What happens in protestant weddings?


I’ve never been to one, and I’m just curious. I’m married, so this is just for knowledge’s sake. :confused:

I mean like evangelical, not wannabe Catholic type Anglicans etc.


Not much. :stuck_out_tongue: Seriously, I was raised evangelical. They last like 15 minutes, more if someone sings. :rolleyes: They process in, say vows, you go to the church basement for cake and NONalcoholic punch, then you leave. :shrug: All over in an hour, maybe hour and a half.
My first Catholic wedding (my hubby-to-be’s cousin) was a REAL shocker for me. I couldn’t understand why he said it would last all day. But it did. Long ceremony that I didn’t understand, then dinner, then :eek: dancing and drinking all night. Wow. Quite the culture shock.


It varies from couple to couple.

there were two of these in my family this year, one was about 20 minutes in lenght -





Symbolic Communion




The second had lighting of unity candles, a “powerpoint” slideshow added and did not have the symbolic communion.

The receptions were nice, no dancing or alcohol, just good food and cake and lots of talking.


My ex-wedding was about 30 minutes in a Methodist Church. All the fuss of dresses, tuxedos, flowers - and that was it!!! I was raised Catholic and really only knew Catholic weddings, so I was expecting so much more. To say it was a bit of a disappointment is an understatement. :rolleyes:

We did have good food at the ex-reception though. :o



Wll my wedding was actually quite beautiful. It lasted much longer than 15 minutes much to the dismay of my guests I’m sure since it was hot and our ceremony took place on a golf course. We had a beautiful view of lakes and fountains and trees. I was actually able to write a lot of the ceremony myself. We wrote our own vows. It was very personal and very moving for everyone including my dh’s catholic family. We still had a reading from the bible. We had a band sing songs during the ceremony. They were songs that were special to us not necessarily Christian, but some were. Then we went inside the country club and partied. I will say that our pastor didn’t agree with the drinking, but I wasn’t going to pretend to be someone I’m not just b/c it was my wedding day. Not that I’m a lush or anything, but my dh is Catholic. His family would not stand for no alcohol at the wedding. They even chipped in $1000 for it.


Well, as you gathered, mainline churches are pretty much like Catholic Marriage Outside of Mass (High Church Anglicans can go as far as having something on the order of a Nuptial Mass).

As for evangelicals- It depends.

I have been to 6, one of which was in Spanish.

One of them was short, sweet, and to the point, “Here Comes The Bride”, dearly beloved yada yada, a prayer over the couple, a kiss, and a recessional. The one in Spanish included a lot of non-Christian pop tunes, including Eres Tu. It was almost more a performance for the evangelical church band than a wedding. There was one where the “production ministry” flashed photos of the couple on the walls in a continuous loop, from the time they were born to present, but otherwise a “regular” ceremony. There was one where the pastor witnessed their vows from his big white piano, sort of like having Liberace do a wedding. He sang some hymn after, but I kept expecting him to say, “I wish my brother George was here”. There was one where the couple had the wedding themed in the 'worship space", Star Wars, I am not kidding, even a carboard wookie. Their vows revolved around Star Wars phrases, and I would have sworn it was a Jedi ceremony.

The one that seemed the most balanced to my mind was the one where everything was decorated for Christmas (it was the Saturday after). It was one of those steel buidlings from the General or a competitor, very vanilla building, but chairs and a stage. There was a “warm up” hymn of the Lord’s Prayer, then “Here Comes The Bride”. 1 Corninthians 13 was read. The pastor said something briefly about marriage. The couple exchanged vows that started with, “Believing in Christ as my savior” and were very traditional, with “obey” and “submission” included for the bride. They put on rings, the pastor blessed them, they kissed, and down the aisle they went.


Here’s ours:

Intro music/song
Parents escorted in, lit unity candles, seated
Wedding party in
Greeting and short message from pastor (ours was on the biblical wedding in Cana)
Prayer and vows
Lighting couples unity candle
Prayer and kiss, I now pronounce…
Wedding party file out/music

Reception/pictures, this was some 2 to 3 hours long for us.
We stayed to help clean up, and our closest friends and fam
were there when we left the church in our highly decorated car!

Came back to add, this was in a southern Baptist church, 1998


Thanks for your replies!

