307 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Wedding Bells”

  1. Anytime Sammy Allen preached a wedding……. Well, he actually PREACHED! Just like Sunday morning or Friday night at a campmeeting. Gave an altar call tried to get people saved etc…. during a wedding!!!

    Phil Kidd at weddings was pretty hillarious too. He didn’t officiate any of his childrens weddings but stood on the front pew and screamed at them, their future spouses, the officiating minister, the guests, the future in laws etc.

    1. I have never been to a wedding with those two officiating. I have heard them preach and your story sounds true to form for both of them.
      I can imagine Phil Kidd screaming at people. If it is okay with you, I will imagine him screaming borderline profanity during the vows.

      I would like to think that Sammy Allen worked references to “whole hawg sausage” and “stay one more day” into his wedding sermons.

  2. My biggest memory of my own wedding is that we don’t display or show anyone our wedding pictures because we are so embarrassed of the way we dressed. The church rules stated the girls (including bride) had to practical wear a turtleneck for “modesty” reasons. Many times we wish we would have been married 5 years later so our pictures would show girls shoulders, while holding a cocktail on the dance floor!!!

    1. Yeah. Our wedding pictures are awkward because my parents DEMANDED that we have ALL of my siblings in the wedding party. I have four sisters and two brothers. So, in all our pictures, you have a balanced complement of bridesmaids and groomsmen (the people we actually wanted to have) and then a slew of my siblings spilling off the stage on both sides. My parents were LIVID that we had other people in the wedding party besides my sibs.

      Also, to your point about wedding clothes. The reason my mom and wife cannot get along has its roots in what an ass my mother was about our wedding, particularly including wedding clothes. My wife knew about all the “modesty rules” so she kept suggesting bridesmaid dresses off of Mormon websites and such and my mother would send back one-word e-mails like: “slutty,” “whore-ish” (yes, she uses that word), etc. Finally, we picked neck to toe outfits that met with my mother’s approval. Then, my mother went out and had them all altered so that they were skin tight because “people needed to see my sisters.” Several of my sisters have commented how embarrassed they were that she ruined their dresses.

  3. My favorite IFB wedding memory of all was two bus workers who chose to get married at a Sunday morning service so their bus kids could attend.

    The kids loved the couple and it was a great wedding!

    Almost 40 years later and that couple is about the only people from my IFB days who love me and keep in touch.

  4. This would have been around 1974 when I was about 8-years-old. Being as my parents ran the teenage/young adult group, I was selected to be a ring-bearer in a wedding between two (very nice) members of the group. Two days before said wedding my younger sister hit me in the mouth with the sharp edge of a spiral exhaust duct…which put a very prominent laceration on my upper lip (which morphed into a scar which I have to this day). Anyway, I think it was the brides mother that thought they should cover the cut with make-up so it didn’t stand out in the pictures. I don’t know which would have stood out less…the cut or just the sight of an 8-year-old boy in a powder-blue tuxedo with white platform shoes and about an inch of pancake makeup. I still cannot bear to look at the photos…

    1. Good Godamighty. One thing fundy pastors have that not many in our other species can boast–an ability to ignore tact and courtesy in spite of what most consider normal human feeling.

        1. Yep. He adds words, spelling mistakes, and punctuation errors to messages between the time you type and the time you hit submit. Sneaky critter, George.

  5. We were married in the Catholic church, but we went to King Tommy’s daughter’s wedding. The only music that was played at the wedding/reception other than the bridal march was classical music — I burned the CD for the wedding.

    I STILL don’t understand what is wrong for a married couple to dance together! Now, I understand why young, easily influenced unmarried don’t want to be doing it “Candon style” (or whatever they are saying and doing on the pistachio commercial) or “bumping ugly” on the dance floor, but what is wrong with a married man holding his wife close to him and enjoying a dance together (other than if they are having too much fun someone might think they’re having sex πŸ˜† )

    1. Gangnam–it is a neighborhood in Seoul kind of like what Beverly Hills is to LA–the song’s a satire of South Korea materialism and I’m told by my Korean friends it’s quite a brilliant takedown, from a multiplatinum selling musician (this was his 9th album, I believe?)

    2. “I STILL don’t understand what is wrong for a married couple to dance together!”

      Reminds me of why fundies don’t ‘do it’ standing up. It might lead to dancing.

  6. My wedding ceremony was 45 minutes long, and 30 minutes of that was a plan of salvation sermon. You’re welcome, bridemaids who had to stand still in uncomfortable heels that entire time. πŸ˜€

    1. That pretty much describes how our wedding went too. I can’t believe it, but I guess it was what we expected as fundies. Now I sometimes shudder when I see the pics of that church.

  7. Best memory of a fundyland wedding….hmmm..
    ..the time when my parents decided to finally tie the knot. A wonderful celebration of love fulfilled. I was eight at the time,… no, couldn’t have been that one.
    ..when Ian and Brian, my neighbors, made their vows. A wonderful celebration of love fulfilled. No, definitely not that one.
    ..when the pastor went on for twenty minutes at the beginning of the reception about how God hated alcohol and wouldn’t we prove to all those backslidden sinners just how much fun we could have without it. The most miserable wedding I’ve ever been to. My very pregnant wife ordered a large gin from the bar just to see the reaction. Thankfully God had called all us backslidden sinners to visit another bar on the way between the church and the reception to anesthetise ourselves. It only served to numb the pain.

    1. At my sister’s reception, held at a club house with a bar. I was ordering a rum and Diet Coke. My fundy aunt was there and told me that diet soda leads to cancer, so I said hold the Coke!

