307 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Wedding Bells”

  1. I had an awesome fundy wedding. Neither my wife nor I were fundies at the time, but she grew uo in one church, and wanted to have it there. It was beautiful, short, and the officiating pastor (my wife’s youth pastor growing up) was respectful and tactful – and blessedly short. The only “fundy” things would be the no drinking (don’t really mind, as I wouldn’t have imbibed anyway…affects the plumbing) and no dancing (which I would have liked, but no one there knew how to dance anyway).

    The most beautiful wedding I ever attended was my younger sister’s. She was married in the most beautiful Catholic church in New Orleans, and then had a reception at an old 1920s movie house converted into an art gallery. Live music, a chef who would cook you a custom omelette (it was a morning wedding) and an open bar which I made great use of.

    Both weddings are good memories.

  2. Sigh. If I had to do it all again, I’d have had dancing at the reception (instead of a skit and Mad-Libs), and would have cut out the hymns from the ceremony. (I’d probably also have had a cash bar for some of my relatives…maybe.) But we were on staff at BJU–even though we got married in Massachusetts–and had been thoroughly in the thrall of the cool-aid. 🙁 If we ever redo our vows, we’ll have more fun, I hope. Hubby is still pretty straight-laced.

    We’re going to my niece’s wedding next summer. I have already told my husband we need to learn to dance…

    1. We learned to dance from You Tube in our family room lol We had so much fun learning and making our daughters laugh. There was wine involved I admit. Cheap date night and now we look polished on the dance floor!

  3. Our preacher spoke for so long, our Unity Candles were burned all the way down to the holders. I had to pry loose the half-inch stubs for my wife and for me to light the middle candle. Good grief!

  4. The one that really stands out (for all the wrong reasons) took place about 30 years ago; involving the first youth pastor our church called; a young, nice-looking single guy. He was in his mid 20s, just out of seminary and according to most of the church, including the pastor, could do no wrong. When he started spending time with one of the more troubled families in church, it was seen as a good thing, until we found out that he’s been seeing their then 15 year old daughter. They got married just a few weeks after she turned 16, so it was technically alright. Personally, I thought it was creepy as hell, and I’m truly they were allowed to get married in the church. He even sang as she was walking down the aisle (yes, he had an ego). He was asked to leave a couple of months later, where he is now, I have no idea. I felt sorry for her and sometimes wonder what happened to her. I just hope she wised up, dumped his ass and worked on making a decent life for herself.
    And, as an addendum to this, I should point out that at the next business meeting, the congregation agreed that in the future they would only call married men to act as youth pastors, and the pastor’s oldest son and his wife got the call.

  5. The saddest Fundy wedding I attended was of a friend who was supposed to be a bridesmaid at mine. My wedding was booked before hers, but then she “had” to get married first.

    What upset me the most was the fact the church leadership pressured the couple to get married ASAP rather than waiting the 2 months until their scheduled date. Then, once the couple agreed, they were told the ceremony must be family only, & they were barred from using the sanctuary. They ended up getting married in the church fellowship hall.

    I got to attend because the couple was allowed 1 musician, & my friend asked me. And she felt compelled to add the caveat, “I’ll understand if you don’t want to…under the circumstances.” I hugged her & exclaimed that I was honored she wanted me to participate in her wedding. By that point, she had been shunned by so many in the church, my friend burst into tears of relief that she was being treated kindly – and I had never seen her cry in the 10+ years I had known her!

    After the ceremony, the pastor took me aside & commended me for being gracious enough to play piano (argh! Only piano at a wedding!) at the ceremony…under the circumstances. 👿 Even in my Fundy state, I couldn’t resist a little dig about him being “gracious enough” to marry them in church. 😈

    My own wedding was nice enough. My gown had a scoop neck & back, but made up for it with cap sleeves. My remaining bridesmaid & I had enough experience at Fundy U making formals “fake check” that we were able to use a chiffon scarf to make her strappy, low-cut dress pass inspection. My husband & I requested a salvation message be given & even had a gosp-, er, guilt trip printed in the programs. The ceremony was short & sweet (the whole thing from processional to recessional was about 30 mins), and the reception was cake & punch, but it was a late evening wedding, so we figured most attendees would’ve eaten supper first.

