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For better or for worse: tips for a good wedding

16 June 2010

by Bill Bowder

CHILDREN should be allowed to stand on pews at weddings to get a better view of the bride and groom, and clerics should encourage it, a church guide on weddings has pro­posed.

A team of wedding-scouts visited 50 weddings last year to find out what clerics do, and asked more than 700 clerics, as well as couples and their guests, what they want, and what works. The result was a check-list of seven points that could turn a wedding into a relaxed occasion for even the most nervous guest’s first- time visit to a church, the Arch­bishops’ Council’s Weddings Project suggests.

A survey of 1000 people in Britain last year found that 44 per cent of those over the age of 18 had attended a church wedding during a single year. The wedding-scouts decided that more could be done to make sure that those who attended weddings had their needs met, including their need for photo-opportunities, and for more smiling by the clergy.

Wedding guests should also be issued with a card, “which they can keep by the bed or the kitchen sink”, on which they can write the names of the happy pair and “keep praying for them in the years to come” — 135,000 are due to be distributed this summer, the pro-ject said in its guide, Seven Heavenly Ways to Welcome Wedding Guests.

The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd David James, said in a press release: “In my experience, guests are sometimes nervous at a church wedding and don’t know the drill. Yet they are an essential part of every wedding and need to be made comfortable so they really enjoy themselves, and remember it for the rest of their lives.”

Details about the project and the seven tips can be found on www.yourchurchwedding.org.

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