LONDON (Reuters) – Tired of watching couples marry in stately homes or on tropical islands, the Church of England is fighting back.
Not only does it have some of the most scenic venues in the country, it plans to stress, a church wedding has more meaning.
To spread the message, the Church is to take part for the first time in Britain’s National Wedding Show, a trade exhibition which opens in Birmingham on Friday.
“The Church of England has 16,000 marriage venues across the country, often of outstanding beauty,” said the Bishop of Leicester Tim Stevens, who will open the Church’s stand.
Marriage venues? We got lots of venues and more meaning for your wedding dollar, so won’t you try us?
“It also offers a framework of meaning which will grow as a couple’s love and family grow.”
Others choose to marry abroad, often on sun-kissed beaches in the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean.
Well actually I have no problems with guys marrying a broad.
Simply Exclusive Travel, a company based in Manchester, even offers underwater weddings off the island of Mauritius.
Gee a marriage that has already hit bottom from the start, already washed up, gone over the deep end, all wet.
“I have to admit, we’ve not had any inquiries about the underwater wedding yet. It’s perhaps a bit extreme,” sales and marketing manager James Hulme said.
He said his company had benefited from the rise in the divorce rate and second marriages. Most divorcees are barred from marrying in the Church of England unless their previous partner is dead.
But the Church of England wants to reverse the trend.
“The church increasingly understands that in a market culture it needs to put itself before the people with what it has to offer,” Bishop Stevens told Reuters.
“It’s certainly the case that the range of opportunities for people to get married in all sorts of novel and exotic locations has increased since the changes in the law.
“But the Church is in a very good position to prepare couples for their married lives.”