Social commentary

The nonsense surrounding weddings undermine marriage

A royal wedding is simply the über example of the extravagance, hype and nonsense that has overtaken the contemporary concept of getting married.

This culture is fuelled by an industry dedicated to ramping up costs.

It knows how much money people are willing to waste for ‘the perfect day’ and a ‘fairy tale experience’ (the latest ‘average cost’ banded around is £27,161).

Bloated by consumerism

The culture around weddings has become bloated and corrupted by consumerism.  Too many people have been taken in by the lie that a lavish and expensive event equals depth of value and significance.

When it comes to weddings, too often we live out Oscar Wilde’s famous words: we know the price of everything and the value of nothing.


This all leads to the deeply ironic situation where weddings are actually undermining the very concept that they are supposed to be celebrating: the love and commitment between two people.

Many couples are avoid or delay getting married because of the cost of the wedding.  They are having to save for years in order to get married – but not in the old-fashioned sense to order to buy furniture or get a mortgage – but in order to pay for a big celebration.

Increasing pressure  

It means that more pressure is applied to families at a time when this is the last thing they need.  Increased expectations mean that people feel they need a lavish event which can lead to incurring huge debts.

And we know how much debt is a major cause of relationship and family breakdown. So, the expense of weddings actually increases the pressure on families and contributes to more children are growing up in less secure situations.

Simple joy

All this is tragic.  I love going to the weddings of friends and family and the best ones are when the simple joy of celebrating and supporting a commitment between two people shines through the day.

Of course, what people eat and what the bride and groom is wearing is all nice – but these are all essentially decorative frills.


Far, far more important than the cake, the dress or the menu are the simple but powerful promises which lie at the heart of the wedding service.

In our current social climate, marriage vows of fidelity and commitment are increasingly radical and counter-cultural.  In direct contrast to consumerism of the wedding industry, these vows represent what we need more of in society.

Let’s not let the nonsense about weddings drown out the main point of marriage.

2 thoughts on “The nonsense surrounding weddings undermine marriage”

  1. Some good points. My wife and I had a pretty extravagant wedding ourselves (20 years ago now), but I see what you’re saying. The heart of it, for us, were those solemn (and joyful) promises before God.


  2. Jon, I agree with everything you say. I am interested in setting up a social enterprise which would offer great wedding celebrations for fraction of the cost people usually pay. If you or any of your readers know of people who have done this elsewhere, please could you put me in touch with them. Thanks, John Bavington


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