Why I (Almost Certainly) Won’t Get Married in a Church
Back in May I discussed the reasons for which I would not attend a child’s Christening. On a similar theme, I’ve often wandered what I would do if I were going to marry a Christian girl and she had her heart set on a church wedding.
Now granted, I am jumping the gun slightly here, as at present there is not even a potential Mrs Tobe38 (form an orderly line, ladies), but I think about these sorts of things. (Everyone always tells me that I think about things too much. On the rare occasions when I don’t think too much, I think too little. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to get the balance right.)
For the rest of this post, I will posit a hypothetical fiancé – I don’t have an imaginary girlfriend. If it helps, picture Jessica Alba – that’s what I’ll be doing.
The first thing that I want to be clear about, is that I take the institution of marriage very seriously. I am only planning on getting married once, and I want to do it right. I see it as a solemn promise, a truly sincere commitment between two people. Of course, the wedding itself is just one day, and represents only a tiny fraction of the marriage itself, which is far more important, but it is still a hugely significant occasion, where you celebrate your love for one another with your friends and family, and make public and official your dedication to each other. As mass produced as the wedding industry is (I should know, I’ve worked on the bar for enough of them!), it’s a chance to express your individual and collective identities in the choices you make about everything, from the ceremony to the buffet.
In short, should I get married, my wedding day will be one of the most significant, memorable and, I hope, happiest days of my life. Feeling the way I do about religion, a church wedding would make a mockery of that special day for me. To stand in front of a man to whom I acknowledge no authority, and for our union to be blessed by a deity in whom I do not believe, aside from making me a complete hypocrite, would make a joke of my principles. If I were going to do that, I may as well wear a red nose.
If I get married, I want to do it right or not at all. I cannot see any way that I could be persuaded to get married in a church, or any other religious setting. Having said that, I have to be prepared for the fact that should my ‘other half’ be religious, she may feel just as strongly about the same principle, in reverse. Relationships require compromise, and should we wish to get married, one of us would have to relent. For that reason, I can’t categorically state for definite that I would not get married in a church – it is impossible to say for certain from this hypothetical standpoint. I cannot imagine how it would come about, but I’m leaving myself a ‘never say never’ get-out clause. One thing you can be sure of: if I were to agree – hypothetically – to her church wedding, you can be damn sure there would be a big screen for the football at the reception. And a big slide. And Derren Brown would entertain.
Author’s Note: I probably won’t post anything for a couple of days, so I’d like to wish a very happy Independence Day to all my American readers for tomorrow.