  8. I grew up in the Bill Gothard/ATI fringes of Fundamentalism where they were completely against any physical contact between guys and girls. (I remember the father of one of the “big name families” getting up during the annual conference to tell everyone that he had given his permission for his engaged daughter to hold hands with her fiancΓ©e, so if anyone saw them doing so it was okay.) So it was expected that your first kiss would be with your husband at the altar. I remember one wedding where when the minister said, “You may kiss the bride,” the best man pulled out an umbrella and held it up to shield the bride and groom from the audience so their first kiss could be private. I decided then and there that I didn’t want my first kiss to be in front of 200 friends and acquaintances!

    1. I LIKE the umbrella idea! I’ve thought it would be nice to save that first kiss until I’m married (I now doubt I’ll wait that long), but I wanted the first kiss to be private, too. Good idea!

    2. EVERY ATI wedding (I’ve been to several) has the whole LOOK LOOK THIS IS THEIR FIRST KISS nonsense. It’s like the ATI wedding equivalent of the fundy “gospel message in case anyone is not saved because we all know weddings are about getting people saved” nonsense.

  9. I was in a wedding at FBC Hammond one time officiated by Jack Hyles. If you’ve ever been to one of his weddings, you know that he was an absolute tyrant. Women’s dresses had to be inspected by Eileen Colston (church organist) to make sure they didn’t show any cleavage or back. He refused to wear a flower on his lapel — would make a stain on his $1,000 suit. But the taking of pictures was the worst. He would not allow anyone to leave after the ceremony until the photographer had taken about a dozen photos that involved him. They were generally the same photos each time. The weirdest one was where he would put the flower girl on his lap. He would tell the photographer that he would count to three and that absolutely, no matter what, he was to snap the picture on “three”. He would then say to the little girl, I’m going to count to three and when I do, you kiss me on the cheek. (There was no one else in the photo except him and the flower girl, mind you.) He would count to three and on three, the little flower girl would dutifully pucker up and lean in to kiss him on the cheek. He would then turn quickly and have her kiss him right on the mouth — “Surprise!” “Click” Pedophile heaven!

    At one wedding, the photographer — a professional who knew quite well how to do his job — wanted to make some changes and kept directing people in a way different than what Jack wanted. Now mind you, the audience was still in the room. Jack kept getting more and more agitated and started ordering the photographer around like he was the massah and the photographer was the slave.

    Finally, the photographer had HAD it and said, (And this was TRULY a quote for the ages and a thing of beauty), “Look, I don’t tell you how to preach, don’t you tell me how to take pictures.” (Hyles was FAMOUS for saying, “I don’t tell you how to _______, don’t tell me how to preach.” I don’t know if this guy knew this or not, but it was a perfect turn of phrase.)

    Hyles exploded. He threatened, he bellowed, he told him that he would never take another photograph in that church as long as he lived if he didn’t do what he was told, it went on and on. The oxygen got sucked out of that room so much, it’s a wonder the candles didn’t go out. It kept escalating until the groom finally went over to the photographer and begged him to just take the pictures, which he did.

    Hyles normally left at the end of his last “set” picture, but this time he didn’t. He dismissed the crowd and then he took the photographer out on the sidewalk where there was much screaming and yelling. All this time, the bridal party was waiting inside for the rest of the pictures.

    There were quite a few nonbelievers who got to see this little drama play out. Impressive.

    I’ve never seen such an egotistical meltdown in my entire life. It would have been epically hilarious except for the total embarrassment it was for the bride and groom and those who actually cared about other people.

    (This was in around 1982 or so.)

      1. Forget the dad! This mother would make it so he did not have lips to pull such a stunt ever again.

        I am usually a mild mannered she bear, but mess with my kid, especially like that? Aw hell no! Someone will have his arm ripped off then beaten with it.

  10. My first wedding. (I have been married 3 times; I am a loose woman and surely boind for hell) My uncle “preached” the ceremony, which was about 45 minutes long. He covered salvation and I really thought he was going to give an altar call. That ceremony was not what we’d discussed at all, and I was one angry bride in very uncomfortable heels. My mother got upset as well,because I had chosen Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” as one of the songs to be played. She said it was embarrassing for a gay man’s music to be played in church. The only thing that is embarrassing is that I was an 18 year old child getting married.

  11. And then there was the time at Jack Schaap and Cindy Hyles’ wedding when Jack Hyles told everyone that they were going to be kissing for the very first time during the ceremony.

    Everyone who knew Jack and Cindy nearly fell over on the floor. If memory serves me correctly, he also said they had never been on a single date — which was another total lie.

    Hyles would often recognized people on Sunday morning whom he had married the day or evening before for being in the morning service. He’d have them stand and tell everyone what dedicated and mature people they were for getting up after their wedding night and coming to church the next morning.

    The couple I mentioned above with the photographer problem, did not leave for their hotel which was located in Chicago well over 1 hour away, until midnight at their reception. Yep…they were in the 9:00 Bible study hour the very next morning.

    Craziness.

    1. I’ve been in a couple of Fundie weddings like that. I have seen them kiss, hold hands, etc. I wanted to stand up and yell bull $#17 in the middle of the service. Well I was a Fundie then, maybe I could just give them a golden turd award.

    2. The really enraging thing about all that, besides the lies, is that they seem to think that not having held hands or kissed is something to boast about, instead of a sad, sad evidence of dysfunction.

      1. I agree! And what is sadder is the kids who actually DON’T kiss or hold hands for real. Like my sister and her fiancΓ©e who are actually following “the rules.” How on earth can they possibly know each other well enough to be getting married?? They have never even been alone together. Always had a fundy chaperone so all they have ever seen is the fundy performance version of each other.

    3. When Dave Hyles married Paula, Jack Hyles told everyone that it was their first kiss, and Paula said that she nearly laughed in his face, since Jack Hyles knew good and well that they had kissed before.

