’t intend to invite many from the congregation… it does seem that he expects your wedding to be an example, and for that to happen, your fellow church members would have to attend! It’s clear you don’t want that, and that’s perfectly fine, but make sure you are on the same page with your pastor so there isn’t any confusion.