    The pastor liked it so much that he said, “When my daughter gets married, I want her wedding to be like this.” Over a decade later, her wedding was very similar. 😮

    1. That story about a pastor deigning to marry the couple is very sad. Sadder still are those pastors (and I’ve heard of a few) who refuse to marry those couples. Good for you for showing grace to her!

      1. You know, I don’t really think I did anything special. I was shocked at how many people came to me to commend or thank me for being gracious. It doesn’t bother me so much coming from you, Paisley, but I was baffled, frustrated, and downright angered by the fellow church members who acted as if I was digging deep and performing some sacrificial kindness toward my friend.

        This same church also refused to allow my friend’s baby shower to be held on site, when it was customary for showers to be a huge shindig, guaranteed to rake in a lot of necessities young, first-time parents desperately need. Gracious would’ve been the church being willing to get its hands dirty by ministering to one of its “fallen members.”

        Sorry if I sound angry. I still am, a little bit. I mean, how many other non-virginal brides got married in the sanctuary simply because they’d managed not to get pregnant? So was the sin pre-marital sex, or getting pregnant so everyone knew they’d had pre-marital sex? It was so ridiculous!

        1. When my daughter’s best friend ( at the time), who was and still is super-fundy, got married, my daughter was not allowed to throw her shower at the church. Why? My daughter had converted to Catholicism. So she gave her the bridal shower at my place of employment instead.

        2. My fundy aunt and uncle left a church because the pastor congratulated a couple of the birth of their “bastard” grandson. Guess she didn’t realize that Jesus was a bastard. My fundy lite aunt’s church has had baby showers for single moms.

        3. My former Fundy church would not hold an official baby shower for a woman who had an illegitimate child. Instead a group of us got together and held one off site. One staff woman and a staff wife came.

        4. semp,

          As hard as it may be to believe, nothing happened to us. It was a small group of ladies.

  6. My story actually isn’t about going to a fundy wedding; instead, I’ve got fundies at a Catholic wedding (and a fairly conservative Catholic wedding at that, although the one footing the bill was not at all down with no booze).

    So, friend got engaged, his fiance ended up converting to Catholicism. Fast-forward to the wedding day, and her relatives are at the wedding. Her relatives looked increasingly irritated as the service went on, and I even spotted one looking utterly disgusted when we were instructed to turn to a particular hymn in the Catholic hymnal. On the side I was on, another friend’s wife who was fundy pursed her lips and wouldn’t sing a single word of any of the hymns.

    But, hey, not like the Catholic side of the equation was doing much better! Priest officiating gave this pompous speech about how he couldn’t give Communion to any of the non-Catholics present since the “Church” was “divided”. Entire bit about how he was terribly sad about that fact. I sort of wanted to point out to the guy that since most of the non-Catholics present thought the Pope was a strong candidate for Antichrist that he probably shouldn’t’ve been so worried about people sneaking Communion from him.

    Of course, I wasn’t a fan at all of the priest because he kept pressuring my friend to break up with a girl he’d dated prior because he kept claiming she was leading him astray by her non-Catholic-ness. This guy managed to convince my friend that all his “impure” thoughts were her fault 🙄 He was also rather abrupt in his manner whenever he interacted with women.

    The reception itself was pretty fun, at least! Even if the bride’s relatives were making faces a lot because of the booze and dancing and many of them left early! Thank goodness the groom’s father had prevailed on the matter of the bar!

