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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

A wedding to celebrate

Thousands of people will be heading to churches, marquees, hotels – as well as woods, stone circles, town halls and beaches most likely – this weekend to celebrate someone’s happy day. Whether it is their own, family, friends, colleagues or distantly known acquaintances looking to make up the numbers, any given Saturday in August is likely to be immortalised for a host of people.

You could be forgiven for asking the question why though. There seems to be a sudden glut of wedding-knocking in the media. From Channel 4’s The One Year Itch programme this week, talking to couples who celebrated their nuptials then decided after a very short time it was not for them, to Radio 4’s flagship Today programme discussing if “narcissism and self-promotion” are as much a part of the modern wedding celebration as confetti and dodgy discos.

Speaking on the Today programme’s Thought for the Day, Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, said: “Too many modern weddings have just lost their way.

"I'd even say that they've become a threat to marriage itself.

"Most clergy I know prefer taking funerals to taking weddings.”

The argument was that it has become so much about “me” that the real reason behind tying the knot had been lost. It is more about parties and puddings than commitment and love, basically.

Could this be why the divorce rate it so high? Well, the reality is that it’s not rising. In fact, divorce rates are at their lowest for 29 years, falling for the fifth consecutive year. This suggests that the majority of people are taking marriage seriously and believe that it is still something worth investing time and effort in. That, or the fact that the marriage rate is lower than it has been for years.

Whatever the reason, we should be pleased that people do still want to get married. In this day and age, when many things are disposable and we all seem to live so fast, the fact that people still do devote time and money to having a day to celebrate their relationship is something to applaud and I feel we should be more upbeat about it. Whether the nuptials are held in a public toilet or someone’s garden is irrelevant. While people still want to say “I do” I think we should be wholly supportive, including the clergy.

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