29 ways to plan the ultimate Christian Wedding.

Wedding

This is a picture of a picture from my wedding. We didn’t take it with a camera phone because they didn’t exist at the time. Though it’s not throwback Thursday, I thought I would share both proof I used to have brown hair and a post I wrote about how to plan the ultimate Christian wedding.

I know a lot about weddings. I used to write advertising for a company that specialized in rental tuxedos. One of my jobs was to answer all the emails that people sent to a fictional girl called “Jenny.” So on any given day I was emailing wedding advice to anxious would be brides about everything from what color cummerbunds would match a bridesmaid’s dress to how to politely ask groomsmen to pay for their own tuxes.

The idea of me giving girls advice about color schemes and wedding dresses is absurd. I was horrible at that part of my job and I regret if you ever got some ridiculous email signed by “Jenny.” That was me. I thought chocolate was going to be the new black and coral was darker than salmon. My bad.

But despite my woeful color schemes, I do think I can help you plan the ultimate Christian wedding. I’ve been in a few, I’ve spoken at a few and I’ve been married for 13 years. Plus, after “Surviving Church as a Single” became one of the biggest posts ever on Stuff Christians Like I felt like the married readers needed some love too. Without further ado, I give you:

The Ultimate Christian Wedding Scorecard

1. You have someone read a Bible verse at your wedding. = +1 point for each verse

2. You have someone read 1 Corinthians 13, love is patient at your wedding = +2 points

3. You have someone read verses from Song of Solomon in the message version of the Bible and the verses sound vaguely like a Prince lyric and somehow include the phrase, “let’s make out.” = +3 points

4. The person you ask to read the verse is not a Christian and your primary purpose in asking them is that you hope that touching the Bible will rub off on them via osmosis. = +1 point

5. You do a unity candle. = +2 points

6. You weave three ribbons (representing you, your spouse and God) into a single strand that cannot be torn asunder. = +2 points

7. You refuse to hold a bachelor party because they’re evil. = +1 point

8. You hold a bachelor party but call it a “guys that love Jesus golfing together party” = +3 points

9. The pastor that does your ceremony cracks a joke about sex = +3 points for every joke

10. You and your spouse take communion during the ceremony = +3 points

11. You and everyone at the wedding take communion during the ceremony = +4 points

12. You take a love offering during the ceremony = – 3 points

13. The pastor mentions the “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” principle = + 1 point

14. You have a live bird of prey at the podium with you and your bride in order to symbolize the “mount up like eagles” Bible verse = +10 points

15. You receive a, “As for me and my house” plaque for a wedding gift = +1 point for each

16. You receive a Thomas Kinkade painting for a wedding gift = +1 point for each

17. You receive the first 15 volumes of the Left Behind book series in a commemorative wheelbarrow because the girth of that many books is physically staggering = +5 points

18. You don’t have dancing at the reception because it’s held in a church and that church doesn’t approve of dancing and you miss your chance to dance, dance, dance the night away Jon Acuff. = -1 point

19. You have dancing at the reception and your grandmother gets on the floor and dances to Fergie’s song “Fergilicious,” Bennett Acuff (my little brother) = +1 million points

20. At any point during the ceremony a Shofar horn makes a cameo = + 1 point

21. The favor you give everyone is a Bible = +3 points

22. The Bibles are Gideon editions you stole from the hotel all the guests are staying at. = -4 points

23. Your pastor can’t resist the temptation of a captive audience and ad libs the entire gospel message in the middle of your vows = +1 point

24. Your pastor asks you to take a seat for a minute so that people have room to come forward for the altar call. = +2 points

25. Your pastor mentions the phrase “covenant relationship” = + 2 points for each use

26. Your pastor tells the story of Adam and Eve = +3 points

27. Your pastor highlights the ever controversial verses about “wives submitting to their husband” = +1 point

28. Your aunt boos or hisses from the crowd when she hears this = – 2 points

29. The church you get married in lets you know upfront that they only allow “sacred music” and if you get married there you better expect the organ to be the main instrument used. = +3 points

0 – 10 Points = Not a big fan of God huh? Didn’t feel like inviting Him to your wedding? Didn’t think you could find a tux big enough for Him? Interesting.

11-20 Points = I don’t want to call you “lukewarm” but it’s possible you registered for gifts at that store, “I’m kind of a Christian.”

21+ Points = Welcome to the big leagues. Your wedding is just like church except there’s cake at the end. Onward Christian soldier.

How did you score? I hit over 30 because we got married at a conservative church in Atlanta.