  7. My wife and I were married 15 and a half years ago in an ifb church in Georgia. Her dad (an evangelist) officiated and did a good job. He gave a fifteen our twenty minute sermon on marriage–its origin, its sanctity, and how it is to be a picture if Christ and the church. We had several Christian love songs sung by a Pastor’s wife, who did an excellent job.
    On the other hand…
    I sang a song by White Lion called “‘Till Death Do Us Part,” after my wife came down to the front and stood at the bottom of the steps. Also, we engaged in a decent kiss (we had practiced…when my in-laws found out, they contemplated ending our engagement or at least making my bride wear ivory…I had to engage in verbal judo with then a few months before the wedding to put those ideas to rest).
    We had a good old southern reception complete with “dinner on the grounds.” It was a Friday night wedding (two days after I graduated from college), so I drive to the nearest nice hotel that was in the general direction of our destination and got the bridal suite. Within minutes we had consummated our marriage (first time for us both). All in all it was a pleasant experience.
    One sour note, though… The in-laws had hired a Pastor friend to take the pictures (he had all the right equipment), but he forgot to change the film, so we didn’t have very many official pictures. One kind elderly lady had taken lots of snapshots throughout the evening, and we managed to get copies of those.
    Other than the film situation and one of the bride’s maids and one of the groom’s men, we wouldn’t change a thing!

  8. My wife was a bridesmaid for a college friend. The wedding kiss was a short peck, and when people tried to get them to kiss at the reception dinner, the couple stared icily at any clinking glasses and calling for kisses. I’m guessing it was a frosty first night!

    My own story is from our honeymoon. After years in fundy college, we were married the day after my wife’s graduation. On our honeymoon I reached over at a stop light to hold her hand. She pulled away and looked to see if anyone from the college was behind us. I wish I was making the story up.

  9. When we were getting married, writing your own vows was still sort of novel, but I wanted to. We were getting married at my parents’ deeplu fundie SB church, and the pastor objected -in love, of course- as the vows as I had written them did not inclide verbiage from Eph 5, specifically he wanted me to promise submissiveness and followership and my then fiance to promise headship and lordsh-oops, I meant leadership. We objected, I hada moment of clarity to his saying our vows were not “biblical” to which I retorted that there is no such thing as biblical vows. He had the entire service written out, including a -and iquote- a “prayer that they pray”! I asked if he couldn’t come up with an original prayer…? He about had an apoplexy when I said he could useany scripture except Eph 5 and 1 Cor 13. Told him it’s a big bible and tp find something else. He just could not imagine doing a wedding and not usi g either or both of those passages. Ne eventually said he’d do lur wedding as a “servant” to us, which my fiance didn’t like as it really meant he didn’t support us. We fired him, then had hell explaining the whole thing to my parents. So stressful, but I am so glad we did not have him perform our wedding!

  10. All my life growing up deep in the heart of Fundyland, I dreamed of my wedding, as all little girls do, I suppose. As a child, I didn’t know there was any way to do it but the way I had seen – a daytime wedding, an approved dress, a song from the list of 20 or so approved songs, a long sermon, a salvation invitation, a short kiss with lots of laughter/hullabaloo from the crowd, and a boring reception with NO DANCING.

    When I was about 10, I attended my first non-fundy wedding, and was scandalized. It wasn’t until I was probably 18 and my family was on the way out of Fundydom that I realized…..that I can do it the way I want!!!!!!

    Now I’m planning a conservative, but definitely non-fundy wedding. There will be a 5-minute “charge to the couple” but that is the extent of the preaching. One thing I NEVER wanted is for the preacher to announce that this was our first kiss. (1. Voyeuristic. 2. Untrue. 😈 ) His parents and a lot of our fundy friends won’t know that it’s not our first kiss, but….let’s just say we’ve been practicing one that will make them wonder. 😉

    So: advice from the peanut gallery: Should we have dancing? My intended can’t dance, but I think I could teach him, and my dad wants a daddy/daughter dance. It would shock the fun dies tho. 😛

    1. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dance!!!! Enjoy yourself, that’s what the day is for. Let the haters hate and leave if that’s what they want. It is your day, it is all about you, and if someone doesn’t like it, tough cookies. They can have their own damn boring activities.

    2. We had a fundy wedding, and our officiating pastor actually recommended that we practice kissing ahead of time “if we were comfortable with that” (we comfortable with so much more, but we kept that to ourselves). He said it would prevent an awkward or embarrassing moment. I was surprised to hear, but it was wise counsel.

      1. I agree that it is very wise counsel!!! We didn’t get any counsel of that sort – the odds against that first kiss happening were pretty astronomical actually (Fundy raised, fundy U enrolled…..etc.) We just did what we wanted. lol

        I have TONS of respect for people who wait to kiss until their wedding, assuming that it is their choice and not foisted upon them by others. But it definitely was not the right choice for us.