    4. I always snickered when couples married for less than 24 hours showed up for church Sunday morning. I mean…really?

      Returning to church shortly after childbirth almost seemed like a competitive sport also. I shudder at the thought of a day old baby being put in the church nursery.

      1. Uggh. I know a young woman who graduated from the PCC nursing program. She came to church with her newborn for Christmas Eve service, and the baby was only two or three days old. As a nurse, she should have known better. Alas, she was the wife of the assistant pastor and DIL to the pastor.

        1. Oh, I got one better for you semp — I went through breast cancer in 2008. After having a lumpectomy that took 20% of one breast, I was at the “family fun night” with our grandchildren on Friday night! Surgery was on THURSDAY morning, and I was back to work on Monday evening (only worked a 1/2 day)!

          STUPID me!

        2. Yeah, that was stupid … either you shouldn’t have been working in the first place (according to one set of fundy rules) or you should have worked not only the full day, but overtime as well to prove just how good God is. Where’s the vomit emoticon when you need it?

      2. Talking about women and newborns returning to church shortly after childbirth makes me want to cry. The pastors always laud these women as more spiritual, rather than recognizing that they are risking their health (and possibly their lives in the case of a post natal hemorrhage) and the baby’s health by going to church (which is no easy feat with a baby). Employers have to give women a minimum of 6 weeks maternity leave, and churches pressure new moms to show up at the service immediately following their child’s birth. It’s incredibly ridiculous and ignorant.

  12. Oy, what can I say? It was an event.
    I was fresh out of Marine Corps Bootcamp.
    She was sick with laryngitis.

    There were two, count ’em: two(2), IFB pastors officiating the wedding.

    One was a Bob Jones shill who was a power-mad dictator (that came out a few years later).
    The other was a decent enough fellow that I still have respect for… but he didn’t get to do the official “I Do” part of the ceremony.

    So it began… and an hour later, after the sermon, (sans altar call thankfully) we were husband and wife. Yes, there was a 40 minute sermon in there, I have the video to prove it.

    On the lighterside however, I being fresh out of Boootcamp had a booming, OOORAH!, Highly motivated, truly dedicated Voice to recite my vows and let everyone in the county hear, “I DO!”

    The wife, on the other hand didn’t have the voice of a church mouse so even the pastor had to lean in to make sure she squeeked i do.

    Then two rednecks from the rusted Biblebelt of North Carolina headed west to spend a year in the Mojave Desert… but that’s another story.

    1. I’d pitch in a few bucks myself to see the video. I had a two-pastor wedding also, Don. The only thing that made it bearable was that my heathern wife came from a non-IFB-inner-city-biker-friendly church. Her pastor brought a couple of leathery whiskered bikers with him. All of the guests from my church acted as if the Hell’s Angels had invaded the church to kick ass and take names.

  13. My sister got married sometime in the mid-90s. Her dress looked eerily similar to the lady on our right in that picture.Come to think of it, I rather think her hair did, too.

    My most vivid memory of the wedding, apart from the fact that there was NO TOUCHING as we bridesmaids walked down the aisle next to the groomsmen, was of my mom slapping me — and mind you, I was not only an adult but not even living with them at the time — because I disagreed vociferously with her idea to chaperon the young couple back to their house with them after the ceremony.

    My own marriage was performed in a courthouse by a judge. I wore a red dress. It was far from fundy. I have not one single regret.

      1. Oh, well, I suppose she wanted to make sure no one had any fun. What makes the story even funnier — and definitely more absurd — is the fact that my sister and her new husband had been living together for a few months. Her “virtue” was long gone, lol. In fact, our pastor wouldn’t even make an honest woman of her. My Methodist uncle had to marry them.

        1. It’s past absurd and into lunacy. I can only assume that she was really expressing her disapproval with this behavior.
          It baffles me when pastors refuse to marry believers when they have committed some sexual sins before marriage. Are they under the delusion that those white-dress brides are truly sinless? Why this hangup?

        2. Der_Berater
          Are they under the delusion that those white-dress brides are truly sinless? Why this hangup?

          I’m a female, early 40s, still a virgin, was waiting for marriage for sex, never got married. So yes, some Women are actual, honest to God virgins well past their 20s, or on their wedding days.

        3. I don’t think the question is whether the white dress brides are virgins, but rather sinless. It’s an obsession with one sin, and putting upon a pedestal the lack of that particular sin. Being a virgin at marriage is a good thing, and certainly avoids a lot of risks. But it certainly doesn’t guarantee a good or happy marriage, or even speak to the overall character of a person.

    1. I missed a good deal of fundy craziness growing up (made up for it with my time at BJU), and I still would prefer to be married in a courthouse, without all the hoopla of an ordinary wedding. I look at weddings, and all I see is *stress*.

      1. I say this all the time. Before you plan a wedding, direct about 15 high school drama productions. The wedding will seem simple. I never felt any stress over planning a ceremony and reception because relative to a play, it was easy. :mrgreen:

        1. The idea of planning a wedding doesn’t and didn’t phase me in the least. In fact, helping my sister with hers was really fun. But there is no way in God’s green earth I wanted to be the center of attention and deal with THAT MANY people at once. It’s just more than I could and can bear.

          Introversion is not pathological. It just is.

        2. PP–I am an introvert, too, and so is my husband. And I thought I would be overwhelmed by it. But it felt like we were in a cocoon of friends and close family at our reception and the other people were on the edges. It was actually fun.

          And I had been to a wedding where the bride decided it was not “godly” to have people paying attention to the couple. She tried to make it so no one noticed them. Seriously. And it was such an awkward disaster that I knew that was a horrible idea. I also realized from that wedding that people want to celebrate with you out of love and graciousness, not to make you uncomfortable or because you demanded attention. So it is gracious to let them.