I wasn’t even thinking about the no-fun thing (i.e., booze and dancing)! :eek: :eek: :eek:


I love it. sounds like at least half my family
but the other half is conservative Methodist or Brethren and we can’t even think about alcohol, interesting to say the least


Some do have dancing, but prob not at the church.
Our reception was in the reception hall, b/c the cost of
renting the local VFW or elsewhere was prohibitive to us then.

My FIL did consider the VFW thing, out of his own pocket, but

Like the above poster said, some do ‘theme’ weddings, secular music (at least 2 of ours were), and various individual touches.
Some are just plain weird.

My Dh had/has a very close relationship with his mom, they’ve been through a lot together. He wanted her to escort him down the isle and ‘give him away’. Def different, but our pastor didn’t have a prob with it. So Tony walked in, his mom on his arm, to the song “Tammy” (my name). It was a def ‘awwwww’ moment, and we got quite a few (recorded on video, no less).

A friends wedding, years before, included the song ‘One day at a time’ and I thought that was weird. Already anticipating the hard times, eh? But that was just me.

You will find as many diff protestant weddings as you will protestants.


We were 10 min late to one and almost missed it! —KCT


But the bride and groom, even though there is no liquor, still get to consummate the marriage right?

Because I know some denominations do have a real problem with fun! :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, here is my experience:

First off, my husband and I are devout, cradle Catholics. My husband has a very good friend who is a fellow black belt and also happens to be protestant (Church of Christ, the smallest of about three different kinds of CofC in our town of 40,000). Anyway, it came as a surprise (to me, anyway) that this young man asked my husband to be his best man. They are a very strict and very conservative denomination, not given to much hobnobbing with other Christians. So that was how we came to be involved very closely with this wedding. Which was held on April 8,… 2006.

Don’t reach for your calendars. It was on Holy Saturday of last year. :confused:

Well, we were in a bit of a quandary, resolved by my BIL (the priest), who, after ascertaining that the couple were entering a valid marriage; that nothing more than handing the groom the rings and signing the license would be required of my husband (i.e., no communion or anything like that); and that the reception was going to be just a sit-down dinner with no music or dancing, said my husband could accept this honor (and believe me, if you knew this young man, you would also see it would be an honor to be asked to be his best man.)

The actual problem came on the night before the wedding. The rehearsal dinner.

On Good Friday.

Now these folks are transplanted Texans (from Lubbock, no less). Texas dinners, by custom and by some obscure, but no doubt written-in-stone, rule are usually barbecue (I’m a transplanted Texan myself, so I know this is true :smiley: !) Well, maybe things are different on other planets, but around here, BBQ does NOT usually mean fish or any other kind of meatless entree. So in addition to the best man telling the groom to put off the rehearsal to a later time (because we were attending the Good Friday services), he also had to tell him that we meant no offense but we would not be able to partake of any meat during the rehearsal dinner because, as Catholics, we were obliged to fast and abstain on Good Friday (only he and his immediate family and his fiancee knew we were Catholic.)

It is a testament to my husband’s and this young man’s friendship that they were still friends at this point (although Sam–our friend–was probably wondering why in the world he asked this Catholic to be his best man :rolleyes: ), and there we were on Good Friday, in the company of approximately 60 CofC Christians, preparing to eat only the coleslaw and the vegetarian beans, three Catholics MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS before grace.

We blew our cover.:eek:

Anyway, the wedding itself was quite beautiful, about 20 minutes long. The groom’s brother and grandfather and the bride’s sister played the music (not “Here Comes the Bride”) and the family’s pastor (minister, whatever he’s called) read some Scripture and talked about Christian marriage. Then he asked for objections (there were none :thumbsup: !) and then he asked who gave the bride, then he had the couple hold hands and repeat their vows (she had to “love, honor and obey”, he had to “love, honor and cherish”, which raised a few eyebrows among the guests who thought those words were only uttered in the movies), exchange rings and kiss.

Everybody say “Awwwwww!”:clapping: Especially since BOTH the bride and groom were crying. It was very emotional. Then the couple walked back down the aisle and to the nearby reception hall (side note: this wedding did NOT take place in a church, but in a mountain retreat. There was a recreation room where the wedding was held, then a reception hall with a kitchen where the dinner was served up. And it was COLD! It had snowed the night before!) Anyway, that was only about the second Protestant wedding we’d ever attended (one the year before had been at an Assembly of God church… again, 20 minutes and we were outta there!)