How about you?

What other Christian wedding staples did I miss?

What did you do at your wedding or weddings you’ve been to?

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Comments

  1. says

    My wedding was 18 years ago, so I lost a lot of points because the Left Behind series hadn’t started coming out yet, the first volume of The Message hadn’t been released yet, Thomas Kinkade had not yet become insanely popular, and the minister who was supposed to officiate canceled the day before the wedding due to illness and so my uncle (a licensed minister and retired District Superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene) simply read the marriage ceremony out of the church Manual. I do not remember a whole lot of what was said that day; my nerves were so fried that I barely remembered what was supposed to happen next as the ceremony progressed.

    Does it count if I had someone sing “The Lord’s Prayer” during communion? I think you ought to get a couple points for that.

    • Pam says

      I think you should get some points for having “The Lord’s Prayer” sung at your wedding, and I think you should get extra points, too, for having a relative who was a minister. :-)

  2. Andrea Priebe says

    At the reception instead of a dance there are games played… Like the all so popular shoe game. I scored 5… I think I need to get saved again.

      • Chris says

        You and me, T.J.

        Eye. to. Eye. :-)

        I sang this song to my wife during our wedding as a surprise. The only people that knew about it were the pastor, the guy running the sound board and me. My father was the best man, and that was only one of about 4 or 5 times in my life I’ve seen him cry. I like to think that it was because of the touching aspect of the moment rather than my singing, and he has yet to disabuse me of the notion, so I’m going to run with that.

      • Kathryn Johnson says

        We had another member of the congregation sing “I Will Be Here”. A gentleman from the church also videoed the wedding and reception and decided to do a close up on my brother’s (not Christian) girlfriend’s large tattoo. We had no idea until we were watching for the first time with my husband’s parents. lol

  3. Heidi says

    My husband and I had 2 pastors perform our wedding does that make us doubly married? How many points for 2 pastors? ;) One was the Sr. pastor of our church and the other was one of my husband’s best friends since elementary school. The Sr. pastor performed the friend/pastor’s wedding about 15 yrs prior (my husband was 37 when we got married, and yes–it was his 1st marriage). We’d told the friend/pastor no 1 Cor 13 references. I guess we forgot to tell the other one because he read it. My husband and I looked at each other and smiled during it.

      • says

        Dude….I’d score BIG time on that one! My dad played the role of “Father of the Bride” during the ceremony, but is an ordained music minister, our church’s music minister led the choir and orchestra (hubs and I are both musicians – it was important to us, what can I say?), our Sr. Pastor officiated, our Hispanic pastor read Scripture (Eph 6), one associate pastor did the benediction, and the other was in charge of decorating the Fellowship Hall (because I didn’t want him to be left out). +6!

        I may have had another retired minister or two in the choir as well….

        And do I get the points if the choir SANG from Song of Solomon?

    • Becca C says

      Woohoo, more points! My dad is a retired pastor, so he and our youth pastor officiated our ceremony. Dad wasn’t sure he’d be able to hold it together for the entire ceremony, so our youth pastor was a backup pastor of sorts. :p

      Originally, we were planning on the two pastors being Dad and the senior pastor, which would have clearly been extra-holy. Unfortunately, the senior pastor ended up needing to go out of town, so we subbed in the slightly less holy youth pastor. ;)

  4. Jill says

    I am SO sharing this with my daughter and her fiancé! They are getting married in October so we still have lots of time to gather Gideon Bibles and talk to the Air Force Academy about bringing one of their falcons to the ceremony!

  5. says

    My wedding is on Saturday – we’re breaking 21 points just on the amount os scripture being read (the homily is going to be on Romans 12 so we’re reading the whole thing).

  6. Tammy Crump says

    There is no alcohol served at the reception and the complimentary bottle of champagne spontaneously combusts from the glares of the bride and groom’s ultra conservative parents.

    • Chandler says

      I’m not the official scorekeeper, but can I say -3 on the foot washing?

      I coordinated a wedding where the bride wanted this done at the reception. It was weird and awkward, but mainly because her groom had to wash her feet while she still had on her white stocking/pantyhose.

      • ZJ says

        I’m thinking at least +2. Foot washings are becoming more and more popular and, even though they are quite awkward to watch, the act totally screams “Christian Wedding”.

        • Candice says

          I agree, +2 points for sure!
          Its such a WWJD thing to do… A great sign of a man being a servant to his bride just like-
          What about weddings when the bridal party has to sit down so there can be a 3-5 song worship service? Is that almost as good as an altar call?