        3. “So it is gracious to let them.”

          Was this meant to be as passive-aggressive as it sounded? I don’t think that having a courthouse affair with my husband and only our immediate families was ungracious in any way, and honestly, I think that taking potshots about other people’s weddings/marriages is pretty darn ungracious.

        4. I think they only meant that it is awkward to hold a wedding and invite people and then try and act as though the couple are not the centre of the day. They are, so enjoy it (if that’s the route you choose to go).

  14. Since I was first, I guess it’s only right that I should share anecdotes, too. Actually, only one anecdote. I was too busy doing what I wanted to do to pay much attention to what was said or done in the fundyland where I lived.

    The only thing that sticks out in my mind about the weddings that my ifb preacher father officiated was his speech before the wedding rehearsal. He would sit everyone down and then have the bride come stand up front. He would tell everyone that the wedding was her day, and that he would only be taking orders from the bride. If anyone (mother, mother-in-law, photographer, musician, ect) made a suggestion, he would run it by the bride before allowing it to be implemented. I never saw him waver in this or give in.

    I’m sure that some will take umbrage at denying the groom or whomever the right to make decisions. I understand, I guess. I’ve had two weddings, and both times I was more than happy to simply do what I was told.

    I lied above, thinking about past weddings has caused me to remember an oddity about weddings officiate by my dad. Music was his big issue. Very big issue. We had all the big name ifb music “experts” in to preach. (side note – my friends and I loved those message. Being pre-internet, those sermons were some of the best ways for us to get information about bands.)But, for some reason, my dad allowed music that he despised to be played/sung at weddings. I never asked why, but I can only assume that he took his stricture about it being the bride’s day seriously. However, I’m fairly confidant in claiming that he would’ve drawn the line at alcohol or dancing at the reception. Maybe he did and I just don’t know about it.

    1. “…I was more than happy to simply do what I was told.”

      And that sports fans is the key to a succesful marriage.

      But remember guys, during any discussion or argument with your wife, always and I mean ALWAYS make sure you get the last word in. That last word being “dear”. As in “yes dear”, “of course dear”, “yes you were right dear”.

    2. Yeah you want to make sure you start your wedding out with the “right” kind of music.

      “That heave Green, fatty Patty, ain’t puttin no ham on the hog boys!” – Larry Brown

      Larry, your wrong, I see a lot of ham on the hogs you run with. 😈

    3. Ah, that was big of your dad. I have heard said, at some Fundy conference or something, that it is not the brides day and she should be happy to do what other people want. Silly. Good for your dad.

    4. The fundy pastor who was willing to marry sin-stained little us (big lie, but whatever), did something very similar. I don’t think my mother has gotten over the shock to this day.

  15. Well I don’t know about anyone else, but Leon’s stories definitely take the cake for me. There isn’t much in my favorite fundy wedding.

    The only reason it is a fundy wedding is that it happened in my fundy church officiated by my (at the time) fundy pastor. It was a huge affair, there was around 500 people if I recall (the building was only meant to hold around 350). The service itself was tolerable, but then they had the reception. It was as it should have been. Some of the nonfundy people were drinking and basically everyone was dancing. Even though it was just simple line dances and such, and most people had no idea what they were doing it was fun. After the fact, though, the fundy grim reaper [read: pastor] went about issuing out strong rebukes and preaching the next few weeks about all that went on. It was a fun time though!

    My worst experience was a fundy wedding in a little podunk church where two extremely fundy [they were very, very, very, very into the kool-aid] kids got married. They both were just out of college and teaching in the same Christian school. And for all you romantics to hate on, that is where he proposed–during school, on campus, in the church’s sanctuary. Worst proposal idea ever (at least in my book)! All the picures from that day were of them about 2 feet apart, not touching at all. In fact, one of the preacher’s compliments to the couple was that they had kept themselves pure unto marriage or some crap like that. Their wedding night was the first time they had touched. Then the reception was terrible. There was about 150 people in a room that could just barely (and I mean BARELY) fit them all.

    1. I hate people thinking that the wedding night should be the first time people even TOUCH each other. That’s going from nothing to everything in one night which is really actually pretty sad, imo. I feel bad that young people have been taught this.

      I am so thankful that my parents never pushed that on me and never pressured me into thinking that godly holiness meant never touching.

  16. I don’t remember just 1, but several fundie weddings in which there was no proper toast, no first dance as husband and wife, or for the bride and her daddy, and all of the terrible dress choices/alterations, as per fundie restrictions. I remember very sad brides, because the day they had been dreaming of and planning for, their whole lives, was much less than what it could have been, despite still spending tons of money. I don’t see how real weddings, like the one Jesus performed his first miracle at, are un-biblical, at all. Stuffy Fundies. πŸ™

  17. Mostly all I remember is engaging in some very heated missionary activities during the honeymoon. And some not-missionary. But I think we had a couple of all-out sermons–two pastors shared the duties, neither one could shut up. Didn’t they realize my highest thought that day was that I wanted to “know” my wife in the KJV sense of the word?

      1. Yes, I exhort you to answer the call! You’ll never sing this old hymn the same way again:

        Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness, sowing in the noon-tide, and the dewy eve! We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves!

        I exhort you, brother, sow your seed while you may, the time is drawing near when none of us will sow.

        1. as Wm Shakespeare put it: “alas and alack…”
          meaning for some, there is a lack of alas

          β™« ..maybe morning and maybe noon
          maybe evening and maybe soon.. β™«

        2. Ah yes, Coming Again. Oh! What a wonderful day it will be!

          You, my friend, are a scandalous heathern. I feel led by the Lord to tell you that. Thanks for the laugh!

