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12:01 AM on 08/19/2011
we had the right pastor and cheepest people at our wedding...they even took home the wine and flowers and leftovers.what a bunch of freeloaders.ill never invite my inlaws to anything again.
PhD: International Educator and Marketer
11:56 PM on 08/18/2011
I like the statement, "Go to a service” the most. The only change I would make is to go to a service and keep going when you find the Pastor who will not only marry you, but who will also help you build your spiritual self and strengthen your family bond after marriage.
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10:26 PM on 08/18/2011
You can pick exactly the right pastor - we did. He was close to my husband's family, had attended numerous family events, was a really funny, endearing old guy, believed heartily in keeping the ceremony short and sweet to maximize after-party time (half an hour, and I'll have you out of there, darlin' - ideal for an atheist like me).

Sadly, he had a heart-attack a fortnight before our wedding. On his windsurfer. That his fond parishioners had given him for his 75th birthday.

So we got the new penguin straight out of theological college. Who got lost on the way to the church. And the ceremony took three hours. Then he got lost again between the church and the reception vineyard. Thank goodness!
10:08 PM on 08/18/2011
Viva La Vegas!!
09:40 PM on 08/18/2011
"You've always dreamed of having your wedding in a church, but you don't attend a congregation ..."

If you're not active in a church, why would you "dream" of being married there? Try substituting references to Wicca for the references to church in this article. Why would you want a Wiccan ceremony if you aren't one?

Oh, I get it. You just want the stained glass windows and the pretty aisle because the wedding pictures will look better with those backdrops.
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Teacher Trish
The Enlightenment was a good idea.
10:26 PM on 08/18/2011
I agree with you. This is hypocrisy. If you aren't a church goer - get a judge. Better than that, go down to the city hall and get a single day permit for a friend to marry you. Why would you want some stranger marrying you anyway?

I was married by the Bass player of "Sterno and the Flames."

Rock on.
08:22 AM on 08/19/2011
As a licensed Arch Druid in Residence of Carleton College (licensed by the state of Mn, "residing" at Carleton lest there be confusion), I officiated at 3 weddings while living there. And all three weddings were people I knew.
01:09 AM on 08/19/2011
Very frequently, young people will drift away from church life, until they are married. Often marriage and family brings them back into active participation in the church. Also, for many people the ceremony of religious services may not be important to their day-to-day faith, but having the wedding performed by an ordained pastor or priest, and in a Holy house are important parts in their view of marriage as a sacrament.

Many Christians believe that marriage is not just promises between a man and a woman, but a commitment both make to each other that involves God. It is far more than a trivial vanity, and drives deeply at the core spiritual beliefs of people who may or may not, for a variety of reasons, be able to be married within the support of a congregation to which they belong.
08:47 PM on 08/18/2011
How about not having a pastor for your wedding ceremony? How about having one of your best friends do it for free and from the heart? How about writing your own pledge? How about realizing you live in the 21st century and religion is really on its death bed?
Democrat in the South
Empathy, the most important word
11:04 PM on 08/18/2011
Sounds good to me.
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03:23 AM on 08/19/2011
This is what my daughter and son-in-law did. And since I didn't know if they were going to find someone, in the meantime, I got an officiant's license online so I would be able to do the ceremony.

I was glad their friend agreed because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep from crying. They wrote their own vows--and put some humor in them--and it was a fun ceremony.

Hubby and I were married in my parents' living room by a judge who was a friend of my Dad. Just a few family members and my dog were there. My sisters sang. Then we ate dinner that several of us had cooked and went to my sister's high school choir concert. It was great.

And since we didn't buy new clothes for the wedding, rent a space, feed a lot of people, etc, we did not start our life together in debt.

And we are still married 33 years later.
Trust women; protect choice.
08:31 PM on 08/18/2011
Get an atheist to perform the ceremony for you and cut out all the religious hogwash.

Or not :-)
08:24 PM on 08/18/2011
What a sad article. In addition to spiritual food, church offers friendship and family for times of sorrow and joy. Church for Easter, Christmas a wedding and a funeral is sad. And there are so many flavors to choose from.
Resident tea grinder.
08:19 PM on 08/18/2011
If you need instructions on how to select a pastor for your wedding, you probably don't really need one.
12:12 AM on 08/19/2011
a pastor or a wedding?
Resident tea grinder.
10:53 AM on 08/19/2011
Heeheehee. I was thinking pastor, but wedding probably also applies.
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Craig 212
Tide goes in, tide goes out.
07:47 PM on 08/18/2011
The comments so far are pretty funny. Pastors should only marry members of their congregation? Ha. It's a nice idea, and one that has no chance of happening, not while the average pastor is pulling in a couple hundred bucks just for a few hours of his time.
08:52 AM on 08/19/2011
"the average pastor is pulling in a couple hundred bucks just for a few hours of his time."

I suppose if you are a Vegas minister this might be true, otherwise...not so much.

I am a full-time minister and here is a conservative breakdown of the time I spend on a typical wedding.

Meet with the couple 2-4 times for pre-marital counseling and service planning: ~3 hours
Preparing sermon/homily/prayers for service: ~1 hour
Wedding rehearsal: ~1.5 hours
Wedding: ~2.5 hours (usually there an hour ahead of time and some time after)

Typical fee: $100-$150

I'm also giving up a good portion of my Friday evening and Saturday afternoon or evening. These are my two days off, my weekend.

Most ministers I know would give up doing weddings for good because of the time involved and the fact that many couples simply view the minister as another service provider like the photographer, caterer, etc.

I do enjoy the wedding where I know the couple from my church and they truly want to make it a meaningful religious event in addition to the typical festivities, but these are atypical.
High School Chess Coach
07:31 PM on 08/18/2011
Pastor shopping just sounds wrong on so many levels. If one doesn't go to church, one shouldn't need a church wedding. Religion isn't a fashion accessory. And pastors shouldn't be marrying people outside their congregation. Although, many of them feel like they are between a rock and a hard place, when parishioners insist that they marry one of their relatives.
07:05 PM on 08/18/2011
hey here's an idea, instead of 'preacher shopping' why don't you get the pastor of the church you attend to do the ceremony and if you don't have time for church in your life, don't bother getting a preacher at all. just go to a justice of the peace.
Sean Whelan
Increase my digits, if yo will!
07:29 PM on 08/18/2011
What a ridiculous comment. As if life were that black and white.
09:33 PM on 08/18/2011
How about you answer the question?
Democrat in the South
Empathy, the most important word
11:07 PM on 08/18/2011
It IS that black and white. It's what I did 36 years ago.
09:32 PM on 08/18/2011
Yeah...who do you think you are actually having an opinion on the matter!
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06:57 PM on 08/18/2011
I think Pastors would do well to marry only those who grew up in their congregation - people they know. The divorce rate is 50% and if I were clergy I would not want to be any part of that.