    • says

      Foot washings at weddings?! Say it isn’t so! Hadn’t heard of this one. I’ve never married and don’t expect to, but I will still say: “Not at mine!”

  7. Brian O'Dowd says

    I went to a wedding where all of the music was praise and worship music and as a worship leader (no v-necks in my closet by the way…sue me), my mind was BLOWN! Why had I never thought of this before?? Now when I finally get married, I hope my future wife (whoever she is) enjoys Kari Jobe and Hillsong because all the music must be praise and worship played by Joel Houston and Kari Jobe themselves. Hahahaha. It can’t be THAT expensive right?

  8. Chandler says

    I think there was a typo, Jon. #5 should be at least -1 if not -2. (bleh)

    Asking Morgan Cryer for permission to have a song he wrote recorded on video +2 for trying
    Getting Morgan Cryer’s permission +5

  9. Jenn says

    How about a wedding where the guest book is the Bible, the couple leads their guests in worship themselves and instead of a unity candle, they paint two sides of a heart that is connected by the cross?

  10. Hannah says

    being out shown at ur own wedding -10 points + invitation mentally returned + breathing down neck duty for like foreva unless ure Winnie the Pooh and made happy with honeys :)

    ps how many points does a small teeny tiny honeymoon wedding, big first year nascar style anniversary reception with a Pastor complimentary renuptials get?

  11. says

    Extra point cavalcade! My bride quoted Eph 5 verses by memory and I sang to her, Pat Terry Group’s, “That’s the Way” (the wedding song of ’78). Friend sang Noel Paul Stokey’s “Wedding Song.” Another friend sang an ORIGINAL love song w/ guitar based on story of Isaac & Rebecca. I missed points: no Carpenters music. But my groomsmen wore BABY BLUE suits. In my heart, I WIN! (36yrs!)

  12. says

    Points should be awarded for a Christian first dance or parent dance song. “When God Made You” and “Dancing with Cinderella” should get bonus points as well.

  13. says

    I feel I get bonus points for all the cool Contemporary Christian songs used at my wedding – including Twila Paris’ “How Beautiful” during the awkward communion time that everyone had to watch because it was just my hubs and me kneeling on that bench while the song went on and on and on). Our invitations were Song of Solomon-themed and 1 Corinthians 13 was read in record time by a woman who sounded a little more like Mickey Mouse because of nerves. We wrote our own vows and I INTENTIONALLY put “submission” stuff in there because – well – the word freaked me out so I wanted to tackle it head-on.

    • says

      Oooo…..I came down the aisle to my brother singing “How Beautiful” except I had him switch around verses so that the “Bride” one was at the end when I made my grand entrance.

    • says

      I just need to tell you that you’re my doppelganger. My maiden name is Turner. I’ve met/interacted with three other Melissa Joneses since getting married, but I don’t think I’ve ever met another Melissa Turner! :)

  14. says

    still laughing:) i see you were not only married in a different decade than I (left behind series was not even tho’t of when we married in 1968) but were also married in a differnt denomination…or non-denomination:) still had to laugh! very funny:)

  15. says

    Praise and Worship + 3 points, AND congregational hymn +1 point, friend who wrote special music to one of the scripture passages +3 points (the psalm in an Anglican service… So LOTS of Bible passages) mention of childbearing in the prayer time +2 points (also in the Book of Common Prayer) saying grace before the reception meal +1 point. No garter/bouquet toss … Is that positive or negative points?

  16. Kathy says

    Can I get half credit on the 1 Corinthians verse if we played “Love” by Petra during the ceremony?

  17. says

    I already had low points because I was not a Christian, wanted to elope in Vegas and ride in a hot tub limousine, but capitulated to my mom’s pleas and was married in a traditional Lutheran ceremony (my grandma’s church, first time I’d been in one in years).

    I think I may be in negative territory if I have to take points off for the pastor rambling about something (could have been the “love” verses, I didn’t know them) but somehow ending up with this gem of a sentence:

    “When love dies, and it will…(long silence from him) …. errr, umm, well …. now we’ll light the unity candle!”

    He rambled so much before we unified our candles into one that hot wax dripped into my palm and the video shows me wincing and trying to discreetly wipe candle wax onto the unity candle tablecloth.

    Really fun reception and the unity has lasted 27 years so I guess something stuck like that wax in my palm.

  18. Darby says

    Rather than the Left Behind series, we were given the New Testament on audio cassette. Also, we were shamed by our preacher for using a Rod Stewart song for our recessional (Forever Young), because of the artist’s sordid past. I think my favorite Christian wedding staple is removing the word divorce from your vocabulary. As in, literally ripping that word from the dictionary during the ceremony.