  18. Ditto on Leon’s comments…would have loved to have been part of the crowd!
    Since my wife was not raised fundy, I remember being asked by my parents if we were going to be serving alcohol at the reception. If we were, then several of my fundy family members had made clear that they would not be attending. We ended up not having a bar but there was a bar in a different area of the country club where the fun people could slip out to and get what they wanted.
    My dad did the ceremony and although he was (and still is) fundy-lite, did not spend too much time on the “sermon” part…it was more of a charge to the bride & groom and he kept it down to 15 minutes or so. Quite honestly, I just remember thinking I couldn’t wait to wrap things up and head to Key West with my bride! πŸ˜›

    1. “Quite honestly, I just remember thinking I couldn’t wait to wrap things up and head to Key West with my bride!” Yep, that’s pretty much it. You’d think that a pastor would have the sense to know the score and keep the sermonizing to a minimum. In fact, I think they would be well served to take their cue from a UFC ref. Get up, smack your hands together, yell “Let’s get it on!” and get out of the way!

  19. Never been to a fundy wedding, but I’ve been to some interesting fundy-lite ones. There was a 25 minute praise and worship session at the beginning of one. Led by the guitar playing groom. Another featured a 40 minute sermon about why the 17.5 year old bride would now have direction in life and be a complete person because a woman is unable to do anything at all without a husband to guide her. My feminist mother, who is generally a very quiet introvert, was about ready to get up and protest at that one. And I was a bridesmaid in one where a substantial portion of the sermon was about how the bride and groom (ages 29 and 38 no less) were pure and would be losing their virginity later that day. πŸ™„

    1. As a kid growing up I remember thinking that was one of the most romantic songs ever! I wanted it in my wedding. Thankfully by the time I got married (to a formerly Fundie guy) my tastes had changed. πŸ™‚

      1. Yes, Heldinhisgrip!
        I also thought that was the most romantic song I ever heard, and I planned (as a 9 year old) to have it in my wedding. And, like you, I chose other (still Fundy, but at least not Patch the Pirate) options.

    2. Or apparently, the “B” side of Ron Hamilton’s “Yours Forever”. The “B” side is for pastors:

      Yours forever or until I find something more interesting;
      but we’ll hide it and stay married.
      You’ll smile pretty and pretend that
      I’m Yours Forever.

  20. At my cousin’s wedding, the groom had to walk down the aisle on the white runner (tripping hazard), to symbolize his purity. They lasted about a year, and she is now living with her partner.

    My fundy relatives wouldn’t take communion at my United Methodist wedding. Only one aunt and uncle came to my little brother’s Roman Catholic wedding. My aunt bawled when they placed the flowers infront of Mary and my gay brother sang Ave Maria. They left the reception when the dancing started.

    My fundy grandma sent them a cookbook. She wrote in it how sad she was that Trish wouldn’t join us at the marriage feast of the lamb, because as a Riman Catholic she will e spending eternity in Hell. The cookbook found its place in the trash.

    1. I got a lovely letter from a pentecostal friend a month after my Catholic wedding about how she and her husband could not come because being in a Catholic church would not be Christian and they could not compromise their own faith like that. She assured me that they were praying daily that I could “regain” my salvation and lead my husband to Christ. πŸ‘Ώ

        1. I think that very much came from her husband who had left Catholicism (sort of) for an Assembly of God church. He had a long testimony about how he had never heard the name of Jesus until someone saved him and he found the AoG church. If you had a longer conversation with the man, you found out that his family went to mass twice a year (Christmas and Easter) and he had never done first communion, been confirmed, attended religious ed classes, etc…so saying he was Catholic was a stretch in the first place. But he was one of those “former Catholics” who was exceedingly anti-Catholic.

    2. Sad, sad, sad. Interestingly, my wife and I are so removed from being fundies that it actually makes us uncomfortable to think of going back to the IFB for a fundy wedding!!

      All my mom’s family was UMC. She was raised that way as well and “never heard the gospel.” (Lie, but whatever.) We were allowed to attend ONE UMC service per year on Christmas Eve and my parents would always have this big hand-wringing meltdown about whether we should take communion with unbelievers or not. The compromise, at my insistence, was that the family members who were POLITE enough to take communion would sit down on the floor level with my grandparents and everyone else who was rude enough to refuse to take communion with fellow Christians could pout up in the balcony. That worked more or less for a while. Then grandma got offended so everyone had to sit down with her and my parents would march down to the front and take some of that pagan UMC communion with a look of death in their faces. I remember one of my sisters actually crying because she was scared to take communion because she thought it was a sin.

      My OTHER grandparents (dad’s side) were Catholics. My mother once spent a trip up to Chicago to see them screaming and yelling about how she would rather go to a PAGAN TEMPLE than go to mass with them. That time, my grandparents beat her to the punch and went to a non-Sunday mass so as not to offend my parents. But, we had to go for their 40th anniversary mass and for my grandfather’s funeral. BOTH TIMES, it was sad to me to see that that the only people who recited the LORD’S PRAYER were myself and my uncle’s family. (My dad is fundy and all his other siblings are no longer Christians of any sort.) For the funeral, my mother was worried that I might take the eucharist so she arranged to have me play the piano (instead of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians that my grandmother wanted) during the communion so that I would not be able to partake. Later, she screamed at us all the way to the cemetery that IF MY GRANDFATHER BELIEVED THAT STUFF THEN HE WAS BURNING IN HELL and that the only “peace” she had during the whole mass was when I played the piano!!

