The air is alive with the chatter of birds and the dappled sun gently lights the idyllic green. The chime of the bells drifts across the village, announcing to all who would hear that a new life has begun. The bride and groom have made their vows and emerge from the muted light of the parish church into the brightness of a summer afternoon.
I love weddings. They are a big deal. A seriously big deal.
I love the fact of two souls coming together, making the promise to champion, to honour and to defend each other, come what may. I love the anticipation, the expectancy and the hope. I love the simplicity of promises exchanged, the naivety of young love and the timelessness of a tradition as old as time itself.
But, there’s a lot about weddings that I don’t love.
According to a recent survey, in 2016 the average wedding in the UK cost £27,000. That’s about the same as the national average pre-tax salary. One year’s wages gone on a single day. That’s a massive amount of money.
Sure, if you have the money to burn at the party to end all parties, that’s great. No doubt you’ll have a great day. But marriage isn’t about a day.
It’s about a life.
Yes, a wedding is a big deal. It’s a big deal worth celebrating. However, too many cultures leave families shackled with crippling debt just to pay for their party. There’s nothing like debt to put strain on a relationship. It’s foolish to sabotage your future with the party planned to celebrate it.
With a divorce rate in the UK pushing on toward 50%, perhaps the happy couples would be better off spending as much time and effort planning their marriage as they do planning their wedding.
It’s not nearly as glamorous, or profitable, for the myriad wedding industries, but marriage preparations are way more important than wedding preparations. As I heard someone say recently, “marriage pays dividends if you pay interest”.
So, where are you with your relationships right now? Do you need to invest in them? Is there anything putting a strain on your relationship? What can you do today to ease the strain?
The Marriage Course offers excellent courses for engaged couples and married couples. See if there’s one running near you.
Christians Against Poverty is a UK charity that provides free help to people dealing with debt. Click here to see if they can help you.