    • Becca C says

      I’ve never seen the dictionary thing before! It is is kind of a cute symbol, but I don’t think I could enjoy defacing a book, even a dictionary. My husband still glares daggers at me if I dog ear a page, so I don’t think he’d enjoy it either. ;)

  19. says

    I didn’t do terribly well on your score card, other than but maybe I could gain a few from these?>>

    •Our first kiss ever was in the ceremony (c’mon, that’s like +15, right?)

    •An outdoor ceremony in the rain…..in February.

    •The married couples who were wedding guests were asked to kiss (before we did) from alphabetical order of last names (Lord help us, there were 360 people there)
    We forgot to rate our ceremony PG-13
    How awkwardly horrid

    •Canon in D was the bride’s (that would be me) processional (just like a million other brides from the past).

  20. Rikki says

    Any points for ceremony length? Our wedding started at 2 P.M. and we left the reception around 4 P.M. thereby releasing our friends and relatives from their reception captivity in the youth room of the church we got married at. Yes, we made a few jokes along the lines of “This is what happens when 28 year old virgins get married.”
    How about for using the “Throne room” music from the last scene of Star Wars as a wedding recessional?
    Having the handbell choir provide most of the rest of the music?
    Having a parent who had no idea how to use a lighter trying to use one to light the unity candle?

    • Helen says

      No way! We had the throne room music from Star Wars as our recessional as well! It was a secret between us, the minister and the sound guy – on the programme it was credited as ‘March’ by ‘Williams’. I’ll never forget the 70-odd year old minister’s cheeky grin as he stage managed when we should turn back down the aisle , or my mother’s look of horror, covered up with a smile as she realised everyone else in the congregation liked our choice.

  21. Karen says

    Married almost 49 years. The pastor was husband’s uncle. No dancing, no drinking. Mother-in-law’s sister sang a hymn (can’t remember which one), but rewrote lyrics to make it a wedding song. She was a sweet lady, but the term “it’s not over until the fat lady sings” comes to mind. Received a picture of Jesus as a wedding gift. I think I win. We are, however, still married.

  22. Kent Wisenor says

    30. Punching fear in the face and re-enacting JFK’s drive through Dealey Plaza on the way to your reception. = +100 points Bonus “PFITF”points if you drive past a book repository.

  23. Tiffany says

    What about the verse in Ruth “where you go I will go…” It always cracks me up because it’s said to a mother-in-law not the spouse.

    And you forget the baby photo video montage. Ever so important. (Yes, I had one. And yes, it was to SCC’s I will be here…)

  24. Lauren says

    What kind of points for a friend of mine, whom I grew up with in a very conservative church (the music is evil church), who ignored the no music rule and walked down the aisle to the Star Wars theme, the preacher had green hair, the unity sand was red and green and the glass container they poured the sand into had a ceramic replica of the Sarlacc Pit mouth around the top of it, and the cage topper was Han and Leia. They also ignored the no dancing rule and staged the jazz scene in the space type bar where Han killed Greedo. I thought it was genius but what do y’all think?

  25. Beth says

    A friend of mine went to a wedding where the bride and groom washed each other’s feet. They get mad points for that one.

    I think I get points for quoting the scripture (in my vows) from Ruth “where you go I will go, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Especially since that verse in the bible has nothing to do with marriage, but I put that nice spin on it. LOL.

    And where are the points for not having sex until your wedding night? I get big points for that one. :-)

  26. Sarah says

    1. Your first dance is “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman
    2. Someone washes someone’s feet
    3. Your father in law gives a speech about salvation at the rehearsal dinner, because he too cannot resist a captive audience
    4. Your bridal party is huge because your entire small group from college is in it.
    5. Either bride/groom’s father presides at ceremony
    6. The couple’s first kiss was at the ceremony
    7. Having a really confusing “praise and worship” time for the first 15 minutes of the ceremony.
    8. Having a laying of hands/prayer circle over the bride and groom for an awkward length of time post-vows. This is 99% the wedding party, and is mostly a group hug with obscure mumbling. Bonus if praying in tongues occurs

    All of these have either happened at my wedding or weddings I’ve been to.

  27. says

    I got 20, but you forgot to mention a few more:

    -there were hymns sung during the ceremony. And not from the Lutheran Service Book, the old blue Lutheran Worship Hymnal.

    -your wedding party has to learn why they are bowing.