        1. Likewise. We will nag you into becoming a best-selling author, Deacon’s Son. You can credit SFL on your acknowledgments page. πŸ™‚

  21. The only Fundie wedding I ever attended was my own. The pastor kept telling my wife during rehearsal that it was her wedding and He would do what she wanted. There was no sermon, just a heart-felt prayer over us. He also told me that he didn’t expect to see me the next morning even though it would be Sunday. I still love Bro. Milby and his family even though I don’t attend his church anymore.

  22. Our pastor TOLD us that we could ONLY do a quick kiss on the lips at the end of our vows. Anything more would be considered to racy.

    And then a year later, he fired the nice school principle and put in a new one who later was fired for having either an emotional or a sexual affair with a high school student and there were no charges filed. Her dad was in a coma and no one knew if she was 17 or 18.

  23. Interesting choice of topic. Today is my 30th anniversary.
    That said, I will share something I have tried to put out of my mind for years. My own Fundy wedding memory. My wife, who should probably hold this against me, said to share it. Happily, she got past it more quickly than I. As she said, “That is where we were at that point in our lives.”

    We were married about 250 miles from my home, in her hometown. We were wed on a Tuesday evening, so my parents and guests would not have to miss church and their responsibilities around the weekend. It was so ingrained that bus visitation and church activities were the most important things we could do as our “service for God”&#8482, that I didn’t even know if my folks would miss them for my wedding. I never even considered the possibility, so potent was the Kool-aid. She did not like the idea of a Tuesday, but gave in far too easily. The Kool-aid was strong at her church, also.

    Now, thirty years later, I am almost completely free of the toxin of modern-day Fundamentalism. I sometimes have a small relapse of fear that someone might see me. That, or a judgmental thought of superiority over a fellow believer with lesser standards. They pass quickly, and by God’s grace, continue to be fewer and farther between recurrences. Especially since I am the brother with lesser standards quite often these days.

  24. We had to do 6 weeks of per-marital counseling with the IFB Pastor.

    Then he had us read a book by Jay Adams a nouthetic counselor on the husband and wife relationship. Not only is Adams a dyed-in-the-wool-card-carrying-male chauvinist, he’s also a dip shit.

    He made comments like, “most women don’t even know why the water boils on the stove.” And, “if you want to CONTROL your wife, love her.”

    We had a good laugh and just gave the book back.

    Oh and they were remodeling the church and my husband was a painter by trade so of course they said, “since we’re doing your wedding, we’d appreciate it if you would paint the inside of the church.” It’s the manipulation of these jerks that I hate.

    1. Jay Adams. Haven’t heard his name in a good long while. Back in the late 80s I studied his counseling methods at my fundy-lite Bible college. I think your assessment is spot on–he’s a dip shit.

    2. Our Oklahoma fundy pastor gave us a “Christian sex book” and then warned us EVERY TIME HE SAW US not to read it together or otherwise discuss it with each other.

  25. I was at a very fundy wedding where the pastor detailed how the couple had never kissed and had never been alone together, etc. (which was likely true). The letter went on an on about this. There were two results from the overt piety:
    1. Their kiss was very awkward
    2. It definitely came across as a graceless, holier-than-thou slap in the face speech for those present who may have made mistakes in their own life. Reminded me of Matt Chandler’s “Jesus Wants the Rose” example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuGYh6QDNYY

  26. No bad memories of my wedding, but it wasn’t an extreme IFB church. Only good memories; we were paying for the wedding ourselves, so we did it as cheaply as possible.

  27. After the wedding, pictures, & reception, we were finally ready to leave for our honeymoon. Somehow, the bridesmaids & ushers had figured out which car we were taking and had decorated it with shoe and cans tied to the back bumper,and so on. My best friend had made a poster and taped it to a window, facing in. It said “Going down south to get a little son.” We’ll, it fell off and the pastor found it. Apparently there was quite a loud sermon about it on Sunday. We didn’t hear it, of course, because we were attending a different church while on our honeymoon. πŸ™„

    1. Maybe the pastor was angry because he didn’t get the joke? At any rate, perhaps if the sign had said, “Going down south to beget a little son” it would have met the KJV approval test.

    2. I’m probably a reprobate, but this reminds me of the greatest SNL skit ever, with the returning Civil War Colonel played by Christopher Walken: “I’m going south. Way south, where it’s warm and humid!”

    3. Can’t completely blame the pastor, that is pretty lame. πŸ™„ πŸ˜›
      Did you go to South Of The Border in SC, where the Honeymoon Suite is “Heir-Conditioned”? (ducks to avoid tomatoes).

  28. My story actually takes place, not at the ceremony but the rehearsal. The mog didn’t just preach the whole ceremonial message, he added a gospel message which we didn’t ask for,he did it a second time on the second run through!
    He told me later because my future in- laws were not believers and unfortunately gave a Sunday morning style sermon during our wedding, which we didn’t ask for πŸ™

      1. It’s sad but very ironic — this last Easter, our Mom passed away and joined our Dad in Heaven. When my sister and I made the arrangements (we were raised Catholic), we had the funeral at the funeral home rather than in the church.

        My husband wanted to read from the KJV, not the Catholic Bible. While the priest wasn’t happy we didn’t want a “traditional” Catholic funeral and last rites, he ACCEPTED our wishes and did things the way we wanted it done!

  29. I was just reminded of another thing from our Fundy wedding. Because the church my wife attended was so cavernous, she picked a small church her grandmother had attended that better suited our needs. The week before the wedding, the musician my fiance had chosen, church pianist at the large church, was told by her father the pastor that she could not play for our wedding, because it would be in a Southern Baptist church. At this time, the lady had been married for probably 15 years, but still did as the pastor (father) told her.
    Happily another friend stepped in and played for us. He even played “Longer”, a worldly Dan Fogleberg song we requested.

