Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Christ Centered Wedding -- Book Review

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.  Opinions are my own.  Please note, this post contains affiliate links where I receive a small percent of purchase price when you click through my link.  Thank you for starting your shopping here.

A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day  by Catherine Strode Parks

Since June, I have been in wedding planning mode.  There's so much to get ready.  I've looked at several wedding planners, and even purchased one, but I had been lamenting the one thing I wish I had:  a guidebook to help make sure that the wedding is a Christian one.  So many times we go to weddings, and no matter how much money spent or time planning, after a few years they seem blur into another wedding in our memory.  Fourteen years ago, I went to a wedding that was the most Christian wedding I'd ever been to.  I'd been hoping I could find a copy of my friends' wedding tape because I still couldn't remember what all was done except that it was a beautiful faith based wedding.

I didn't need to find a copy of their wedding tape because I decided to read A Christ Centered Wedding.  This book had everything that I've been wishing for -- from advice on the ceremony, the dresses, to the reception.  After reading the section on the bouquet and garter toss, my fiance and I decided that's one tradition we want to forgo, especially because I'm an older bride and I don't want to give the indication that women need to be married to be complete.  We are using the suggestion for the bouquet toss with a twist mentioned in the book, and I already have friends looking forward to this.  (You need to read the book to find out this fantastic suggestion.)

I grew up in a church that frowned upon dancing.  I've never danced.  Many of my friends would be uncomfortable at a reception with dancing.  Yet, I've already received some grief about this decision.  This book is absolutely fitting with the way I am approaching my wedding planning -- I want people to remember what is there, not what is missing.  I want my guests to come away from the wedding talking about the unique and fun things we planned and not saying, "But there was no dancing.  Where was the alcohol?"  A friend had been saying we should have an alternative to a first dance, and using the suggestions from this book, we're going to do a video presentation of photos of us growing up set to Christian music.  (Just as the book suggests, they won't all be good photos.  My fiance has been grabbing some where I really have the 1980s perm going on and laughing at how ridiculous I looked!  Yes, some of them will be included because after all, the younger crowd will think how ugly those geometric sweaters were -- and they will have a great laugh as will I.)

We are having a budget wedding.  (Under $5,000, hopefully less.) There have been a few things I haven't wanted to skimp on that aren't traditional in this area.  (But then again, I remember the days where wedding receptions were punch and mints in the dank church basement after the ceremony and entertainment was watching the bride and groom open wedding gifts.)  This book helped me realize that if there is something that I would like to do, it's not really a waste of money if we are showing love and appreciation to our guests.  This makes me feel so much better because I do want to stretch every wedding dollar we have.

The book trailer for A Christ Centered Wedding:

The pastor of our church said the only time he would say no to a wedding is if we wanted to do it on Sunday morning and then he grinned and said, "Well, under certain circumstances I'd allow it".  My goal for my wedding is for people to realize they have been in a worship service, just one packaged a little differently on a Saturday afternoon.  This book will help us have the wedding we want.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who is wanting to have a true Christ honoring wedding, and I've been telling friends about it -- both married and single.  I'm so glad a book like this has been written to fill what I was beginning to think was a gap in all the bridal books!

You can purchase this book from Family Christian.


  1. This book sounds really interesting; congrats to you on your wedding! Although my wedding was almost 20 yrs ago, I can relate to much of what you said. Ours was "budget" too, and no dancing!

    1. I've already had a friend whose daughter is getting married read this book. Another girl in my church who is getting married this year wants to read this. It's a fantastic resource. As for my wedding planning? Three months to go and under $2,000 spent. Pretty much just need the food at this point! Be watching for a lot more wedding posts. I'm wanting to show how to have a memorable wedding on a budget. I believe in this book it mentioned that money could be an idol as in how much you spend or don't spent. I don't want that to happen. I want to do this frugally because among other things, I want as many people to be there to celebrate with us that day as possible. If that means pepperoni rolls and Walmart chicken and deli sides for the meal, then so what? We're with people we love and who love us!

  2. This book sounds amazing! I was looking for similar things almost 9 years ago. I had some dancing though. No liquor--not even for my toast. I used sparkling grape juice. My wedding was very budget, under $2,000 spent and I still remember the songs sang at my wedding This is the Day (a weeding song) and A whole New World from Aladdin. Congrats on your wedding/marriage!

    1. There may end up being some dancing, it won't be specifically encouraged, however. I just looked up that song. So pretty. Other than How Beautiful we haven't decided on anything. The friend who is singing How Beautiful suggested that he flip a couple verses around and me walk in to that song where it begins How Beautiful the radiant bride. . . . :) I loved that idea.

  3. What a great book!! Everyone needs to remember that God is to be the center of everything...before, during and after marriage.

  4. My wedding was less than $3000, and it was so nice knowing that we (or my parents) did not end up with any debt because of the expense.


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