    -you coordinate your wedding colors to the church season, otherwise the pastors stolls will class with the bridesmaids dresses.

    -no flash photography in the church!

  28. Jill says

    +5 if the bride had to have her dress checked by the pastors wife
    +1 for each bridesmaid who’s dress was checked
    +3 for music having to be checked by music pastor
    …most stressful part of my whole wedding…I almost eloped!

  29. Rachel says

    What about 1 Corinthians 13 being engraved on the wedding bands?? Definitely some points there. This post was too funny (and accurate!!) :)

  30. says

    I only hit 11, but you didn’t include any hymns! My college friend—a music performance major—sang “Be Thou My Vision” during our communion while the best man played guitar. That has to get me a few more points!

  31. says

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  32. says

    Jon,
    How many points do we get for being sent to the wrong hotel by my mother-in-law? And any points for standing in the wrong lobby in my wedding dress?

    Oh, and we need an extra point for two pastors.

    Sincerely
    Pamela

  33. Dan from Georgia says

    Haven’t read thru the comments yet, so these may have been mentioned. Not necessarily staples, but sure to get some points…

    30. The Bride and Groom wash each others feet: +10pts (for uniqueness)
    31. The Bride and Groom kiss each other on the altar, which is their first kiss ever: +3pts (ah, so-so)
    32. The Bride, Groom, wedding official, whatnot, make it a point to mention to everyone that this is their first ever kiss: -10pts (for the hint of self-righteousness involved).
    33. The Bride’s veil is nearly embalmed in flames due to a candle mishap: -1pt for appearance of fire; +10pts for a quick-diving wedding official or Groom bent on saving the day.

    • Dan from Georgia says

      A few more after perusing the comments…

      34. “Butterfly Kisses” makes an appearance: -10pts (that is so 1998).
      35. “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll” makes an appearance at the reception: um….+10 for the unexpectedness of it (add 10 additional points per step towards the more fundamentalist side of things).
      36. Someone yells out “Get a room” during a kiss at the reception: +1pt.
      37. Someone yells out “Get a room” during this kiss on the altar: +100pts.

  34. Melanie says

    I agree with the others who said you must get points for having SCC “I Will Be Here” sung at the wedding. Points for acoustic guitar player, classical pianist, and trumpeter. Also points for being related to one of the ministers (my father-in-law), and having two ministers–my father-in-law and the campus minister of the campus ministry where my husband and I met in college. Yes points for unity candle, but points need to be given for having acolytes.

  35. Katie says

    The sex jokes. Haha yes. I remember wanting to die of embarrassment during my wedding because it was so painfully obvious he thought we never had sex before.

  36. says

    I got married in the dark ages (1983, still married to the same man, which says much more about his character than mine, I’m afraid). So how about the speech about God formed woman from the rib, a bone in the side, so that she is not below the man (foot) or above the man (head) but to walk beside the man.

    Also, what about the speech about the ring being a perfect circle, no beginning, no ending, just like God. Something about the ring being pure gold was worked in there too.

    And what about the verse about leaving and cleaving? That ought to count for something right?

  37. Britney says

    Ok, just pulled out my program (wedding was just in December)… I counted a total of 31 verses, read by five people (all of whom are believers). Five ministers in the ceremony (two were related), and a few others in attendance. Three denominations represented (Anglican, Baptist, Non-Denom). I walked down the aisle to Be Thou My Vision, and there were several other hymns throughout the service. Communion for everyone (we even served it… I did so with my veil still covering my face… don’t recommend that!) after singing both the Doxology and The Lord’s Prayer. We attend an Anglican Church, but the service was in a Baptist one… I can’t tell you how many times people checked to make sure we were using grape juice! And we did receive Thomas Kinkade, multiple plaques/prints/etc with scripture on them (including a lovely trifle bowl with a verse from Song of Solomon etched around it), more than one Willow Tree figurine, and several books on Christian marriage. It was all wonderful and I wouldn’t have traded my uber-Christian wedding for anything else :)

  38. Taryn says

    My cousin just got married and they had my uncle (the pastor) using an iPad to wed them I might add (something’s are meant to be analog…) open a giant rainbow umbrella with his and her names on their favorite colors saying that this is like Gods protection over you as long as you stay in his will you have his protection outside of that (taking the umbrella down) you are unprotected from the world.
    Always stay under the umbrella of Gods protection. Also the sand unity thing with their favorite colors as the sand it was a very kindergarten arts and crafts wedding… Lol

  39. Chris says

    Something else . . .