  30. Giving the Gospel at a wedding is not exclusive to Fundamentalism. All the weddings I’ve attended at my current (very much non-Fundamentalist) church, including my own, have included a giving of the Gospel. Although it’s usually wrapped up in about 5 minutes before the charge to the bride and groom, rather than given as a 2 hour sermon. I think a short Gospel message is a great idea.

    1. I don’t have a problem with a short message but to take a ceremony that the focus is on the bride, and the Mog will take an occasion and put the focus in himself and rant and rave like Sunday mornings, the Mog just doesn’t wan the attention to get away from from himself.

  31. The pastor sneaked the salvation message in among our wedding vows. Also at the reception, he got in an argument with my new parents-in-law about why small groups (home Bible studies) were wrong. My in-laws had mentioned in passing that they held one and all hell broke loose. He engaged them in a religious argument at my wedding! *smh* Yeah my in-laws were not happy about that and they rarely get angry. But that one stuck with them awhile.

  32. I think I’ve told this story here before, but here goes again anyway. I’ve never been to a fundy wedding, but I did attend a wedding at a very conservative SBC church in Winston-Salem. (It’s the biggest mega-church in town…I’m sure Laird Donald knows which church I’m referring to.)

    We had just recently moved down to NC from Vermont. (I am originally from Massachusetts.) My husband’s and my families are Catholic, so we were used to Catholic weddings, where the only question is whether there will be an open bar or a cash bar. (No one ever even remotely contemplates the possibility that there will be NO bar.)

    This was our first exposure to a teetotal reception held in the church banquet room (or whatever it’s called). The bride was a colleague; we knew no one at the reception except a few of my other colleagues. It was intensely uncomfortable, and the discomfort was not relieved by so much as one glass of weak champagne, alas. All there was to drink was that sticky-sweet non-alcoholic punch with all the half-melted vanilla ice cream floating around in it.

    Needless to say, we were bored out of our minds, and we left as soon as the cake was cut. I don’t think we even stayed to eat a piece.

    Later we learned that the bride and groom and a few close friends and family had held the real reception later, at a private home — complete with beer and wine in fairly copious quantities. I must confess this kind of ticked me off. Here I had bought a very nice gift for someone I hardly knew — and all I got in return was some sticky-sweet punch. :p But I take it this tradition of holding teetotal receptions for “the public” followed by private NON-teetotal receptions for close friends is fairly common here in the Bible Belt. I still think it’s pretty hypocritical and cheap-skatey, though.

    I’m half-Italian, and the tradition in our family is to have wedding receptions with VERY open bars. Even the cake is alcoholic — it’s Italian rum cake. (VERY delicious, but don’t try freezing a piece to eat a year later; even in the freezer, rum cake doesn’t last that long, LOL.)

    But the best wedding reception I’ve ever been to was brother-in-law’s in Milwaukee. Getting tipsy and dancing the polka…it doesn’t get much funner than that. πŸ˜€

    1. One of the fundy-lite weddings I was in served one inch square pieces of cake, two of those chalky little mints each, and about six peanuts along with the nasty punch you speak of. At a 6 p.m. reception. The bride and groom did not cut the cake as it would “draw attention in an ungodly way” or do any other traditional reception thing. There were about 400 guests and they spent most of their time in an endless receiving line down the hallway that led to the church gym where the paltry food was served. Most guests left about two minutes after getting their bite of cake in order to go get dinner.

      That was also the wedding where there was a long sermon about the event of the couple losing their virginity later that day. We were also treated to five scripture readings, several of which were two entire chapters.

        1. We dismissed our guests, row by row, rather than forcing them to go through the traditional reception line. They could sit, listening to the music, until we got to their row to thank them for coming. And then, they could immediately go and eat, or go home…whatever they wanted to do. Our goal was to make life easy on them. It was nice.

        1. Probably because the polka plays a prominent role. πŸ˜€

          (How’s that for alliteration?)

    2. I’m rather curious here, as two different churches spring to mind (I went to school in Winston-Salem a little while back). One of them I attended a funeral at where the pastor basically said that he hoped God hadn’t decided to cast the deceased into hell for having committed suicide. Just awful.

  33. At one of the IFB churches I attended, the pastor always tried to make wedding ceremonies personal, but did so by making what seemed to me totally inappropriate comments about the couple. For example, all I remember from one wedding was the pastor sharing how the bride’s father had come to him for some kind of advice concerning the young lady when she was in high school (which, to me, should’ve been kept in the strictest confidence), and also how her family had lived in a home with one bathroom and driven around a rickety old vehicle for years so they could afford Christian education for the kids. It just sounded humiliating for the family!

    Also, on a side note: Only matches made at an IFB church or Bible college counted. Any other marriages went unacknowledged (no gifts; no presence at the wedding) by the church’s pastoral staff.

  34. Our own wedding was during our pre-fundy days, in an Episcopal church, with formal vows, no Phil Kidd commentary, and a reception with dancing, booze, etc.

    I didn’t play the music at many of the fundy weddings in the fundy churches we attended, since the wedding parties usually brought their relatives in to do their wedding music. I was amused when they played non-fundy-approved music for the prelude, which seemingly escaped the notice of everyone else but me. Of course, I did the same whenever I had the privilege of supplying fundy wedding music.

  35. I was a pastor for 2.5 yrs. Only officiated one wedding. A young couple (the groom was the son of a faithful member of the church) wanted me to marry them. They had been living in the fields of sin and had a baby to prove it. I was just a youngster myself, really, so I was honored that God had chosen me to rectify this unrighteous cohabitation. I studied the Baptist Pastor’s Handbook (or whatever it was called) and knew that Wedding Ceremony backwards and forwards.

