The pressure on couples to have a beautiful wedding is enormous, far more than when Brooke and I were married 12 years ago. When we were married, Facebook had only been around for one year, which meant no one expected us to release breathtaking photos. All of that has changed.
Last year, a year in which I was a part of seven weddings, I wrote an article for Desiring God titled, "The Problem with the Pinterest Dream Wedding." In it, I encouraged Christian couples to keep what is the center of their marriage (the gospel) at the center of their wedding ceremony.
Heather Sells, a reporter for CBN, recently interviewed me about that article and the broader trends we pastors are seeing at wedding ceremonies. Sells notes, “That 10 years ago, couples spent $16,000 on a wedding with an average of 110 guests. Today, they’re spending an average of $28,000 with 124 guests.” That increase in cost is far more than mere inflation. Also, in the last decade, the average length of engagement has increased from 8 months to 13 months.
Why do you think this is? Why the increase in cost and length of engagement? Why do weddings need a clever hashtag on social media? Why do couples feel the need to have Pinterest-perfect centerpieces? And why do I, as a pastor, feel the need to preach the perfect wedding homily?
I’m not sure all of the reasons, but I do have a few guesses. In the interview I say,
Culturally I think right now we’re at a place where our identity is not so much looking upward to God and who He says we are in the Gospel—the good news that we’re His sons and daughters in Christ—but rather who we posture ourselves as in social media.
You can watch the video interview here, which includes my comments and those of a few others.
[Picture by Allef Vinicius / Unsplash]