    Not my own, but I was a groomsman at a wedding where the Star Wars Imperial March was played as the bride walked down the aisle. That has to be, like, minus fifty bajillion points or something, right?

  40. Joe says

    +5 points if, while checking into the hotel (and wishing they would hurry up since your first time awaits) the clerk asks your wife (still in gown) of it is her quincinera (15th birthday). No sex, drugs, and rock and roll makes for a babyface, I guess.

  41. Kara says

    What about flags? My cousin’s wedding had flower girls, ring bearers and the color guard? These children proudly carried flags in the procession not in the charismatic sort of way but as the wedding color guard or something. The flags were teal to match the bride’s maids dresses.

  42. Elisa says

    Foot washing at my brothers wedding and a candle light service (think Christmas Eve) at my my sister’s wedding. I’d give them 10 points each.

  43. Marci says

    +5 points: Someone sang SCC’s “I Will Be Here” at your wedding. (PS-#17, the wheelbarrow ONLY would be way more practical!)

  44. V.Roadhouse says

    This is great! I would also add points for:
    1. Having bottles of sparking apple juice to replace alcohol but spice things up and feel edgy.
    2. Managing to get rid of expensive traditional catering and instead get a potluck provided by guests and church ladies.
    3. Adding to the ceremony the taking off of the purity rings.
    4. Having your Dad sing a cover of Bob Carlyle’s “Butterfly Kisses”.
    5. Having your first kiss as a couple on stage to conclude the ceremony.
    6. Having a debt free wedding ‘Dave Ramsey style’!

  45. Manda says

    The pastor says, “Love is a choice, not a feeling” = +2

    Anyone involved in the ceremony quotes any line from “Princess Bride” = +1 per reference

    • Ethan says

      My youth pastor said if I let him marry me he’ll say mawwiage every time it’s applicable. I’m definitely holding him to that. (As long as my fiance is cool with it, of course.)

  46. Mary Beth says

    Not only did we get a plaque that says “As for me and my house we will serve The Lord”… We had the song performed at our wedding! Double bonus points.

  47. Ethan says

    How many points do you get for having your wedding as part of the regular church service? Pastor ends 30 minutes early, it’s 30 minute wedding time! Can you say “Captive audience?”

  48. Maggie says

    What if you received a giant, Thomas Kincaid themed Bible as a wedding gift?! That’s gotta be like 20 points..

  49. Lolly says

    Jon Acuff you forgot to add that the church bells rang twelve times denoting the noon hour right before the doors opened and Jenny walked down the aisle. Try getting an entire wedding party up, dressed, and hair done for pictures at 10 am. Crazy plan! Jenny’s younger sister got married in the evening with no bells! #TwoWeddingsIsQuiteEnough

  50. says

    We were married 9/5/70. I say, only half kidding, that we married in a year with a 0 so we could keep track of our anniversary. This year is 44; SEE? We paid for our own wedding and my wife made her own dress, which our daughter wore, with some alteration, many years later. The pastor at our rehearsal was not the one who married us, but they were both fine men. Our wedding service was very simple, pretty much by the book, but the pastor did not try to score points with the congregation by emphasizing any of the Scriptural references, such as the “submission” issue, and the word ” obey” did not appear. He knew us. Our reception, in the church basement, was also simple: tea sandwiches and punch. I was fairly scandalized by one of my mom’s friends smoking a cigarette during the reception. I think we took the energy and investment that a lot of people put into the wedding ceremony into our marriage instead. I think my wife would agree. When it came to the Wedding Kiss, our pastor simply said, “It’s up to you.” It was, it is, and we have felt led by God then and ever since.

  51. Youth pastor's wife says

    The unity candle falls over while the boy’s choir exits the choir loft and the groom spits out a profanity in front of pastor. -10 points

  52. Jennifer says

    Our wedding was in a pre-civil war chapel in Franklin, TN (and Jon was busy that weekend :P) We couldn’t have an organ because it was a Church of Christ – so we brought in sound equipment and made the playlist. I think our playlist and some of the other things are worth a few points.

    Highlights:

    -Our friend who is a CHARISMATIC LUTHERAN DANCE MINISTER danced to Steve Green’s “Holding Hands” during the ceremony.

    –We walked out to DC Talk’s “Godsend.”

    -Instead of that silly unity candle, since candles weren’t allowed and, really, somebody ALWAYS ends up lighting it before the other one, thus not being two flames making one, we took it Old Testament and did a salt covenant ceremony… which then included pouring three bottles of salt (bride, groom, and God -the part of whom was played by our officiating minister, the groom’s father) simultaneously into a larger vessel. No distinguishing THOSE grains from one another, whereas you can certainly unbraid those ribbons or rope! BOOM. Holy-ed.

