Making the best of the day itself
Every couple wants to look back on their wedding day as uniquely special. There are so many ways in which marrying in church helps to make the day outstanding – and it’s so much more than the look of the place.
Couples might appear to be choosing a church wedding because the building happens to be a pretty one. That may be true to some extent, but research shows that there is a spiritual seriousness underlying any superficial desire for a nice backdrop for the photos. Couples come for a church wedding for what it uniquely offers:-
- The venue – the ancient, holy and spiritual ambience of a church gives the occasion gravitas. For such a special day, couples want a special place. It’s more than how it looks.
- The vows – they are unique, include God and have remained the same for centuries. This is why many couples choose a church wedding.
- The vicar – the personal attention and support of the vicar defines a church wedding. He or she may know the couple for several years after the wedding and watch their family grow. They may even baptise their babies. The relationship with the vicar is vitally important to the couple, especially in the time leading up to the wedding and on the day itself.
- Always there – no other wedding venue can promise to remain available to a couple long after the wedding day.
Bearing this in mind, doing all you can within legal limits to make the couple’s wedding day everything they hope for could have a lasting impact for church growth.
- Research shows a personalised service, a warm welcome and showing an interest in the couple as people strongly influences whether they will return to church after the wedding.
- As well as helping them with their choices of music, hymns, prayers and readings, get to know their interests, hobbies, the things that are most important to them. Deliver a sermon that reflects some of those things and they’ll be delighted.
- Treating the wedding guests well is also important. Keep announcements at the start of the wedding positive and minimal (and, if possible, do them before the arrival of the bride!). Instead of reeling off a list of ‘Don’t do’ rules, tell guests: ‘You can….throw confetti/take photos/switch your mobiles back on after the service’.
- The Guest card encourages guests to take home a keepsake of the promise everyone makes during the marriage service to support the couple throughout their marriage. Highlight it at the relevant moment in the Declarations, or hand it out as guests leave. If it is simply left out on the pews, it is likely to get left behind.
Filming and taking pictures on special occasions and sharing these special moments with wider family and friends is second nature to young couples. More often than not, they’ll do this on social networking sites, but do be mindful of Safeguarding guidelines, especially if there are children present.
Although you have discretion on photography and filming, it will make the couple and their guests feel more welcome and cared for if you can be as flexible as possible within certain parameters. It is also worth remembering that the couple will watch their wedding film time and again over the years. It’s a great way for them to re-live that day, including the promises they made to each other.
So welcome their photographer and videographer too. The wedding rehearsal is an ideal time to agree on photo and filming moments you’re all happy with.