    3. My little bro got married 7 years after I did, while I was still Fundy & he most definitely was not.

      The wedding was at a beautiful facility (not a church) with gorgeous mountain views. There was a cash bar in the banquet room & plenty of Fundy-scaring live music. My brother & SIL had a first dance, & other non-Fundies got up & boogied.

      I was simultaneously jealous & scandalized. BUT even though I didn’t enjoy it, I was able to keep in mind it was their wedding to celebrate as they wished.

      If you want dancing at your wedding, go for it! You don’t want to look back & regret not having that daddy-daughter dance with your father on your wedding day.

    4. When one of my sons got married, The Kiss was followed by all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen holding up ” points ” signs like Olympic judges…(5.5, 9.1, etc). It was a very lighthearted and “comfortable” wedding.

      1. I’m probably going to be a sermon illustration on arrogance for this, (/s/) but I think by that point we should have enough “practice” to earn a perfect 10. 😆

    5. Maybe the fun dies need a little shock. 😯 They’ll live through it even if they act otherwise. If your Dad requested a dance with you, go for it!! We went to a wedding recently and the music for the daddy/daughter dance was “My Girl.” The bride’s parents had taken dance lessons with her and her husband-to-be and it paid off. Then the bride’s dad grabbed my hand when “The Twist” started. It was so much fun!! 😆 He knew I was raised in “We’re Baptist and we don’t dance home.”

    6. Certainly! Dance, kiss, hold hands, feed each other cake, toast one another in the beverage of your choice. It’s your day; do what the two of you want. The fundy folks will survive the shock.

  11. A friend of mine didn’t get married til she was in her 30’s. She’d always been considered the precious unclaimed jewel til this so everyone was happy to see her finally getting married. She’d been dating this young man (he was a few years younger than her) for a year or so and everyone was happy for them. But at the wedding the pastor said that while they were in counselling sessions before the wedding the bride had claimed she “couldn’t wait” to kiss the groom at the wedding. I thought to myself, “That doesn’t sound like her!” because she was a very modest lady, I highly doubted that she had said such a thing to the pastor. I found out a couple months later I was right. Now this young lady was very sweet and quiet, soft spoken, everything a fundy lady could be but she was ANGRY as she told me that she had never said such a thing to the pastor and was fuming while she stood there at her wedding wanting to call him a liar to his face. I just shook my head because it was unfair of him to have boldly lied like that since she was hardly in a position to defy him. I told her she ought to go to him and make him apologize before the church for having said something like that at her wedding. 👿

  12. Curious. How many of you have heard of mothers spanking their daughters on their wedding day? My mom threatened and I had a friend who did get spanked. Her mom said she was just so full of herself on her wedding day and had so much attitude…

      1. Also sorta on that topic, my hubster told me they actually had a “don’t spank your wife when she doesn’t submit” mini-lesson in the preacher boy’s class @ Fundy U. 😐

        1. Not joking in the least. Hubs said the class was mostly aghast that it even had to be addressed, but there were a couple guys who seemed baffled that they shouldn’t practice such “godly discipline” on their wives.

          One guy apparently asked, “Well, what do you do if your wife is consistently disrespectful & unsubmissive?”

          (The answer was to have your pastor talk to her.)

        2. How about treating your wife as if she’s a human being worthy of respect and love? There’s a novel idea amongst fundy men.

      1. Dear elizabeth:

        I can hear several of my daughters saying, ‘you can bust a wine bottle on that pastor’s forehead.’

        I’ll drink to that! Cheers!

        Christian Socialist

    1. My paternal grandmother told me years ago that HER mother spanked her “for the last time” on Grandma’s wedding day – though whether before or after the ceremony, I don’t know. However, she can perhaps be excused by the fact that Grandma was all of 14 years old at the time! 😆

  13. An old friend got married at FBC Hammond (Schaap era). The bride had been part of their drug rehab program. Her victory over drugs in their program was made to be a big focus during the ceremony.