    -Though our dancer did use three scarves- black for groom, white for bride, red for God- and intertwined them at the end of our dance.

    -Yes, we all took communion, and we’re not Catholic. In fact, my husband and I served communion to each other and then to everyone else.

    -Aside from our officiating minister (the groom’s father) we had in the party one worship minister (myself), one Inspirational minister (my groom – he does worship, spiritual formation, and preaching), one Charismatic Lutheran Dance minister, one Anglican priest, one worship band bassist, and one PK who is nominally Christian (which is such a cliché.) There were at least two more ministers attending the wedding.

    -Instead of the normal bride entrance, my husband and I did a choreographed duet. We sang Lucky – which we have to subtract a point for us not changing the word to ‘blessed’ – and he started from the front, I still came in from the back and we sang our way to each other.

    Hmmm… oh, and of course, reception in another church’s fellowship hall and there was no alcohol and no dancing. I have some regrets about the reception, location included. ;P

  53. Brenda C says

    Oh dear, how many points did we lose because my Husband was removed from his church because 1-he married me and 2-because he married me in my church?

  54. Cameron says

    I especially like the one about trying to convert someone subconsciously through being manipulative and hoping the bible rubs off on them. I also liked the one about wives being obedient… This whole list is ridiculous, all you really need to do is to yell out “Jesus” every third word. Not every second word though, you’ll seem over the top.

  55. says

    Solid list. Only thing missing is something about the pastor mentioning that Jesus’ first earthly miracle was performed at the wedding of Cana in Galilee while deftly sidestepping the fact that the miracle in question involved booze.

  56. Phil says

    Extra points if you walk your daughter down the aisle AND perform her wedding ceremony, WITHOUT going completely overboard with embarrassing childhood preacher’s kid stories. Gotta score big.

  57. paula h says

    my husband and i love jesus, but clearly we are heathens! we got married on a monday morning on the side of a lake. he wore shorts and a nice shirt, i wore a casual dress and flip flops from old navy. my uncle wore a tuxedo tshirt (my favorite part) and we went to bass pro shops after the wedding. we all love jesus, i swear!

  58. says

    Having Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “I Will Be Here” sung at your wedding by your worship leader. (I’m pretty sure a bazillion other Christians had the same song sung/played at their wedding.)

    Also, not having alcohol served at the reception because bride (me) was from a Southern Baptist background. Problem was the grooms family was Catholic, so instead of open bar, we compromised and did the only logical thing – if they wanted it, they paid for it. Ugh. Looking back, wish we could change that. So tacky! I feel terrible now.

  59. says

    How do I lose a point for not having dancing at the reception? Thinking that dancing=lasciviousness and/or will lead to sex – most likely of the premarital variety – is the uberest of the uber Conservative Christian viewpoints.
    First I don’t get to dance, dance, dance the night away and now I lose a point for not getting to dance, dance, dance the night away?
    Holy Not-Dancing, Batman!!

    • Rebecca C says

      I believe the point of not having dancing isn’t because it leads to sex, but because the dancing can get seriously inappropriate. That’s an unfair rule, IMO, because they’ll undoubtedly have someone from the church present (if for no other reason than to lock up afterwards). Why not just have that person put a stop to any hardcore bumping and grinding?

      We weren’t allowed to dance either, and I do regret that. After our well-behaved wedding (and a few others), the church decided to start allowing dancing. They just don’t allow booty dancing, which is really how it should have been from the start.

  60. Nicole says

    How many points do I get if my husband’s best man/best friend gave a sermon with the gospel message when he was supposed to be giving the toast? Thats got to be worth a few!

  61. Bee says

    “21+ Points = Welcome to the big leagues. Your wedding is just like church except there’s cake at the end. Onward Christian soldier.”

    Okay this, this seriously cracked me up. I’m not married but if I do, I have a feeling mine will be an Onward Christian Soldier type. Which I’m fine with, I want it be expressly Christian. And I can’t do dancing even if I don’t have it at a church cuz too many conservative Baptisty relatives would faint if I did. So yeah. It’ll be quite the Christian wedding, lol.

  62. says

    Oh and I’ve been to the lets sung all five verses of all three hymns weddings before. Which is a little overkill even to me, lol.

