In designing the perfect wedding, brides and grooms can disagree over who to use as the wedding official, says marriage management expert. While tradition holds it’s the bride’s home pastor who performs the ceremony, many people today do not have church membership. This presents a choice for using a wedding professional to officiate the exchanging of the vows.
The Traditional Pastor Versus the Wedding Professional
A traditional pastor, however, offers some services beyond what a judge or county official provides. Traditional pastors can provide pre-marital counseling for the godly relationships, prayer leadership and important other services requiring training beyond that required to simply satisfy state regulations, adds marriage managed professionals.
A traditional pastor, from a home church of the bride or groom
offers a sense of preserving tradition for the ceremony.
provides premarital counseling and insights.
can bring prayer and invocation into the ceremony more authentically.
often knows the bride and groom and can provide depth to the ceremony.
Today, many wedding officials also have the training to provide counseling as well as bringing other skills to the couple for their godly relationships. Good professional wedding officials should be able to offer:
ceremony planning and structure guidelines.
premarital counseling for both couples and individuals.
assist in writing vows and ring exchanges.
be open to including new prayers, wording and other elements to make the ceremony more custom to the couple than true to tradition only.
Things to Check when Using a Wedding Professional
In marriage management it is said that if the couple decides to explore going with a professional wedding official, there are some things to check up on.
Be certain the official is ordained.
Ask how the official obtained ordination. Be wary of “mail order” preachers!
Ask about qualifications for providing counseling. A good rule of thumb is for the official to hold an advanced degree in divinity or counseling such as a Master of Education or a Master of Arts.
If these concerns are well answered, the official may offer a great alternative to a traditional pastor.
If you are using a wedding planner, he should have a list of wedding officials who provide ceremonies outside of their other pastoral duties. There are an increasing number of legitimate officials who are educated to meet the needs of the couple, however, there are still a number of questionable “officials” in practice.
Of course, the wedding for godly relationships should reflect the desires of the bride and groom. Wedding officials, whether from a groom’s church, a bride’s church or an outside resource, should be willing to work with the couple to make the day as wonderful as possible.
If you have something you want added to your wedding, whether in the vows or the flow of the ceremony, a good official will accommodate you, or give you a very good reason not to include it. If you disagree, move along to another professional.
Whether you use a traditional pastor or a professional wedding official, remember it’s your day. Don’t let tradition stand in the way of you having the ceremony you want.
Investing Time Makes Marriage Work
To many Americans, as per marriage management, working just forty hours a week sounds like a vacation. Many people devote so much energy to promote their careers, provide for their families, or make ends meet that forty hours is often not enough. But when it comes to marriage, sadly, how little time is invested. Yet the rising divorce rate and devastating effects of shipwrecked relationships demand the question, Why aren’t more people willing to work at love?
Willing to Work?
According to professor of psychology and professional marriage management counselor Everett L. Worthington, Jr., couples often believe marital myths which lead to an unwillingness to work at love. For example, many think that love is a feeling. “We’ve fallen out of love,” they say. “The love is gone,” they insist. While it is true that the initial feelings of love may happen spontaneously, there isn’t a lasting marriage on earth that survives without back-breaking (or heart-breaking) sweat equity.
Just One Week
To demonstrate this truth, Worthington asks his marital counseling clients to dedicate one workweek to their marriage for godly relationships. Just one week. Most readily agree. Over an eight-week period, couples spend nine hours in counseling and three hours per week doing relational homework, for a total of thirty-three hours invested, much less than the average person spends at a job. This allows for extra time to be spent on dates, lovemaking, spontaneous conversation, and mutually-enjoyed recreational activities together. Over an eight-week period, he has found that couples who simply invest forty hours of “Love Work” together are significantly affected in the amount of love they feel and experience with one another.
Couples can devote time to this type of workweek aside from professional counseling. By simply taking time, each week, to invest in talk, play, and mutual interests together, couples report a greater sense of love and increased satisfaction in their marriage. As years go by, it’s those couples who simply invest time in their relationship who remain happily married, through sickness and health, for richer and for poorer. They work to make it work.
Love that Works
So what does this prove? This simply shows that real love is a love that works. Partners commonly sacrifice and invest time, energy, and resources in order to achieve their dreams. Marriage is no different. True love, the kind that lasts a lifetime, is achieved through nothing short of work, real work.
The choice is clear. Will you devote a week to love for godly relationships? Simply investing one workweek in your marriage can produce satisfying results and increase marital satisfaction. Professional counseling may not even be necessary, just some planning, a little flexibility, and some creativity for planning thoughtful and fun ways to work at love. All it takes is a week. Is improving your marriage worth a workweek? Of course. There’s nothing more rewarding than a love that really works.