Extravagant weddings threaten marriage, claims senior clergyman

A senior clergyman said that extravagant weddings put marriages at risk, and that he’d rather conduct a funeral than a wedding.

According to The Daily Mail, Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, said too many modern weddings are ‘overblown vanity projects’ in which weddings lose their way.

He was speaking on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, when he said that weddings have become ‘a glitzy stage-set’ where an obsession with picking the wedding reception venue or the bride’s shoes has become a threat to marriage. In fact, average spending for a wedding last summer hit £21,089. Whilst it is important to choose a well-equipped venue, dress and accessories, Dr Fraser believes that too much emphasis is placed on wedding organisation rather than the vows themselves.

“Too many modern weddings have just lost their way,” he said. “I’d even say that they’ve become a threat to marriage itself. For the whole point of a wedding is that the married couple are agreeing to place the interest of another before their own.”

With an ever declining number of people choosing to marry, it seems that many people share his sentiment. The Office for National Statistics released figures earlier this year which showed that the number of people getting married in 2008 was the lowest since 1895. In fact, figures suggest that in 20 years’ time the number of single people and co-habiting couples will significantly outnumber married people.

However, Dr Fraser did say that he felt a wedding, when it was done right, was wonderful. “When two people overcome their fear and instinct for self-protection and place their heart into the hands of another for safekeeping, then a mini-miracle occurs,” he said.