JWs and weddings

by YellowLab 2 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • YellowLab

    Does the Watchtower frown upon JWs and wedding parties and receptions?

    My reason for asking is my JW brother is having a small wedding at a local restaurant in July. He is not having a bridal party, no flowers, no reception, and no children allowed. Basically just a small ceremony and a dinner. While I respect his decision, I've also had other JW cousins who've been married in the past several years with similar weddings... extremely small, no children allowed, low-key or no receptions...

    Was there a change in how the Watchtower views wedding ceremonies and receptions? Before I faded away back in 1995, my wedding was at a local park with over 200 people in attendance, dinner, reception, DJ... a fairly traditional wedding with cause for celebration. But it almost seems like the JWs don't want this any longer. I wasn't sure if my family was doing this by choice or if that's what they teach now.

    Any comments?

  • jamiebowers

    I haven't heard any official word lately on weddings and receptions. But based on my experience with my jw wedding 26 years ago, there are a lot of rules to follow. For instance, most music, dancing and over indulgence of alcohol are either forbidden or at least looked down on, My husband was instructed to choose a male to oversee the whole thing and to stop anything that may be objectionable. We had no alcohol, and the band consisted of elders and ministerial servants. When they played "Wipe Out" and one of my "worldly" cousins swiveled her hips while dancing, the music stopped and she was advised to stop it. Aside from the rules, there is the matter of expense. I'm certain there would be gossip if the reception was at all ostentacious. The whole thing really wouldn't be worth the hassle in my view.

  • undercover

    I don't know of any new counsel on wedding parties/receptions other than the ones they've always given. Not to be too large or expensive, avoid serving alcohol, avoid worldly music that debases or dances that are inappropriate, don't throw rice or toss the bouquet, etc.

    I have seen some JW weddings that would rival the weddings of any other church wedding as to size, number of bridesmaids/groomsmen, number of guests, size of reception, amount of alcohol served and consumed. Those usually ended up with somebody being counseled when all was said and done. But they were usually the most fun to attend.

    Other weddings were to the other extreme...they tried so hard to not be over the top in anything, that it ended up being a surreal experience. Not much more than a step or two above a Justice of the Peace affair. They seemed almost somber as if it was wrong to have a joyful occasion and this was just a formality to legalize the union.

    Another consideration is that many young JW couples have no money in addition to no higher education. Their parents may be footing the bill, but many of them don't have reserve money to pay for expensive weddings and receptions. In the end, they become conservative so as to keep costs down.

Share this