  14. I have no complaints about my wedding. It was fundy-lite, as the church was at the time. But it was not too long or embarrassing.
    My oldest son’s wedding had one stand out moment. They had courted more than dated, (her choice) and had not kissed yet. My wife told our son to make it a good one. It was long and literally left her staggering, to much laughter and many Amens.
    The first fundy wedding I saw was one where I was a groomsman. The pastor preached long enough that my legs were aching. Then I noticed one of the bride’s maid. She was five months pregnant and was so white I forgot about my legs and what was being said. She sat down on the front pew a few minutes later. The preacher barely paused, but stopped and wrapped it up in about one minute. I don’t think he realized how long he had been going. Thankfully, everyone felt fine after the ceremony.

      1. CS,
        He knew. She was married to one of the members of a pastor approved music group who was always pitching in. He just got carried away. I think he was a little ashamed of getting away.

  15. My story is happening right now. I’m sitting in the back of the church waiting for the wedding to start in a few minutes. The church I go to is definitely fundamental, but compared to some stories shared here I would say fundy lite. One rule the pastor has is for anyone playing music or singing has to wear a tie and a lot of regular church members wear a suit and tie anyway.
    As I’m seeing people walk in that I’ve never seen in church without a suit and tie are wearing neither. I quit the music team because I got tired a wearing a tie, and I’m sitting here in a suit and tie.
    I guess I just don’t understand their thinking. We are at a formal event. Now is the time to dress up.

    1. I wear my suit almost exclusively for weddings, funerals, and job interviews.

      One friend, after her wedding, said seeing me in a suit was one of the highlights of her wedding (I guess because it was so rare).

    2. I love wearing a suit. They are versatile, comfortable (well, I do buy nice suits and have them tailored, so mine are comfortable), and sharp looking. Unfortunately, we are becoming a society where they are increasingly inappropriate. I have to fly to corporate next month to do a training presentation, and was advised that jeans and a button down was as formal as I should dress. Maybe I’ll wear my Zignone with no tie and loafers. That’s pretty casual.

  16. Oh, I love this topic. I have so MANY stories, but…I’ll stick to one or two. 😀
    One wedding in which I was a bridesmaid, was 3 hours long. 3 HOURS. The couple came from fundy pastors’ families, so the fathers had to out-preach each other. Then the groom got his chance. While another preacher friend amenned LOUDLY from the front row as they hit upon almost every fundamentalist point of standard. Yep. Never mind that the bride was nearly fainting from stress and exhaustion, and freaking out over the coming wedding night. At least we weren’t wearing heels; that would have been worldly.

    My wedding was held away from the church. I knew my sweetheart neckline gown wouldn’t pass dress check. My parents weren’t thrilled about the neckline, but my foot was down and not budging. No way I was going to put a ‘piece’ in that fabulous gown. They figured I wasn’t ‘pure’ anyway, so it wasn’t worth the fight. Not having secular music didn’t bother me, because I was so sheltered, I didn’t really know any songs besides the usual fundy selection. Not dancing didn’t bother me because I didn’t know how to dance. Not drinking was not a problem because too many members of my extended family are alcoholics, and I simply was not interested in dealing with THAT at my wedding. So all in all, I had the wedding I wanted, and everyone who attended was fed very, very well. Skipping the alcohol didn’t mean skipping an excellent meal and phenomenal desserts.

    Almost every fundy bride I’ve spoken to has expressed a wish to have had dancing at their weddings, though.

  17. I love weddings, but not the fundy ones (I’ve been to several) where the pastors use the ceremony as an opportunity to preach a very long sermon. It’s not about them…it’s about the couple.

  18. I was part of the wedding party at a fundy wedding about 15 years ago. The bride and groom never even went on ONE DATE….the groom, their fundy pastor and the bride’s parents all confronted the bride and told her it was God’s will they get married. They were engaged for about 8 months or so and only saw each other at church. The worst part of the wedding? The bride and groom actually memorized the 119th Psalm…and then proceeded to quote the ENTIRE passage from behind the pulpit. Took them 26 minutes…he said the 1st, then she said the 2nd, and so on. IN.SANE.