  63. Sassy Lady says

    Went to a wedding where the minister admonished the couple with the wrong verse. The unfortunate part wasn’t that the minister had a severe lisp (cue up the Princess Bride soundtrack) but that the verse was Ezekiel 16:35, “Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of The Lord.”

    Not even sure how you’d score that.

  64. Eric Bishop says

    A friend of my brother-in-law had a potluck for the reception! Nothing says wedding food like mayo slathered finger sandwiches and all varieties of “salads” (with mayo, of course)!

  65. Martin says

    since we had the reception in the basement of the Baptist church, we couldn’t / wouldn’t serve champagne. We did serve Martinelli’s but the guests were afraid to take a (plastic) glass until the pastor said – “come on folks, it’s Martinelli’s – take one to toast the new couple”

  66. Almost had an exorcism says

    I’m embarrassed to say I don’t remember enough details of my wedding to know how I’d score, but I was in a wedding (bride’s married maid) a few years ago that would’ve scored quite high.

    The message pastor (there were at least 3 present) was so intent on preaching the Gospel and then some that I completely passed out – hitting my head on the piano as I went down. I should’ve sat down as soon as I felt a little dizzy, but I fainted while debating whether to go to a pew or sit at the alter next to me and ruin the pictures. While unconscious the pastor started talking about all the spiritual warfare that must be battling inside me, but I hold that a woman 7 months pregnant shouldn’t have to stand for over an hour long wedding sermon! The pastor went rogue. It was never the bride’s intention, or I’m sure we would’ve all been encouraged to sit.

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  70. pyvsi says

    I was wondering when the Praise Dancing would get mentioned for the charismatic crew.
    Bonus points for the couple who not only had “prophetic dancers” at their wedding, but also their first official act as a married couple was to pray (prophetically, of course) together over everyone present at the wedding.

    Oh, then there was the other wedding where the bride’s father’s flight from out of town got delayed and the wedding started a couple of hours late, so of course there was a whole revival-style church service, complete with fiery preaching and altar call, in the meantime. Also, the lady who sat next to me was prepared — with a tambourine. Her own personal tambourine that she carries everywhere with her in her big, BIG purse. She also had a full size bottle of anointing oil (Pompeiian extra virgin, cold pressed, to be exact) in case anyone would need her assistance casting out demons. But yes, the tambourine got some good, good use.

    I don’t know how many of y’all are familiar with the high energy form of worship/dance called “shoutin'” – but the wedding party’s recessional was shoutin’ music. A beautiful COGIC wedding if I ever saw one.

  71. Andy says

    All from weddings I went to this summer:
    The service follows the complete liturgy from Book of Common Prayer +10 pts.
    The service is outside in 90 degree heat, and lasts an hour and a half. +1 pts.
    The pastor gives an actual sermon about the cross, and doesn’t even mention marriage till the vows. +5.
    All of the groomsmen wash the Bride’s feet, while the bridesmaids wash the groom’s feet +2 plus 10,000 awkward pts.
    The pastor cusses at least once, shocking a third of the congregation, amuses another third, and the final third sits there awkwardly. -1
    The reception is 30 mins. away from the church, because the church is in the country and doesn’t allow dancing or alcohol. -1
    The guests who are youth leaders and seminary students get hammered at the reception. -1
    The photo booth includes bible verse signs +1
    The Father of the Bride and sister of the Bride both make twenty sex jokes in their toasts, while the Best Man quotes C.S. Lewis. -1 and +1
    The Sister of the Bride mentions that the bride was wearing a thong, but is no longer wearing it. +2 million awkward points.
    A random guest proposes to his girlfriend during the reception without prior knowledge or approval from the couple. +20 awkward points.
    The final dance is to Be a Man from Mulan. +2000 awesome points

  72. Lauren says

    Don’t forget the father/daughter dance to Butterfly Kisses!!!!
    I think we get half a million points because while weost certainly had dancing, my grandma wasn’t out dancing to Fergi. Lol.
    We had no Bible verses read, the person who read ‘i carry your heart’ was a Christian, we had unity sand instead of a candle, we didn’t take communion or a love offering (we did have everyone give us money instead of gifts so we could give it to a charity), “the gospel” wasn’t presented, I don’t remember any sex jokes, I had a friend write a song and sing as a surprise for my husband, the favors were pop rocks, we had dancing AND an open bar, we got married in a barn and not a church, we had people sign picture frames, the only Bible was the pastors, and my dad and I danced to a Beatles song. I’m definitely going to Hell. ;-)
    I’ve been a bridesmaid in plenty of those types of weddings though. Maybe I can get some secondhand holiness.

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