Very nice, but I’m so glad we had a Catholic wedding with a nuptial Mass. I’ve wondered often if we’d known these friends back then if they would have even attended our wedding, let alone participated in it. They’re very quick to invite others to their services, but very leery of attending others’.


Thank you for sharing that.

But WHAT, Church of Christ (CofC right?) do not observe EASTER?



I was raised Catholic. Country Catholic at that, so the weddings that I was used to growing up was big affairs.

I was shocked about the first non-Catholic wedding that I went to. I drove a gf 4 hours to a small town in East Texas. Spent money on my own hotel room because she was in the wedding party and needed to be there the night before. waited around all-morning the day of the wedding. got ready to go to the wedding. The wedding lasted about 20 minutes and the reception lasted about an hour with no alcohol or dancing. I felt so cheated. I spent all this time and money and was alone for a whole lot and I didn’t even get one dance with my gf at the time. Oh well. Everyone has their thing.


My wife and I were married in the Protestant Church almost 13 years ago. As I have a lot of friends who are Catholic and others who are Protestant we tried to make it the best of both.

We had it in the Chapel of the College we had attended (a Methodist School). Our Presbyterian Minister (and one of my best friends) gave about a 10-15 minutes message on Christian marraige then her Baptist Grandfather did the vows.

He would not let us see the vows or read them before the marriage… not sure why but anyway. Interestingly enough they contained the word “obey” for my wife (which we both laugh about) and mine has the phrase “pledge thee my trough” since I don’t have any horses that was kind of a moot point but I got the idea :thumbsup: I say we joke about the obey because we have always felt that a Christian marraige wasn’t 50/50 but rather 100/100… true to what the Catholic Church teaches.

The reception was where we differed… we wanted to make everyone feel at home so we had lots of food and a band for dancing. Since we weren’t Baptist we did not consider it a “sin” although some of her family definitely did. Most were able to tolerate that but we also planned for Champaign near the end for Toasts, at which point some of them left before the “demon alcohol” was served… oh well.

All in all it was very beautiful and a wonderful day we will never forget. :slight_smile:

We did go to a Bapstist wedding recently which did last about 20 minutes. It too had a PPT / Video of the couple, no sermon, and no communion and lasted about 20 minutes. After that everyone met for cake and stuff (nuts, chips etc…). To our and our Orthodox friends amazement, some of them started dancing!



Sounds like a delightful wedding, but I bet that you pledged your “troth” (betrothal, pledged fidelity), though “trough” is an interesting mental image :slight_smile:


All of the protestant weddings (probably Southern Baptist) I’ve been to lately have included altar calls. And there was WELL over 40 minutes of preaching alone (not including the wedding stuff). There was definately no alcohol or dancing.


Traditional Friends’ wedding: Bride and groom, after silent prayer for guidance, walk to front of meeting hall during silent part of regular meeting and, unannounced, dressed in ordinary clohing, stand facing one enother and state their intentions to each other. They then turn to congregation and ask for approval. if no one objects they are considered married.
Friends’ wedding I have attended: Announcements, decorations, feast, the whole wedding look, and everyone in congregation is considered automatically invited, as well as anyone bride and groom have chosen to invite. Guests sit. Bridesmaids process to platform. Groom and groomsmen process to other side of platform. Bride enters, escorted by parents. Bride’s little sister enters, as flower girl, strewing floers. Everyone sighs, coos. Child stands with bride’s family and bridesmaids. Pastor appears and speaks on marriage. Vows exchanged. Rings put on. Bride and groom kiss. Party process out. Bubbles blown, feast takes place, friends of bride and groom give speeches. When bride and groom leave everyone stands along walk and blows bubbles and cheers. No alcohol or dancing. Then bouquet thrown, with understanding that the catcher will be next to marry. Children do most of bouquet-chasing.


Like I said, this is a very small church (probably about 40 members total) and I believe very fundamentalist. There are two other Churches of Christ in our town, but they’re not “interchangeable”, if you know what I mean. They probably do observe Easter Sunday, but Lent and the Triduum, or even just Good Friday, they do not. I don’t even know if they go to church on Christmas if it doesn’t happen to fall on a Sunday or Wednesday!

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