Civil weddings grow in appeal - but church still tops for new communities
2019-03-01 00:00:00 -

By Chinedu Onyejelem


A recent informal survey of newly engaged couples in Ireland reveals that more and more Irish people are avoiding church weddings in favour of more personal and intimate civil ceremonies.


According to Ingrid Madsen, a wedding singer with 15 years’ experience who questioned couples with whom she has been in contact, Irish couples are abandoning church marriages for civil ceremonies — and guests who have attended such events were overjoyed.


“It’s a common theme — churches can be difficult to deal with, restrictive and often miles away from the reception that evening,” she says. “Couples are making their big days more personal and more about them and their families and friends. It makes perfect sense, especially given the cultural diversity Ireland is so lucky to embrace.”


The same cannot be said of Ireland’s new communities, as Metro Éireann has learned.


“We totally believe in church wedding,” said Tunde Oke, regional pastor and country co-ordinator for the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Ireland.


Pastor Oke, who is also president of the all-Ireland Pentecostal association Joy in the Nation, said that occasionally people who are not part of the Pentecostal faith do approach them in order to be married in the church.


While the pastor said such advances are not entertained, he added that he has witnessed couples join the church months ahead of their planned ‘big day’ in order to have a church wedding.


In addition, Pastor Oke said member couples who have already wed in a civil ceremony can “always come back for a church wedding.”


Within the last two months, Pastor Dare Adetuberu from the RCCG’s Kingdom Centre parish in Dublin 15 said he has participated in two church weddings.


He aded that while immigrant couples, especially in his church, may be opting for high profile one-stop venues because of the ambiance, they are still strongly “participating in church marriages, or church blessings for their union”.


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