I will get married soon. My fiancée and I were wondering, "Is it really necessary to be married in front of the church, or only in front of the law?" My conviction is that we need to be married in front of both of them, but when I went to the Bible I didn't find anything definitive about this. -- Miroslav Dolapchiev (Sofia)

Most believers like having a church wedding. This provides an opportunity for fellow disciples to be present, for meaningful words to be spoken, future in-laws to join in a time of spiritual and emotional reflection, and a degree of ceremony to be observed to make the day special and memorable. Yet, as you have discovered, the Bible says nothing about a "church wedding"!

If you and your future bride marry in front of the law, you will truly be husband and wife. You may feel that if this is all you do, your marriage would be defective--that it was not complete until the religious ceremony. You would be right to insist on a church wedding. Yet you would already have been married, legally. The church wedding would do nothing to alter your status as a couple, unless the presiding minister is licensed by the state. Laws and regulations are different in every country, so I am afraid I can't be of much help to you, apart from discussing this distinction. Anyway, congratulations and have a great wedding!

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