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But the real villains here aren’t the photographers. It’s the wedding planners: they are employed by the Devil. 

The fundamental problem with most wedding planners is that they are entirely pointless. They have to create a purpose so they create drama in order to smooth over it. They often don’t know how church services work or how the church building works and they cause trouble. At best they think about what flowers to have, where the flowers will go and who sits where. But there are wedding planners who think they can re-order the service and have it take place at a different angle. They ask: “Can we use that altar instead?”, not understanding we’re using the main altar. 

One wanted a winter wonderland in the church, complete with fake snow. They hadn’t factored in that the bride was able to walk down it to get to the altar but she and the groom together weren’t able to fit through the avenue of birch trees and so on to get out. 

They like to say “oh we can’t possibly have a reading at that stage in the service” and  sometimes they even want the vows moved. They have no idea about the liturgy. It’s often a matter of battles over timing. If you are officiating at a couple of weddings a day and they say to the bride “oh you can be really late arriving” when you know you’ve got another wedding with another bride arriving in the not too distant future, that really is not going to work.  

We’re officiating at weddings in an era when understanding of the Church is decreasing rapidly. Even people who want to get married in a church often don’t know much about it. So a couple will visit the church when the altar frontal is green because of the liturgical season and when they get married it’s red because it’s, say, the eve of Pentecost, and then they’ll say, “Oh my God, it’s not fitting in with our colour scheme.”

But we are the Church of England, the Established Church, and everybody is entitled to marry in it. You don’t have to be a baptised Christian, so long as you meet the criteria for getting married. One of those is attending the church for six months before the wedding. They don’t even have to live in the parish; they can drive to the church. 

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