      1. I guess you could say that….she got pregnant on her honeymoon, and 9 kids later….well, they don’t talk much. lol They seriously need a tv.

        1. With getting pregnant on the honeymoon and that many kids, well, they obviously “know” each other very well in the biblical sense of the word. But considering that and the fact they never dated, do they really know each other in the other sense of the word at all?

    1. Sounds like ATI. Bill Gothard was all about learning the 119th Psalm to impress people. He actually dispensed a special blessing for those who learned the whole thing. (If you didn’t learn it, that meant you hated God’s Word. I didn’t learn it. I was too busy memorizing the Sermon on the Mount, the book of James, the book of I Peter, the book of I Thessalonians, Romans 6-8, and all the other ATI favorites.)

        1. Advanced Training Institute. It’s a Bill Gothard thing. The guy who didn’t marry or have kids styled himself as a guru for all family issues and has built an empire promoting all kinds of weird. The Duggars are Gothardites. Lots of IFBers are Gothardites.

  19. Our fundy-ish wedding is still too close for me to be ok recounting. Traumatizing. I say fundy-ish because I was one of those brides who was obviously pregnant at the time we got married, and I was given no choice on any of the major aspects of the wedding. I was told what to wear, when we could get married, and what was going to happen during the wedding. Even who to invite. 👿

    On a positive note, my hubby and I have decided that we don’t want that horrendous memory to be what we think about when we talk about our wedding, so we’re going to do a vow renewal in the near future, and it’ll be done OUR WAY.

  20. I was married in the fundy church I grew up in, but I had a lot more liberty with my decisions (no one had to approve my dress, I could pick whatever music I wanted, etc.)

    The one thing I hated: weddings of church members were announced several times in the weeks leading up to the ceremony, so anyone who attended the church (or in one instance, some random person who found a bulletin) was liable to show up at your wedding.

    1. Our church did this in general and we explicitly asked the pastor NOT to do this for us. He complied. There are people in the church who still do not speak to my parents because of this sleight.

      My father is a psychiatrist and one of his patients showed up at our reception because he recognized my dad’s vehicle from his clinic. Creepy!

      1. Wait, wait, wait….

        Your FATHER is a psychiatrist?!?!?!?! A for realsies, licensed, highly educated individual who is cognizant of the reality of mental & psychological abuse.

        And he hasn’t diagnosed your mother? Nor mentioned even in passing how damaging her behaviors are to your family?

        I just… I absolutely cannot comprehend… 😯 😡 👿

  21. My husband and I were married in a Fundy church in 1996. We were already becoming quite fed up with the whole Fundy thing but since it was our family church we never even considered having our wedding anywhere else. We weren’t far enough along yet in our “liberalism” to want dancing or drinking anyway so the reception was held there as well. We didn’t want our pastor to marry us because frankly he wasn’t very nice and was extremely fundamental. I asked my childhood pastor to do the majority of the ceremony and then threw our pastor a bone and allowed him to do the vows. My husband and I specifically asked that the words “obey” be omitted from the vows. We never liked the feeling of those words and definitely not with the connotation that they held in our church. During our rehearsal he did exactly as we asked and then during our ceremony as we were standing gazing into each others eyes, he very loudly says, ” do you promise to love, honor, and OBEY!” As I repeat the words he smirks at me. What he didn’t know was that my husband loves me like Christ loves the church and he understood the meaning of those scriptures. But it always irked me that this “pastor” would do this after we clearly asked him not to just to make his point that women were made to obey the man.
    We have since left this church. Thank goodness!! We’ve been gone for several years now. It’s amazing how clearly we can see things now that we couldn’t see while we were there.

  22. Kind of late for this post, but the reason why I avoided this one for a couple days is because I am living through FUNDY WEDDING HELL right now and I am literally this close to giving up on my entire family.