    The big day arrived. As soon as I started the service the blessed couple’s damn baby began screaming like a red demon and didn’t stop until the final Amen. I just kept speaking louder and louder, and faster and faster, trying to get it over with as soon as possible. Couldn’t use my voice for over a week afterward. About halfway through I seriously thought about performing an exorcism on the little devil–I hadn’t had the chance to study up on that so I left it alone. Lord, the things they don’t teach you in preacher school!

    1. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t the baby’s fault. Someone should have taken care of the kid when he or she started crying. The baby needed something that none of the geniuses in attendance were willing to to try to take care of. Blame the adults, not the child.

  36. I wanted a private ceremony with just family. NO fuss..Pastor told me that people would be hurt if I excluded them. Of course in those days I did what the Pastor said even if it was only a suggestion. Wish I stuck to my guns…then at least I would have happy memories of having a wedding the way I wanted it to be. As it is I try not to think about it. 😐

    1. Sorry about your bad memories of what should be most enjoyable. In spite of what it says in the Book of Acts, I fully believe that there are times that God actually wants us to “kick against the pricks.” If you know what I mean.

  37. We will be celebrating our 23 anniversary this Dec. Despite being in fundyland for 15 of those years we are still happily married. πŸ˜†

    Our wedding was pretty uneventful until a cousin of mine, who had never step foot in the doors of a church before let alone a fundy church, brought a bottle of champagne for the bride and groom toast. She along with the rest of my extended family could not comprehend why such a fuss was made by my very much fundy in laws when they heard about it. My in-laws think bottled root beer has an appearance of evil so image the 360 degree headspin when they saw an honest to goodness booze bottle! πŸ˜†

  38. Let’s see… Having to submit the music prior to the wedding for approval. Being told one of the songs “glorified the spouse too much”. Told to submit a picture of my wedding dress for approval. Pastor’s wife freaking out that my bridesmaid’s dress was too low cut even though it was just a normal short-sleeved long blue dress. She ended up having to wear a non formal dress because nothing else could get approved. Rehearsal dinner had to be changed because place served alcohol. My brother and my best friend not really wanting to be at my wedding because of too many bad memories of the church. Nasty 70’s orange carpet in the background all of our pictures. Preaching during the ceremony. Boring music. Boring reception. My husband and i looking miserable in all of our pictures/video.

    1. It was a MoG controlled nightmare. I couldn’t wait to get it over with so we could stop by your parents, change clothes, put our evil shorts on and head to Florida!

      We really need a do-over on our wedding at our new church.

    2. Wait a second… which song glorified me too much?

      I never made it to the level of a 32 degree fundie so I was never deserving of glorification. I was probably a 4th degree fundie then.

  39. I watched Anna and Josh Duggar’s wedding on tv the other night..I don’t know what religion they are but something tells me they are IFB. Their first kiss was at their wedding and Anna’s dress was very modest. I was too young the last time I attended an IFB wedding so I don’t remember any of details..except when I went to my first non IFB wedding..I couldn’t believe there was drinking and dancing.

    1. That is the one where the pastor tells the cameraman that Jesus didn’t turn water into wine, but grape juice. Did you see the part where they were listening to some preacher on tape talking about sex? I remember my Baptist grandma gave a set to my parents. They were horrified.

  40. Oh, and how could I forget the pastor’s wife being surprised that we were going on a week long honeymoon to Florida after the wedding instead of staying for mission’s conference. πŸ™„

    1. Missing the missions conference?

      That marriage is doomed to fail! (Unless you promise to attend every single service, activity, business meeting, tithe your dutiful OT mandated ten percent, give above and beyond in freewill offerings, up your faith promise missions giving, give to the Sunday school fund, give to the annual “I love my moG” offering, mow the church property, clean the church building once a quarter, double your portion to the pot lucks, print the bulletins, teach Sunday school, sing in the choir, join the hospitality committee)

      Then you will be forgiven and your marriage will probably last.

      Kind Regards,

      B.R.O.

  41. I was married the day after graduating from Bob Jones University. The wedding was on a sunday. I wasn’t a super-fundy (despite having just spent 4 years of my life in holy hell) but somehow forgot that everyone else was. I had my wedding in the afternoon so my in-laws (FIL is a pastor, and performed our wedding) could attend a local church.
    During the reception everyone began to leave. Soon there were only about 25 people left and we hadn’t even had the reception for more than 45 minutes. My “wedding planner’ (oh don’t worry, she was qualified. She worked in the activities center in the dating parlor at BJU) told me we better leave our reception soon or there wouldn’t be anyone left to send us off. When I asked her why everyone was leaving she informed me that evening church began in an hour. Apparently the 30 minute sermon my FIL preached didn’t count as evening church. I suppose they had to abstain from the appearance of evil.
    Really, this whole event began my journey away from fundamentalism. If my christian friends couldn’t stay to celebrate God’s greatest example of himself and his church, then the people didn’t understand the Bible very well.

  42. The last fundy wedding I attended, the young, perfect-haired preacher boy used the recent bus accident in Indianapolis as his illustration for “not knowing what a day may bring forth.”

  43. My wedding was just about everything I had wanted it to be. Got married outside(I REFUSED to get married in a drab church building with ugly carpet and reception area), wore the dress of my dreams, had a short ceremony (the pastor said it was up to us if we wanted him to preach) and gave my husband an experienced kiss!!! (we had practiced many times πŸ˜€ ) Only thing I still regret to this day is that we did not have dancing. Although my parents were actually completely fine with it, I knew my in-laws would definitely not be, and I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to start out on a bad note with them. Wish so much I had just gone with my gut and done it. We still talk about how much we wished we would have just had fun with all our friends, it was our day after all! Ironically, all of our friends who got married (we all were raised IFB) regret not having dancing, but we were all too scared of offending certain people.

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