Christian weddings are divine worship services. In planning a Christian ceremony you are wisely choosing to ask our Lord’s blessings on your marriage. He alone has instituted marriage and is able to bless and preserve it. By asking Jesus to be present at your wedding, you are beginning a marriage centered in Christ and His word. Be assured He is pleased to join a couple in the fellowship of a Christian marriage. Jesus even performed His first miracle at a wedding by turning the water into wine!
Types of Christian Ceremonies
A white wedding is a term for a traditional formal or semi-formal Western Christian Wedding. This term refers to the color of the wedding dress, which became popular in the Victorian era after Queen Victoria wore a white gown when she married Prince Albert. Although it is often said that the color white symbolizes virginity, it was actually originally used as a display of wealth, as it alluded to the money available to spend on a dress which could only be worn once, as white would become easily soiled and couldn’t be reused.
A double wedding is a single ceremony Christian wedding where two couples choose to have simultaneous or consecutive weddings. Typically, a fiancé with a sibling might plan a double wedding with that sibling.
The African-American wedding is inspired by a combination of the African heritage, the African-American culture, and a Western-style ceremony. Some couples choose to forgo the Western-style altogether. The African-American wedding is truly a celebration of the marriage and the couple’s roots. A popular African-American tradition is known as “jumping the broom” signifying that after the couple exchanges their wedding vows, they jump over, or step into their new life together, and it usually takes place at the end of the ceremony.
A destination wedding is any wedding in which the engaged couple, alone or with guests, travels to attend the ceremony. This could be a beach ceremony in the Caribbean or on the California coast, a lavish event in Las Vegas, or a simple ceremony at the home of a geographically distant friend or relative.
A military wedding is a ceremony conducted in a military chapel and may involve a Saber Arch. In most military weddings the groom will wear (and occasionally the bride if both individuals are in the Armed Services), a military dress uniform in lieu of civilian formal wear. Some retired military personnel who marry after their service has ended may opt for a military wedding.
A weekend wedding is a Christian wedding in which couples and their guests celebrate over the course of a weekend. Special activities, such as spa treatments and golf tournaments, may be scheduled into the wedding itinerary throughout the weekend. Lodging usually is at the same facility as the wedding and couples often host a Sunday brunch for the weekend’s finale.
A civil wedding is a ceremony presided over by a local civil authority, such as an elected or appointed judge, Justice of the Peace or the mayor of a locality. Civil wedding ceremonies may use references to God or a deity (in UK law), but generally no references to a particular religion or denomination. They can be either elaborate or simple. Many civil wedding ceremonies take place in local town or city halls or courthouses in judges’ chambers.
Eloping is the act of getting married without consent or approval of parents or others.
Before You Make Your Plans
The principles that govern a worship service also apply to a wedding service. All things done in a wedding ceremony should glorify the Lord. The music should be reverent and sacred. Secular or popular music should be planned for your reception. Find out from your pastor if a song you would like to have as part of your ceremony is suitable.
Your photographer and videographer should not be disruptive to the service. Plan to have as many pictures taken before or after the service as possible.
Discuss with your pastor whether the church permits the throwing of rice. Birdseed or bubbles are a good substitute in this case.
If you plan to hire a wedding consultant, tell her to have all wedding plans for your ceremony approved by the pastor. Churches have the right to prohibit any plans which conflict with their policies, doctrine and practice, the spirit of their worship services, and the use to which their property has been dedicated.