    First, my own story. My wife and I both moved to Oklahoma before we got married because she was teaching there and I was planning to attend law school there. We went ahead and rented and set up our apartment. While I finished my undergraduate degree I worked nights at a convenience store approximately 10-12 nights out of every 14 and was also in Dallas several days most weeks. My wife was living with her grandparents. Because I refused to ask her father for her hand in marriage (because her mother told me to ask him because he wanted to say no), my wife’s grandparents kicked her out of their house. (Her dad wasn’t a fundy. Just going through a phase. He got over it and we’re all on the best of terms now. I think he was honestly worried about his daughter marrying into my extreme fundy family – he didn’t know I was any different because his wife attended my parents’ church.) Anyway, when my wife got kicked out, I told her just move in with me. I worked most nights anyway and we hadn’t bought a bed yet so I said how bad could it honestly be. We took turns sleeping on the couch and it sucked but we managed to make it to our wedding. (If I had it to do over again, I would do the SAME THING! Someone had to take care of her and family/church didn’t give a shit.) Anyway, we were dutifully attending an IFB church in Oklahoma and the pastor was going to come to our “home church” in Texas to marry us. On TUESDAY of the week of our wedding (we were getting married on SATURDAY), he called to let me know that he “just found out” about our living arrangement (this was a lie – he had known for some time, but a wealthy tither in his church HAD just found out) and so he could not in good conscience do our wedding unless I agreed to have my wife come before the church for church discipline. I e-mailed him back and said “if that’s how you feel please don’t come. We will make other arrangements. You will never see us again.” That was the day we left the IFB for good. Fortunately, the pastor we grew up with (fundy nut-job in the pulpit, but decent guy the rest of the time and lifelong friend of my wife’s family) decided to marry us. Might have helped that my parents and my mother-in-law, who also attended my parents’ church (without her husband), were the two biggest tithers in the church BY FAR. Because of this convenient fact, we basically got to do things how we wanted, thank goodness. Anyway, our wedding ended up being nice and we have good memories. (Even though the church janitor lady took my wife aside to tell her that she should not be wearing white and to let us know that SHE would not be cleaning up from our wedding because we had lived in sin.) Mostly everyone else treated us okay.

    Anyhoo, fast forward five years to the present time. My “holy,” “righteous,” “godly,” puke-tastic sister who works at WCBC is getting married in January. Of course, everyone is all worked up because they are “doing it right.” They have gone on precisely ONE date alone together. He moved in with my parents to find a job and apartment while she finishes out this semester working at WCBC. (Item: he dropped out and did not complete his fake master’s degree. As soon as he got engaged, he was done with “college.” Yes, they were going to get married even though he had neither a job nor a place to live. And she is planning not to work after they wed because they are going to get pregnant on their wedding night!! Yay!! They want to have as many kids as the Duggars!! Yay!!) So, that is the HELL I have been living with for the past several months. Almost EVERY DAY, someone in my family says something (usually on Facebook for everyone to see) about how nice it is that “this time” everything is being “done right” etc., etc., etc. We don’t get along with my parents very well (as most of you know) and one of my mom’s friends actually said, “well, that is what happens when your marriage starts off in sin!!”

    1. I’m sorry you’ve been treated so terribly by people who are supposed to be following the One Who said that people were to treat others as they’d want to be treated themselves.

      1. Wise words, PW. The problem is that I know that command of Christ applies to me as well with respect to how I treat them. But it’s very hard to do the right thing when it comes to my family. 😥

    2. But you are the better man for having done right by your wife. You took her in when her own family would not…it is sad your family is so blind to reality and hurtful.

    3. Aren’t the duggars millionaires because he owns a lot of rental properties? Not to mention revenue/royalties from the TV show. I mean, he was also a politician. While I disagree with their quiverfull philosophy, he is obviously a smart man and has made it so that his family can live quite comfortably.

  23. I was married in what I consider a Fundy-lite church. I came bursting into the building about 30 minutes before the wedding started, straight off the plane. I was coming from Army AIT in Arizona (Intel school) and my CO and 1SG would only give me three days of leave to get to Michigan, get married, and report to Korea (by the way, you LOSE 13 hours going from MI to Korea), where I never ended up getting a command sponsorship so the first year of our marriage was spent apart. Anyway, I wore my dress uniform (Class A 🙁 ) because I couldn’t get fitted for a tux, but the wedding was great, reception was great, and marriage is great.

