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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Free Wedding Day

Mike McManus of Marriage.org, with whom we have worked in creating the local Community Marriage Policy (signed by some 50 churches in the area), sent me an email with an interesting idea.

He reports that Pastor Craig Gore, with the support of his congregation, the Cedar Park Assembly in Seattle, Washington, is offering an annual Free Wedding Day.  Last year three couples accepted, and were married on the same day in June, 2011, and the church has set the next event for this Saturday, June 16.

The program came about through Pastor Gore's concern that some people are not getting married because they don't feel they can afford a traditional church wedding and ceremony. So Cedar Park Assembly offers the following services free:

Pre-marriage counseling (four sessions of which are required)
A minister to perform the ceremony
A music and sound engineer
A floral package that includes bouquets and boutonnieres for the bride, groom, one bridesmaid, a groomsmen, a flower girl and a ring bearer
A free 15 photo package

It does not include the cost of a reception, and additional flower or photo options are available if desired.

With an estimated 7.6 million couples cohabiting in 2011, couples Pastor Gore believes are at great risk for going through a form of premarital divorce, he and his church would like to help persons in undocumented, premarital marriages to get whatever help they need to establish relationships with stronger bonds and a greater sense of support.
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