A few colleagues were talking about weddings the other day. They discussed things that they had been asked to do and whether they were prepared to incorporate them into the day. It was a bit of one-upmanship. Who had the most crazy request? One said that they had been asked if they could wear reenactment outfits. I said “what period”? The conversation continued and I was told “They wanted to have a guard of honour at the door of the church when they left”. “What period?” say I, “What type of reenactment?”. It turned out to be Viking and Saxon reenactment.
I guess they weren’t expecting me to say “I used to do Viking Saxon reenactment and I was in a guard of honour at a wedding. I also have a friend who married in a rifleman’s uniform AKA Sharpe’s rifles”. When I say these kinds of things people often don’t know how to react. In the last two days, all the old photos have started to appear on Facebook. That is literally how I came to share with you this video that @revdrach sent me!
There are legal ramifications to a wedding and much of what is done is prescribed by law. If I had a pound for every person who has asked me if they can “write their own vows” because they have seen it on Home and Away I could retire at 32. Never the less, we live in a world that is looking for meaningful personalised experiences in all sorts of different ways. When they turn to the church to have them, how do we respond? 61 million people have seen that video but how many would put their foot down and say no?
My experience as a groom was that we walked out of church to this. We looked at the congregation. The metalheads were looking at each other and going “is it”? I looked at Mrs Changingworship and an unspoken thing happened. We ran. The emotion was so overwhelming that we were now husband and wife that we ran down the aisle and left them to it in all of its punk glory! We went to snog behind the church. We were wedded. We were now one. And it was all about the three of us, me, her and God.
So what does it mean to be real with people as “The Church” when we come together for a couple’s wedding? What can we do to convey the message that it is about the couple and God? What facilitates their celebration of their love for one another in the presence of their creator?
I was fortunate: I married the vicars daughter – literally.