  24. I remember weddings featuring sermons. It was so weird – like, why would I want to hear someone preach? Do the pastors not get that, in this, they are pretty near to furniture? The spotlight is not for them!
    The worst was when pastors would make the wedding about their current pet subjects, like tithing.
    I was the flower girl at my parents’ wedding (gasp!). The pastor of our church refused to do the wedding because my mother had been divorced. Instead, they had to get the local Mennonite pastor (who is actually now my current pastor) to do the ceremony.
    I have been to SO MANY WEDDINGS AUGH. Genuinely like 30, and I’m only 25. Family, you are too big.

  25. As the best man at my best friend’s wedding at a fundy Baptist church, I got to observe 2 sermons from both the bride’s father (who was officiating the wedding) and the bride’s grandfather. The wedding went over 2 hours because of the long sermons they preached. Also, during the vows, the pastor made a point to over emphasize “obeying her husband,” which was quite humiliating to his daughter. It took all alot of self-control by my best friend to keep from lashing out at his father-in-law……

  26. I was the head usher at my best friend’s wedding. We met at his church in Florida and I spent a dozen years in the IFB churches and “colleges” before coming to my senses. I had been out of fundyland for a time when he “chose” his bride. At the wedding, I offered my arm to escort the lady in every party to her seat. Scandalous!

    Regardless, everything was going fine as I directed the other ushers and supervised the event to the wishes of the happy couple… until the Pastor walked in. The peoples’ minds returned to mush as he started barking orders. When I reminded him that the couple had wanted something different that what he was directing, I was shushed and told that “Nobody contradicts the man of God”. Seriously? This man was my youth pastor in younger days before the church became an IFB. I loved him, but I would never have thought he would elevate himself to that level. In the end though, both the pastor and the couple came to their senses and are now “just” believers and no longer fundies.

    I prayed for years for that to happen.

  27. At a wedding we attended, after the bride’s dad and mother gave her in marriage, the minister launched into a rant that went something like this: “No dad thinks there’s a man deserving of his daughter. I have a daughter and I’m sure (insert name of bride’s dad) feels like I do… there’s not a man….” blah, blah. It as a squirm moment. He then turned to the groom and said, “You’re a fine man.” That was a very hollow moment. The couple entrusted their wedding ceremony to this pastor and IMO he violated their trust. It was tacky and I felt embarrassed for the couple and their families, espcially since the bride has a higher education and better job than the groom.

  28. 1st wedding: My dad officiated. I didn’t want him to but wasn’t really given a choice. He told the same stupid jokes and said the same bullshit he says at every wedding he’s ever done. Don’t remember if there was a sermon in there, but it definitely went on too long.

    The only music at the reception was a single guitarist playing in a classical-ish style. The only dancing was our husband-and-wife first dance. This was a huge compromise to avoid pissing off my fundy family (his family was nominally Christian). Apparently it was too much; as we started, my mom walked across the room and out, and loudly said to someone coming in, “Well, they started dancing, so of course i had to leave,” in the most obnoxious snooty voice.

    Second wedding was a courthouse affair followed by burgers in the park. I wore a thrift-shop dress and Chuck Taylors. It was a very short engagement, 1000 miles from where my family lived, and this was partially so that they couldn’t attend and ruin it. And it was wonderful, much better than the big fancy wedding i had the first time.

  29. I went to a wedding a few years ago where I guess the couple had “failed” marriage counseling because the pastor kept saying things like “divorce isn’t an option” and “if you want to back out, now’s the time to do it!” and it was super uncomfortable. I would’ve been furious!

  30. Most interesting wedding was one where the pastor allocated several minutes explaining why he opposed homosexuality. Then launched into long monologue about his own marriage. I kept thinking, “Pastor this is not about you.”

  31. My Mom and Dad met at a fundy U. My Mom told me that she was all set to work as an elementary teacher at the church’s school right after their honeymoon. The principal of said fundy school called my Mom ON HER WEDDING DAY(a Saturday)and said school had been moved up one week so she needed to report 7am for staff meeting the following Monday. She did not tell my dad and went on her honeymoon. 🙂

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