Centering Christ in a Modern Wedding
Traditional white weddings with vows exchanged at the altar and church bells signaling holy matrimony seem few and far between these days. Indeed, church weddings dropped from 41% to just 22% of unions in the United States between 2009 and 2017. As today’s weddings increasingly favor alternative venues and eschew numerous traditions from the dress to the vows, it can seem impossible to unite a Christ-centered marriage with modern tastes. Yet just as a church wedding isn’t necessary for a Godly marriage, it is entirely achievable to incorporate faith throughout a modern wedding.
How Important is the Venue?
Many Christian couples are choosing to wed at venues or locations that have special or memorable significance to them rather than at their local church. Some Christians may believe that couples must be married in a church by an ordained clergyman to be holy and legitimate before God, but the Bible never makes this distinction. In truth, any location from urban rooftop venues to wildflower meadows and rustic barns are more than appropriate for a Christ-centered wedding. Considering His omnipresence and that “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20), the physical location of the ceremony makes no difference to God, as long as the marriage commitment is made lawfully and sincerely.
Christ in the Ceremony
The marriage ceremony is the ideal part of the wedding in which to centrally place Christ. In fact, departing from tradition to craft personalized marriage vows and a unique order of service can actually be used to glorify God more than a conventional ceremony might. The well-known to-have-and-to-hold vows are so ingrained in society that many guests may hardly listen to the proceedings, but attendees will have to pay attention if the bride and groom exchange vows they have composed themselves. As such, the ceremony itself is a perfect opportunity to not only purposefully place Christ in the center of the wedding day and the marriage moving forward, but evangelize as well.
Incorporating Faith Throughout the Day
Weddings are more than the venue and vows, and having a faith-centered day continues beyond the ceremony. From saying grace before the reception dinner to addressing God in the speeches, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to incorporate Christ. Furthermore, remember that honoring God goes beyond lip service. It might be worth taking action to reflect Christ through requesting charitable donations rather than gifts or donating excess reception food to local soup kitchens.
Church bells and traditional ceremonies may not suit modern wedding trends, but they aren’t necessary for a Christ-centered wedding. Not only can couples tie the knot in the presence of God in any location, modern personalized ceremonies provide plenty of opportunity to incorporate faith than even conventional Christian services. Christ is in intention and action, and thus can be incorporated into any modern wedding.